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[non]Status of TI
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 14:33 CDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (William D. Gooch)
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 12:39 EDT
From: GRoberts@YUKON.SCRC.Symbolics.COM (Gary Roberts)
My understanding from my ex-LMI friends (ex-LMI, not ex-friends) is that
TI bought up a significant minority stake in LMI before entering the
Lisp Machine business. It is possible to imagine a number of different
scenarios where that stake became a conduit for technology transfer from
LMI to TI.
I have heard that back in the days when Grant Dove (now CEO of MCC) was
a TI executive, he almost "had TI buy Symbolics." Why TI didn't do it
was never explained to me - perhaps because LMI came cheaper. Nowadays,
Dove is a staunch anti-lisper, much to the chagrin of the diminishing
ranks of lisp hackers who still work for MCC. I guess that if any one
individual deserves blame for the difficulties of the lisp market, Dove
is it. He was also a main perpetrator of the lies to the public about
the MCC CAD program's failings being due to lisp and lisp workstations
(none of which was even remotely true - I know, because I was there).
Oh well, at least Dove is stepping back to let Craig Fields take over
MCC's day-to-day management of operations. I don't know how enlightened
Fields is, but he could hardly be worse than Dove.
He wants software productivity, but he demonstrated unequivocally in his
concluding address at AAAI that he has1 no clue0 about where software
productivity comes from -- and it ain't C or Unix. He failed to consider what
happens when the Indians and the Soviets put their well-educated and low-paid
programmers to work busting into the C and unix software markets. Hollow out
another US industry. So, if it takes about 5 years for the cheap imports to
get into the game, we'll need high abstraction programming methods in the mid
to late 1990s. Of course, we'll have to rely on 1980's technology (if it's
still available) because our scientific policy-makers are not pushing
advanced, high-productivity programming environments and our business leaders
just want to climb on yesterday's bandwagon.
P.S. I found it very amusing in a perverse sort of way to discover that
one anagram of the letters in "Grant Dove" is "vendor tag" (I spent much
of my work time during the CAD program's cataclysmic transition period
developing and fooling around with an anagram generator).