[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Purchasing Decisions [was Symbolics Germany prices]

    Date: Tue, 27 Aug 91 16:17:42 +0200
    From: %nrb.be%mcsun.EU.net@Warbucks.AI.SRI.COM

    Date: Tue, 27 Aug 91 16:16+0100
    From: Vincent Keunen <keunen@milou.nrb.be>
    Subject: Symbolics Germany prices
    cc: uucp%"info-mcl@cambridge.apple.com"@nrbv01, eric@milou.nrb.be
    Message-ID: <19910827151626.1.KEUNEN@milou.nrb.be>
	      Date: Mon, 26 Aug 91 13:37 CDT
	      From: Shepard@MCKENZIE.S&C.Dialnet.Symbolics.COM (Tom Shepard)
	      It all depends on how long you intend to be programming, or how long
	      management intends to stay in business.  If management only makes
	      decisions based on absolute cost, maybe they don't know how to make
	      Return-On-Investment calculations.  
    Our company is doing well, thank you (it's not because of the symbolics
    we have, though).  Still, our management (which is also taking the
    decisions for the other parts of the company that bring money, ie
    IBM9000 & so on) doesn't fully agree/understand your simple formulas...
    I agree the Genera environment is very good and I like it very much.
    However, it's still far from ideal, when I consider the *weeks* we
    spent debugging dna and recently cterm - just because Symbolics Germany
    doesn't even know what these packages are for...  But they know what
    software maintenance for dna is (in terms of DM I mean)...
    If Genera is better AND much more expensive; what's the big deal?

Hold on.  My point is precisely that price/performance is NOT a valid
measurment.  Try it.  Crank in some numbers where the price/performance
is actually worse on the Symbolics.  All this means is that it will take
more time to amortize the startup costs; but also note that those are
NOT the only costs.  Once you've amortized the startup costs of the
cheaper machine, you've got to consider the recurring costs of salaries;
with the more expensive machine, I have, in effect, free programmers.

    Having a better environment for the *same* price - that would be much
    more appealing!  

No doubt.
		     And wouldn't it allow Symbolics to get a critical
    market share, which it needs badly for lowering production costs?

Yes.  If they had been this smart when they were making large profits,
things might well be much different now.
    Now, in your formulas, just put these elements:
    - MacIvory + Genera = $38000
       (plus Macintosh price)
    - Macintosh Common Lisp = $400
       (plus Macintosh price)
    Now do you really think Genera + Ivory is worth 95 times MCL???

For a small project with limited return, I might use MCL.
    MCL is definitely not as good as Genera, but it still is cltl2
    compatable (although beta), has good programming utilities (thru M. Kant
    work, notably, like defsystem, who-calls database, a metering system, a
    compare sources,...), a much better interface designer than Frame-up,
    access to Macintosh resources like the communication Toolbox for easy
    networking, a pretty good emacs-like editor, a good compiler (soon
    incremental), etc...

Why do you use Genera?
    Now do you *really* think Genera + Ivory is worth *95* times MCL???

For a large project with high returns, YES.  Here at Houston Lighting &
Power, it costs 200,000 US$/day to keep a generating unit down for
maintenance.  If I can field this scheduling system sooner so as to save
a day on a schedule, it'll pay for 3 of the 4 XL1200s that HL&P owns.
    Vincent Keunen