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Folks on the net were talking about the new console.
I'd like to register a strong complaint against the new
XL1200 series's lack of sound capabilities. The old
3600 series was hard enough to work with, but all the
new XL1200 can do is beep at one frequency. Compare this
to the MacIntosh LC machine, which comes with a built-in
microphone besides software to support its speaker.
Currently, sound synthesis is needed by two main groups
of researchers: those doing research on speech analysis
and synthesis, and those doing research on music composition,
analysis, and synthesis.
In the near future, sound synthesis will be needed by
applications involving delivery systems that would like to
use multi-media notifications and alarms.
In the intermediate future, sound synthesis will be needed
for voice-mail and telecommunication applications.
Video I/O should eventually be supported, also.
In the long-range future, sound synthesis and input capabilities
will be needed for spoken interaction applications.
I also predict that within 30 years, the home computer,
the television, and the telephone will merge into one
"virtual reality" remote experiencing/communication/education/
entertainment product, that will be as indispensable to the
home as the telephone or TV is right now (read: huge market).
It is important for Symbolics to foster these long-term
future results by providing basic capabilities for those
who want to start hacking on these things in the present.
Only by many man-years of people hacking around on available
hardware can these things reach fruition.
I applaud the decision to have what appears to be a Sony
Walkman-compatible earphone jack on the front of the console.
I assume that I can plug my earphones into this without blowing
them out. But I also assume that this feature is basically
useless on the XL1200 series, without the DAC to drive it.
Things to do immediately:
1) Reinstate the sound on the XL1200 series.
2) Provide a (low-quality, low-cost) microphone as an option,
and eventually as a standard, hardware feature for the
Symbolics console models.
John Myers firstname.lastname@example.org