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Re: T after two

        Date: Mon, 8 Jul 85 09:10:51 edt
        From: linus!ramsdell at Mitre-Bedford

        I heard some distressing news from someone at Bell Labs.
        He was using an Apollo and found that Cognitive Systems
        would only sell him T for $10K!  I do not understand how
        T is to become popular with such a large price tag.

    CSI isn't exactly selling T, it's selling CSI LISP. But for comparison,
    the price for Chez Scheme, from Cadence Research Systems, is just under
    $6000 (to companies). ...

What Jonathan says  is  correct.   You  can  get  the  Apollo  CSI  LISP
interpreter and  compiler,  including  documentation  and  support,  for
$10K.  If you want just the interpreter, the price is $4K.   The  system
itself has  a  new  interpreter,  loader,  file-system  interface, etc.;
there are some  new  language  features,  like  multiple-value  returns;
it also  has  an  online  HELP  system,  a graphics subsystem, etc.  The
compiler is TC with bug fixes  and  some  user-friendliness  (e.g.,  the
assembler is built in, so no more .asm files).

On the VAX (VMS), CSI LISP costs $4K.  It sits on  top  of  Common  Lisp
(i.e., DEC's  VAX  LISP),  so  your  CSI LISP programs are compiled into
Common Lisp,  but  you  never see the underlying system, not even during
debugging.  This is entirely new code.  The version  that  sits  on  top
of LISP/VM is still under development.

As far  as  price  goes,  the  price  is comparable to similar products,
and there are educational and multiple-sale discounts, but if  it  still
sounds high,  you  should try playing with some numbers yourself:  weigh
the expenses  of  salaries,  hardware,  maintenance,  sales,  marketing,
office-space rental,  etc.,  against  the  number  of  systems you think
can sell, and come up with a price that keeps you in business.

CSI would be *delighted* if there were a company  out  there  that  sold
and supported  T.   In  an  industry that's strong on tools and seminars
but weak on actual products, we weren't exactly thrilled with  the  idea
of diverting  some  of  our  AI/natural-language people to support LISP.
But Yale wasn't in a position to provide  commercial  support,  DEC  and
IBM  hadn't  yet  announced  their  LISPs,  the  LISP  machines were way
overpriced for our customers, and we thought that  T  was  the  greatest
thing since  sliced  bread,  so  we  decided to fix it up and support it
ourselves, which may yet turn  out  to  be  either  good  taste  or  bad
judgment.  Or maybe both.