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Timing worries.

Yeah, INTERN is a lot faster on the VAX too,
and yes, I use FUNCALL a lot too, so I should be using SUBRCALL
in Maclisp. Also, the I/O is a lot more efficient on the VAX.
It all adds up.

However, you are not one to talk about what most of the nil system
code needs, since you haven't written any of it. In particular the
assembler handles BITS in its own way.

    Of reasonable importance is how often such programs will be run
    on the PDP10 -- if it's a small number of times (as you suggest)
    then virtually all your time spent developing alternative, less general
    systems will be wasted. 

The programs will run just once, to bring up NIL. However, that
is worth everything. It doesn't matter if it is useless for
some hypothetical maclisp user. What good is this "generality"
you have spent so much of you time on?