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    Date: 3 NOV 1979 1229-EST
    From: MILLER at MIT-AI (Mark L. Miller)
    To:   Steve at SRI-KL
    cc:   Fin at MIT-ML, Jonl, KMP, (BUG Lisp)

    Dear Steve,
    In Reply To:
        Date:  2 Nov 1979 1125-PST
        From: Steve at SRI-KL (Steve Rosenberg)
          I am exploring ways to get MACLISP up on a VAX, under VMS. I wonder
        whether you have anything to tell me about this. I know NIL
        will eventually be up, and that FRANSLISP runs, under UNIX-7.
            Due to constraints of various kinds, i must use the VMS operating
        system, and I can't wait a year till NIL is up.
            So far, the best scheme seems to be to hire someone to bring
        up FRANSLISP under VMS, and iron out any differenences between it
        and MACLISP.
      Good luck!  The only current programming languages under VMS are
    Fortran and Assembler; Pascal may appear thru DECUS soon.  It will take you
    more than a year to do ANYTHING yourself -- and who can you POSSIBLY hire
    that is any good?  (LISP implementors are a pretty scarce breed; I am happy
    if I can find systems people who have HEARD of it!)
This is untrue.  I don't know ALL the languages available, but they include
BLISS, C, COBOL, APL, and others.  I've heard rumours about PL1.  Since
Franz is written in C, for the price of a UNIX license (or maybe less) you
can get a C that runs under VMS and start hacking.  I don't know how easy it
would be...
      We, too, are using VMS, as is MIT, even though the entire rest of the
    world is going over to UNIX.  What I suggest is: (a) don't try to use a VAX
    for at least another year (what EDITOR are you going to use?); (b) if you
    have no choice, talk to Ken Keller and Bill Joy (UCB grad students) and get
    the UNIX-UNDER-VMS emulator from a company in San Diego (we are probably
    going to get this, it includes a UNIX license and is NOT CHEAP however, I
    think probably >$50K) and then just LIVE WITH FRANZ until NIL is done.  Bob
    Balzer is threatening to put INTERLISP on the Vax, but again, it will be
    more than a year.  There are also various FORTRAN-4 LISPS (probably awful)
    which MIGHT work.  If you can live with 16-bit addresses (i.e., 2**16 byte
    or less programs, compared to 2**18 WORDS (x4.5 bytes/wd) on a PDP10), you
    might get MARYLAND PDP-11 ULISP which should run in EMULATOR MODE.
      My advice is: if you can get on a PDP10 or DEC20, wait a year or two.
    Hope the world is otherwise treating you ok!  Regards, Mark
My advice is, work harder at getting a UNIX license, and DON'T wait.  Winning
software won't happen unless people work on it.  But don't depend on getting
anything useful done for another year.