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   Date: Thu, 16 Mar 89 09:44 EST
   From: Kent M Pitman <KMP@stony-brook.scrc.symbolics.com>

   Can you motivate why you want a function rather than a variable
   for the counter control? For example, a useful feature of a
   variable would be to bind it. 

   My basic feeling is that if we need a function rather than variable,
   we must need the function for a reason. What is the function providing
   that is worth the added descriptive overhead and loss of (binding)
   flexibility but that is not stated in the writeup?

So that at the time the counter is changed I can convert it to
packed decimal on a VAX and use string instructions.

Seriously, I had in mind doing error-checking at counter-setting time
and thus avoiding questions of what happens when if you supply a bogus
counter value.

But if that is not worth it, then I will settle for a variable.