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FORCED to buy new cart for XL400?

[NOTE:  This message apparently didn't go out to SLUG from AI.SRI.COM
so I'm resending it.  Apologies if some of you get it twice.
	- Mabry Tyson (SLUG-Request@AI.SRI.COM)]

    Date: Fri,  4 Aug 89 15:49:24 EDT
    From: MILLER@vax.cam.nist.gov

    It seems  that  ALL  software  for  MacIvory's  and XL400's will ONLY be
    delivered on the small cartridges.  We already have two carts (large) at
    our site;  it  seems  extravagant  to  buy  another.   That's one of the
    reasons we have networks.

    Is it really that hard to write this stuff onto large tapes?  IBIN files
    can live on a 3600's disk, and I can load world files onto a local  disk
    from a remote  cart; Cant  symbolics write  them onto  a remote  cart as
    well?  In any  case we  should be  able to  get the  layered products on
    large carts.  It is admittedly a  bit more trouble to organize  the tape
    production, but you do have computers and we're NOT talking about having
    to stick a large cart drive into an XL400 cabinet.

    If this  is  indeed  the  policy,  I  find  it rather arbitrary.  So the
    XL400's are compatible,  huh?  If  it is  not the  policy, I  apologize;
    However, my customer  rep thinks  this is  the policy  and even  she was

    Is anybody else having problems with this?  What do the symbolics people
    on the list think of this?

Sorry to take so long to respond to this.  I had intended to wait only
for the UX400 announcement, but then the message got lost in my mail

The reason that Ivory software is only shipped on QIC-100 tapes is one
of logistics.  Johanna Rothman outlined many of the problems in
inventory, installation testing, and distribution in her previous
message on this subject.  We originally chose QIC-100 format for
MacIvories to be compatible with Apple, and we chose the same format for
XL400s to minimize these logistical problems.

I should add that these logistical problems are nontrivial.  Tapes are
very expensive, and it is time-consuming, expensive, and error-prone to
manufacture the number and variety of tapes necessary for a release.
At the time I believe we made the right trade-off in limiting
distribution media in order to improve the timeliness and quality of the
software releases.

With the introduction of the UX400, we're shipping its software in the
old QIC-11 format, since that can natively be read by tape drives Sun
requires for its own software distribution.  (We could have chosen other
formats, but we chose QIC-11 for compatibility with the 3600.)

We are hopeful that in 7.5, we will have procedures in place which will
allow software distribution of 1all0 Symbolics products on QIC-11 tape.
QIC-100 will continue to be available for Ivory customers.
Additionally, we hope to have in place a pilot program for distributing
our software on CD-ROM, which should continue to lower or costs and
minimize the logistical problems of software distribution.

None of this message should be construed in any way as a commitment by
Symbolics to change its software distribution requirements at any time
in the future.  Priorities and resource allocations change through time.
The existing policies remain in force.  However, I wanted to keep you
informed and let you know that (1) there are real reasons for the
existing policies, and (2) we are working resolving these issues for you
in the near future.