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Symbolics and Sun price comparisons

Received: from THOMAS.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com by ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com via CHAOS with CHAOS-MAIL id 14809; 11 Jan 90 14:25:50 PST
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 90 14:25 PST
From: Robert D. Pfeiffer <RDP@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>
Subject: Symbolics and Sun price comparisons 
To: SLUG@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com
In-Reply-To: <19900105145439.1.PVS@ROADRUNNER.alcoa.com>
Supersedes: <19900108215950.5.RDP@THOMAS.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>
Comments: Retransmission of failed mail.
Message-ID: <19900111222543.3.RDP@THOMAS.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>

    Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 09:54 EST
    From: pvs@JAZZ.alcoa.com (Peter Van Sickel)


    The SLUG mail comparing Sun and Symbolics prices appeared to me to be
    unrealistic.  We recently purchased a SUN-4/330GX with 24 megabytes of
    memory, 2 327 MByte SCSI disks, a tape drive, and a 19 inch Trinitron
    color monitor with 8-bit color and a graphics accelarator.  We bought
    Lucid and Fortran.  The system cost $52,000.  We bought the Sun to stage
    a system we've developed on Symbolics machines.

    An XL400 with 4 MWords (20 MBytes), 2 380 MByte ESDI disks, etc has a
    list price of about $65,000.  Note that the Sun has color and the
    Symbolics is black and white.  Putting color on the Symbolics is
    another $15,000, which is admittedly expensive. 

    I think when you compare similarly configured machines, the Symbolics
    delivered cost is not significantly out of line with Sun delivered cost.
    You have to determine (probably by gut feel and anecdotal evidence from
    people who have used both systems) whether the added features of Genera
    are worth the $10,000 to $15,000 premium you pay for the Symbolics.
    Given that a developer costs anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 per month,
    all we have to save is roughly one or two months in development time
    over lets say a 5 year machine life and we're even.  That hasn't been a
    difficult argument to make to our management in favor of buying

    Peter Van Sickel
    Alcoa Technical Center

I think your analysis is right on the money. :-)

We don't have any trouble justifying the (slightly) higher cost of
Symbolics platforms here at Lockheed either.  Although the battle had to
be fought more than once in the past, I think that everyone in a
position to affect the choice of software engineering technology has
been pretty much won over to the Symbolics camp by the demonstrated
successes of our software development efforts.

Bob Pfeiffer