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T&M vs. full maintainance
Miller, such a noble name :-)
Some other considerations, take them as you like them...
ON T&M you don't get ECOs (ok, how many have there been. Not many, but we
did just get some board that wansn't broken on our 70 replaced because there
was a more recent ECO and they were fixing some other problem) free. Not a
big consideration, but I don't remember seeing it mentioned.
You also have to pay for travel. That may not be much, or it may be a lot.
Our service comes from about 1.5 hours away, and that office handles service
calls considerably further out than that. If a problem takes two trips, you
may be paying a lot just for the travel time.
What we are looking into is, since a 70 and 40 can swap boards (you may have
to change a few ROMs back and forth for the differnet disk controllers, for
instance), and we have a 70 and 2 40s, we could board swap amoung them to
find the bad board, and then just handle things thru the mail. No time, just
material. Get the CE in only for really major problems, though those are
likely to cost more than the value of the machine (backplane replacements
anyone? Our 70 and a 20 here have needed it... :-)
Similar arguments work for board swaps between a 50 and 20, though the 50
may have large boards that won't fit in the 20 (like memory, so if you have
a 40, you can swap to it).
My understanding is that Symbolics is currently reviewing pricing for
maintainance on older machines, so give your local support people a call and
tell them what you are *willing* to pay to keep them on full maintainance.
They should take that into account...
(For instance, why should a 70 cost so much more than a 40 to maintain, if
it doesn't have color, etc. It's the same # of boards, just a bigger
backplane, ps, and cabinet. Yet the maintainance cost is almost double a
Symbolics did make noises to us several years ago about an intermediate
maintainance plan, where you did the board swaps, they supplied diagnostics
and other tools, and a spare supply, and gave discounts when sending boards
back for swap with their stock. It didn't make sense for us, but it might
for you, if they still have this program. (Bascially the costs for us were
such that given the repair record we had, it would cost us more under this
program than full maintainance; if your machines run relatively clean, you
may save money).