[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Jay Wurts speech at Slug-90

        I "accidentally" left my portable tape recorder turned on 
    during  Jay  Wurts opening speech at the  SLUG-90  conference 
    this  past week at Stanford.  Due to a long and boring  plane 
    ride  back to Florida,   I had time to transcribe his  speech 
    into  this  mail message.     He had  some  very  interesting 
    comments  and  I know a number of people were  interested  in 
    getting a copy of what he said.  I don't know if anyone  will 
    get  upset by this, but here is a transcript of Jay's  entire 
    speech (minus the parts that he actually said "don't quote me 
    on  that").   Some  of the contents have  already  helped  me 
    convince upper management that we're on the right track  with 
    Symbolics.   Hope it can help others as well.  Please  excuse 
    any  spelling errors, there's no Meta-X Spell Region on  this 
    machine and the Symbolics laptop isn't out yet.

                                      Jim Dumoulin
                                      NASA / Kennedy Space Center


     Symbolics  Management  Presentation Speech  by  Jay   Wurts, 
    President of Symbolics Inc.  Presented to the Symbolics  Lisp 
    Users Group (SLUG) at Stanford University on June 20, 1990.

    Hello,  I'm Jay Wurts and  I'm glad to be here.  I'd like  to 
    welcome everyone to SLUG.  I wish we had weather like this in 
    Boston all year around.  Paul (Pangaro) has introduced a  few 
    of the senior people that are here from Symbolics but I  just 
    want  to  make doubly sure that everyone knows them  so  I'll 
    introduce  them again.  

    I  think he mentioned Ken Tarpey, Ken will you  please  stand 
    up.   We were extremely lucky to get Ken.  Ken has been  Vice 
    President  of  International Service at Computer  Vision  and 
    Vice  President  of Service at Prime Computer (which is  a  2 
    billion dollar company that has been thru some pressure also) 
    and it was an excellent opportunity for Symbolics to get some 
    very very experienced management talent in the service  area. 
    He  got the service area brought under control  very  quickly 
    and in a couple of months was promoted to be in charge of the 
    entire  Genera business unit.  Jack Slaven, who most  of  you 
    know  very well.  Jack is an expert of getting customers  out 
    of trouble, so if there's anyone in trouble either  partially 
    or  completely brought about by Symbolics, Jack likes to  fix 

    those  sorts  of  things.   So,  don't  sit  and  stew,  call 

    Also  on the front row is Ken Sinclair.  Ken has been one  of 
    our  very  senior  developers and when  we  reorganized  very 
    recently  to  put  much  much  more  attention  on   software 
    delivery, we put Ken Sinclair in charge of it because he  had 
    the  best  record of anyone in the company  of  delivering  a 
    software  project  on time.  He was in charge of  the  UX-400 
    team and he got that project done in a small number of months 
    with  a  very  small team. We wanted to take  no  chances  on 
    software delivery on CLOS and CLIM so we brought Ken into the 
    effort.   Also,  who joined that effort 2 or  3  months  ago, 
    because of the extreme importance of it was David Moon in the 
    back.   As many of you know, we are extremely  serious  about 
    software delivery and one of the ways to be serious about  it 
    is to put some of the very best of our talent on the project.  
    Also  here is Howie Shrobe, Vice President of Technology  and 
    Teri  Carilli,  recently  promoted  to  manager  of  Software 
    Support.   Not here, but of interest to you is  Mark  Truelar 
    who has been in charge of all of our hardware operations  and 
    has  been  recently promoted to be in charge  of  the  Genera 
    Software running on proprietary hardware.  Also, Ron  Benanto 
    is  our  CFO  who has done wonders  to  keep  things  running 
    smoothly thru turbulent times and even though he isn't  here, 
    he is another key member of the team.  

    To start out, I'd like to talk about the goals we've achieved 
    during  this  past  year.   In spite  of  our  last  quarters 
    financial  performance, which looks fairly disappointing,  we 
    really have achieved everything else we set out to accomplish 
    this  year.   I  don't think we've ever had  a  year  in  our 
    history where we've managed to get everything except for  one 
    item  done.  We shipped the UX-400, on schedule  last  summer 
    and  we're shipping the XL-1200 this month on schedule.   The 
    XL-1200, we were absolutely delighted to have met all of  our 
    design goals and its currently running at 3.0 times the speed 
    of  an  XL-400 or 5 to 6 times the systems performance  of  a 
    3640.  We've had announced press releases to that effect  and 
    for  some  strange reason, none of you believed us,  but  for 
    those  of you following SLUG mail you don't have to take  our 
    word  for it because you've seen some of the benchmarks  that 
    have  been coming out on that machine.  Particularly the  MIT 
    benchmarks  done by the robotics lab, one of the ones  I  was 
    very excited about because they were very through.  Not  only 
    did  they  benchmark  the  XL-1200  against  other  Symbolics 
    machines, but they ran them against all of their Sun machines 
    at the same time, and the numbers were pretty clear.   System 
    performance  for a large application, 250 seconds on a  3650, 
    110  seconds  on  a SPARC Station 1, 80 seconds  on  a  SPARC 
    station  4/370 and that 370 had 56 Mbytes of main memory  and 
    55 seconds on an XL-1200.  That's a real application,  that's 
    system performance, that's MIT guys and they were  skeptical.  
    At  the  end of 2 hours of wringing the  machine  out,  their 
    final  comment was "Well, it does what you said it did."   He 
    was  a  little unnerved at the beginning of  the  first  demo 
    because  when we started an application up first on the  3650 
    and  the 3650 was about a third into the demo, we started  up 
    the XL-1200.  This was one of the first 1200's built, and  it 
    went  into  the  debugger.   And one  of  the  guys  jokingly 
    mentioned  "if  you  managed to get it out  of  the  debugger 
    before  the  3650 finishes, we'll be interested."   Well,  we 
    went  into  the debugger, fixed the problem, got out  of  the 
    debugger  and finished the benchmark and the 3650  was  still 
    computing.   So  we're  not talking  40%  improvement,  we're 
    talking   about   a   significant   improvement   in   system 

    The next major milestone we achieved was the shipment of  the 
    Frame-Thrower  image  computing board and  intelligent  frame 
    buffer.    This  is a project that has been a  glint  in  Tom 
    McMahon's eye for 4 years and cost 2 million dollars for  the 
    gate  arrays alone.  It has 11 custom gate arrays on it.   It 
    has 1024 bit wide data paths.  Its is an extraordinarily high 
    performance image computer and frame buffer.  4 channels  in, 
    4  channels  out,  100 Mbits/sec.   These  are  performed  in 
    parallel,  one each for red, green, blue and alpha.  It  fits 
    on a 9U VME board and runs in one slot in an XL-400 and  will 
    pretty soon be available for other machines.  Its based on  4 
    years  worth  of experience with the PIXAR and  our  feelings 
    that  there  really  was  a  better way  to  do  it,  and  we 
    incorporated many of these ideas into the processor.  One  of 
    the  most  exciting  features of the  board  is  its  genlock 
    circuitry  which is entirely software controlled and we  have 
    the only device in the industry which can perform NTSC video, 
    PAL,  HDTV  or 601 Digital, and the output of these  are  all 
    under  software control.  You can start with one and  upgrade 
    down the road as you need to.  In the graphics market,  where 
    we're  marketing  this product rather early  at  the  moment, 
    peoples reactions at the trade shows has been, first "How can 
    you  do that, Nobody can do that" and the second comment  has 
    been  "How can you sell your whole bundled machine with  that 
    processor  in it for $79,000 when the nearest competition  is 
    over $200,000".  This board can also support single color  in 
    the  XL-400 and the XL-1200 and has in addition  to  external 
    sync on this board, a 3 dimensional geometry chip that  isn't 
    currently turned on now but is producing some very very  good 
    results  in  our  lab in  producing  high  performance  color 
    geometry  manipulation on the screen.  Its running about  the 
    speed of a Silicon Graphics Personal IRIS in 3d geometry even 
    though  that's not the primary purpose of the board.  So  its 
    an impressive piece of hardware.

        For  those of you who have been following Symbolics  over 
    the  years,  we've come out with many machines  in  the  past 
    couple  of years.  We've come out with tall  machines,  short 
    machines, thin machines, fat machines but all about the  same 
    speed.   We now have a machine that is very very much  faster 
    so you may want to take another look.  We've broken tradition 

        The  next major accomplishment has been Genera 8.0  which 
    has  already  been shipped and those of  you  under  software 
    maintenance  have  it  by now.  The  major  purpose  of  this 
    release  was to re-unify Genera, which we had to divide  into 
    pieces  to  provide support for the large number  of  various 
    hardware  products.  We managed to get it all  back  together 
    again in one compiled system, the same binaries should run on 
    all ivory machines.  I hope this is enough to forever put  to 
    bed  7.0 in peoples memory.  It probably won't be, the  scars 
    seem  to be fairly deep there, but we're really working  hard 
    on it.

        In  addition  to  re-unifying Genera,  we  added  a  high 
    performance version of CLOS and with it we have a Common Lisp 
    developer which has been generalized at your requests a  year 
    ago  to not only support development for CLOE on the 386  but 
    to support development under ANY Common Lisp platform.   This 
    should keep you out of trouble and allow you to deliver  your 
    application anywhere.  Also included, was service support for 
    multiple ivory boards in Sun servers and we've simplified the 
    installation  process  on the Sun boards.  We had  very  very 
    ambitiously hoped to include CLIM in Genera 8.0 but given how 
    ambitious  CLIM  is and that we also decided  to  break  with 
    tradition and work co-operatively with other Lisp vendors  in 
    the  market  place, it proved to be too much to get  4  or  5 
    companies working together to get a product that wasn't  even 
    fully spec'd a year ago into shipment at this point.  We have 
    it  running,  it is alive, it is being used by IBM,  FMC  and 
    Northern  Telecom and will be included free of charge in  our 
    next release of Genera 8.1 so the rumors that CLIM will never 
    exist might have been based on sensible data a year ago but I 
    can  assure you at this moment, the product exists and  we're 
    very  excited about it.  The team of participating  companies 
    are  growing  (not shrinking) and we're finally  getting  the 
    kind of cooperation needed.   This should have happened years 
    ago and perhaps I should apologize for Symbolics role in  the 
    past  which was to frankly make it as difficult  as  possible 
    for our competitors to work together with us.  We changed our 
    mind  on  that and decided since Lisp is the thing,  that  we 
    really  needed to pull together to keep this great technology 
    going.  This is a very different strategy than what we had  a 
    few years ago and CLIM is the cornerstone for that.  

      The  final goal we achieved during the past year, the  most 
    important one of all to those of us in the Lisp community, we 
    managed to get some more successful customers.  Lisp has been 
    under a lot  of  attack  these days,  and  in  my  mind  with 
    management, the biggest issue is who has used it successfully 
    to produce useful applications and the list wasn't very  long 
    a  few  years  ago.   There was a  long  list  of  successful 
    research  projects  but  not a long list  of  companies  that 
    really made their investment in Lisp.  We are really  pleased 
    the  list  is longer this year. 

        Houston Power and Light is saving 14 million a year  with 
    an  interactive  planning  and  scheduling  system  based  on 
    Statice  and Genera and they are absolutely delighted.   Dick 
    Alfred is an older gentleman with white hair, general manager 
    for maintenance at Houston Lighting and Power. If you talk to 
    him he starts out by saying that he personally has been doing 
    power plant maintenance for the last 200 years and  Symbolics 
    was  the first computer and software people that he's  worked 
    with  that he hasn't wanted to throw out of his  office.   In 
    particular, what they've done, has been to collect all  their 
    scheduling  data  off their mainframes, with  our  networking 
    ability,  and  put it into Statice.  Looked at it  every  way 
    from  Sunday,  using  about 5% AI and  the  rest  traditional 
    programming,  have it put into schedules in real  time  using 
    Genera  and  the  presentation system to display  it  on  the 
    screen.   The interface is so good they can display it  in  a 
    War  room  on a wall for their work foremen to  come  in  and 
    negotiate  the  schedule.   Based  on  that,  they  do  their 
    maintenance  planning for several years in advance.  It  used 
    to take them 3 weeks to do their maintenance planning and the 
    first  time  they  used the system, they managed  to  do  the 
    planning in one day.  The biggest advantage, though has  been 
    that  they've never had before very much buy-in  among  their 
    people  as  to whether or not they were going to  make  their 
    schedule.   In fact, their previous track record  for  making 
    the schedule was 15% of the time and that record has now gone 
    up  to  85% because of this system.  The reason for  that  is 
    because the schedule can be viewed in real time, on the wall, 
    with graphical interfaces so the foremen can see what's going 
    on.   In  fact, and electrical foreman, the  first  time  the 
    system went into production, slipped one of his projects from 
    4 days to 7 days and the whole schedule shifted and the power 
    went  down and the megawatts went down and the overtime  went 
    up  and  he  said  "My God, I had no idea  it  made  so  much 
    difference.   You never told me it mattered.  If we have  to, 
    my  guys  can  do  it in 3  days."   Big  savings.   Lots  of 
    visibility.   In hard times, the first budgets to go, as  you 
    probably know, are the research budgets and the last thing to 
    go is anything that can save money in operations.  We're  not 
    really  building many power plants any more and their  number 
    one  budget  item  today is  maintenance.   So  their  really 
    anxious to put systems like this into operations. 

       Its  interesting  to note that we couldn't  possibly  have 
    done  this without the power of Genera.  They showed  me  the 
    first  user interface they started with and I looked  at  it.  
    Then they showed me the one they are actually using and  they 
    visually  looked  the  same to me.  And  I  said, what's  the 
    difference.  Why did it take us 50 iterations to go from  the 
    first  to the current and they said "Well, we  really  didn't 
    know  what  we  wanted."   Then  I  said,  "Well,  whats  the 
    difference.  The new one doesn't LOOK much different than the 
    old  one" and Alfred said "the difference is we can  USE  the 
    new  one  and  we couldn't use the old  one."   Anytime  when 
    you"re  talking about a graphical user interface that can  be 
    used  by  real  operations  people,  the  ability  to   rapid 
    prototype  and  use presentations and work closely  with  the 
    user to get it right is priceless.  They wouldn't have paid a 
    nickel for the first generation of that system and they saved 
    4.2 million dollars using the final iteration.  They now want 
    to put a Symbolics computer between them and every  mainframe 
    they own so they can get some real work done.

        The second application success story is American Express.  
    As  you know, they've been doing a validation system for  the 
    Green  and Gold cards using Symbolics machines.  They've  got 
    48  3620's approving Green and Gold cards saving  47  million 
    dollars.   That is, their computer room is full,  they  don't 
    have  any  more space and they need more machines  and  we're 
    trying to figure out a way to get some XL-1200's rack mounted 
    for  them so they can double their stack.  (Heckler from  the 
    audience asked - "Couldn't you get them to remove just one of 
    those IBM memory boxes to make room?)  This is IBM's computer 
    room,  mind you.  IBM insisted in making a run by  doing  the 
    validation  software  for the Optima card  on  the  mainframe 
    using Aviance software and they tried very hard but currently 
    have  not  succeeded.  Now there's talk of moving  that  card 
    over  to the Symbolics as well.  One of the side  effects  of 
    the  Symbolics machines is that they're arranged in  a  fault 
    tolerant network and it doesn't matter how many of them fail, 
    the system will remain running and that's a big plus for  the 
    system.  IBM estimated it would take 6 3090's to get the same 
    level of fault tolerance.  

        The reason I'm talking today about these applications  is 
    because I know you guys need help with your management to get 
    the  OK to use this technology and I've found  that  examples 
    carry a lot of weight with managers.  The next major  success 
    story, which we're not going to be able to quote in the press 
    just yet is (editor-note:  secret stuff left out).  They  are 
    saving  millions  of dollars.

        And finally, on the lighter side, if you attended  Apples 
    introduction of the FX Macintosh, the 90 second video playing 
    behind  John  Sculley, showing the animation of  the  machine 
    converting from the Macintosh CI to the FX was done  entirely 
    using  Symbolics Graphics and Paint software.  They  gave  us 
    credit  for  the  software  in  the  presentation  by  saying 
    "Hardware  by Apple, Software by Symbolics" and when  Sculley 
    showed  us the tape when it was finished, I didn't  have  the 
    heart to tell him that it was really only their power  supply 
    that  was contributing to the video.  Apple is a  fairly  fat 
    company (hardware wise) at the moment and at one point,  when 
    we  needed  to  do  the rendering and we  wanted  to  use  12 
    Macivories  to do the final rendering because they wanted  to 
    be  able  to redo it if they wanted to change  anything.   We 
    said, "You get 12 Macintoshes and we'll get you 12 MacIvories 
    but we'll need a switch to be able to switch a monitor so  we 
    can checkup on the computers while their doing the  rendering 
    all  night.   They said, "well, we can't get  you  a  switch, 
    would  it be ok if we got you twelve 19"  monitors  instead!"  
    We said sure.

         Well, those are 5 customers successful in a very big way 
    and  they're a lot more successful than they would have  been 
    attempting  to run ordinary software on  ordinary  computers.  
    As  soon  as  we  can get releases on  some  of  these  other 
    customers, we'll get those out to you.  I strongly urge  you, 
    if  you've got success stories, that somehow, get  permission 
    to  talk  about your particular applications.  From  your  PR 
    department  or from ours.  This is a battle of word of  mouth 
    to senior management.  These are big successes and every  one 
    of these companies will be more competitive because they  are 
    using this new technology.  We've got to get the word out and 
    maybe the pendulum will swing back the other way.

         In  terms  of  (the size of)  our  company,  I'm  pretty 
    pleased  with our list of accomplishments in the  past  year.  
    I'd  have been even more pleased if we would have achieved  2 
    other goals.  The first one was that we did not meet or sales 
    goals on the UX-400, for a variety of reasons.  Last year, we 
    asked this group at SLUG how many of you wanted it and a  lot 
    of  hands went up.  We asked how many of you could  find  the 
    money  and a lot of hands went up.  We asked you how many  of 
    you could find a Sun in a hurry to plug it into and a lot  of 
    hands  went up.  We didn't get delivery on all  those  hands.  
    One  of the problems was we rushed the product out without  a 
    Beta  test because we felt it was comparable with the  XL-400 
    and  we had some glitches on installation.  We required  tech 
    support upon installation which made it difficult, especially 
    if   you   were  installing  it  on  a  borrowed   Sun.   Sun 
    Microsystems, of course, picked that opportunity to screw  up 
    their computer systems and were not able to ship as many  new 
    systems.   Also, you guys surprised me by wanting to buy  the 
    whole  Sun from Symbolics instead of buying the Sun from  Sun 
    and  the  board from us.  We figured a technical  crowd  like 
    this would love to put together their own machines and it was 
    a shock to us to learn that many of you preferred to buy  the 
    complete  system  from  us.   Anyway, that  was  one  of  the 
    reasons,  in addition to this wonderful economy we  were  in, 
    for  our  financial  losses this quarter  that  set  us  back 
    further  than planned.   We expected the UX-400 was not  only 
    going to carry us by making it a lot easier for you to deploy 
    Symbolics  machines but we hoped it would get us  into  other 
    Unix users that were previously not using Symbolics machines.  
    Our  impressions  so far were that Unix users are  almost  as 
    addicted as we are to our technology and it didn't accomplish 
    what we wanted.  

        The last goal, which I think we've all failed at is  that 
    we haven't attracted new businesses to this technology within 
    the  last year.  We've been scratching our brains, trying  to 
    do  everything we can think of to figure out how we can  make 
    the  product line more successful and the only thing  we  can 
    think of is to get more successful applications out there and 
    bring in more people that way.  That brings up a very serious 
    effect hanging over the heads of us all. Sooner or later  all 
    of  you  guys  are going to die off and we have  to  have  an 
    adequate  supply of people coming in.  You all are  going  to 
    use up the number of lines of code you've got in your body, I 
    don't think we'd be able to agree on a number but I think  we 
    can all agree that once you get past that (of course, you can 
    probably  do  more Lisp lines than you can  assembly  or  "C" 
    lines)  but  sooner  or later, you're going  to  exhaust  the 
    number  of lines of code in your body and we have to have  an 
    additional  supply of people coming in.  Any  suggestions  on 
    that score would be very helpful.  

       In  terms of future direction of Symbolics, a year ago,  I 
    said we were going to concentrate on making our machines very 
    much  faster  and  improve  the  software  for  our   current 
    customers  and we were going to concentrate on  applications.  
    A  year later, in spite of our UX battles, and the stress  of 
    bringing  in the revenue every quarter, we are  much  further 
    along  on that strategy.  Basically, there are three  or  for 
    points to it.

        The first point is that in spite of our TE's efforts,  we 
    are not close enough to our customers and our future revision 
    of our product has been largely inspired by our perception of 
    the technology and we are going to continue to stay on top of 
    the  technology and we are trying to bring in new  technology 
    to  the world, but at the same time, we're going to get  much 
    closer   to  the  customer  and  actually  get  involved   in 
    applications  and try to get inspired in future  improvements 
    we  make  into  the  system.  In  order  to  do  that,  we've 
    established  a list of valued customer we  consider  critical 
    and we're going to try to get a lot of people from  Symbolics 
    to  work  closely  with  those  people  and  work  under  the 
    assumption  that if we make them happy, at least they'll  buy 
    it.   If we pick them right, at least the same  stuff  should 
    apply to the majority of our other customers.  This is a  big 
    cultural change for Symbolics.  We've made a lot of  progress 
    in  2  years and we still have about 2 years  more  worth  of 
    progress to be made to get where we need to go.  

       The  second thing we're going to concentrate very hard  on 
    is  applications.   Three  applications,  in  particular   to 
    attract new customers.  We're finding it very hard to go head 
    to head with "C" Customers and explain why this technology is 
    so much better.  Instead, we're going to concentrate on  some 
    applications   because  we  can  do  them  better  with   our 
    underlying technology.  We're not talking about changing  the 
    underlying  technology, but just camouflaging the  technology 
    so  people can better understand the underlying design.   The 
    applications we have chosen and are working on to support are 
    graphics,  hypertext/concordia and interactive  planning  and 
    scheduling  based on statice.

        We  picked these applications because we  have  customers 
    who  have  been very successful with those  applications  and 
    also because they use all of our underlying technology to its 
    fullest  and  we  believe  we can  continue  to  evolve  that 
    technology.  I observe that Genera was not invented first  as 
    a technology, then went out looking for applications.  Genera 
    was invented because there was a customer with a real problem 
    at MIT in the AI lab and half the AI lab really wanted to  do 
    AI  and many of the other half became the Symbolics  founders 
    and  they wanted to build systems to help those people do  AI 
    (so  they wouldn't have to do AI themselves) and out of  that 
    came  hardware and software for doing AI applications at  MIT 
    that  turned  out  to  be  real useful  in  a  lot  of  other 
    applications.   It  was then relatively straight  forward  to 
    build  a company and generalize that approach to  the  world.  
    What  we're  going to do in our next generation is  going  to 
    concentrate  on  these  three  applications.   Its  been   my 
    experience that whenever you put world class developers  that 
    close  to  an  application, they solve  much  more  than  the 
    application they are given and out of that comes all sorts of 
    technology that's useful.  

       In  the Graphics area, the three markets that will be  the 
    area of attack are first Video Film animation (the first  one 
    where  we've  really had our foothold) then  moving  in  from 
    there to CAD visulation and then from there into Print  using 
    new  High  Resolution High Definition Photo  Retouching.   So 
    that should keep us busy for quite awhile. 

        On  the  Hypertext  front, we're first  starting  out  by 
    selling  Concordia  to other computer companies so  they  can 
    have  as good as documentation on line as we have  and  we're 
    well  along  with 1 company in particular.  What  has  helped 
    this is what I call a no excuses document examiner.  This  is 
    the document examiner that runs on a plane vanilla Mac.   Its 
    in  "c", has no server, no ivory board, just plain  with  all 
    the  capabilities  of  the Document  Examiner.   Anyone  that 
    builds  documentation  in  Concordia can  be  sure  they  can 
    deliver  that documentation anywhere.  We'll be porting  that 
    application to other machines and we're interested in hearing 
    from  SLUG  what those other machines should  be.   The  real 
    market for Concordia though, since there is a limited  number 
    of   people   that   want   to   deliver   on-line   computer 
    documentation,  is  in operational decision  support  systems 
    that  need a lot of pictures and a lot of data and they  need 
    to  retrieve it in a hurry.  In which case, whatever  it  is, 
    they  have  to find it and get to it quick.  Alcoa  is  doing 
    pioneering  work  there and we're really anxious  to  see  if 
    other  customers  can find other applications as  well.   The 
    world is on information overload and Concordia is a great use 
    of the presentation system and is a great way to display what 
    the  Symbolics system can do and we are planning to use  this 
    as  a  beach  head  into companies  to  show  them  what  the 
    technology can do and then spread out from there.

        Interactive  planning  and  scheduling  uses   everything 
    Genera  is  good  at and we've  had  some  really  successful 
    applications with Houston Lighting and Power and some airline 
    companies.   We're  close to bringing in two or  three  other 
    large  airline scheduling systems.  Its interesting that  the 
    actual scheduling part of that is only 5% of the application.  
    The  rest  of  it is really Genera.   Its  object  orientated 
    everything, presentations, Josuha and AI, and the networking.  
    So we think its a pretty consistent set of applications  that 
    use  all  of  our strengths and can  complement  our  current 
    customer base and what we're doing for them.  

        In terms of you as our current customer base, we're going 
    to speed up our hardware.  Not a single person has yet  asked 
    us for slower hardware so we're going to continue to make the 
    hardware faster.  In addition to that though, unlike our past 
    history  where we have come up with every scheme in the  book 
    to  keep  everyone using our proprietary  hardware,  the  big 
    change  with  tradition  is  that we  are  not  going  to  be 
    depending exclusively on proprietary hardware in the  future.  
    I  mentioned our software and delivery focus and you've  seen 
    how  much  we've  put into CLOS and CLOE  and  we're  working 
    closely with the Unix Lisp vendors so that you can develop on 
    Symbolics and deliver ANYWHERE.  We think its very  important 
    to put NO obstacles in the path of delivery.  In addition  to 
    that,  we've reached a fundamental milestone this  year  with 
    CLOS  and  CLIM.   Up  until now,  whenever  I've  asked  our 
    developers  couldn't  we every take  the  Genera  development 
    environment  and rebuild it so that it would run on  standard 
    machines, the answer has always been, "It would be very  very 
    expensive  and very very hard."  The story is  changing  with 
    CLOS and CLIM.  It is now a whole lot more practical to  make 
    these  kinds of capabilities available on standard  machines.  
    We  are  in  the midst of a major negotiation  with  a  large 
    computer  company  that  I  can't name,  that  is  also  very 
    interested in seeing a Genera like development environment be 
    their flagship product.  This company has a tradition of only 
    settling for brand names and nothing else and is very anxious 
    in participating in the funding of this project.  We got  the 
    project  down to much more manageable proportions because  of 
    CLOS  and CLIM is where they are.  I hope sometime  within  6 
    months  you'll be able to hear the specifics of that  so  you 
    can  be  sure  that  you'll be able  to  have  the  symbolics 
    development  capability  on your favorite  Unix  box  without 
    having to add extra hardware.  I suppose I could tell you the 
    company has 3 letters in its name but that wouldn't rule  out 

    many of the major competitors these days.  

         The last thing that Ken Tarpey will go into more  detail 
    about, that is part of our strategy, is really a major change 
    in our software support by moving it from the west coast back 
    to  the  east cost.  It should have never been  on  the  west 
    coast  to begin with.  It was moved out there by  a  previous 
    management  team  which had a house in Malibu, and  for  some 
    strange  reason  that  wasn't the  slightest  bit  technical, 
    wanted  to be closer to software support.  We were  reluctant 
    to  move it back because we were afraid of changing  so  many 
    other things at once and we knew people were being  concerned 
    about  service  and  we  were  afraid  of  having  too   many 
    disruptions during the change.  At this point, we feel we can 
    handle  the change, we've moved it back to Cambridge (I  mean 
    Burlington.   We  still  affectionately  referred  to  it  as 
    Cambridge)  and we've gotten some very  excellent  developers 
    involved  in the support and we're rotating many of the  rest 
    of them thru on a weekly basis.  You should see quicker  turn 
    around as soon as we get thru this transition period on  some 
    of  your  questions because you won't have to  wait  for  the 
    delay due to timezones across the coast.  So I would strongly 
    urge  you, those of you that are not under software  support, 
    to  take  a closer look at it in a month or so, when  we  get 
    fully up to speed.  It could be a very economical expenditure 
    on your part to get access to some of our best developers  so 
    don't  abuse  the privilege and ask for the  best  developers 
    only  when  you have hard questions and let anyone  help  you 
    with the easy questions and we'll be able to give you  really 
    first  class  software support.  We will also learn  a  great 
    deal  from you about what we should be doing to  improve  the 
    product at the same time. 

         I'd  like to review the few points we've gone  over  and 
    I've made a list of what I really wanted to get across  today 
    and  let me sum it up as quickly as I can.  First of all,  we 
    are  here  this week to listen to you, to find out  whats  on 
    your mind and to find out what we can do.  If we want Lisp to 
    succeed,  one of the ways is for Symbolics to go out and  one 
    of  the  ways  we're going to do that is to  listen  to  you.  
    We're not here to tell you what we know better than you.   We 
    want  to hear from you.  The second thing is, I want to  make 
    sure  that  everyone  understands that  the  XL-1200  is  the 
    opportunity  of a lifetime to upgrade your machine.   Any  of 
    you that don't think you can get the funding for the XL-1200, 
    even  though  we've  tried to make it as  easy  as  possible, 
    (we've priced it less than a Sun 4/370 and we've allowed  you 
    to keep your monitor and mouse and just send the box back and 
    we'll  send you a new XL-1200.)  You can practically  justify 
    it on your maintenance expenditures but any of you that  have 
    very  hostile  management that can't get  approval  for  this 
    machine, I strongly urge you to NOT go upstairs and demo  and 
    see  this  machine  run.   You  guys  will  make   yourselves 
    miserable.   You  guys  spend your lives in  front  of  these 
    machines, and this machine is 5 times faster than the machine 
    you're probably sitting in front of.  You don't want to  know 
    first hand what its like.  Its a little like skiing out  west 
    in  the  Rockies.  Once you come out here to ski,  you  never 
    want  to ski in the east again.  A couple of words of  advice 
    from  the  management  people  I've  been  talking  to   with 
    customers, one of which was Jerry Fishman, the number two guy 
    at  Analog Devices who happens to be on our board.   I  said, 
    Jerry,  we've got this machine that's five times faster  than 
    what you've got and are you going to buy any of them.  You've 
    got  really old machines and you're buying refurbs.  Are  you 
    going to buy any XL-1200's and he said "Yup, I'm not going to 
    approve  any of them, but we're going to buy them."    And  I 
    said  what  do you mean and he said "Five  times  faster?  My 
    people  would  kill me if we took  their  Symbolics  machines 
    away.   I  keep  telling  them I'd like to  see  them  go  to 
    something cheaper on standard machines, but I can't  convince 
    them.   Their  not  going  to ask me,  they'll  find  a  way.  
    They'll put it thru the system somehow.  They'll lease it  or 
    they'll  do  something else and I'll never see it,  but  come 
    back  in 6 months and they'll have XL-1200's, you see."   And 
    sure enough, the orders are coming in from Analog Devices and 
    Jerry  hasn't signed any of them yet.  When I told Jerry  how 
    much he could save on maintenance, even he got interested. So 
    take  a good look at that machine.  Very reliable,  very  low 
    maintenance,  VME  Bus  based,  Ivory  processor,   plugs  in 
    standard peripherals.  So if you're ever going to get cut off 
    by  your management, you might as well be cutoff with an  XL-
    1200 instead of a 3600.  

         The third thing I want you to understand is that we want 
    you  to deliver anywhere you want, any way you want,  whether 
    we  make  money in it or not.  We don't want you  to  develop 
    applications  and not be able to deliver them.  If you  don't 
    deliver on MacIvories and you don't deliver on XL-1200's  and 
    you don't run CLOE, I don't care how you do it, DO IT.   Just 
    Deliver.   And if you need help from us, we'll help  you  get 
    these applications out there delivered.  Get some success  to 
    your  bottom line so you can get your budgets up and  we  can 
    all  get  the credit and make all of our lives  a   whole lot 
    easier.   That's  a change from 2 or 3 years ago but  we  are 
    very serious about wanting you to deliver. 

         The next point I want to make sure I get across is  that 
    We're  very  excited  about  a  development  environment  for 
    standard  hardware machines.  We have made a lot of money  in 
    the  hardware  business  over the years but  we've  also  got 
    ourselves  pretty frustrated.  We tell people  how  wonderful 
    our  stuff is and we've always heard this But..But..But.  and 
    if  we can get away with decent performance on  the  standard 
    machines we'll do it. In the long term, we can then get  this 
    technology  into  quite  a few places in  the  world  without 
    having to say But.  We are optimistic that if we can  provide 
    that  solution  even if its a couple of years out,  that  you 
    folks  will  continue to support us and buy machines  in  the 
    interim.  When Computer Vision announced that they were going 
    to  switch  from proprietary hardware to  standard  hardware, 
    everyone  said,  "Ok, I've always been able  to  justify  the 
    machines in the short term, it was always the long term  that 
    was  killing my management.  Now that I know there is a  long 
    term  out there, its ok, so that's fine."  That's what  Jerry 
    Fischer  said when I asked him if he could be  excited  about 
    having a standard Unix workstation that could be running  the 
    Genera  product he said that great.  He said he  could  still 
    justify the machines in the short term based on their current 

         Another  thing I want to make sure I get across is  that 
    nothing succeeds like delivering results.   When I go out and 
    visit customers, I can see the customers that are getting new 
    money and new applications and new people and their the  ones 
    that  have  delivered something.  You go into  a  place  like 
    Intel and they have their whole blackboard covered with their 
    plan to upgrade their whole machine.  They've got new  people 
    coming into the group, their looking to grow 50% this year in 
    staffing  and  its because they've got some  real  successful 
    applications out there.  That's the key to success. 

         Finally  we,  like you really want  this  technology  to 
    succeed.   We're  at  least as addicted to  it  as  you  are.  
    Everyone  of  our  applications  is  programmed  in   Genera.  
    Everyone of our programmers are addicted, none of us wants to 
    go back to working on ordinary machines.  We are not going to 
    give up.  We are going to get this technology out there so we 
    can use it, so you can use it.  No matter what, its not  just 
    a matter of money and our 24,000 share holders, its a  matter 
    of  us  and those of us who stuck with it and  those  of  you 
    whose stuck with it that want this stuff to succeed.