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Poor Sun timings, as competition...

Several people (both employees and customers of Symbolics) have
rightfully complained about my comparison of 36xx systems to recent
Suns, and have asked whether I've compared the XL1200.

My only experience with the XL1200 was at SLUG.  I brought a tape
containing the source to our *Lisp Simulator, and compiled and loaded it
on the XL1200 in the demo room.

The Compile System took about 14 minutes.  Compiling and loading it on a
Sun 4/280 running Sun Common Lisp 3.0.1 takes about 4 CPU minutes with
the developmentc compiler and 16 CPU minutes with the production
compiler (wall times were about 5.5 minutes and 19 minutes).  And on the
3630 at SLUG it took over 40 minutes.  So, if you're in a heavy
edit-compile-run cycle the Sun wins.

When running the code produced by the production compiler, the times
were about even.

Note that the Sun being used was a 4/280, which is a two-year-old model.
The latest Suns are 50-100% faster, and can be timeshared by at least 40
simultaneous users (they can't all be running Lisp simultaneously, but
on Unix they don't need Common Lisp for much of their work).  The cost
for 40 X windows users sharing a Sun 4/490 is about $6K/user (about
$2500 apiece for the Sun, and $3000 apiece for X terminals).