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Using UX-boards with SBus based machines?

Not that I want to go into marketing discussions, but...
    Date: Tue, 19 Mar 91 00:04:07 EST
    From: barmar@Think.COM (Barry Margolin)


    The Sbus is also a nonstandard, proprietary bus.  Symbolics can amortize
    the hardware development cost of a VMEbus board over many products: XLn00,
    UXn00S, UXn00M (my guess at the name of a co-processor for a MIPS system),
    etc.  An Sbus board can only be put in certain Suns.

I think Symbolics can only amortize development cost over many installations...

    Yes, the architecture is designed to be bus-independent, but it still takes
    work to implement a new board.  Considering how often we tell Symbolics to
    stress their *software* expertise over hardware work, and the disappointing
    sales of the UX400S line, I could hardly blame them for being conservative
    about developing other co-processors.

How much of development cost is used for hardware work (e.g. bus-specif adaptions)
and how much for software (i.e. integration into a specif OS - specif as SUN OS and
not UNIX)? In other words: having done the SUN-OS integration (great job as far as i
can judge), is the development of an SBus interface to expensive compared to the
expanding market of smaller, SBus based machines?

    Also, product cost is a factor.  A UX1200S system costs around $20K.  This
    doesn't sound too bad when it's stuck into a $20-40K system, but customers
    may be reluctant to buy a $20K co-processor for a $5-10K system (I imagine
    many MacIvory customers had to overcome similar feelings).

Definitely. But my point of view is that I want a Symbolics machine - the use of
such a machine is worth the $20K. (Yes, I know I need disks and monitor, keyboard etc.).
For several reasons I want to have the lispm as a coprocessor: In my office I have already
an X-Terminal, in my office I want only ONE terminal. I'm using a (small) SUN already.
The less hardware, the better. etc, etc. So I would rather buy such a coprocessor
for an existing $10K system than buy the $20K coprocessor AND the $60K System (thats
the lower bound for a 470 in germany). 

But maybe thats just the opinion of one camel in the desert. In that case, excuse me
for using up the bandwidth.


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