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MacIvory questions

John, I can't answer all your questions but here is what I know about the Mac I:

    ....  I've been trying to reach salesman
    Lou Finelli at Lou@Riverside.scrc.Symbolics.com for a few months and keep getting bounced messages.

Lou Finelli was the guy who sold me my MacI, but he is no longer at Symbolics. Contact Roberta Ingemi
for sales, she took over from Lou.

    I work now with a MacIvory model 3, which is quite satisfactory.  How do other models compare?

I used a model 2 and find it quite a bit slower than the Model 3 that I now use. I couldn't go back.

    I assume that the MacIvory itself is the hardware board that fits in my Mac, and that the box
    on the side is merely a generic disk drive with a Symbolics label.  How fast is the drive?
    Is there any special magic hardware or installed tracks involved?  It's nice at 652 Meg, but
    now that Alphatronix has announced a 14ms 1Gigabyte optical drive for $5K, I should be able
    to do better this year and much better next year if I can install my own drive.
    Is this possible or is there magic involved?

I built my setup with the minimum of Symbolics stuff. I use a Maxtor 1.2G drive which works just fine. 
I found that the only way to set it up that would work for me was to use the Symbolics disk copying thing
that runs on the Mac side... I set up a partition of exactly equal size and copied another MacI partition. 
My drive is about 12mS I think... seems fine. The drive cost me $1900 shopping around, about 1 yr ago. 
All I got from Symbolics was one MacI mod 3 board.

    If I hang a color monitor with its own Macintosh driver/memory board off the edge of my Mac desktop,
    can I access it with the Symbolics?  Can I do color graphics, or do I have to pretend it's B&W?

I got the Spectrum 8.24 video card driving a 21in super mac B&W display. I find I can fake out the Symbolics
to use the gray scale option, so that the primary colors as args to the graphics::draw-xx functions show as 
gray scale. I turned it off after a week or so, it slowed down the refresh, so now I use 1bit pixels only. 
I hear (I have not tried it) that you can us the 8 colors with my board if you get a color monitor.

    The Ivory uses its own RAM, right?  This means I can't beef up the Ivory by stuffing more
    RAM in the Mac side?

I think you can only use the RAM on the Symbolics model 3 board. I think on the Model 2 you can put Mac bus memory 
(in fact i think you have to put Mac bus memory for a model 2). I used to have a model 2 and used 
National Semiconductor boards and memory. It worked fine. When I bought my own model 2, I was told that the Daystar
memory board would work also (I couldn't get NS board for some reason ..) but it never worked. I sent it back to
Symbolics but they never fixed it. Anyhow, I wrangled a deal to get a Model 3 instead and so I am happy.

    Does the size of the Mac matter any?  E.g., could I run an Ivory inside a IIsi?
    How about clock speed--does the Ivory suck off the Mac's clock, or use its own?

I have a Mac 2Fx with my system. Its fine. I think the MacI has its own clock.  [Once in a blue moon
it will start up really weird. The symbolics mouse will not be seen and not move the arrow on the
screen. I don't know how it gets like this. I have discovered that to fix this problem you plug the mac
mouse into the ADT port (the apple keyboard port - plug in the mouse - no mac keyboard needed) and
restart the system. The mac will access the disk momentarily and apparently at this point recognize
the mouse in the port. Now, quickly unplug the Mac mouse and plug in the Symbolics keyboard and mouse
before the mac system finishes loading the operating system and the symbolics keyboard will be
recognized again. Very strange.]

My MacI and disk have been up and running for over a year now, I have no complaints. Genera is a great system.
I recommend you buy a UPS and a backup system of your own to back up the entire MacI partition and all your
Mac side stuff. I use a LaCie DAT, it works fine (incremental backup is useless - it thinks the MacI system file
is one huge file). Also, to receive things from symbolics you will need to have access to a tape drive or optical
disk reader. 

Martin Mallinson                                martin@cmt.dialnet.symbolics.com

Crimble Micro Test Inc.                              
5 Tomahawk Drive                                Phone: 508 667 9405
Billerica MA 01821                              Fax:   508 667 0192