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MacIvory questions

    Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1993 06:20 EST
    From: myers@atr-la.atr.co.jp (John K. Myers)
    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 don't know of any problems.  We bought MacIvory3's (internal board and
Genera) separately from the Quadra700's and 8ms internal drive, and didn't
have to do any special driver configuration for the drive.  As I understand
it, the Ivory goes thru the Mac to do the disk i/o, so as long as you have the
drivers for the Mac to use the disk, the Ivory can as well.

    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?

You can definitely do color; I haven't tried multiple screen desktops.  One
issue might be how bit save planes are handled.

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


    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?

The speed of the Mac matters because the Mac is the Ivory's I/O co-processor,
i.e. the Mac does all the I/O, including drawing on the screen.  In Macs,
drawing in color is significantly slower than drawing on a one-bit screen.  I
don't know if Symbolics has Ivories working in an Mac IIsi --- does the si
even have enough slots for what you want?  Ivory, ethernet, color?

    I'd like to second the current complements on the keyboard.  This, the
    editor, and the entire environment that allows rapid prototyping are
    enough to justify the cost of an Ivory.  I suggest Symbolics should try to
    push the keyboard for the Mac market (maybe with an additional numeric pad
    on the right and function keys on top)--if it turns out to combat carpal
    tunnel syndrome, could be a big boom.

Yes, it's one of the few keyboards designed with Fitt's law in mind for touch
typists (i.e. the further the target (and the less it is used) the larger the
target needs to be for quick accurate hitting, whether keys, menu items, or
whatever).  Placement and size of the rubout key and perimeter keys is nice;
placement and size of the {,\,} keys is not nice for TeX writers.

But if they do as you suggest, they should make it a real ADB keyboard/mouse
for Macs; the interface box hardware seems to be a weak link.  The large keys
can double as function keys (do Mac programs use function keys?), but I agree
they may want to add arrow keys and a numeric keypad for Mac and Windows
programs (assuming they also sell it to the PC market).

Hope this helps,