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State of Symbolics

A few facts about the current state of the company:

Symbolics has not filed for Chapter 11.

We have just suffered another painful layoff, forced on us by the state
of our revenues.  The remaining staff are certainly not delighted with
this turn of events, but neither are we giving up en masse (as some
recent mail seems to have implied).  Certainly we're no longer the grand
and glorious company of the mid-80s, but who is?  Symbolics' technical
staff is a remarkably talented group; we have lost many old-timers, but
we're by no means a bunch of greenhorns.  Most of the crew that
engineered (for example) the XL1200, the NXP1000, CLIM, and the last
several Genera releases are still here.  By no means do I wish to
minimize the contributions that our recently-laid-off friends made, but
the remaining crew includes some of the most seasoned, most productive,
most talented engineers I've ever had the pleasure to work with.

Jan Walker says that unnamed sources don't think the two "save the
company" (not my characterization; maybe not even Jan's) technical
projects can save the company.  First off, I know of more than two
technical projects still being staffed.  Secondly, it should be obvious
to everyone on SLUG that technical projects alone can't save Symbolics:
if technical merit were all that is needed, then we would never have
reached these dire straits.  Companies need money, and Symbolics'
executives are pursuing the funding that we need to be able to fund the
projects that will allow us to break out of the ever-decreasing cycle of
declining product revenues leading to declining product funding that has
bedevilled our core business for at least the last four years.

Don't get me wrong: Symbolics isn't out of the woods yet.  There's even
a chance that we'll never make it out of the woods.  Symbolics'
employees have known that for at least five years, and I imagine most
customers have as well.  However, rumours of our death are exaggerated,
and we don't plan to give up anytime soon.

Needless to say, these are my personal opinions.  The official company
statements were made in a pair of Press Releases; if there's interest,
I'll forward the Press Releases to this list.

David Kaufman