New Definiton REQUIRED

From: William Donzelli <>
Date: Sun Nov 16 21:11:51 1997

> Age, also, alone, does not make a classic. I doubt that the standard
> run-of-the-mill '386 PeeCee will ever amount to anything except to,
> perhaps, archaeologists who dig one out of a landfill. There were too
> many of them made, and they were (are) regarded as "disposable".

On the other hand, the "PeeCee" is destined to decome a classic, just
because of the huge impact they have made.

> Such was not always the case. Pre-PeeCee, machines were usually
> constructed very carefully. I don't doubt for a minute that engineers
> in the early '60s envisioned their creations happily hummimg away
> in the year 2000 - the boxes were built to last.

I am a little uneasy with this. True, most machines in the 1960s were
built like tanks - they _had_ to be, or they would not last in the
marketplace. Buying a computer back then was a very big deal, not like
today. Today, the cost is so low on small systems that managers do not
have to worry about buying a dud - if they do, no big deal. ANS
purchased some really bad TI laptops, and we are regretting them. Did
anyone lose credibility because of a few thousand dollars worth of junky
computers? Of course not. For bigger things, the story is much different.
If a manager purchased many tens of thousands of dollars worth of junk,
they may not get thier Christmas bonus. I think they would look at
quality much more closely with real money on the line.

Just look at the quality of Sun equipment - out of the box everything
will work, nothing will be banged up, and the thing will compute forever -
when you pay $50,000 for a midrange Ultra, you buy the quality. Now look
at a $1500 PeeCee and you will see the difference. If Sun ever made a
$1500 Ultra, I think it would not be very far off from PeeCee quality.

> Pop the hood on the
> latest thing to come down the 'pike - it's all ASICs, custom silicon,
> and surface mount stuff on wafer-thin boards. In short - not built
> to last. Nor is it designed to.

Why is surface mount, etc., not mean quality? It is just a different way
to manufacture electronics. After all, the Cray X/MP and Y/MPs are built
with ASICs, custom silicon, and surface mount stuff on wafer-thin boards.

Modern stuff would be repairable if their was a market to repair it. Just
like the TV repair business, the home computer repair business has not
been around for a good 15 years.

William Donzelli
Received on Sun Nov 16 1997 - 21:11:51 GMT

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