A nifty demo

From: Bill Pechter <pechter_at_monmouth.com>
Date: Fri Dec 11 16:08:26 1998

> > The moral of the story is that it's relatively easy to give a good demo,
> > slightly harder to do a real implementation, and then very hard to get
> > market acceptance and penetration for new ideas.
> Thats one thing, the other is how superior design (soft
> and hardware) can be dumped in favour of crapy PCs.
> Back in the late 70s and early 80s we had at SIEMENS a
> network of EMS 5800 systems - OEM versions of the Xerox
> Star - all over Germany and most European dependances.
> Of course not every Employee had one, since including a
> laser priter it was some 100,000 Mark value, but at least
> most departments that needed to.

There were a bunch of 'em (Xerox Star) at Siemens Princeton in
1985 when I was maintaining the DEC stuff there.
Nice stuff, great WSYWIC, lousy maintenance problems with the
hardware and software though.

> And in my opinion no PC (no Win, no MacOS and no Next)
> has catched up with the Star - and it's more than 20
> years later !

Yup. I did get to see them and Ventura Publisher and there
seemed to be some similarity. Did Ventura start with ex-Star

> BTW: Xerox' quality was just junk - from 10 systems
> delivered to Witten (the SIEMENS plant where they
> where configured and repacked) only 5 worked properly,
> and 3 more could be reassembled from the five non
> working. Like in the SU - 10 tractors delivered to
> a farm coop and the farmers had to change parts
> until at least 5 of them worked .... :)

They got real slipshod for a while, even on the copiers.
They lost a lot of that business to Kodak (who took over -- I think--
the IBM copilers).

Both DEC and Bell Labs ran those Kodak beasts and you could copy a whole
library on 'em without problems. Ask me about my CP/M doc set 8-).

> Gruss
> H.

Received on Fri Dec 11 1998 - 16:08:26 GMT

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