Micro$oft Biz'droid Lusers (was: OT email response format)

From: Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com>
Date: Wed Apr 24 20:59:21 2002

See below, plz.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Tapley" <mtapley_at_swri.edu>
To: <classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 10:57 AM
Subject: Micro$oft Biz'droid Lusers (was: OT email response format)

> On April 21, Richard Erlacher wrote:
> >BTW, when the NEXT boxes first came out, we had a few of them sitting
> >for people to look at and play with. I personally was not impressed. They
> >were EXTREMELY low on gigaflops per picobuck and, aside from the OS, I
> >remember any applications that didn't have the same look and feel as a
> >mono-MAC costing ~1/10 as much.
> Finally gored my ox - but it's on-topic! Yee-hah.
> Nice things created on NeXT systems:
I never said things couldn't be done on the NeXT. They just hadn't been done
yet when we, at Martin Marietta, got the ones we had for evaluation. There
wasn't anything much to run on them (yet). Other than the empty desktop, they
looked pretty much like the thousands of MAC's we had sitting around. Being
able to execute no-op's doesn't impress anyone.
> * the WWW (or rather the html protocol underlying it) by Tim Berners Lee
> (sic?).
> * Mathematica - though probably is not useful to the work you do, it's
> indispensable to some of mine.
I've probably got similar tools,
> * Zilla, the fore-runner of most of the distributed-computing,
> grid-computing, commodity CPU projects buzzwording around today.
> Distributed as an example application on NeXT 3.3 and used to crack several
> outstanding mathematical compute-intensive problems.
> * Attached sound and graphics files in email. Hmm, maybe this is not good.
> Basically, a lot of the computing technologies you now rely on first
> appeared on NeXT systems. They may not have impressed you then, but they
> should now.
Until I looked at the one in the thrift store, I hadn't seen a running NeXT
since '89.
> You are right about the Flops rating - that was only a bit higher than
> Macs/PC's and well behind Sparc's, Alphas, etc. But Flops/dollar is not the
> best metric of a general-purpose computer. If you think it is, buy yourself
> a used (Sony) PS/2 and we'll all be happier. For many kinds of work,
> developer time to a working solution is the dominant metric, and NeXT was
> very near the good end of that scale.
Did they have Sparcs, Alphas, etc, in '89?
> >The problem with these machines, as borne out by the market, is that they
> >weren't what the home user wanted.
> Quite right - the home user wanted applications, rather than the ability to
> develop applications, and the corporate user wanted Flops - which meant
> Suns and Alphas. There were not enough developers to float the market for
> the hardware. But note, the NeXT company did *not* fail - it successfully
> moved its software to Sun, PA-Risc, and x86 platforms, where it maintained
> a serious business niche until it eventually was bought out by a higher
> volume hardware player - Apple. The same software is now the
> second-best-selling (? am I right in claiming this?) OS on the planet.
> There's a NeXT on my desk at work right now, running Mathematica and perl
> tasks, websurfing, backing up my portable .... its utility (to me) exceeds
> that of any Windows machine I've seen.
If they'd been packaged/bundled differently and priced lower, back when they
came out, they' probably still be significant today, but they weren't.
> Count me in with James Rice - if you see a working NeXT of any sort under
> $20 or so, and *particularly* if you see a cube hooked up to a color
> display, I'd take it most kindly if you'd notify me, or at least someone on
> the list. It ain't junk to everyone. Best contact for me is at the above
> email address.
Gee ... I thought I did that ...
> - Mark
Received on Wed Apr 24 2002 - 20:59:21 BST

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