West Layfayette, Indiana
Although the optical drive is not a cost-effective means of distributing software, it is a very effective storage medium. The articles I read in NeXTWORLD Spring 1992 about the new CD-ROM drive discuss discontinuing the optical. This is ridiculous. When you've got a good thing, make it work for you.
The engineers at NeXT should re-engineer the optical drive so that it can read CD-ROMs. The CD-ROM could be placed inside of an empty optical cartridge and then into the optical drive for reading.
Peter J. Rucki
While the optical drive seemed a promising technology several years ago, it was plagued with reliability problems, and the cost of the cartridges never came down to less than $140. It is not technically possible to re-engineer the optical drive so that it can read CD-ROM discs.Ð NW
As an electronics engineer, I wistfully imagine a multitalented team of engineers and designers working on a complex project involving electronics, microprocessors, embedded software, mechanical fabrication, documentation, and aesthetic design; accomplishing their tasks at their own workstations; sending and receiving information that would let them dovetail their work with that of their colleagues.
Then I look at the engineering software for the NeXT, and I return to my PC running AutoCAD, OrCad, and WordPerfect, and I contemplate a change of careers. Why should stockbrokers, spooks, and talent agents get all the fun?
It is possible to select only a portion of an image for scanning by using the selection tool to choose a specific scan area from the preview. The price listed in the summary box for ScanTastic with the Epson ES-300C should have read $1795. The manufacturer of the 600ZS scanner is Microtek Laboratories, not Microtech. The list of scanners that are supported has increased to include the Epson ES-300C, Nikon LS-3510AF, Microtek 600ZS, the XRS family, and the Hewlett-Packard ScanJet IIC. And since the review was written, the price for ScanTastic has been adjusted. Versions for the above-mentioned flatbed scanners (not including the Nikon) are $495 each.
President, Second Glance Software
Laguna Hills, California
President, The Cuilla Company
Even though Canon owns a piece of NeXT, it still will have only one-sixth the financial motivation to sell a NeXT as one of its own machines.
Why no mention that NeXT is the only workstation that supports the Notebook front end? Why not tell how easy it is to cut and paste Mathematica graphics to any other NeXTstep application? Why not describe how much easier it is for programmers to write custom front ends to Mathematica in NeXTstep than in any other development environment?
Your review fell woefully short by not describing how the NeXTstep environment allows Mathematica to run better than on any of the other platforms.
O. David Spitzler
Manager, Higher Ed. Marketing, NeXT Computer
Redwood City, California
For the Record
In "Simson Goes to Camp" (NeXTWORLD Spring 1992), we gave the wrong location for Stepstone Corporation, owner of Objective-C. The correct address is at 75 Glen Road, Sandy Hook, CT 06482.
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