LIPSERVICE

Our far-flung correspondents

Although I don't live in South Succotash, I was encouraged to send in my comments after reading your editorial "Bright Lights, Big City" (NeXTWORLD, September). After having my NEXTSTEP '486 installation inexplicably blow up after three weeks of happy computing, I realized that this seemed an awful lot like the heady days of Windows 3.0. The only solace and help at that time were the various PC publications that covered solutions to the problems users faced.

Tejbir Sidhu

New York

NeXTWORLD's mission is not just to say that NEXTSTEP is the best, but to show why it is. I really hope that you'll be an engine that will motivate readers who see NEXTSTEP for the first time to invest their energy in it.

Eric de la Tribouille

Urbana, Illinois

You should increase the technical content of the magazine. Include features like: Why is DBKit important? Real-life stories of reusable objects. How to find a good consultant. Is UI design important for custom apps? Source-code control for mortals. In short, address some of the technical issues that are important to the people who are buying the developer kits.

NeXTWORLD has always been, and still is, much too focused on the developer community and NeXT itself. There's far too much whining about NeXT and an overabundance of armchair management consulting.

Andy Turk

Foster City, California

Do the NEXTSTEP community a favor by trying to add the viewpoint of individual users and budget-constrained business users. I'd like to see you deal in an objective way with the issues that people who don't work for Swiss Bank or McCaw might be interested in. The big user companies want to dictate to NeXT what it should be doing. That may be good for them, but I think it is slowly destroying NeXT's viability.

John Bartley

St. Charles, Missouri

I can't help but think that most of your readers are developers. While I wouldn't turn NeXTWORLD into a programming publication, I think a monthly section on programming/ technical issues would be an interesting addition to the magazine. I really liked it when Andrew Stone gave programming tips.

Peter Accorti

Falls Church, Virginia

While NeXT pursues the corporate and developer marketplaces, please see to it that this wonderful user environment is not forgotten. Call greater attention to the DTP and graphics abilities and tools of NEXTSTEP. This is my greatest interest in the platform, and I would hate for one of its strengths to be neglected in the rush towards mission-critical corporate apps.

Steve Weintz

Urbana, Illinois

I'd like to see more system-administration articles and tips. The most useful article that I have ever read in NeXTWORLD was "Linking Into the Internet" (Fall 1991). Reduce the length of articles in the "Community" section. Yes, I am interested in who is using NEXTSTEP for what, but I don't need many paragraphs to tell me and NeXTWORLD Extra does a good job of it. While you're at it, bring back hints and tips.

Richard Ruth

Los Angeles

I am sure there are many others like me who just want to get on with using their NeXTs, and others who want to get on with using their white hardware with NEXTSTEP. We are not interested in buying new hardware every other week; we are interested in knowing how we can use what we already have more productively. NeXTWORLD used to be a means of feeling in touch with others with like interests. Now it seems too much like other computer magazines.

David Pickett

Bloomington, Indiana

NeXTWORLD is too much orientated towards North America. In the past, you included interesting articles on the use of NEXTSTEP in Mexico and Russia. Many of us here in Germany would like to read more about this. For now, it seems that the NeXT game is mostly played in the U.S. Maybe NeXTWORLD is just too small to cover the whole planet with information about NeXT.

Mirko Brandner

Stuttgart, Germany

Although I think you do a fine job with the relatively objective, if not impartial, analysis of events and products in the NeXT world, you should know that by the rest of the world you are considered an advocacy journal. Please do a little more advocating. For example, last month these pages contained an exasperated (and, because it was so wrong, exasperating) comment by a system administrator who claimed he didn't know how to incorporate NEXTSTEP into a company trying to use open-system standards. Unbelievably, the statement went unchallenged.

Keep up the good work, but please don't ever forget where you get your name.

Gary W. Longsine

Lincoln, Nebraska

This selection of letters gives a flavor for the diversity of the NeXT community. We are carefully considering all the suggestions as the magazine continues to evolve. Dan Ruby

Real value

Regarding your Intel benchmarks ("How They Stack Up," September), a computer's compile speed is far less important to me than its overall reliability in the field. As a developer of turnkey systems, competent, single-source hardware and tech support on all of its components is a high priority for me. Please continue to report on which companies are best set up to deliver and support NEXTSTEP on Intel. What's the use of shaving seconds off a compile if you have to wait on hold long-distance for twenty minutes when you call tech support, or if it takes a week to get the OS up and running because the interaction of components is not fully understood by the hardware provider?

Tim Romano

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

That's why performance is just one component of our hardware ratings, balanced by factors such as NEXTSTEP orientation, support, and value. NW

Downgradability?

I have to agree that drivers are the most important area of development for NeXT at this time. I have an Intel-based PC with a Diamond Viper VESA video card and a Adaptec 1742 SCSI controller. Both of these do not have available drivers for NEXTSTEP 3.1.

NeXT is creating a problem for itself with two different groups. One group feels that NEXTSTEP needs much-too-expensive hardware to run. The second group, myself included, has some of the better hardware on the market and still cannot run NS/FIP. I find it disappointing that I would have to spend money to downgrade my system performance to run NS/FIP.

Jonathan Gardner

Sterling, Virginia

For the record

In the September "New in Shrinkwrap," BarCodeKit was incorrectly listed as a BenaTong product. BarCodeKit is a trademark of, and sold by, Hot Technologies (617/252-0088).

In "News in Brief" (NeXTWORLD Extra, October), Yrrid's phone number was incorrect. The correct number is: 919/968-7858.

In "Design Your Own Voice-mail" (October), the white-hardware price for the mix box and call software was incorrect. It costs $813.

In October's Lt. Sullivan column, the phone number for Frame Technology should have been 408/433-3311.