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Writeups of various NeXT demos

 
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verdraith



Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 20
Location: Cardiff, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Writeups of various NeXT demos Reply with quote

I found this in the LISP Machine, Inc source archives for the K Machine (when it was known as Gigamos Systems, Inc) and thought this might be an interesting read.

Quote:
From smh@GSI-CAM Mon Oct 17 13:13:54 1988
Received: from GSI-HARPO (lmi-harpo.ARPA) by gsi-cam.UUCP (4.12/4.7) id AA29391; Mon, 17 Oct 88 13:12:58 edt
Date: Monday, 17 October 1988, 13:12-EDT
From: Steve Haflich <smh@GSI-CAM>
Subject: NeXT information
To: info-falcon@GSI-CAM
Message-Id: <[GSI-HARPO].17-Oct-88 13:12:23.smh>

I have accumulated a variety of reports and informed NeXT commentary
from mailing lists. Some of it is well worth knowing. Enjoy.

By the way, Franz Inc Allegro Common Lisp is bundled free with each NeXT
machine as part of the standard software.

====================

------- Forwarded Message

To: ucbvax.berkeley.edu!hackers_guild
Subject: Next stuff

As I promised - here's a summary of the NeXT opening.

Steve's presentation started off quietly, quickly captivating the
audience. For the most part, the audience applauded all the right
places throughout.

The opening started about 45 minutes late, and began with a standard
enough summary of the life cycles of the Apple II, IBM PC, and MAC.
The NeXT machine's life cycle will span the next ten years and peak
in 1994-95.

Statistics on the size and yearly budgets of american universities and
colleges were used to arrive at the interesting conclusion that
educational institutions are "Fortune 500 companies disguised".

A list of features recommended by representatives of edcuational
instutions were given - including unix os, speed, memory, megapixel
display, sound capability, array processing, laser printer, and low
noise/power.

Steve discussed the memory bandwidth problems that are encountered
when all these features are packed into one box, and the IBM/style
channel I/O solution used by the NeXT box.

The DSP was discussed in some detail. It supports CD quality stereo
output and microphone input. NeXT has collaborated with CMU, Stanford,
and others in researching the areas of sound, Music, speech, array
processing, image processing, encryption, and high speed phone modem
applications.

SCSI runs at > 4MB. Anyone see a Pixar port coming along?

Next (a phrase used often in the presentation) Steve introduced the
Fremont manufacturing plant, where the NeXT board is built "untouched
by human hands". Quite entertaining and humeorous with a Star Wars
style beginning featuring boards zooming by in perspective.

The packaging of the NeXT box was discussed. Three of the four slots
are empty, and there is room for two 5 1/4 inch drives.

Then the NeXT machine itself was unveiled, and Steve stood back to allow
the machine to introduce itself - this was swift. First the machine
emulated an Apple command line style interface, giving a little
narrative history of computing on the screen. Then this display winked
out and up came a tiny macintosh screen, which again explained it's view
of the state of computing, using the mouse and cut and paste in a very
cute way. This winked out and BOOM, fanfare for the common man started
playing, and up popped windows containing everything imaginable -
rotating molecules and so forth.

Intermission, 20 minutes. No Irish coffee or anything!

Steve demonstrated the NeXT Application kit, and hooked switches and
sliders up to an animated gas molecule confined by a piston. This was
very well received. This was followed by Dr. Richard Krandal (sp?) who
demoed a statistics lab, a molecule rotator, and an oscilloscope
connected to the microphone. The scope entranced the audience, since it
picked up the applause quite nicely. The scope included an fft screen,
which induced a fit of whistling from the audience.

After a short sound demo, Steve demoed the "digital Library", which
included Webster's Unabridged Dict, Oxford Dict of Quotes, webster's
thesarus, and the complete works of Shakespeare. This software was
written by Michael Hawley. Lots of oohs and ahhs here as the audience
realized how quickly shakespeare was being scanned for words and
phrases. A real scholar's tool.

Next, some synthesized plucked string and gamelan pieces.

Bundled software includes: Mach OS,. PostScript, NeXTStep user interface
tools, misc. sound and music software, digital library, WriteNow (a word
processor), Mail (unix mail with voice capability), Mathematica (a
symbolic mathmatics application), Sybase (a high performance data base
package - this is a big deal), and Franz Common Lisp.

Basic price is $6500. Standard features: 8 MB ram, 256MB cartridge
optical r/w mass storage, 68030 CPU, 68882 FSP, 56001 DSP (all running
25Mhz), SCSI interface, sound output, microphone input.

The Laser printer is 400 dpi, with a 300 dpi draft mode (much applause
and laughter here), and will cost $2K. 330MB winchester is $2000,
600MB $4000.

Personalities from NeXT's business partners had a chance to say a few
words - with their photo and voice played back by the NeXT box. These
associates are Adobe, Motorla, Cannon, wolfram, Sybase, Franz Inc.,
Frame, and Lotus. Last, but not least, IBM is a software partner and
intends to support NeXTStep via AIX.

The show finished up with Bach's A minor violin concerto, accompanied
by the NeXT box and played by the principal second violinist of the
SF symphony.

Summary - the audience was totally captivated and entertained. There
seemed to be real excitement at each new technical revelation, and the
price tags were very well received. On the minus side, I talked briefly
with some UC administrators who did not buy the "Fortune 500" argument
and were wondering exactly who would buy this thing. Personally I would
have been reassured had Steve introduced a (still hypothetical) new wife
- from Japan - whose father manufactures 1MB DRAMS.
At any rate, the opening displayed fantastic showmanship, created real
excitement, and will remain a model for future product introductions for
some time to come. Now let's wait for boxes.

------- End of Forwarded Message

------- Forwarded Message

Article 6860 of comp.arch
From: jlo@elan.UUCP (Jeff Lo)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.misc,comp.os.misc,comp.misc,comp.arch
Subject: The NeXT machine has been announced! (long)
Date: 12 Oct 88 22:15:31 GMT
Organization: Elan Computer Group, Inc., Palo Alto, CA

Well, I just got back from the NeXT introduction at Davies Symphony Hall
in San Francisco and thought I would update the net on what Steve Jobs
announced about the NeXT computer.

The machine is based on the Motorola 68030 with a 68882 floating point
chip as well as a 56001 DSP chip, all running at 25 MHz. It will support
up to 16 MB of RAM with 1 Mbit chips, maybe 64 MB with 4 Mbit chips
(they haven't tried this yet). Mass storage is on a 256 MB removable
erasable optical disk! Jobs said that the removable media goes for ~$50.
The display is a gray-scale mega-pixel display (no exact sizes given).
There was no mention of color. Everything is displayed with Display
PostScript, developed jointly by NeXT and Adobe. This apparently runs
with a proprietary window system. There was no mention of X Windows.
Also standard are audio input and output, ethernet, and SCSI. Jobs said
that with the standard sound capabilities, all that is needed for a 9600
bps modem is some software and a phone connection.

The entire CPU board consists of 45 chips as compared to 100+ for a fast
PC and 300+ for a typical workstation. Everything has been crammed onto
a 12 inch square board through the use of very dense surface mounted
devices, and a few large custom CMOS chips. Two of these chips implement
what Jobs called a "mainframe on two chips". These basically provide
fast I/O processors for all I/O systems including the optical disk,
SCSI, ethernet, sound processors (I assume the DSP and A/D-D/A
converters) and the NuBus. The NuBus is run at 25 MHz (Jobs compared it
to a 10 MHz NuBus, is this what the Mac II uses?). The SCSI interface
was reported to have a 4 MB/sec. transfer rate. There are 12 I/O
processors total.

The CPU box has 4 slots, 1 is used by the CPU board, the others were
empty. The box itself is a black cube a foot on a side. The display,
keyboard and two-button mouse are also black. The display has an
integral adjustable height and tilt stand. The display is connected to
the CPU box with a single 3 meter cable which transmits the 100 MHz
video, power, sound, keyboard and mouse data. The back of the display
has connectors for the keyboard and mouse, along with a speaker,
microphone and headphone jacks and gold-plated RCA stereo jacks.

The sound capabilities of the system were impressive, being able to
record and playback high-quality sound. Using the DSP chip some very
realistic sounding music was generated on the fly in real-time.

The box, display, and everything else looked very modern and high-tech -
all black.

The operating system is based on MACH with NFS support. On top of this
is Display PostScript. Above this is what NeXT is calling NextStep. This
consists of their window server, interface builder, application builder
and workspace. This is what was licensed by IBM. On top of this are the
applications.

When you login, you get a browser several icons, and a menu on the
screen. The browser lets you move quickly from directory to directory,
and to run applications or open icon based directory windows. The root
menu is always on the screen, always on top, and may be positioned
anywhere on the screen (and even off the screen). The menus cascade, and
the submenus may be torn off and left on the screen. Along the right
edge is what I think Jobs called the icon dock. It is a set of icons for
commonly used applications which are kept on the left edge, and are
always on top. If you need the screen space, this column of icons may be
slid down off the screen, leaving only the NeXT icon showing. Icons may
be freely moved in and out of the dock so you can keep what icons you
use a lot there.

Jobs said that the new environment should cut the time used in coding
the user interface of a program from 90% to 10% of the total coding
time. With the application builder Jobs said it would go to zero. The
environment is object oriented, I believe based on Objective-C. You can
modify existing stuff with subclassing and inherit much of the base
application. The application builder lets you build an application just
by placing buttons, sliders, and any other graphic objects into a
window, and then attaching the the input and output objects to object
messages.

Software that comes bundled with the system include MACH, Display
PostScript, NextStep, the sound and music tools, the digital library,
WriteNow, Mail, Mathematica, Sybase and Franz Lisp.

The digital library consists of Webster's 9th Collegiate Dictionary,
Webster's Collegiate Thesaurus, the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and
the Complete Works of William Shakespeare on-line. There is a built in
spell program and dictionary/thesaurus lookup application. A word can be
selected in any window and looked up. The dictionary even includes the
pictures.

WriteNow is a word processing system, Mail is arpanet compatible mail,
including the capability to send speech, Mathematica is for (obviously)
mathematical problems and such. Sybase is a sequel database server.

A PostScript laser printer was also announced the can run at either
400 dpi or in 300 dpi "draft" mode. The printer is markedly smaller
(shorter) that most laser printers. No mention was given of speed.

Several demos were run with rotating molecules, smooth scrolling text,
voice storage and playback, speech waveforms and FFTs, etc. Everything
ran well, and ran fast.

Jobs announced the following prices (apparently education prices):

NeXT computer: $6500
NeXT PostScript Printer: $2000
330 MB winchester disk: $2000
660 MB winchester disk: $4000

Jobs said that machines will start shipping in early November '88,
the 0.8 pre-release of the software for developers will be available
in Q4 '88, the 0.9 pre-release for developers and aggressive users in
Q1 '89, with the 1.0 release for general consumption in Q2 '89.

All in all, the machine looked good and fast, although I wonder about
the fact that several desirable things were not mentioned, i.e., color
monitors, X-Windows, some kind of floppy drive for software
distribution, etc. I imagine a typical SCSI tape drive could be used for
archival storage.

I'm sure I must have left something out, but I'm sure someone will fill
in the gaps and correct any mistakes I made (sometimes it was hard to
hear from the nosebleed seats in the back row of the top balcony).

- --
Standard Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with NeXT except being a possible
software developer that got invited to the announcement.
- --
Jeff Lo
..!{ames,hplabs,uunet}!elan!jlo

------- End of Forwarded Message

------- Forwarded Message

< headers removed>

Jobs announced as he said he would. Here is a rather long review
which has many technical details of the NeXT machine. One question:
does this mean all the new "powerful" workstations will be painted
black???


Item 263 16:49 Oct12/88 352 lines No responses
Michael Nowak
The NeXT Introduction

This item describes Ted Hanss' impressions of the NeXT machine
announcement in San Fransisco.

For the past several months ITD has been tracking the developments at
NeXT Computer. I've been asked to enter my personal impressions of the
machine. This item was written before the actual announcement, so some
details are likely missing. I will update this item when I return from
San Francisco and write a longer review for an upcoming MicroDigest.

Ted Hanss

-----------------------------------------------------

NeXT Announces New Workstation

On Wednesday October 12, Palo Alto, California-based NeXT Inc.
introduced its long-awaited computer workstation. NeXT founder Steve
Jobs lead the announcement extravaganza before an estimated 4,000
invited guests at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. The NeXT
system integrates a wealth of powerful hardware components with
software innovations resulting in a significant advance over current
workstations.

Jobs co-founded Apple Computer but left after a power struggle with
current CEO John Sculley. Jobs used his accumulated wealth to begin
this new venture. NeXT was expected to release its workstation almost
two years ago and continued delays earned the company the sobriquet
"Eventually" by industry pundits. However, the best kept secret in the
industry has now been released and I look forward to its impact on
computing in higher education.

The $6,500 NeXT workstation is a black magnesium cube packed with high
performance components including the first commercial 256 megabyte
read/write optical disc drive, a 25MHz Motorola 68030 microprocessor,
microprocessor- controlled input/output channels, and a digital signal
processor. The object-oriented graphical user interface is built on
Display PostScript and provides an intuitive front end to the powerful
Mach operating system. The monochrome four gray-level display is
extremely crisp and clear. NeXT also introduced an eight page per
minute 400 dot per inch (dpi) PostScript laser printer for $2,000.

System Unit.

The main system unit is one foot square and is designed to sit on a
shelf or on the floor. The single-board design utilizes few than 50
integrated circuits (ICs) and makes significant use of surface mount
technology and proprietary VLSI chips. The board includes a thin
Ethernet connection, a high speed (four to five megabits per second)
SCSI connector, a printer connection, and two serial connections. Three
slots remain free in the unit for future upgrades and third party
add-on boards. To encourage third party board development, NeXT will
market the backplane chip to board manufacturers.

The system unit allows for two 5.25-inch full height disk drives. The
system comes standard with a 256 megabyte magneto-optical disc drive
utilizing removable, erasable optical disc cartridges. Cartridges will
cost approximately $50 to $75, with prices expected to drop during the
next year. Options include a 330 megabyte Winchester hard disk
(approximately $2000) or a 660 megabyte Winchester hard disk
(approximately $4,000). A formatted optical disc containing the
pre-installed system and applications software comes with the machine.
Beginning work with the NeXT workstation is as simple as connecting the
cables and plugging in the power. Within ten minutes you can be working
in your word processor.

The workstation, based on the Motorola 68030 microprocessor running at
25MHz, utilizes 12 additional processors dedicated to the management of
input and output (I/O) devices such as video, audio, printer, disk,
network, etc. This technique, similar to mainframe computer designs and
resulting in very high performance I/O, is made possible by
NeXT-developed VLSI chips. In addition, the workstation also contains
the Motorola 68882 math coprocessor and an Motorola 56001 digital
signal processor making possible complex audio and image processing,
optional high speed modems (9600 bits per second), data encryption,
facsimile, array processing, etc. The standard configuration includes
eight megabytes of random access memory (RAM), which is expandable to
16 megabytes with one megabit chips or, in the future, 64 megabytes
with 4 megabit chips.

Using VLSI technology, the fewer than 50 ICs on the motherboard
compares with 100 ICs commonly found in personal computers, the 300-500
in advanced-function workstations, and the thousands of ICs in
mainframes. All of the chips except one are CMOS, which results in the
board only using 11 Watts of power----even with 16 megabytes of RAM on
it. In fact, NeXT had to redesign the power supply because the power
consumption came in much lower than expected

Monitor.

The monitor is connected to the system cube by a three meter flexible
cord that carries power as well as video, audio, mouse, and keyboard
connections. The 17" two-bit (four level) gray scale monitor has a
resolution of 1120 by 832 pixels at 92 pixels per inch. NeXT will not
deliver a color monitor at this time. As the monitor is driven by
Display PostScript, true What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) images
can be printed on the optional 300/400 switchable PostScript laser
printer. Display PostScript, developed jointly by NeXT and Adobe
Systems, Inc., is the result of interactive extensions to Adobe
PostScript.

The monitor features ports for the keyboard connector, a microphone,
and stereo headphone/speaker connectors. The monitor also includes an
integral tubular metal stand that allows a good deal of flexibility in
positioning. In recognition of its potential placement in public work
areas, both the monitor and the system unit include integral security
tie-down hooks.

Operating System.

Jobs is committed to UNIX as he believes it will be the primary
operating system for computers in the 1990's. The NeXT workstation is
based on the Mach operating system, developed at Carnegie-Mellon
University. Mach is a communication- oriented replacement for the UNIX
kernel that provides binary compatibility with Berkeley 4.3 UNIX
applications. It also provides multiple tasks, multiple threads of
execution within each task, flexible sharing of memory between tasks,
message- based interprocess communication, and transparent network
extensibility.

Printer.

The black-cased printer is a low-profile, small footprint device
(approximately 17 inches long by 6 inches high by 14 inches wide). It
is based on the Canon LBP-UX print engine and uses standard LBP-SX
toner cartridges (the same as those used by Apple LaserWriter IIs). The
printer is software switchable between 300 and 400 dots per inch (dpi).
The resolution is switchable to allow for faster printer at 300 dpi.
The 400 dpi resolution results in much higher quality images as well as
better compatibility with facsimile standards. The eight page per
minute printer features a straight paper path to reduce jams and a bulk
envelope feeder. The printer is connected to the NeXT system unit by a
three meter serial cord and the PostScript interpretation is performed
within the system unit by the workstation's 68030 microprocessor. While
the NeXT machine will work with any PostScript printer, purchasers will
likely find the NeXT printer very affordable---the printer costs only
$2,000.

Graphical User Interface.

The NeXT machine features much more than hardware advances. Jobs told
me that he is actually most proud of the workstation's software.
Targeted as it is at the higher education market, a great deal of work
has gone into providing an easy-to- use interface to the powerful UNIX
operating system. For applications developers there is the Interface
Builder, a graphical object-oriented method to build and modify an
application's user interface. The Application Kit utilizes 25
high-level objects for building applications (the Macintosh, for
example, has approximately 400). These objects include buttons, text,
windows, sliders, fonts, dials, bitmaps, panels, switches, menus,
rulers, scrap books, lists, checkboxes, storage, etc. The objects are
all user-extensible. NeXT found that user interface-specific
programming is typically 50% of the code in an application, but takes
90% of a programmer's time. NeXT hopes that with the Interface Builder
this will drop to near ten percent for both.

In addition to its graphics capability, the workstation excels at
sound and music. For the use of sound, the NeXT workstation allows
storage and play-back of CD-quality audio. NeXT plans to make an
object-oriented music kit available in the future. This kit would use
physical modeling synthesis ("PostScript for sound") and subtle sound
articulation. In addition, NeXT is working with universities on speech
recognition applications.

Bundled Software.

A great deal of software is bundled with the workstation. The reason,
according to NeXT, is that if you don't build it in it won't get used.
The result is a system that provides potential developers with a "high
common denominator standard platform" according to NeXT's John Ison.

System software bundled with the workstation include the Mach
operating system (with its UNIX applications interface); the Interface
Builder; Searcher (a portable interface for information searching);
Workspace Manager for interacting with the UNIX operating system; and
Sun Microsystems Network File System (NFS) for linking workstations on
a network.

Applications software packages bundled with the system include:
WriteNow word processing; Wolfram Research's Mathematica; Sybase SQL
Server (this is a special version of Sybase SQL Server that only works
with NeXT workstations, an upgrade is available); Franz Allegro CL
Common LISP; Stepstone Objective C;, and the GNU C compiler, debugger,
and Emacs editor.

Also on the bundled optical disc is a "digital library" that includes
Merriam Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus; the Oxford
Book of Quotations; the Oxford Complete Works of Shakespeare; all
system and application documentation (including Mathematica, Sybase,
LISP, Objective C, etc.); and chapter six of the Postscript reference
manual (the PostScript operators). All digital libraries are fully
indexed (user data files, mail, etc. are indexed on the fly) and
quickly searchable.

NeXT has been working with major software vendors involved in porting
applications to the NeXT workstation. NeXT has been encouraging the
vendors to price their packages at under $500 a copy and advocating
site licenses as well. $500 for UNIX-based applications is very
reasonable compared to commercial UNIX applications that can run $2,000
or more. These applications include document processors, paint
programs, object-oriented drawing programs, bezier drawing programs,
spreadsheets, statistics software, terminal emulators, music
composition software, and compilers.

Networking.

NeXT claims to have achieved a high throughput Ethernet interface. As
to administering networks, users will have to cope with typical UNIX
network administration initially. NeXT is currently implementing
sophisticated network administration tools, however very large networks
will continue to need system administrators.

Manufacturing Facilities.

A tour of NeXT's manufacturing facilities revealed more about the
company's attention to detail and commitment to quality. Their
manufacturing line, which only takes two to three staff to run,
features high flexibility and fast production. A design change made at
NeXT is communicated over network connection to the manufacturing line
several miles away where, within 15 minutes, the line is reprogrammed
for the change. All parts are lot-tracked back to NeXT's suppliers and
on to the end users. This allows NeXT to quickly locate the source of
any quality problems and identify who may have received any substandard
equipment.

Availability.

NeXT will ship systems with version 0.8 software to key customers and
developers starting this quarter and expects to ship systems with final
software by second quarter 1989 to a broader base of institutions and
developers.

Concerns.

Those at Michigan who have seen the machine believe this workstation
represents a very attractive solution to the growing information
technology needs of higher education. The NeXT workstation integrates a
wealth of powerful hardware components with impressive software
innovations yielding a very significant advancement over existing
products. NeXT has excelled at providing the power of UNIX with an
intuitive interface. However, there exist several concerns:

Many will likely be disappointed that there is no color monitor for
the NeXT workstation. Jobs did not wish to utilize color mapping as it
does not provide the desired quality. Therefore, NeXT is waiting before
delivering a color monitor. However, the four gray-level monitor is
very impressive and the use of shading is quite powerful.

NeXT is aiming to deliver workstations at personal computer prices.
However, this is not a student machine. At $6,500, without a printer,
there will be few student purchases. NeXT sees price reductions in the
future, but for now the machine will be purchased by departments and
faculty and placed in public workstations areas. The question is, how
soon will NeXT reach its goal of the $3,000 workstation?

Several of the software companies reportedly working with NeXT are not
known for their powerful and intuitive user interfaces. We hope that
NeXT is working closely with these companies and assisting in their
development of applications that take full advantage of the powerful
NeXT interface.

Most who have seen the workstation are quite impressed with the optical
disk drive, but would like the presence of a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive
as well. $75 for a 256 megabyte cartridge compares very favorably with
almost $400 for equal floppy disk storage. However, small amounts of
data are more conveniently handled on 3.5 inch floppies.

In my time spent viewing the Interface Builder I developed the concern
that while it is very powerful, it may be too flexible. It would be
useful to develop a user interface "grammar checker" that examines an
application's adherence to user interface guidelines.

NeXT is very clear that it is targeting the higher education market.
However, NeXT cannot ignore the business market. It is understandable
that NeXT does not want to target the business market from the announce
date, but NeXT must acknowledge that it may have to reconsider this
position. Students will be graduating from universities and entering a
workplace without NeXT machines. In addition, how does NeXT plan to
support the people who have left the university with their NeXT box?

NeXT at Michigan.

What advantages does the NeXT workstation offer to Michigan? For one,
it is a superb integration of hardware and software components. It will
allow deployment of a very powerful workstation that is easy to set up
and use. The NeXT machine's user interface will make this workstation
attractive to those who need the powerful applications running in the
UNIX environment but have been put off by the UNIX C or Bourne shell
interfaces. In addition, UNIX experts will appreciate the power of the
machine and will continue to have access to the tools they currently
use.

The NeXT machine is expected to have several familiar DOS and
Macintosh applications ported to it very soon. This will allow easy
migration of both data and experience for those personal computer users
who want to move up this high performance workstation. NeXT is also
advocating that software vendors offer individual copies under $500 as
well as site licenses. This should make software affordable.

There are a number of opportunities for developing instructional and
research software for the NeXT machine. The highly graphics-oriented
interface and powerful applications-building tools should lead to
powerful courseware. In addition, building on bundled components, such
as Mathematica, can quickly lead to classroom tools.

It is clear that this workstation was designed for the higher
education market. NeXT has spent a great deal of time talking with
educators and administrators and listening to their needs. It looks as
if the NeXT workstation will successfully meet these needs as well as
surpass some expectations.

Summary.

In summary, I was very impressed with this workstation. The NeXT
machine has a list of features that surpass those of its competition.
Any one of these features would make the NeXT workstation stand out
among the current line of desktop machines, the combination of them all
in one box is very exciting: the optical disc drive, the digital signal
processor, the graphical user interface, the high resolution screen,
the list of bundled software, the PostScript laser printer, and the
microprocessor- controlled I/O channels. I believe the NeXT machine
will provide strong competition for personal computers such as the
Macintosh II and for the PS/2 Models 70 and 80 running Presentation
Manager and OS/2. In addition, it competes very well with the offerings
from traditional UNIX vendors such as Apollo and Sun. Sun will most
likely react by cutting prices, but it's not just the NeXT machines
price that makes it attractive. Rather it is the integrated package of
innovative hardware and software developments that exploit the power of
the UNIX operating system with an intuitive user interface.

------- End of Forwarded Message

[Finally, this is a comment about the digital signal processing
facilities. -smh]

Date: Sun, 16 Oct 88 00:17:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: Chad Kavanaugh Bisk <cb29+@andrew.cmu.edu>
To: csound@ems.media.mit.edu
Subject: Re: NeXT's machine has a Digital Signal Processor

The NeXT machine comes with the DSP56001 which is running at 20MHz (not
25MHz) and takes two cycles to complete each instruction, giving it a
speed of exactly 10 MIPs. For further information on this chip and the
NeXT machine in general, see the alt.next bboard. An article in Byte
magazine goes into quite a lot of detail about the chip and its
instruction set.

=======================================================================
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