5.0061 NeXT (2/89)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 15 May 91 21:09:33 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0061. Wednesday, 15 May 1991.

(1) Date: Wed, 15 May 91 10:04:18 CDT (45 lines)
From: john@utafll.uta.edu (John Baima)
Subject: NeXT

(2) Date: Wed, 15 May 91 11:41:19 CDT (44 lines)
From: "Michael S. Hart" <HART@vmd.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: Re: 5.0049 NeXT

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 15 May 91 10:04:18 CDT
From: john@utafll.uta.edu (John Baima)
Subject: NeXT

In order to reduce the amount of hate mail :-) [NeXT people are a
rather zealous bunch], I'd like to respond to one point Steve Mason
raised about the NeXT:

> (1) Is there a way for this machine to read the TLG? I gather that
> there isn't, since John Baima reported back then that the development
> atmosphere was not conducive.

[Did I ever say that?] I doubt that there is a good program to read the
TLG on the NeXT, but perhaps someone has ported Searcher to it. Heck,
if someone gave me one, I'd port it over ;-).

The major problem I see with both the interface and the programming
environment for the NeXT is that they are both idiosyncratic. IBM
licensed Next Step 1.0 for $10 million. There was the hope that Next
Step would not just be NeXT only. Alas, IBM decided not to use it. In
the UNIX world, Motif is clearly the new GUI. When there was a UNIX
trade show here in Dallas recently, Motif was seen at every corner.
NeXT did not even show up, I believe.

The primary programming language for the NeXT is Objective C. I have
said here before that I like Objective C. It is a hybrid between
Smalltalk and C. However, with the exception of NeXT, Objective C does
not have a measurable market share. C++ is the clear winner. Objective
C is only available from one vendor and is quite expensive.

My worry about the NeXT, if I were to buy one (and I won't), is the
long term viability of NeXT. Without Canon's $200 million and Dallas'
Ross Perot, NeXT would now be history. The educational price is quite
good, but it has to sell to business to survive. It did get a good
review in a recent InfoWorld, so who knows? Maybe it will survive with
a third look-and-feel. (One being Windows/OS2/Motif/IBM CUA, the other
the Mac).

And I was serious about the NeXT people being a rather zealous bunch.
Clearly, NeXT owners really love their machine. Not many IBM'ers love
their machine, but many get good work done with them.

John Baima
Silver Mountain Software

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------49----
Date: Wed, 15 May 91 11:41:19 CDT
From: "Michael S. Hart" <HART@vmd.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: Re: 5.0049 NeXT

I would suggest anyone interested in a NeXT machine do their homework.
The optical drive is ~not~ a cd, and is not even the standard optical
drive for the kind of cartridges it uses. NeXT disks cost at least a
$149 now for their 200M, but the same style cartridges are available,
both for Ricoh and H-P optical drives which yield about 600M. Local,
I stress ~local~ authorities on the NeXT have told me the opticial is
on the way out for NeXT, and support is harder to get, as are drives,
disk cartridges, etc.

The NeXT is a fine desktop mini/mainframe, esp if you like UNIX, but!
do your homework and get it in writing, as with any major purchase.

We use a NeXT machine, as many of our users are aware.

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Thank you for your interest,

Michael S. Hart, Director, Project Gutenberg
Please excuse typos, most writing done at a terminal,
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