3.688 more on NeXT (95)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Thu, 2 Nov 89 22:19:39 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 688. Thursday, 2 Nov 1989.

(1) Date: Wed, 01 Nov 89 22:22:48 EST (39 lines)
From: "James H. Coombs" <JAZBO@BROWNVM>
Subject: Re: NeXT

(2) Date: Thu, 2 Nov 89 10:43:06 EST (10 lines)
From: Richard Goerwitz <goer@sophist.uchicago.edu>
Subject: NeXT

(3) Date: Thu, 2 Nov 89 12:05:20 CST (22 lines)
From: "Peter S. Graham" <GRAHAM@PISCES.BITNET>
Subject: RE: NEXT

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 89 22:22:48 EST
From: "James H. Coombs" <JAZBO@BROWNVM>
Subject: Re: NeXT

A couple of points that have not been brought up.

1. It's very slow. Compared to a Mac II running A/UX and a Max toolbox
application. Perhaps others have better configurations? This one had 8 Mb.
Much of the time it seems unusable. Someone mentioned the Frame application.
Too slow for me.

2. Feedback is poor. Some messages are inappropriate, such as something
about "file system error" when one modifies a document but does not have
the proper permissions. Even worse, one often does not know whether the
system is working on something or not. The applications tend to change
the mouse cursor into a disk when they are working, but the system often
leaves the pointer while it is launching an application. And this can
be a LONG delay, too long to bother timing.

3. The mouse is infuriating. The acceleration when one moves it quickly
is insignificant---it just doesn't help if it is there. There is also a
problem with spurious clicks. The machine acts as if I have clicked the
mouse when I haven't. It seems to get bad for a while and then clears
up. It's the sort of thing that makes me want to hit the machine. In
many ways, the machine is interesting, but I think it needs work before
it will be a useful tool. I didn't see a major difference between 0.9
and 1.0, so I am not expecting major improvements in the near future. I
guess the biggest need is for faster hardware to drive everything that
they are trying to do.


Dr. James H. Coombs
Senior Software Engineer, Research
Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship (IRIS)
Brown University, Box 1946
Providence, RI 02912
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------22----
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 89 10:43:06 EST
From: Richard Goerwitz <goer@sophist.uchicago.edu>
Subject: NeXT

I want to express agreement with recent observations on the NeXT.
It's not a personal computer. And its OS is not the stuff of everyday,
average computational life. Just too many people are using MS-DOS based
machines. The economics dictate that a WordPerfect or NotaBene for the
NeXT will be a long time in coming.
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------29----
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 89 12:05:20 CST
From: "Peter S. Graham" <GRAHAM@PISCES.BITNET>
Subject: NeXT use in libraries

[This message borrowed from PACS-L. --W.M.]

My experience with Next is that they know there are humanists out there
but they've never met one. They are finally admitting that the
Shakespeare data base is a toy (an academic couldn't take it seriously).
Beyond that they speak well about wanting it to be avaialble for
non-techies but they don't seem to know how to go.

I'm given to understand that they and RLG have had discussions but I
don't know what they are. Haven't seen any use in libraries yet. The
search engine and the desktop publishing capabilities offer obvious
capabilities if the applications are developed, and their general
direction of raising the common denominator of the workstation I
applaud. In addition, the machine would have a lot of capability for
working with large-text files networked over a high-bandwidth line, e.g.
full-text data bases. The Rutgers/Princeton project for the Center on
Machine-Readable Texts in the Humanities has this kind of thinking in
the back of its collective mind. --Peter Graham.