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decvax!ittvax!dcdwest!sdcsvax!darrell
From: darr...@sdcsvax.UUCP (Darrell Long)
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.unix,net.micro.att
Subject: AT&T 3B-2's
Message-ID: <843@sdcsvax.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 3-May-85 17:22:42 EDT
Article-I.D.: sdcsvax.843
Posted: Fri May  3 17:22:42 1985
Date-Received: Mon, 6-May-85 00:24:55 EDT
Organization: EECS Dept. U.C. San Diego
Lines: 26

*** REPLACE AT&T's MARKETING STAFF ***

	Well, here is a short summary of what I learned in my quest for
3B-2 lore.

1. The only public document that describes the processor in any detail
   is the 5620 ``BLIT'' manual.  This is the manual for the bit-mapped
   display, not the 3B-2, so all things are not applicable.

2. Internal documents do exist which describe, in great detail, all
   that one would care to know about the WE-3200x processor module.
   These documents have ``proprietary'' stamped all over them, and
   so are of no use to students (since I can't Xerox them or in any
   way get copies to my students).

	A wise friend of mine once said that if AT&T ever hopes to be
the giant in the computer industry that it hopes to be, that it would
do well to buy IBM's marketing department.  Now, I see that my friend
is probably right.
-- 
Darrell Long
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of California, San Diego

USENET: sdcsvax!darrell
ARPA:   darrell@sdcsvax

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From: nat...@utastro.UUCP (Ed Nather)
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.followup,net.micro
Subject: Re: ATT and the 3B
Message-ID: <310@utastro.UUCP>
Date: Sun, 20-May-84 21:19:30 EDT
Article-I.D.: utastro.310
Posted: Sun May 20 21:19:30 1984
Date-Received: Fri, 25-May-84 00:46:48 EDT
References: <2043@tekig.UUCP>
Organization: UTexas Astronomy Dept., Austin, Texas
Lines: 47

[]
I played with an ATT 3B2 a couple of days ago, running system V Unix,
so I guess the secret is out.  A "back door" copy was sent to an OEM
who has signed up a a local dealer, apparently one of the first in the
US, and plans to provide business applications software for it and its
larger brothers.  He got a 3b2 with 1 MB of memory, ~30 MB disk, and
the WE 32000 chip(s) -- it's several separate chips on a common carrier.

The hardware is spectacular.  You can hold the 1MB card in the palm of
your hand.  Most of the room is taken up by the two disks -- a 5-1/4"
floppy and a (CDC) hard disk with the same size footprint -- and the power
supply.  The computer is almost an afterthought.  The basic motherboard
is less than 1/2 the size of an IBM PC's, with 4 I/O slots hovering
above it (only one was used on the machine I saw, 3 were empty) and it
used modular plugs (what else?) to connect terminals.  The Unit I saw,
with an external terminal added, would run about $15,000 list. (Is there
a net price?  Does AT&T have educational discounts?  Hello?)

The only benchmark I had time to run was the "sieve" from Byte Magazine,
which ran 100 iterations in 36 seconds, or 3.6 seconds for 10.  Our Vax
11/780 runs the same benchmark in 1.3 seconds if the variables are
declared "register" and in 2.5 seconds if they are declared "int", for
10 iterations.  This places the 3b2 [for integer operations only!] at
about 0.5 Vaces.  I didn't have access to the source code for the bench-
mark so I don't know how the variables were declared. 

While I was very impressed with the hardware, I was very unimpressed with
the software.  They *did* have "vi" but termcaps were not yet set, they
didn't have "more" or "pg" and the "ls" command ran things off the screen
(fast) in a single column display (!).  Apparently someone at AT&T decided
to chop Unix up into clumps of a few programs each, and sell them separately.
You can get the "C" compiler in one package -- but the assembler and loader
are in a different one!  [If you use "C" you don't *need* assembler, right,
guys?]  Nroff was conspicuous by its absence, as was troff and any other
word-processing software.

This may all be growing pains at AT&T, who never had to sell anything ever,
and they just don't know how people use their computers.  I hope their
learning curve is very steep.

But that little chunk of harware is a *honey*!   I want one.

-- 

                                       Ed Nather
                                       ihnp4!{ut-sally,kpno}!utastro!nather
                                       Astronomy Dept., U. of Texas, Austin

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vax135!floyd!cmcl2!seismo!rlgvax!guy
From: g...@rlgvax.UUCP
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.followup,net.micro
Subject: Re: ATT and the 3B
Message-ID: <1944@rlgvax.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 24-May-84 01:28:33 EDT
Article-I.D.: rlgvax.1944
Posted: Thu May 24 01:28:33 1984
Date-Received: Sat, 26-May-84 13:25:41 EDT
References: <2043@tekig.UUCP> <310@utastro.UUCP>
Organization: CCI Office Systems Group, Reston, VA
Lines: 58

> I played with an ATT 3B2 a couple of days ago, running system V Unix,
> so I guess the secret is out.

It's definitely been announced publicly (full-page ads and everything),
so it certainly is out.

> The only benchmark I had time to run was the "sieve" from Byte Magazine,
> which ran 100 iterations in 36 seconds, or 3.6 seconds for 10.  Our Vax
> 11/780 runs the same benchmark in 1.3 seconds if the variables are
> declared "register" and in 2.5 seconds if they are declared "int", for
> 10 iterations.  This places the 3b2 [for integer operations only!] at
> about 0.5 Vaces.  I didn't have access to the source code for the bench-
> mark so I don't know how the variables were declared.

I suspect the benchmark was written to make full use of the 3B's capabilities,
and it has a number of registers (not quite as many as the VAX-11 - somewhere
around 11 32-bit general purpose registers, if I remember correctly), so
I suspect they were declared "register" - so it's about 1/3 11/780 under
those circumstances.  I'd be curious to see the Bell B1-B7 benchmarks on
that machine.

> While I was very impressed with the hardware, I was very unimpressed with
> the software.  They *did* have "vi" but termcaps were not yet set, they
> didn't have "more" or "pg" and the "ls" command ran things off the screen
> (fast) in a single column display (!).

Hmmm... I'd heard System V Release 2 had "pg" and a Berkeley-style "ls".
Either I heard wrong or they didn't have 5R2 on that 3B.

> Apparently someone at AT&T decided to chop Unix up into clumps of a few
> programs each, and sell them separately.  You can get the "C" compiler in
> one package -- but the assembler and loader are in a different one!  [If you
> use "C" you don't *need* assembler, right, guys?]

*Choke*  Geepers, don't "pcc" (which is the basis of almost all the UNIX
C compilers out there) and most other UNIX C compilers produce assembly
code which is then run through the assembler?  Sounds like you can't even
produce object code, much less executable programs, with that package!
*D*U*M*B*, guys...

> Nroff was conspicuous by its absence, as was troff and any other
> word-processing software.

> This may all be growing pains at AT&T, who never had to sell anything ever,
> and they just don't know how people use their computers.  I hope their
> learning curve is very steep.

Fortune packaged/packages their UNIX systems similarly; I suspect it may be
aimed at the end user who buys a box and a bunch of applications software
(including, possibly, a what-you-see-is-what-you-get word processor which
will probably not only be considerably more user-friendly than "vi" and
"nroff", but a lot faster than those two beasts to boot!) and won't need
all that stuff.  On the other hand, if they don't have any fully-packaged
systems to sell to people who want a computer, not a turnkey box, they'll
probably get beaten up.

	Guy Harris
	{seismo,ihnp4,allegra}!rlgvax!guy

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From: h...@cp1.UUCP
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.followup,net.micro
Subject: Re: ATT and the 3B
Message-ID: <671@cp1.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 24-May-84 11:13:41 EDT
Article-I.D.: cp1.671
Posted: Thu May 24 11:13:41 1984
Date-Received: Mon, 28-May-84 05:56:35 EDT
References: <2043@tekig.UUCP>, <310@utastro.UUCP>
Organization: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Lines: 14

Nroff and etc are available in a package called documentation workbench.
The local reps have not circulated a price list yet, we are holding our
breath. Hopefully the stuff will be priced reasonably.

-- 


======================================================================
signed: Rod Hart (wa3mez) 
        Chesapeake & Potomac Tel. Co.
        Bell Atlantic Inc.
        Silver Spring, Md.
        gamma!cp1!hart - umcp-cs!cp1!hart - aplvax!cp1!hart
======================================================================

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From: mer...@hogpc.UUCP (S.HUMPHREY)
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.followup,net.micro
Subject: Re: AT&T and the 3B*2
Message-ID: <425@hogpc.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 29-May-84 14:35:28 EDT
Article-I.D.: hogpc.425
Posted: Tue May 29 14:35:28 1984
Date-Received: Fri, 1-Jun-84 22:02:03 EDT
Lines: 52

To clear up some incorrect information about AT&T's 3B*2:

As correctly stated already, the basic or minimal 3B2
comes with a 10 Megabyte hard disk, a 720 Kilobyte floppy
drive, and 512 Kilobytes main memory, and a "core" set of
UNIX** utilities. (Not stated is that the 3B2 can be configured
with a 32 Megabyte hard disk and 1 or 2 Megabytes main memory).

The most INCORRECT information (which may have originated from
the salespeople--please, I blame no one, just wish to clarify)
is that the "core" package includes the C compiler but no assembler
or loader, etc.

First, the basic 3B2 does NOT come with the C compiler.
The goal here is to provide a basic machine that runs the bare
essentials of the UNIX commands, for those who want a computer
for reasons that don't include programming. In this way such
people can save money by not buying the C compiler, but at
the same time have a UNIX machine that can run other applications
and still have some UNIX commands for normal UNIX file access,
file manipulation, user environment manipulation, etc.

Second, when one buys the C compiler, one buys THREE sets of
floppies, FIVE diskettes in all. On these diskettes one gets the
C compiler, header files, ASSEMBLER, LOADER, and other programs
like yacc and lex. One of the three packages is called the
C Programming Language Utilities and includes the C compiler,
another package is called the Software Generation Utilities and
includes the assembler and linker/loader, and the third package
is called the Extended Software Generation Utilities and includes
yacc and lex. Please tell this to anyone from AT&T who tries to sell
you the C compiler without the assembler!

Third, vi does come with TERMCAP; it has to, as vi does not work
without it! Vi and TERMCAP come with any 3B2 configuration.

Why, one might ask, package UNIX into pieces? There are two
reasons. One is that, with the 10 Megabyte hard disk configuration,
not ALL of UNIX (kernel, libraries, header files, utilities)
will fit on the disk AND leave much room for user files.
Second, even with a 32 Megabyte hard disk configuration, one may
not WANT all of UNIX (does EVERYBODY use BASIC, for instance?
How about FORTRAN? How about a line printer spooling program?)
With the packaging onto separate disks, some separately purchased,
one is able to put together a UNIX system that balances need with
disk space and cost.

				Steve Humphrey
				AT&T Information Systems

* 3B is a trademark of AT&T Technologies (Western Electric)
** UNIX is a trademark of AT&T Bell Laboratories

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From: r...@brl-vgr.ARPA (Ron Natalie <ron>)
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.followup,net.micro
Subject: Re: AT&T and the 3B*2
Message-ID: <2727@brl-vgr.ARPA>
Date: Thu, 31-May-84 12:10:45 EDT
Article-I.D.: brl-vgr.2727
Posted: Thu May 31 12:10:45 1984
Date-Received: Sat, 2-Jun-84 10:49:16 EDT
References: <425@hogpc.UUCP>
Organization: Ballistics Research Lab
Lines: 6

Oh well, so much for UNIX as a standard.  It's amazing how AT&T got up
at the keynote speach at UNIFORUM and said things like Vendor Independence
and Standardization, only to go around constantly contradicting these
fine ideals.

-Ron

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From: g...@rlgvax.UUCP (Guy Harris)
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.followup,net.micro
Subject: Re: AT&T and the 3B*2
Message-ID: <1971@rlgvax.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 31-May-84 18:41:27 EDT
Article-I.D.: rlgvax.1971
Posted: Thu May 31 18:41:27 1984
Date-Received: Sat, 2-Jun-84 11:15:08 EDT
References: <425@hogpc.UUCP> <2727@brl-vgr.ARPA>
Organization: CCI Office Systems Group, Reston, VA
Lines: 51

> Oh well, so much for UNIX as a standard.  It's amazing how AT&T got up
> at the keynote speach at UNIFORUM and said things like Vendor Independence
> and Standardization, only to go around constantly contradicting these
> fine ideals.

I don't see how not supplying everything in section 1 of the UNIX User's
Manual means that UNIX isn't a standard anymore.  Heck, V6 was the last
UNIX that had a nice compact manual; and 4.xBSD and USG UNIX now have
rather elephantine sections 1.  We supply most of System III on our systems,
and it eats a lot of disk space; we had to make the PWB/Graphics software
an add-on to keep things from getting ridiculous.  A lot of our customers
are just buying an office automation system, and don't need compilers,
"nroff"/"troff", or every nice tool that comes with UNIX.  Some systems
even package the utilities needed for administrative functions into their
application package.  Why force a user to buy what they don't need?

"UNIX as a standard" means "UNIX as an OS that runs on most of the machines
of supermicro and up class which will make it easier for people to develop
applications for the OS, not for the particular machine".  People who need
to develop software can pay the price (in money and disk space) for the
development tools, but not having a C compiler on your machine won't keep
you from running most of the applications out there.  In fact, I suspect
you can run most of the applications out there even if you don't have
"grep"!

Remember, what's good for people whose job involves developing software may
not be good (or necessary) for everybody who uses a computer.  There's
frequently a "developer-centric" attitude among us "real UNIX programmers";
but five years from now, unless UNIX is a marketplace failure, most UNIX
sites won't have any more sophisticated programmer than a COBOL or business
BASIC programmer in-house - if even that.

An analogy - a BMW comes (or, at least, came - I think it's still true) with
a toolkit packed in the trunk.  However, most of the cars on the road are
Chevies, Fords, Oldsmobiles, etc. driven by people who treat their car as
a dumb appliance.  Back in the early days of motoring, you *did* have to
have a complete toolkit and you *did* have to understand some of how the
car worked.  If cars had remained like that, we wouldn't have ~100 million
cars on the road today.  If computers are going to become the everyday
appliances that many people are hoping or proclaiming that they will be,
the attitude that "real computers come with a full suite of development
software (whether you need it or not)" will have to change.  In many ways,
Apple has the right idea - aim your product at the person who needs a
tool to get a job done, not at the person who wants to work on the tool.
Offer development software to people who want it, but don't make it a
standard part of the system unless you can make it cheap enough (in terms
of all resources, including disk space) that it's not worth a customer's
while to pass the tools up.

	Guy Harris
	{seismo,ihnp4,allegra}!rlgvax!guy

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From: rosa...@reed.UUCP (Mark Galassi)
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.unix
Subject: Re: AT&T 3B-2's
Message-ID: <1588@reed.UUCP>
Date: Sat, 1-Jun-85 02:57:48 EDT
Article-I.D.: reed.1588
Posted: Sat Jun  1 02:57:48 1985
Date-Received: Sun, 2-Jun-85 20:37:57 EDT
References: <843@sdcsvax.UUCP>
Reply-To: rosa...@reed.UUCP (Mark Galassi)
Organization: Reed College, Portland, Oregon
Lines: 17
Keywords: Marketing???

In article <8...@sdcsvax.UUCP> darr...@sdcsvax.UUCP (Darrell Long) writes:
>*** REPLACE AT&T's MARKETING STAFF ***
>
>	A wise friend of mine once said that if AT&T ever hopes to be
>the giant in the computer industry that it hopes to be, that it would
>do well to buy IBM's marketing department.  Now, I see that my friend
>is probably right.
>-- 
>Darrell Long
>USENET: sdcsvax!darrell
Yes, it might become a "giant" in the computer industry, but it
would produce bad computers (like IBM micros). I have much more
respect for AT&T than IBM, and this is probably due to AT&T's lack
of an opressive marketing department.
				Mark Galassi
				...tektronix!reed!rosalia
{These opinions are my own and should be everybody elses :-) }

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From: boy...@dicomed.UUCP (Chris Boylan)
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.followup,net.micro
Subject: Re: AT&T and the 3B*2
Message-ID: <190@dicomed.UUCP>
Date: Sat, 2-Jun-84 18:47:51 EDT
Article-I.D.: dicomed.190
Posted: Sat Jun  2 18:47:51 1984
Date-Received: Tue, 5-Jun-84 08:26:44 EDT
References: <961@ihuxq.UUCP>
Organization: DICOMED Corp., Minneapolis
Lines: 32

A number of people have made comments in defense of the partitioning
of UNIX software by various vendors to the effect that it makes the
software cheaper.  I have to disagreed with this position since if
the software is sold to anyone, the vendor will have to have the
support personnel and in the case of resellers, they still have
to recover their UNIX licensing fee which they pay to Bell, er AT&T
regardless of how much of UNIX they actually package in the systems
they sell.

While there are some additional costs, such as phone consulting, if
UNIX vendors sell all parts of UNIX instead of breaking it up, I
think they will not be terribly significant.  The only instance where
this obviously isn't true (that I can think of) is when the particular
vendor simply doesn't sell (say) the C compiler since said vendor
would then never have to deal with "how does this foobar work?".

The obvious reason for vendors spliting up UNIX when they sell it is
it's a good marketing trick to increase how much bucks they get.  It's
the same type of thing that's done in sell cars or anything else,
make the entry price low and get them on the "options".  From a business
standpoint it clearly makes sense and from a consumers point of view
it sucks.

As Steve Martin said, "Capitalism is not a pretty sight".

Hey, nothing's perfect.

-- 

	Chris Boylan
	{mgnetp | ihnp4 | uwvax}!dicomed!boylan

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From: b...@hogpc.UUCP (B.BURGER)
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re: AT&T and the 3B2 (in defense of partitioning)
Message-ID: <428@hogpc.UUCP>
Date: Sun, 3-Jun-84 02:55:51 EDT
Article-I.D.: hogpc.428
Posted: Sun Jun  3 02:55:51 1984
Date-Received: Tue, 5-Jun-84 08:31:36 EDT
Lines: 24

>  The obvious reason for vendors spliting up UNIX when they sell it is
>  it's a good marketing trick to increase how much bucks they get.  It's
>  the same type of thing that's done in sell cars or anything else,
>  make the entry price low and get them on the "options".  From a business
>  standpoint it clearly makes sense and from a consumers point of view
>  it sucks.

Ah yes, consumers would be better off if they *had* to take a car with
every possible option, whether they wanted it or not.  As a matter of
fact, they'd be better off if all the auto manufacturers stopped making
so many different cars and just made fully loaded Cadillacs.

THE ONLY PRICE THAT COUNTS IS THE PRICE OF THE CONFIGURATION *YOU* WANT!
It shouldn't worry you that there may be other configurations at other
prices.  Partitioning increases flexibility, which minimizes the
price for each configuration.  (The only caveat is that giving
people choice creates a cost for keeping track of who ordered what
and making what they ordered.)  Prices can, of course, be
reasonable or unreasonable with or without partitioning.  But
partitioning *in itself* reduces the price for a most configurations.
This applies to cars, computers, and everything else.

--Bruce Burger     AT&T-Information Systems     Lincroft, NJ
{...ihnp4!}hogpc!btb

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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: net.arch,net.unix
Subject: Re: AT&T 3B-2's
Message-ID: <5654@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 3-Jun-85 12:08:12 EDT
Article-I.D.: utzoo.5654
Posted: Mon Jun  3 12:08:12 1985
Date-Received: Mon, 3-Jun-85 12:08:12 EDT
References: <843@sdcsvax.UUCP>, <1588@reed.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 11
Keywords: Marketing???

> ... I have much more
> respect for AT&T than IBM, and this is probably due to AT&T's lack
> of an opressive marketing department.

AT&T is then faced with the interesting choice of having a marketing
department that is either competent but oppressive, or incompetent but
inoffensive (except to people who actually want to buy AT&T products,
and are trying to get information on them).
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry

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From: g...@sun.uucp (John Gilmore)
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re: the offense of partitioning
Message-ID: <1204@sun.uucp>
Date: Mon, 4-Jun-84 21:20:11 EDT
Article-I.D.: sun.1204
Posted: Mon Jun  4 21:20:11 1984
Date-Received: Wed, 6-Jun-84 02:48:36 EDT
References: <428@hogpc.UUCP> <193@dicomed.UUCP> <1986@rlgvax.UUCP>
Organization: Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Lines: 19

People are still mistaking "car" options for "software" options.  It
costs money to put an air conditioner in a car.  Given that either
you're AT&T and have paid many times over for your investment in Unix,
or you're an OEM and buy a complete binary Unix license from AT&T, your
development costs do not increase when you ship everyone the whole
shebang.  If the end user never runs the C compiler you shipped, they
will not be demanding C compiler support from you either.

Now, it will take more media space (tape, floppy, or disk) to ship the
whole thing, but the customer can always delete (or avoid loading) the
parts they don't use.  If they want to run all the software, they can
buy more disks (from you).

If the total price of the "base" system plus all the options adds up to
a competitive price for a complete system, I'll believe that
partitioning is an OK thing.  But I haven't seen a system yet where
that was true; they tend to charge a "whole system" price for the base,
and make a killing on the extras like the C compiler.

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business. See SCO vs IBM.

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