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DECWRL.DEC.COM!reid
From: r...@DECWRL.DEC.COM (Brian Reid)
Newsgroups: mod.computers.laser-printers
Subject: an apology....
Message-ID: <8608210621.AA12606@saturn.DEC.COM>
Date: Thu, 21-Aug-86 02:21:00 EDT
Article-I.D.: saturn.8608210621.AA12606
Posted: Thu Aug 21 02:21:00 1986
Date-Received: Fri, 22-Aug-86 08:11:48 EDT
Sender: se...@ucbvax.BERKELEY.EDU
Organization: The ARPA Internet
Lines: 48
Approved: laser-lov...@washington.arpa

As many of you know I am on a leave of absence from Stanford at DEC
Western Research. Today I got a message from my acting supervisor at
DEC, saying that he had received an Official Phone Call from a person
at Xerox, complaining that I was unjustly criticizing Interpress in
public, and that in sending mail from DEC instead of logging on at
Stanford to send the mail I was somehow creating the image that DEC was
attacking Interpress.

The particular message in question was the one where I proudly
announced that my wristwatch calculator now accepted FORTRAN
(computational subset). I guess the Xerox employee must have been
afraid that people who read the message would somehow conclude that the
9700 Interpress subset represented approximately the same fraction of
the language as the wristwatch Fortran.

The man who made the phone call is actually someone that I know, and he
is certainly a fine fellow, and smart, and hard-working, and deeply
devoted to Xerox. If my memory serves me right he is even the recipient
of a Xerox "President's Award" a couple of years back, for his diligent
work in getting another Xerox protocol accepted as a official national
standard. I can therefore only draw the conclusion that some evil
marketing person must have forced him to make the phone call. It's OK.
I forgive you. My acting supervisor at DEC didn't take the phone call
very seriously either, so no harm really came from it.

I would like to suggest that if people from Xerox don't like what I say
about Interpress in public, that they might try countering with actual
facts instead of phoning my boss. Facts do have an alarming habit of
resolving disputes like this. I have never knowingly said anything at
all in public about Interpress that is false, and if I should make a
false statement about Interpress in this forum, I would very much like
to be corrected.

In closing, I would like to mention that I am very pleased that there
is an actual full production implementation of Interpress taking place
at a certain small company right now. There has been so much blather on
the network in the last couple of years about how Interpress will be
able to do this or that as compared to its chief competitor. It will be
nice to have, at last, full implementations of both languages available
in the marketplace for comparison. My spies tell me that the certain
small company that is doing this implementation will likely have it
ready for release by the end of this calendar year, so those of you who
enjoy the Wars of the Page Description Languages will actually be able
to purchase a Full Interpress printer, probably by the middle of next
year, and thereby be able to decide for yourselves.

Brian Reid
(Not an official spokesman for any organization)

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From: b...@BU-CS.BU.EDU (Barry Shein)
Newsgroups: mod.computers.laser-printers
Subject: Re: an apology...
Message-ID: <8608230236.AA11702@bu-cs.bu.edu>
Date: Fri, 22-Aug-86 22:36:12 EDT
Article-I.D.: bu-cs.8608230236.AA11702
Posted: Fri Aug 22 22:36:12 1986
Date-Received: Sat, 23-Aug-86 05:19:01 EDT
Sender: dae...@ucbvax.BERKELEY.EDU
Organization: The ARPA Internet
Lines: 31
Approved: laser-lov...@washington.arpa


I sent a note off to Brian Reid about a similar experience I had with
a different large company (a comment on a network mailing list
prompted a call to my higher-ups from the company involved.)

I get the feeling this is more common than we all care to speak about,
probably because after such an incident one might feel a little shaken
and reticent to start it up all over again.

I would warn companies that if they choose to harass people instead
of dealing with the problems all they do is drive us off the electronic
networks and into our 'old-boy' (for want of a better term) networks.

At least out in the open you can respond.

In the case I refer to, two very large (potential) customers of the
company in question happened to call me shortly thereafter for my
opinion of the products involved. I not only reiterated my view (being
as nothing had been done to improve the situation with the vendor's
products) but added to the story the new twist of coercive tactics.

Both thanked me and as far as I know never bought a thing from them.

Think about it. And pass *this* note around before you pass around
the other kind, or at least staple them together.

	-Barry Shein, Boston University

[[Editor's note:  Well, we've gotten a bit far away from laser
printers now.  Unless one of the companies involved wants to have the
last word, let's leave the topic.			--Rick]]

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