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Golden Hill Common Lisp installation on DEC Rainbow
(* this message was sent to info-dec-micro and no one there has replied
with the Golden Hill - DEC Rainbow parameters for the GMACS key binding
parameters. thought i would try here, but DEC-specific information is
probably want i need. LISP implementors intended for microcomputers
might read the last paragraph. *)
i recently got Golden Hill's Common LISP running on my Rainbow 100A and i
thought i would make some comments and a plea for help.
the memory upgrade to 832K on my two Rainbows went alright. one of the
memory boards i received was defective, but a call to the Atlanta DEC hot line
produced a DEC repairman who replaced the defective board within a week.
the software installation was pretty poor however. it took about 4+ hours to
do the hard disk installation. following the instructions in the manual just
did not work. some of the points in the 'known bugs' addendum took care of
some of the problems, but the installation of the San Marco Explorer had to be
done by hand. that was drag.
i want to bind the GMACS editor functions to the Rainbow personal function
keys and numeric keypad. GMACS has most of the editting functions i usually
have in other word processing environments, but key binding does not seem
covered in the installation manual. i called Golden Hill first and their tech
people showed me the GCLISP\GMACS\EDCOMTAB.LSP which has the key definition
functions as follows:
#X080 ; key hexidecimal parameter (HELP key)
*GMACS-HELP-COMMAND-TREE*) ; GMACS editor function
the Golden Hill technical support could not give me the hex specifications
for the function keys or the keypad. they said that they developed the IBM
version and that someone in DEC did the Rainbow specific modifications. the
guy i talked with said that DEC would not give them the technical
specifications of the Rainbow sufficient for them to do the work. he said i
had to talk with DEC about the key bindings.
then i called Atlanta DEC again. this time i hit a brick wall. they never
heard of Common LISP and said i had to buy software support before they would
search any answers. when i found a problem in the hardware installation, they
fixed it no problem, but apparently the same support of software is not given.
they suggested i call Golden Hill-- full circle: no answers.
i looked through PC100 Technical Specifications and found that the key
hexidecimal specs were different from the few i could find in EDCOMTAB.LSP.
but they were consistently distanced so i applied a conversion. unfortunately,
the resultant file did not bind the keys. both DEC and Golden Hill said to ask
around and find a hacker who has already bound keys and ask for help. anybody
out there done this? its the pits that two professional technical support
teams say to find a hacker and ask for help.
another major bogus with the Golden Hill Common LISP is the use of keycard
floppy disks and copy protection on their diskettes. the copy protection is
why software installation took all afternoon. the keycard means that one of
their original floppies has to be in drive A before Common LISP will install
from the hard disk. when a floppy wears out, they expect a $30 replacement
charge for what is a disservice to the user. i plan to break the copy and
remove that keycard crap as soon as possible so the Common LISP i bought will
operate as a computer utility on my machine rather than as a property interest
of the publisher. when will software publishers learn (like Borland did) that
their interests are protected through reasonable price, efficient operation,
user support and revision services?