The feel of a LispM/List of running machines

Thu, 1 May 1997 01:46 -0500

    Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 18:22 CDT
    From: Mike McDonald <>

    >I think one of the foremost LispM features is the debugger system.

      Being able to find out what went wrong and fixing it is just so
    cool! (Did I say cool? Better change that to "a nice feature to

Oh, I forget to mention c-m-SUSPEND, for when things AREN'T going wrong
but you just want to stick your hands in the soup.  (Perfect example:
recently I wanted a directory listing of some source distribution tapes.
Type :Restore Distribution (with auto-completion/capitalization!), let
it read the tape header, c-m-SUSPEND it, c-B to look at the stack
backtrace, click on the restore distribution top-level function to jump
to its frame, m-L to display all the local variables -- Ah-hah!  Here's
one called DIS::SYSTEM-KEYED-DIRECTORY that is exactly what I want!
Write a trivial line of code to PRIN1 it out to a file, and I'm done.
Sure, I could have messed around with opening tape streams and reading
distribution-format headers myself, and on any other computer I would
have had to.  But using the debugger I can get the same effect several
times faster than writing the code.)

Hmm, I also forgot to mention the worst bug of all (but one that is
shared by every other computer system as well): You can fill a LispM
with knowledge, but you CAN'T make it think.

      I've got a 3640 loaded with memory, color, FPU at my house in the
    south SF Bay area. I can arrange demos too. (I guess I'd beter crank
    her up and make sure something hasn't died. The color is so so. Could
    be cables or the color card. It has a yellow grid overlaid on the
    screen. If anyone knows what the problem is, I'd love to hear.)

Probably that Southern California climate.  Maybe you should mail your
color system and FPU to me.  You don't want all that obsolete equipment
cluttering up your house anyways, right? =)

Seriously though, why don't you call SMBX Customer Service?  I'm sure
they'll be able to help you.

      Since the Symbolics manuals were generated from the online
    documentation that's on the Genera CDs, you shouldn't have to scan

Yeah, I know, but using the ones on disk requires being able to decode
the byte-coded SAGE binary docs.  Unfortunately, SAGE is one of those
things that SMBX doesn't seem to want to distribute sources for.

    Getting Symbolics' permission is required.

Definately.  Maybe you can get the documentation sources from them too
so you won't have to mess with byte codes (wishful thinking).

      I've never seen anything out of MIT that didn't have a big hairy
    legal notice on it. I can check the old MIT manuals when I get home to
    make sure. Let's see, I think have green, gray, blue, and orange.

*drooling on keyboard* I've always wanted a set of original MIT LispM