Gimme that ol' time religion [NS Evangelism]

Rohit Khare (
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 20:08:10 -0400 (EDT)

[just flippin through the archives]

This is from FOUR YEARS ago (Feb 1993)... as a callow youth, pushing
the line... Note the Hal Varian reference :-)


From: Rohit Khare, NeXT Advocate (, (818)

To: Antonio Rangel and Dr. David Porter

Dear Sirs,

As per my conversation with Mr. Rangel on Monday morning, I am
forwarding you information on current uses of NeXT computers in
First, the Higher Education representative for Caltech and JPL
is Mr. Chet Kapoor, from NeXT's Calabasas office. He can be reached at
(818) 880-3720, FAX at (818) 880-3729, or NeXTMail as Caltech and JPL currently receive the maximum
educational discounts possible for purchases through CCO; from time to
time there have also been special prices for `Lab Packs' of 5 or more
However, the advantages of NeXT hardware, while it provides
agressive price/performance in a complete package, pale in contrast to
the value added by NeXTSTEP, its system software an programming
architecture. NeXTSTEP includes full BSD UNIX and UNIX networking,
built atop the state-of-the art Mach kernel from Carnegie-Mellon
University, as well as a full suite of graphical tools for managing
networks and accounts.
Above this 'plumbing' are the crown jewels of NeXTSTEP: the
various object kits, which are class libraries that, coupled with
InterfaceBuilder, provide documented 5-10x increases in programmer
productivity. The Application Kit has all the tools for builidng
extremely sophisticated graphical user interfaces with little
effort. DBKit offers very sophisticated, very flexible, very rich
tools for building applications that can access data sources ranging
from SQL to text files to real-time news feeds.The 3DKit offers access
to systemwide Interactive RenderMan 3D graphics . Other kits allow
access to networking, sound, digital telephony, and the Mach kernel.
One of the new features in NeXTSTEP 3.0 that can be used to
great effect in the design of experimental economics labs is
Distributed Objects. With DO, a programmer can send a message to an
object that is inside another program on another machine as easily as
they can to an object in their own application. For an Ex experiment,
the subject's programs can communicate results back to a
data-collection application with only a few lines of code, something I
understand is quite difficult with the department's current PC-based
NeXT has several successful advocates in Economics research
today. Most notable is Hal Varian's work at the University of
Michigan, but several other schools such as such as University of
California, Los Angeles, University of British Columbia etc. use NeXTs
as well. You can read more about these users' experiences in the
attached *Next Higher Education Reference Guide.: In the commercial
world, NeXT has made major inroads as a *trader's workstation.: The
ease-of-programming allows Wall Street brokerage houses to implement
custom appliactions for new derivatives and financial products within
days and modify them within hours.
There are also several NeXTs in use by professors in the
Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, and certainly I would
encirage you to contact your colleagues for their impressions of
working in NeXTSTEP, arguably the most sophisticated GUI and
development environment available today, already in its third
generation while potential competitors such as Microsoft Windows NT
and Apple/IBM's Taligent won't even be available until 1994 and 95,
Finally, along with NeXTSTEP's facility for custom
programming, you'll be able to use some of the best-of-breed
productivity applications on the NeXT, for such tasks as presentations
(Concurrence), desktop publishing (PasteUp, Pages, FrameMaker 3.0),
illustration (Adobe Illustrator 3.0, Altsys Virtuoso, Appsoft Draw,
Appsoft Image), spreadsheets (Lotus Improv, Mesa), and word processing
(WordPerfect, WriteNow). A copy of Mathematica 2.1 is bundled with
each machine sold at Caltech, as well.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or if you'd
like more literature about NeXTSTEP, please feel free to contact me or
Chet. If you would like, we can arrange a demonstration for you, at
your convenience.


Rohit Khare