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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Plus ça change

What those proposals really mean

    From a218@mindlink.UUCP Thu Sep 21 11:21:53 1989
    From: a218@mindlink.UUCP (Charlie Gibbs)
    Subject: What those proposals really mean

    I came across this while cleaning out some old files...
You are fortunate indeed to have   
contacted a manufacturer who can   
deliver the equipment within the    
six-month delivery period, which   
we estimate you require.   

 If we don't get some revenue
 from you this year we won't
 make our budget.

We have carried out an exhaustive  
and comprehensive survey of your   

 Look at the number of times
 we've taken you to lunch.

Furthermore, in a multiprogramming 
environment,two machines would offer
an element of parallel processing  
which would not otherwise be possible
on any computer equipment you are  
likely to consider.   

 We can't do it on one machine.

We cannot overemphasize the        
importance of this decimal         
arithmetic capability.   

 We have no floating-point

Our third-generation equipment     
provides the highest standard of   

 There will be no local backup.

While we have not been shown detail
flow charts and description of your
production control systems, we     
estimate that the computer time   
required each week should not exceed
four hours.   

 We can't understand your
 specification, but the last
 one we did took four hours.

No detailed knowledge of the       
interface to the communications    
network is required by the user's  
programming staff.   

 You will have to hire
 a specialist who can
 understand it.

Using our high-level COBOL compiler
programs can now be written in the 
English language.   

                PIC X(30).

This particular peripheral is      
available on a purchase-only basis.

 We don't make it, and never
 want to see it again once
 you have bought it.

Local backup with comparable       
installations will be provided.    

 We are hoping to sell a
 similar configuration to
 another company 350 miles

The software we have recommended is
in the advanced development stage. 

 We will start writing it as
 soon as you sign the order.

The equipment can be delivered to  
suit your requirements, but we     
estimate that you will not be ready
to take delivery until considerable
systems work has been carried out. 

 We cannot deliver a machine
 for two years.

Independent assessment has rated   
our data preparation equipment     
among the best available.   

 If you don't want our computer
 please buy our keypunches.

In accordance with our policy of   
progressive improvement, the right 
is reserved to alter any detail of 
price, specification, or terms     
without notice.                    

 We hereby divest ourselves of
 any responsibility for what we
 have said, written, or are
 about to say or write.

(Taken from the October 1968 issue of Datamation)