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Subject: Re: WMCCC - may the best man at getting the fastest hardware win :(

Author: Robert Hyatt

Date: 13:19:55 10/19/97

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After posting one response this morning, something kept gnawing at the
back of my mind, "something is wrong here."  But I couldn't put my
finger
on it.  Later it hit me.  I went to DejaNews, and did a search on
subjects
with "NPS and match" in them.  And found the long thread where Ed and I
were debating the importance of NPS.  Ed was on his "tactical
sufficiency"
bandwagon, and lo and behold, I found posts from Chris and Thorsten
right
in the middle, all saying the same thing.  NPS doesn't matter.

Now, suddenly, NPS does matter.  And I suppose I am confused as to what
has
really happened:

1.  You didn't really believe any of the things you were saying in the
NPS debate, but was really only saying them to keep the debate raging.

2.  You did believe the NPS argument (your side of it) but later changed
your mind.

I don't see any other explanation.  In light of your comments on the NPS
argument, and those of others, this alpha-issue seems to be a non-issue.
*if* you believe what everyone but *me* was saying...


Next topic...

I don't know why Hiarcs withdrew.  I have an opinion.  If you want to
hear
it, here goes:

  Hiarcs was withdrawn due to fear of losing.  It is currently on top of
the SSDF list.  It is probably beginning to sell decently.  A disaster
in
Paris could reverse that quickly.  I strongly believe that any
commercial
program that chooses to avoid the WMCCC is doing so solely for
commercial
reasons.  I don't like to lose either.  However, there is one difference
between the way I operate and the way the commercial programmers
operate:

Cray Blitz won the WCCC in 1983 and 1986.  By the time 1989 rolled
around,
however, I *knew* we wouldn't win again, unless there was some
unprecedented
luck involved, because of Deep Thought.  I had trouble finding machine
time.
I nearly decided to forget about it.  But after thinking about this, it
didn't
seem fair to Hsu and company, because if they won without Cray Blitz
being
there, they would have had to endure the "If CB had been there this
would
have been different."  I kept after Cray, they finally found a customer
that would let us use their machine.  We did, DT won, and there was no
doubt that they were best.  Contrast that to the commercial mind-set for
a
minute.  Do *everything* based on the bottom line of sales and public
opinion.  They didn't go last year.  For the same reason they aren't
going
this year.  And it doesn't have a thing to do with new versions or
anything
else other than not wanting to take a chance.  Perhaps in another year
this
will be amateur only.  Doesn't matter to me...  I can think of a couple
of
amateur programs I fear more than any of the commercial programs already
and this is going to get better (or worse depending on perspective.)

So I don't believe for a minute that the "alpha issue" ran Hiarcs off,
nor
kept Genius away, nor Rebel, nor any other program.  I think it is a
matter
of "fear" more than anything else.  Unfortunate, because I am just as
afraid
of doing badly as anyone else.  But *not* so afraid that I won't play.
If
Crafty loses every game, I'll get to enjoy a year of razzing.   But it
will
at least be there.  I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is...



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