"The Machine to Build the Machines - NeXT"

A short promo showing the futuristic NeXT-powered (?) factory producing vast numbers (?!?) of NeXT computers using an advanced automated production line.

In 1986, NeXT saw the possibility of fitting all the power and technology of the most advanced computer workstations into a one foot cube. To accomplish this, we aggressively pursued Surface Mount Technology, a process which would allow us to build an entire computer system onto one printed circuit board. This set into motion a plan to build the most sophisticated manufacturing system ever employed for Surface Mount Technology. The system would be fully automated to fulfill NeXT’s goals: High quality, high consistency, high yield, low cost. It would also mount components closer together on a computer circuit board than ever before.

I’m not sure of the timeline here, or when this promo might date from. However, the high volumes didn’t materialise.

" The first machines were tested in 1989, after which NeXT started selling limited numbers to universities with a beta version of the NeXTSTEP operating system installed. Initially the NeXT Computer was targeted at U.S. higher education establishments only, with a base price of US$6,500 (equivalent to $13,407 in 2019)"

“The NeXT Computer was first released on the retail market in 1990, for US$9,999 (equivalent to $19,568 in 2019).”

“Businessland founder David Norman predicted that sales of the NeXT Computer would surpass sales of Compaq computers after 12 months”

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I doubt the lack of high volumes were a production issue, however.

I bought my NeXTStation slab via a University program, it was, like, $3500.

Truthfully, at the Uni price it was actually competitive with “high end” 386’s at the time, which I was eyeing to run some other Unix. Out of the box, it was underequipped, however, with 8MB of RAM and 120MB hard drive. I quickly bumped it up to 20MB and a 400MB drive. Later I was able to grab the laser printer and CD ROM for it.

I’ve since given it to a friend, who has yet to get it to boot (it sat for 20 years).

But while everyone else was getting PCs and such, I bought this instead. It wasn’t until, oh, 1998 or so that I bought my first real PC. I had one for a short time earlier, but donated to a cause. I didn’t use it much.

The NeXT did what I wanted, USENET and Mail. Plus the other just amazing-ness of it at the time.

Of course, I’ve always said if I spent my computer money on carpentry shop tools, I’d a) probably still have them and b) have a better equipped shop than Norm Abram.

Mind, on the other hand, I’m a much better programmer than I am a carpenter…

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