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VIVID, the vertically integrated VLSI design system developed at the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, was first released in January 1985. Since that time feedback from wide industrial and academic exposure has been positive, confirming the need for symbolic design tools and providing research and development insigntsÂ¿illuminating insights that should also be of interest to the CAD community. Coining a line from Robert Burns poem Â¿To a Mouse,Â¿ the best-laid plans of mice and software designers are not always implemented. When examining the data, assumptions, and analyses that motivated VIVID, one discovers planned (but discarded) developments; however, an inclusive overvoew is needed to properly evaluate those data, assumptions, and analyses. Knowing clearly why something was done and how it fits into the overall picture can help us to frame future decisions and shape future designs.