> Rob, can I get a Solaris emulator for the Alpha? (Is this a silly
> question?) I wonder if a Java program running in an interpreted virtual
> machine on an emulator on the Alpha is faster than just straight Java on
> a superduperSparc...
Well, actually you can get a (zero-cost) sparc-to-alpha code
translator, but last I heard it only ran SunOS binaries (and that if
you managed to get a copy of the Sun libraries someplace --- they
aren't included with the emulator itself for copyright reasons). This
wouldn't help you, since Sun does not release anything Java for SunOS,
only for Solaris.
I have heard, however (though from a DEC engineer who is an admittedly
biased source) that the Alpha does run translated Sparc binaries at
least as fast as an actual Sparc fitted out with the same equipment.
The trouble (well, my trouble) with running Solaris is that even
though you can lots of neat third-party software for it, the OS itself
is not particularly well put together --- Sun themselves will happily
give you a "recommended patch list" as long as your arm, of fixes that
you should apply to the software they shipped before even they think
it's actually worth using.
On the other hand, as your recent experience shows, you aren't
necessarily better off with a vendor that ships crap and *doesn't*
admit it to the customers...
(I have more confidence in DEC, or even Linux --- but either way,
there's less third party stuff, and that may matter).