Re: Pentium Pro and Pentium II bug

Joe Kiniry (
Mon, 12 May 97 10:34:15 PDT

Robert Harley writes:
> [Adam asked about Alphas versus Suns for doing Java stuff.]
> Solaris emulator: not that I know of.

i wouldn't use it anyway. come on, look at all the trouble we are
having running linux executables on netbsd! and that emulation is in
the kernel! (which could be good and bad...)

> Alphas are much faster than Sparcs but Java is hardwired to 32-bit and
> you probably won't be doing much floating-point so the difference
> would not be so great for your work.

actually, some of my old compatriots at the osf (ne' open group
research institute) did (and are doing) java ports to osf/1 (ne'
digital unix) and have solved the 32->64 bit switch.

the fundamental argument against our using alphas is the fact that we
have no need whatsoever for the horsepower. the only reason we have
these weighty machines now is because they are what intel donated to
us. i might note that our current systems are destined to live in a
concurrency/graphics lab for (ug/g) course-work, they are not our
long-term machines.

> I don't know about prices of Suns these days.. crash course anyone?

as sad as it is, the lowest-end sun boxes are running (academic) about
$5K. the kind we would need and want (dual ultras or the like) are up
around at least $20k. talk about a whimper to buck ratio...

> You could always mix and match!

aye, we could, but it would only gain us some degree of maintenance
overhead and confusion. everyone likes different systems, i'll give
you that, but really, for our usage patterns, the only reasonable
choices _right now_ are sparcs and NT.

> -- Rob.

my honest opinions?

we'll very likely just have to stick it out and keep the NT boxes for
some period of time. we'll have some suns come into the crop, either
through donations or purchases, sometime before summer is in full
swing. in the end, the lab might just end up being a heterogenous mix
of machines; perhaps three multiprocessors (an NT box, a Sun, and a
NetBSD or Linux box) and a Mac (if dan has his way). heck, maybe we
can throw in a alpha clone with linux, i just don't know.

I. Find Karma writes:
> > adam's just a ramblin' on tim, just ignore him. :)
> No, why not Alpha and Linux?

because i don't want to be doing development in the large of ports of
software performed by random folks on the net in their spare time- so
sue me. yes yes, i know, linux is hardier than most commercial OSes,
has gadzooks of users (i used to be one), and comes with source, blah
blah blah. great, but that doesn't solve my management-overhead
problem. you really want me to have to administrate several different
flavors of machines with all the different software that we use around
here - that's why i _left_ industry!

Robert Harley writes:
> OK, there are lots of old obsolete Alpha chips out there. The only
> one that matters is the 21164a at >= 400MHz with 1MB or more of L3 cache.

heh. that's kinda funny. so this means that the blindingly fast
300MHz alphas that i used to drool over are totally and completely
obsolete nowadays? jeez, and i thought that intel moved fast. writes:
> Also not that it's worth too much, but you can get MAE (Macintosh
> Application Enviorment) for Solaris that is System 7.5.5, and lets
> you run all the Mac apps.

i'm sure this would make dan happy, in fact i remember him trying out
their newest version on our old hp 715s, but if we are going to do
that we might as well buy him a damn mac.