sorry to pollute your email with this mani, bob, and dave; just trash it if
you are not interested. i thought i'd shoot this off to all parties that
were in the loop thus far, no matter how tangential.
At 04:18 PM 5/13/97 PDT, Eve Schooler wrote:
>i made a list of NT questions/requests about the environment and the
>that i am going to send off to the barc folks. first, i
>i'd try them out on the locals (myricommunists). here's what
gathered about their configuration....
>----- Begin Included
>>From email@example.com Tue May 13 15:56:34 1997
13 May 97 15:56:27 PDT
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob Felderman)
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
>Subject: Re: NT
did you have any trouble with the NT OS install? for instance, at
Caltech, they are wrestling trying to get rid of a second copy of
that is hanging around on Adam's disk and that they cannot
>=> figure out
how to uninstall.
>No trouble at all. It was pretty straightforward
from the CD-ROM.
>I'm using NT4.0
well, sure, you have no trouble at all if you have completely stock
hardware and/or installing on a clean machine, but what we attempted was an
install of NT server as a domain controller on a system that already had NT
server on it that wasn't a domain controller.
yes, i know, pretty stupid. you'd think we could just twiddle a bit to
make the machine a domain controller - but nooooo, microsoft makes you
reinstall the system from scratch. oh, did they forget that installing on
an existing system was an unreported error?! then we'll just put two
copies on your disk and not tell you that fact!
>=> have you ever made use of the second CPU for apps?
that far yet. We'll let you know in a week or so.
well, we're not at all happy with the performance of these systems, and we
sure as hell don't trust the task manager wrt its reporting cpu usage for
the second process; even when it comes to doing OS stuff.
for example, i can perform any number of system actions, like copying a
large directory or dragging a large window around the display, and the
system reports that, not only are both cpus in use, but _their load goes up
to nearly the same, to around 60% usage_. wait, you're telling me that
_emptying my trash_ takes 60% of two pentium pros? and it _still_ takes
which bring me to another examples: just by typing fast on this system i
can get reported load up to 18%. obviously this statistic is worthless
above and beyond "something is indeed happening on your system".
finally, to show an element of boneheadedness of the system, try copying a
large directory in explorer and watch the little dippy animation that goes
along with it. now, grab the animation window with a mouse click in the
title bar, but don't let go. _the animation continues, but the copy
halts_. explain this to me folks.
>=> have you found that NT hogs memory? for example, the OS + web brower
>=> (plus browser's contents) have been known to take up to 128M of
>Yup, NT is a BIG memory hog. All the trade rags talk about how
i certainly won't argue here. i'm currently running exactly 27 processes,
the largest of which are internet explorer, eudora, explorer, and a
terminal program, and i'm using a paltry 55MB of this 256MB machine.
>=> what NFS software are you using and can you point me at it (you
>=> indicated it was publically available)?
>You should just use
"Samba". It runs on a sun and exports sun filesystems
>to your NT box. I
use it all the time here.
i'm having samba installed this week and we'll take a look at it.
>NFS for NT does exist, but we don't use it. Hummingbird has that sort of
aye, i got the marketing drivel from hummingbird. sure, they might be the
best product in the marketplace for X and NFS (which to me, in this space,
means "we don't crash very often!"), but $382.00 for an academically priced
X server and $277.00 for an academically prices NFS solution?! _give me a
>=> do you use the ftp, telnet, ping, nslookup that come with NT?
have you imported them from elsewhere?
>We use all the regular NT tools
for ping telnet etc. I have also used
>the Hummingbird stuff that came
with their Xsoftware for NT.
>=> do you run a terminal program (here they
are quite unhappy with
>=> something called qvt as the telnet/rlogin
>It's pretty lame. You can't easily cut-and-paste and
there's no scrollbar.
>I don't use it much.
we had another terminal program suggested to us from someone on fork, and
adam tried it out. it, too, stunk. in fact, adam found a web page that
listed and reviewed 20 products, and reliably they all stunk. does anyone
have a _real_ suggestion for a robust product that support vt??? emulation
>=> are you running X? here, they are using and disliking the white
pines software which crashes about 2-4x/day.
>Hummingbird has X software
that has worked well for use, though
>we haven't used it heavily. The other
thing they have is
>an incoming telnet server. You can telnet TO the NT
>another machine and just get a terminal window.
which is _real_ helpful (in a sarcastic voice).
>=> are you doing software backups? how?
>Only a few things are saved
to a tape backup.
i don't quite see the point in backing up windows systems, except for a
home directory or the like. i mean, every software install seems to stick
stuff in the system directories and mess with the registry - how the hell
does _anyone_ maintain these systems in a real organization? no wonder
microsoft has such a choke-hold on the world...
>=> are you using the full development suite software (visual
plus ms solutions stuff)?
>Yes, but I only use it from the command line.
I hate the VC++
aye, it seems some of us do too. we have evaluated visual j++, cafe,
workshop, supercede, parts for java, codewarrior, and visual sourcesafe.
let's just say i wouldn't use any of them in an open commercial software
development environment. i ended up using cafe and reporting a suite of
bugs every week, dan uses codewarrior and is doing the same, mack is
attempting to use cafe but still likes my emacs environment better (which i
do as well, but i've found that my usage patterns dictate that even the
good port of emacs to NT is insufficient in a big way). again, how do
people _use_ these systems? i'm dumbfounded.
>=> do you run the windows NT server resource kit?
>Nope. I can't seem
to find it in the giant stack of CD-ROMs
>we have for the Developer's
i just want it to answer some fundamental questions for me. it's funny, i
try the online help and the >10,000 of microsoft-related docs on our
shelves to try to diagnose the problems we are having with these systems
and they are of _no_ help whatsoever. as near as i can tell, microsoft
ships a help system with their OS just to say they do - i can't see it
helping anyone who has more than a modicum of knowledge about computers.
>=> do you run a shell or GUI to do your development? do you leave
>=> session running vs rebooting every day?
>Shell (as mentioned
above) and I only reboot the machine when it
>croaks - which is seldom.
that's funny, our systems get rebooted at least once a day each. adam
reports that lately his PDC has been crashing several times a day. /more
speculation/: i'm guessing three things nowdays. (1) microsoft didn't
expect people to sit at and use NT server boxes. (2) microsoft didn't
expect a number of NT servers to sit on the same subnet, having most of
them act as clients. (3) point 1 is odd since we all know how similar NT
server is to NT workstation...
>=> have you experimented with toggling NT to linux?
>Sure, but I use
different disks. I've generally found most
>OSs are reasonably hostile to
the low-level booters
>that each has.
aye, just like NT is hostile to DOS and vis-versa. of course, if you do
the installs in _just_ the right order, cross your fingers, say a prayer,
kill a chicken under a full moon, and have the most generic all-purpose
system on the planet then you can get NT to multi-boot with a whole host of
OSes. my last system was solaris/linux/dos/NT and worked just fine.
>=> what printer capabilities have you set up? again, point me at
software you're using if public, or give me the name of
>=> something i can
grab from the barc folks....
>NT comes with a "TCP/IP print spooler" or
some such thing.
>You need to enable it from the "network -> services"
>then go through the printer setup to enable a "lpr port"
Just give it the name of the machine with
>the print q, the queue name and
you are off.
worked just fine. now we print from the NT boxes, to dan's NT box, to the
UNIX printserver, to the printer. talk about a distributed system! of
course, we had to set it to "apple laserwriter" for it to work...
>=> do you use mail from your NT machine?
i tried netscape's solution, two of microsoft's (now that they have, what
_five_ email solutions, none of which fully support open standards or work
reliably?!), and now i'm trying eudora pro 3. eudora has caused less
problems for me thus far, and support all the right buzzwords. i was even
able to (hand) import my mail store from unix. too bad i can't seem to
figure out how to do mail lists (any suggs?) and i don't like the whole
contained app metaphore.
>=> do you run emacs? if so, whose implementation?
>Yup, also check
with David - he loves it.
as i mentioned previously, my usage patterns have invariably caused the
latest and greatest port to completely ditch. thus, i'm using eudora for
mail, internet exploder for web browsing (given i used netscape 3 for weeks
and it just wasn't cutting it, as sad as that is), and i'm not reading news
>=> From David Finucane (firstname.lastname@example.org) Tue May 13 16:02:33 1997
>=> The free mail server to get is EMWACS. There is a NT 3.51 version,
which may mean that there isn't a 4.0 version. See
>=> have you ever installed drivers for the sound
>----- End Included Message -----
>I really wonder how some of our experiences could be so different
Myricom... is it the hardware we're using?
that is certainly part of the equation. it could also be the visible cloud
of hate and despair that hangs in the air.
it is easy to tell how well NT supports our hardware - it makes me scared.
i can drag a window around and watch the display refresh - this on a $3000
video card. i don't even _want_ to know about the rest.
>> => did you have any trouble with the NT OS install? for instance, at
>> => Caltech, they are wrestling trying to get rid of a second copy of
>> => NT that is hanging around on Adam's disk and that they cannot
figure out how to uninstall.
>> No trouble at all. It was pretty
straightforward from the CD-ROM.
>> I'm using NT4.0
>I forget why we had
to install NT a second time, but nothing I could
>think of will allow me to
uninstall it short of a disk reformat.
>> => have you ever made use of
the second CPU for apps?
>> Haven't gotten that far yet. We'll let you
know in a week or so.
>I'll be curious to know if/how they get the second
CPU to do things for them.
>> => have you found that NT hogs memory? for
example, the OS + web brower
>> => (plus browser's contents) have been
known to take up to 128M of memory.
>> Yup, NT is a BIG memory hog. All the
trade rags talk about how much
>> it eats.
>I was browsing the Web site,
and apparently NT allocates memory for
>things it isn't actually using.
And that space immediately becomes free
>when it's needed. So although NT
claims it's using 128Meg, it's really
>only using 90, saving 40 in case it
needs it later.
what sense does this make? if this is true (which i still doubt), why
doesn't it just report what it is really using? why pre-allocate memory
that you already own (as an OS)?
>> => do you run a terminal program (here they are quite unhappy with
=> something called qvt as the telnet/rlogin replacement)?
>> It's pretty
lame. You can't easily cut-and-paste and there's no scrollbar.
There was a telnet program mentioned on FoRK that I'll check
>out as soon
as I get the courage to move back into the NT room.
as i mentioned; tried and dumped.
>> Hummingbird has X software that has worked well for use, though
haven't used it heavily. The other thing they have is
>> an incoming
telnet server. You can telnet TO the NT box from
>> another machine and
just get a terminal window.
>I'll be curious to see if it can pass the
"Adam and Joe endurance test". :)
>> => are you using the full
development suite software (visual
>> => suite, plus ms solutions
>> Yes, but I only use it from the command line. I hate the VC++
>Agreed. Same for Visual J++.
>> => do you run the
windows NT server resource kit?
>> Nope. I can't seem to find it in the
giant stack of CD-ROMs
>> we have for the Developer's
>> => do you run a shell or GUI to do
your development? do you leave your
>> => session running vs rebooting
>> Shell (as mentioned above) and I only reboot the machine
>> croaks - which is seldom.
>Why does my machine croak
regularly, yet Bob (and Joe Barrera) have
>NT machines that rarely croak?
>> => have you experimented with toggling NT to linux?
>> Sure, but I use
different disks. I've generally found most
>> OSs are reasonably hostile to
the low-level booters
>> that each has.
>He can say that again.
what printer capabilities have you set up? again, point me at
>> => the
software you're using if public, or give me the name of
>> => something i
can grab from the barc folks....
>> NT comes with a "TCP/IP print spooler"
or some such thing.
>> You need to enable it from the "network -> services"
>> then go through the printer setup to enable a "lpr port"
printer. Just give it the name of the machine with
>> the print q, the
queue name and you are off.
>We'll have to try this and see if it
>> => do you use mail from your NT machine?
>David likes to live dangerously.
>> => do you run emacs? if so,
>> Yup, also check with David - he loves it.
seems pretty happy with the new emacs we have.
well, as long as all i'm doing is editing a document.
well, enough complaining for tonight. any suggestions or comments are
welcome. the current suggestions from NT experts around here is to
completely wipe all the machines and install some other OS. just
kidding... they're really saying that we should wipe the machine, reinstall
the PDC from scratch on a hard-formatted system, and install NT workstation
on all the other hosts (though this software didn't come with these
sure, i can do that. i have _plenty_ of time to mess around with these
damn systems some more...
--- Joseph R. Kiniry Graduate Student, California Institute of Technology Founder, metaGenesis Inc.