Help in selecting a workstation.

Mark H Pearson markp at yang.earlham.edu
Fri Mar 12 14:27:16 EST 1993

In article <MAILQUEUE-101.930310135151.1568 at goodall.uncg.edu> KIRCHOFF at goodall.u
   ncg.edu ("Bruce K. Kirchoff") writes:
>Subject: Help in selecting a workstation.
>From: KIRCHOFF at goodall.uncg.edu ("Bruce K. Kirchoff")
>Date: 10 Mar 93 18:51:51 GMT

>into the purchase of workstations for use on our campus.  We are
>beginning to move from a VAX/VMS/mainframe environment to a
>distributed computing environment.  I would like to tap the
>expertise of my colleagues who subscribe to this newsgroup for
>advise on selecting a brand of workstation.  We are only
>considering machines that run some variety of UNIX.  We want to run
>many different kinds of applications:  scientific graphics, word
>processing, image analysis, genetic analysis (sequence analysis), SAS
>and other statistical programs, among others.  Do not wory about
>price.  There are price limitations, but this is something we will
>take up internally.
>1)  Do you recommend any specific manufacturer?  Why?

Although they don't make their own hardware any more, I'd still recommend
looking at NeXT. Basically, you don't have to be a Unix guru to use one (
although you still need Unix guru support on site), they have a lot of
software available, *cheaply*, the user interface is phabbo, there's a lot
of enthusiastic net support, there's a Scientific Mailing list, etc etc.

Any programmer that has used NeXTStep raves about it. Version 3 is two to
three years ahead of the competition is terms of what it offers, eg
Renderman support built-in to the OS.

>2)  Do you recommend any specific model?  Why?

Get at least a 16" color monitor (19" better), at least 16Mb memory (32 Mb
better), at least 30 odd MIPS, and a large local hard disk (600Mb) or an NFS
mount to a big network maintained hard disk ( 1 or 2 Gb) and printer. Not
much really :-).

>3)  Is there any specific manufacturer or model that you would
>    definitely not purchase?  Why?

Try not to get ripped off by Sun. Ask them about Solaris and what you have
to pay to upgrade.


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