Running GCG on a PC

Reinhard Doelz doelz at comp.bioz.unibas.ch
Tue Feb 7 03:50:24 EST 1995

gquinn (gquinn at com1.med.usf.edu) wrote:
: R. Doelz wrote:
: > am I missing the point?
: Probably not, Reinhard. The point that I'm trying to make is mainly for PC
: users; Solaris 2.4 X86 runs on a PC (it's a UNIX operating system)
: but is now notably extremely successful in running both UNIX and 
: MS-Windows applications simultaneously via its WABI Windows emulator
: which comes free with the OS. It would also (probably!) allow the running
: of GCG locally, which may be of use to those of us who are not
Thanks for the clarification. We did not investigate this version of UNIX with 
its emulator before, but we did try other products which were available about 
6 months ago.

o Besides a truely comfortable look-and-feel the perception of windows or pc 
  look-and feel is retained. 
o UNIX is the running system and crashing Windows (should) affect only the 
  emulator, not the PC as a whole.
o Existing software can be used without major flaws.

o The main issue with these emulators are compatibility with 
  extensions (16 bit windows/32 bit windows/ Win32s and other add-ons for 16
  bit Windows). 
o To run reasonable windows applications you need 16 MByte of RAM, plus 
  another 16 for UNIX, and a (very) large hard disk. Admittedly 
  all of this is getting cheaper, but it is not out there to an extent which 
  makes development on this area a true winner for us. As we sill see 
  MacOS 7.1 /Windows 3.1 around here in Europe despite the fact that more 
  recent versions are already available it is a clear indication that 
  researchers have no need to migrate if everything runs. 
o Last, performance is a looser on UNIX/Emulator systems. It is better 
  than the Mac emulator for Atari several years ago, but still a true 
  Windows application (memory-hungry and CPU-desperate) doesn't quite 
  fly 'on top' of an already slurping PC. Not all of them are Pentiums
  or PowerMacs, yet... 

Now, after having GCG on the PC, what do you *do* with it? The look and feel 
will be heavily criticized as not being 'mac-like' or 'windows-like', and 
most of the data bases will be either missing or accessible only by (slow)
ethernet lans running file servers on NDIS/IPX/Appletalk basis. Is _this_
what you want? The main point of yours is well taken, yes, it will run, but 
will you be prepared to use it, every day? 

My conclusion is that options to run reasonable operating systems on PC's
or Macintoshes (MacTen etc.) are certainly worth considering for 'power 
users', but the $5000 desktop engine with ilarge screen and software and 
office software and biology software and databases and GCG package 
is not within current reach. It is definitively required to get on 'generic'
systems (i.e., Windows or MacOS, maybe OS/2, too) with a client/server
architecture that makes a generic engine talk to a remote GCG server.


 R.Doelz         Klingelbergstr.70| Tel. x41 61 267 2247  Fax x41 61 267 2078|
 Biocomputing        CH 4056 Basel| electronic Mail    doelz at ubaclu.unibas.ch|
 Biozentrum der Universitaet Basel|-------------- Switzerland ---------------|
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