View Full Version : Re: NT machines versus UNIX machines (fwd) -Reply

Ed Lemaire
10-28-1999, 11:49 PM
With all the NT bashing going on, I guess I had better add a plug for using
NT Workstation 4.0 (I can't believe that I'm on the pro-Microsoft side of an
issue ...).

1) I have used NT for the last 3-4 years for almost all my computing
needs (including programming & data analysis). I typically multitask with
3-5 applications working (multimedia, data analysis, office suite, compiler,
CD player). I have not run large FEA models so I cannot comment on
performance differences between UNIX and NT; however, I have yet to
find an application that did not run well on my 200 Mhz Pentium Pro
system. In fact, 32bit Windows software runs better on NT than on any
other Windows platform. Considering that you can use a single or dual
processor Xeon system (600-733 MHz) or Alpha processor, calculation
horse-power is likely not an issue for most people. The only issue with
NT 4.0 is that it does not support the latest multimedia extensions in
Windows 98 (all will be supported in Windows 2000).

2) I had two system crashes in the last 3 years (both due to a hardware
problem). Since I typically write software that crashes alot over the first
few revisions, I can safely say that it would take a very poorly written
program to bring Windows NT 4.0 down.

3) The graphics subsystems on UNIX workstations have typically been
superior to NT systems. In this case you get what you pay for. If you do
not need complex, solid modelled, ray traced, real-time, digital animation a
cheaper NT workstation could work well.

4) I agree that UNIX is a better server platform (unless you are running
an application server for Microsoft products).

>From my perspective, I find it easier to write, maintain, and run programs
on compatible platforms. This means the Windows approach for us. It is
also easier to find students/assistants who can program on Windows
platforms. I have dabbled with Linux but did not see the benefit as a
workstation (yet ...).

Good luck.

Edward Lemaire, PhD
Research Associate
The Rehabilitation Centre
(613) 737-7350 x5592

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