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Re: Why, what, and where.

> Except for people like that guy who used 120 alphas to do the rendering
> for the movie Titanic, I doubt one linperson in who have alphas actually
> really needs it.  I think most people have them because they are truly
> superior machines and a nice alternative to wintel, not because they need
> the horsepower.  There are problems, however...

Actually, in my lab there's a lot of people who run number crunching jobs 
that can typically last several days ( me included ). I've just ordered a 
new Alpha ( dual CPU DS20 ). For the same price I could have bought several
P3s or lower range Alphas and run them in parallel, but I would have had to 
rewrite all my code. If you want the fastest possible single CPU, alphas are 
the way to go. I bought the dual CPU model so I can begin experimenting with
parallel stuff without having to go the whole hog all at once. I can
afford to be extravagant when spending other people's money ;-).

> I'm not sure.  I have an alpha xlt that I havn't ever been able to get to
> run right (kernel unaligned traps in 1.3, debian install problems with
> debian 2.1).  The sad truth is that alphas aren't (or weren't) really
> compatible with each other as far as bootstrapping is concerned, so an
> already small user base is further fragmented.  It seems to me that what
> really needs to happen to make alternate platform linuxs work is for the
> companies that have an interest in the particular platforms to step in and
> do some work to support them.  digital made a reasonable effort, from what
> I understand compaq has lately more-or-less dumped the line.

Hmmm, I'm not sure that this is totally fair, from what I understand Compaq 
has given away quite a bit of code recently. But I have to admit, using
an NT bootloader is a pretty hackish way to get a linux system up an
running. Now that digital seems to be distancing itself from NT ( and
vice versa ), top of my wishlist is for them to write firmware that
understands the ext2 file system. Get rid of that dumb msdos partition at
the start of my disk.


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