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Re: [POLL] To continue 64 or not?

Andrew Robinson wrote:
Looking for some constructive feedback on other people's experiences
with amd64 as a workstation. I have been only using it a few weeks,
and the setup is a pain due to the amount of 32 bit only programs. I
am having some issues with:

Eclipse + ExadelStudio plugin (plugin is 32-bit only)
Firefox + Flash (Flash is 32-bit only)

Unfortunately, this makes up a decent percentage of what I run daily
(especially eclipse). I am the type to sacrifice pain for new
functionality, but this one has got me thinking, is it worth it?
I run 64-bit, but with less 32-bit software.
I have a chroot so I can run my digital camera raw converter in wine.
The chroot painless to maintain - it is actually the remains of
my old 32-bit installation from before I got the opteron.
So I run apt-get update ; apt-get dist-upgrade in there occationally.
I have deleted lots of packages that are not needed anymore there.

I dont't have cedega or eclipse.  I don't need flash - there are
some fun flash games in the net, but I can do without those.
Debian have plenty of little games anyway.
I have no need for openoffice. Gnumeric starts much faster
for spreadsheets, lyx is superior for writing anyway, is faster,
and can also be used for presentations.  Well, perhaps it isn't
the best tool for presentations, but I don't do many of those anyway.

As a server I would think it would be great but as a workstation it
seems to be a pain. The chroot jail works, but having to maintain the
apt libraries (I am using etch, so they change fairly often), it more
of a pain.
Maintaining a chroot should be no harder than maintaining
an extra pc?  Sure, you have to run the apt-get commands twice,
once in 64-bit, once in 32-bit.  This just works, assuming you
have a separate /var for the 32-bity software.

For those that have the knowledge, I know that the 64 bit architecture
is faster due to addressing and such, but is it that noticeable? Also,
I have read that the 32 kernel still supports the dualcore nature of
the amd64 even though running in 32 bit mode (is this true, my source
wasn't 100% reliable).
64-bit is nice and fast for cpu-intensive stuff.  Waiting for the
disk while loading openoffice won't be faster with 64-bits though.

Compiling is very fast - my 1.8 GHz opteron is so much
faster than the 2.4GHz pentium-m at work that it is very noticeable.
The same goes for typesetting long documents with latex, which
is what lyx does whenever I print.

Just looking for some constructive feedback on other's opinions.
Well, you may want to go 32-bit if that is much less pain.  But
then you'll have to reinstall?  A correctly setup chroot
is no more work to maintain than an extra pc.  Actually less,
as the chroot only will have a handful of programs and their
support libraries installed.
If your chroot is much more cumbersome, please describe what
you have to do, and I'll see if something can be done to make
it easier.

Helge Hafting

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