[clug] IBM announcement

Francis Whittle fudje at phreaker.net
Mon Apr 25 08:09:59 GMT 2005

On Mon, 2005-04-25 at 16:44 +1000, Robert Edwards wrote:
> That's not really fair. Two out of six labs have 1.7GHz Celerons (2.3 years
> old) and the other four labs have 2.6GHz HT P4s. What is so *crappy* about
> that? What other Universities in Oz have Linux labs at all, let alone with
> that sort of fire-power for students? Do you _really_ think that 120
> X-terminal's hanging off of a 4-way Power5 box would give the same per-user
> performance as 120 1.7GHz or 2.6GHz CPUs, one per display, each with 256 or
> 512MB of local RAM and with local disk?

True, it isn't.  I must admit here to being biased against x86 (and also
Intel), considering that the 8086 processor was an experiment by IBM to
see how cheap they could make a processor, and that they published the
specs free of charge is a pretty fair indication that they knew that
quality had suffered greatly from this.  Also, I have never been
impressed with a Celeron in terms of it-hasn't crawled-to-a-halt-yet
An awful lot of Universities in Oz have Linux labs, say for example the
Uni of Wollongong, that recently disbanded Windows for running
exclusively Linux labs for their first year students.  If I understand
correctly, it's following those (2004?) first years through their Uni
career so that they won't have to choice to use Windows in their labs
there.  Of course, if you want to compare us to UC, sure, they don't
have them.
Thanks for making me feel gypped, by the way, as I've always been in a
lab with Celerons since those were introduced.  Here was I wondering why
people were thanking the new speediness when I personally found the
setup with the SunRays to be faster.
As for the terminals, actually, I could believe it.  Remember about
high-bandwidth I/O and memory channels?  Oh, wait, Intel and other 80x86
based processors don't have them....  Heck, even Macs do better
(Theoretically much better since the G5, but I'm yet to get my hands on
one of them and test it out personally).  The POWER servers, on the
other hand, make your average SGI visualisation server look like a toy
in that regard.

> I don't think that the HIC box you refer to is supporting all the desktops
> on everyone's desk in the HIC.

No, but it *is* handling one point several million database transactions
per hour.  Note that there is no way I know of to support that many
(thousands of, I can't remember the exact number) Windows (2k) boxes off
a few servers that are that far away, and especially not from a zSeries
mainframe, which not even NT4 would run on.
And now I must argue against my own previous paragraph by pointing out
that one thing it does do is serve a fair number more than 120 operator,
sysprogs, etc, running 3270 terminal emulators straight to it.  True, it
takes a lot less processing to do than running X clients for that many
people, but it still does it with no hiccups.

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