Linked by Anton Klotz on Thu 20th Jan 2005 19:07 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Maybe you all know the old joke about the definition of a workstation: A trainstation is where a train stops, a bus station is where a bus stops, so a workstation ... In this article I will try to define the workstation market, the current models, what they are used for and some thoughts about their future.
Order by: Score:
Visualization...
by Kit Plummer on Thu 20th Jan 2005 19:36 UTC

If Apple would just improve its "professional" visualization capabilities I believe MacOS X is a hands down winner for "workstation".

The Alphas are done. SGI is close behind. Who knows what is going to happen with Sun. We know Intel has choked on Itanium. Hmmn...what the future holds?

Editing???
by Jerry on Thu 20th Jan 2005 19:57 UTC

Doesn't anyone edit these articles? This one has so many grammatical errors that it's downright painful to read.

I realize that many of the contributors to this site are not native English speakers, but that's what editors are for.

Editors - good up to a point. As long as the flavor doesn't change. I'm not advocating bad english or sentence structure. But at the same time good editing is pretty rare because the editors (like for magazines) are rushed and sometimes really screw up an article.

It would be better if the author ran their text through a grammer checker (and spell checker) and "worked with" those to clean up their text while keeping their unique way of telling their message.

RE:Kit Plummer (IP: ---.raytheon.com)
by A stranger on Thu 20th Jan 2005 20:20 UTC

"The Alphas are done. SGI is close behind. Who knows what is going to happen with Sun. We know Intel has choked on Itanium. Hmmn...what the future holds?"

Fujitsu using SPARC's are doing well. Now AMD with the Opterons, and IBM with the PowerPPC chips will most likely do well. Workstations aren't dead, any more than mainframes are.

Incomplete defnition
by Anonymous on Thu 20th Jan 2005 20:26 UTC

The article makes the implicit assumption that all workstations are graphics workstations. This is simply not true. There are other uses for workstations besides CAD, CAM and CAE.

I've had it!
by Stack on Thu 20th Jan 2005 20:30 UTC

Iíve kept quite about the grammar problem on this site for long enough. I just need to vent.

I was going to write a clever comment containing regular expressions that would fix this article's grammar, but I quit. I think I would hit the 8,000 character limit.

Regarding the previous posts, you guys don't need an Editor, you need proofreader. Iíll do it if no one else will. Forget running grammar check, because I doubt many people outside of English speaking countries have an English grammar checker installed.

Sorry, I ramble when I get agitated.

I've had it too!
by JLT on Thu 20th Jan 2005 21:33 UTC

You grammer trolls crack me up. I feel sorry for you. Can't you ever just read an article for it's content?
I enjoyed the historical progression as presented. There was a lot of research information presented. The author has put a lot of time into the the research and presentation, and I appreciate that. I don't give a rat's rear that you can run a spell/grammar checker on it! Give the guy a break and get a life. You should be ashamed.
I don't agree with his ideas about workstation usage. I think that most workstations are involved with communication ( correspondence or even email ), inventory, accounting, marketing, billing, banking, news, stock market usage, sales, sales forcasts, shipping, medical, military usage, weather, sports and interfacing with large mainframe databanks that facilitate the rapid retrieval and distrubition of practically limitless information on almost every conceivable subject. Did I leave anything out? ....... Oh yeah, I forgot the blogs ...... hahahaha

Enough is Enough!
by Jerry on Thu 20th Jan 2005 21:52 UTC

Can't you ever just read an article for it's content?

Not when it's as badly hacked up as this one is.

Excusing grammar this bad is like excusing someone who checks in code that won't even compile. After all, can't you just read the code for its content?

Wow
by Anonymous on Thu 20th Jan 2005 21:56 UTC

This is completely unreadable. Either take some English classes or get a good proofreader.

Article is devoid of content....
by Steve on Thu 20th Jan 2005 22:06 UTC

What does this article offer that looking at the respecive webpages of workstation manufacturers won't. I thought this article was going to be about what workstations can actually DO that normal PCs can't or offer some insight as to why workstations are good, etc. Not a listing of all the current workstations and their hardware specs.

Even the comentary regarding the future of workstations is worthless. We know the future is uncertain, IBM may or may not decide to support AIX in the future, this we know. Sun may or may not be able to produce a good SPARC based workstation. Answers would be nice, not badly rehashing what is already on their website.

RE: I've had it too!
by Anonymous on Thu 20th Jan 2005 22:15 UTC

Can't you ever just read an article for it's content?

We try, but when the grammar and spelling are this bad, it gets in the way of understanding. It actually <em>alters the content</em> from good content into gibberish.

Graphics is a key
by Anonymouser on Thu 20th Jan 2005 22:24 UTC


My personal criteria includes whether or not the graphics card cuts corners for game benchmarks (like that clipping plane deal a while back). The graphics card should have full-blown OpenGL, no corners cut, PCI-Express is becoming important, too. Basically, if it's marketed to gamers, it isn't a workstation. 10K RPM hard drives are probably the minimum, also, as is ECC RAM. And a top-of-the-line monitor. And a proper keyboard (Control next to A ;) .


RE: †RE: I've had it too!
by Also anonymous on Thu 20th Jan 2005 22:26 UTC

"We try, but when the grammar and spelling are this bad, it gets in the way of understanding. It actually <em>alters the content</em> from good content into gibberish."

Really? Such as someone who attempts to use an em-dash without knowing what they're for, and I'm not talking about the HTML code.

he en dash is one en in width, that is, the width of the capital N in the currently used font. The en dash is by definition exactly half the width of an em dash, which is defined as one em in width -- the width of the capital M in any given font.

An en dash is used to indicate a closed range or a connection between two things of almost any kind, such as numbers, people, and places.

An em dash indicates a sudden break in thought, a parenthetical statement or an open range.

Poor support for these features in browsers has caused the use of workarounds to become common practice. In Europe, em dashes are commonly represented by a pair of spaces surrounding a single minus sign or even hyphen ( - ), while in the United States and Canada by a pair of spaces surrounding two minus signs or hyphens( -- ). En dashes are generally replaced by a hyphen or a minus signs on the Web.

An em-dash is not a random punctuation mark and their misuse is as bad as... bad grammar.

Keyboard
by MattPie on Thu 20th Jan 2005 22:44 UTC

And a proper keyboard (Control next to A ;) .

Feed this in xmodmap (assuming X11, or course):
!
! Make both Caps and Control_L control
!
remove Lock = Caps_Lock
remove Control = Control_L
keysym Control_L = Control_L
keysym Caps_Lock = Control_L
add Control = Control_L

Please!
by Kaiwai on Thu 20th Jan 2005 23:45 UTC

Make sure you have your information correct; Veritas was bought out by Symantec NOT McAfee.

RE Keyboard
by Anonymouser on Fri 21st Jan 2005 00:46 UTC


Thanks, that is very helpful in getting people on the straight and narrow. Now, if PC keyboards could be extended to have cut, copy, and paste keys to the left...and a compose key...but let's not get into those old-fashioned super-mega-hyper keys, that's going too far. Yes, the Sun Type 5 keyboard is the keyboard of keyboards.


RE: Also Anonymous
by Andrew on Fri 21st Jan 2005 04:42 UTC

"We try, but when the grammar and spelling are this bad, it gets in the way of understanding. It actually <em>alters the content</em> from good content into gibberish."

Really? Such as someone who attempts to use an em-dash without knowing what they're for, and I'm not talking about the HTML code.


He didn’t try to use an em-dash. The <em> tags are used in XHTML to denote emphasis—usually italicized. An em-dash is completely different (—, &#8212; in (X)HTML).

As for the article … I thought it was fairly educational, for someone (me) who doesn’t know anything about workstations as they are defined here. The grammar mistakes were a bit distracting, but I was able to ignore them, for the most part.

RE: Keyboard
by Daniel van Eeden on Fri 21st Jan 2005 10:59 UTC

It is posible to connect the new type6 usb keyboard to almost every usb equipped linux workstation...

some more info about SGI
by wazoox on Fri 21st Jan 2005 12:52 UTC

The right name for the high-end desktop workstation is Tezro (not terzo). The Onyx350, Onyx3000 and Onyx4 are also IRIX workstations, though they may fill several racks with CPUs and graphic pipes ;)

The Itanium/linux line also have workstations, namely the gemini (workstation size, up to 4 Itanium2 CPU, 2 pipes) and the Prism (similar to Onyx4 but Itanium2 instead of MIPS CPUs).

There isn't any emulation layer that allows running IRIX programs on Linux. I don't know why this legend comes up here and there in the press every time they talk about SGI, but it simply doesn't exist.

Definition of workstation
by ga53n on Fri 21st Jan 2005 13:04 UTC

The definition of workstation I like best:

Workstation = mini- oder microcomputer with a powerfull graphic subsystem, exclusively used by a singe person.

foreign speakers' english
by nxt on Fri 21st Jan 2005 13:36 UTC

The author is, I expect, from Germany.
Eugenia, if I'm not mistaken, from Greece.

If you whiners would speak German and/or Greek as good as Anton and Eugenia speak English, then and only then can you complain about the level of their English.

Otherwise, that's not fair. They speak at least two languages? How many languages do YOU speak?

Anton wrote this article to share his ideas, thoughts, opinions. Not to boast about his English.

I only skimmed through the article and as a foreign speaker, I did not notice any gross errors.

Nonsense!
by Jerry on Fri 21st Jan 2005 16:14 UTC

If you whiners would speak German and/or Greek as good as Anton and Eugenia speak English, then and only then can you complain about the level of their English.

That's not the point and you know it. No one complains about comments written in poor English, for example, because comments are informal, but articles on the main page deserve better editing.

It's also not fair to excuse poor editing just because not everyone here speaks more than one language. I speak three languages, but I damn sure wouldn't submit an article for publication in one of my non-native languages before I made sure it was proofread by a native speaker of that language. This is only common sense.

Perhaps the solution here is a group of volunteers who offer to proofread articles before they get published. The quality would certainly go up, and OSnews would look a little less like an amateur production.

re: †some more info about SGI
by hurdboy on Fri 21st Jan 2005 18:39 UTC

There isn't any emulation layer that allows running IRIX programs on Linux. I don't know why this legend comes up here and there in the press every time they talk about SGI, but it simply doesn't exist.

And since Itanic doesn't use a MIPS instruction set, it'd have to be 100% emulated. Dog slow. The reason Irix performs well, from what I understand, is that it's very well tuned to MIPS, and large parts of it were written in MIPS assembly. So, even on a faster Itanic, you'd probably have much slower performance than on a native MIPS machine.

SGI has said they're not abandoning MIPS/Irix, but I think the writing is on the wall. Bored at work one night, I was checking out some stuff on netcraft. Punched in www.sgi.com, to see the uptime (we have a couple of Irix machines where I work....I've been there a year and a half, and I've never seen one crash), and they'd switched their webservers to Linux. My SGI-loving friend was quite disappointed.

Still, in terms of this article, I kind of agree -- the best workstations out there now are coming from Cupertino. It really shouldn't surprise anyone, seeing as how NeXT was pretty well-respected in the Unix world. I still plunk around on my NeXTstation, and there's really not a lot I can't do on it.

re [2]: some more info about SGI
by wazoox on Fri 21st Jan 2005 21:36 UTC

Actually what did SGI is port quite a large set of tools/libraries etc. (see http://oss.sgi.com ) to allow very easy porting of native IRIX apps to Linux. However many ISVs did the move before : Oracle went the way of the dodo on IRIX long ago for instance...

RE: I've had it!
by Andy on Sat 22nd Jan 2005 01:39 UTC

Stack, you crack me up. Carefully read the first line of your rant about grammer. I am sure you meant to say "quiet" and not "quite"..... But I am sure you didn't have the time to spell check yourself, since you were so busy complaining about other people's writing.

>> Iíve kept quite about the grammar problem on this site for long enough. I just need to vent. <<

RE:hurdboy
by JCS on Sun 23rd Jan 2005 00:44 UTC

"And since Itanic doesn't use a MIPS instruction set, it'd have to be 100% emulated. Dog slow."

Not according to the SGI sales guys. Look up "Transitive".

"Still, in terms of this article, I kind of agree -- the best workstations out there now are coming from Cupertino."

I think you'll find significant disagreement on that from most real workstation users. The PowerMac is a "personal computer", not a workstation.

"It really shouldn't surprise anyone, seeing as how NeXT was pretty well-respected in the Unix world. I still plunk around on my NeXTstation, and there's really not a lot I can't do on it."

NeXT was so well-respected, no one bought them.....