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Compaq

Alpha Can Live Without Microsoft 115

Joe Vigneau writes "The Boston Globe has an article that says the Alpha, even now that Microsoft will no longer support it, won't dissappear off the face of the earth. Here's one quote: 'The market has basically been pretty clear that the market for us is the Linux space,' Borkowski said."
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Alpha Can Live Without Microsoft

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  • There are some sites that advertise resonable prices. Check out www.dcginc.com [dcginc.com] for some Alpha-based systems. Most are under the $3000 range and there is a decent one at the $2000 mark. I don't think that these prices are terribly unreasonable. -Rg
  • by SoftwareJanitor ( 15983 ) on Tuesday August 31, 1999 @06:26AM (#1714991)
    Don't blame Compaq for making a smart (but belated) business decision. NT on Alpha wasn't selling well (some estimates place it as low as a mere 5% of Alpha sales). Compaq was spending millions of dollars a year in development of Alpha NT. If the 100 people who were let go were each making only $75,000 a year, plus benefits, then Compaq will probably save close to 10 million dollars a year on this alone. Compaq was also spending millions of dollars a year in advertising Alpha NT. They obviously spent much more on advertising for Alpha NT than they did for Linux Alpha, OpenVMS and Tru64 put together (based on what I've seen for page count, placement and number of publications), and got far less return. Even if they retarget some of those advertising dollars to other Alpha OSes, they should see a significantly better return on those advertising dollars.

  • IIRC, you can get a 533Mhz 21264 for like 1500 bucks or something. It's tempting :)

    ITYM a 533MHz 21164... if you can get a 21264 of *any* speed for $1500, please tell us where. :-)

  • Just wanted to quickly follow up on price/avail. on Alpha based Linux systems. Go now, ye curious seekers of tru 64 bit penguins, to The Linux Store [thelinuxstore.com] and see that you too can put your hands on a 533 Mhz Alpha for under $1600 U.S. That's a complete, Linux Pre-installed, with SoundBlaster AWE64, etc, system. I have nothing against Intel, but I won't give up my alphas... YMMV, Rob

  • Blame MS for shooting themselves in the foot. No more NT/Alpha means no more "Scalablity Days" and no more even pretending they can compete in the midrange until they get a working Merced OS out.

    Of course, Microsoft self-destruction should be popular around here.
    --

  • If by "most NT users" you mean workstation users, you're right. However, the big sell for a chip like Alpha is on the server side, and there are/were plenty of Alpha NT server apps. Such as MS Back Office, which probably accounts for 50%+ of NT server installations.
    --
  • You forgot OpenVMS, also. VMS still runs a lot of pretty important things - most of the US electric power generation and transmission networks run on OpenVMS. Which runs on Alpha.

    Compaq is very dedicated to the Alpha processor in Unix land - the Alpha version of NT sold in such miniscule amounts that this annoucement is not much of a surprise. The performance of emulated x86 software on Alpha was marginal at best on NT.
  • The decision to drop the Alpha NT support was not Microsoft's, it was Compaq's. Look at http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayStory.pl?9 90820.pintdump.htm for info. Compaq supplied nearly all of the engineers who wrote the kernel and ported code to the architecture, and now they will be gone. MS says they will still support the platform, but Compaq just cut off an arm and a leg's worth of the project staff. I'm sure Alpha can survive without MS, the question is will Compaq let it. I'm not sure what thier stradegy is, but I hope to see continued Alpha development, afterall they bought DEC for a reason, right?
  • Do standard pc components (NIC, video, etc) work in Alpha mobo's? Seems like they should, but anyone know for sure?
    Yes, if they have PCI/ISA slots, they do. My alpha has a number 9 video card (with S3Trio64 chipset), and I've used Buslogic BT-958 and some IntraServer Symbios/NCR SCSI card in it. The limiting factor is drivers. For instance, Linux on Alpha doesn't support any PCI RAID controllers, but FreeBSD supports DPT Raid cards there. And, NetBSD, which it's running now, doesn't currently have support for any video chipset in X besides TGA (although it supports a nice range of non-video hardware) It has worked nicely in the past few months I've been using it as a server, too. The uptime turns 100 days today. :)
  • No -- that's not true. Microsoft has said that they will not support future Windows 2000 on Alpha. They will support Alpha NT4 up through something called Service Pack 6, but that's it.

    Microsoft operating systems development on Alpha is over.

    thad

  • Microsoft is NOT developing anymore on Alpha. They say so themselves. Please check out this article [microsoft.com] and the section titled "No Future Releases of Microsoft Products on 32-Bit or 64-bit Alpha Platform.

    -Rg
  • Microsoft is NOT developing anymore on Alpha. They say so themselves. Please check out this article [microsoft.com] and the section titled "No Future Releases of Microsoft Products on 32-Bit or 64-bit Alpha Platform."

    -Rg
  • by Kalil ( 67667 )
    I was interested in the comment above about Intel pushing technology that is 15 years old. I don't believe that is correct. People have been working on Merced for 7 years to get it finished. They didn't develope it 15 years ago. I think Merced and those that follow will make damn good processors. Up until maybe the latest AMD processor, no others have been able to compete. Intel doesn't try to monopolize anything. If they wanted it bad enough, when they bought half of digital they could have taken the Alpha and put it to bed. It seems everyone thinks that every company wants to have a monopoly. I doubt that is the case. I heard from Craig Barrett's mouth that he would rather have AMD around. Without competition companies are not as productive.

  • The Alpha architecture is partially under the control of Intel, because they acquired some DEC facilities when Compaq was taking over.
    Last summer around July a friend had a meeting with the friendly folks from Intel.
    They put it in so many words:
    "At Intel we build Intel chips."

    So you might need to tone down the pipe-dreams about Alpha competing with Intel.

    Secondly, MS dropped the ball on Alpha only because *Compaq* announced it would stop supporting NT on the Alpha. First it was announced that 32b support would go, then the brilliant management decided 64b NT would not be supported either. The engineers at DEC-West (the Pacific Northwest facility which used to do all the NT development and credited with the excellent emulation layer FX!32) dont have jobs anymore.

    Wonder of wonders Compaq still supports OpenVMS. Apparently they are trying to position the Alpha platform for Tru64, OpenVMS and Linux.

    Except for very high-performance applications, Alpha is just not price-competitive. Don't get me wrong: I am very impresed with the Alpha family. At work I have a dual-proc 533mhz Ultimate WKS. Alpha shines at scientific computing and highend. But for things like web servers, you can get 4 or 8-way PIIIs that support clustering, much cheaper than the Alpha system with comparable performance. Once Merced comes out the gap will be closed even more.

    The idea of "Alpha at home" will not fly with consumers.
  • I've worked with a lot of Alpha's. All the way from the pizza box 233's to the new DS10. I've NEVER seen NT loaded on one, EVER. I don't think that it's really that relevant. The company I'm at now uses VMS, Digital Unix, and Linux on our Alphas, but the Alpha version of NT is never even considered. It's a joke, really.

    ---
  • In these cases, the hardware manufacturer IS the OS vendor, so in effect, the OS vendor is taking responsibility for their own OSes. Unlike poor, poor, Microsoft. Boo hoo. Can't get anyone else to port their bloated unstable poorly documented code to another platform.

    Um, really, sorry about the potty-mouth thing. I just get really worked up about this one particular issue, because if NT isn't on a particular platform, it's Microsoft's fault, nobody else's. Did Intel do Solaris x86? No.

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • How do you measure that Alpha NT "wasn't selling well" when every NT CDROM that I have ever seen included the binaries for i386 and Alpha. I suppose the shipped-with-OS count does matter, but once a retail boxed NT is sold, what hardware it gets installed on is up to the purchaser.

    Granted, probably very few copies of Windows NT sold at BestBuy end up on Alpha systems.


    You've got it completely backward. Your argument matters from Microsoft's perspective, but not from Compaq's. What matters to them is how many Alphas they are selling to run NT. Compaq probably makes negligible money when they sell a copy of NT on any platform (Microsoft makes most of the money). If NT was only selling 5% of Alpha machines, then it was selling poorly on Alpha.

  • I don't think age is so much of an issue. After all, the Alpha architecture is from 1992. Here's the difference. A quote from the preface of the first edition of the Alpha Architecture Reference Manual. Richard Sites wrote this:

    "We set a 15-25 year design horizon (longevity) and tried to avoid any design elements that we thought would become limitations during this time."

    I'm actually one of the engineers working on the Alpha NT project. I think the Alpha is a beautifully designed system. That's why we're (understandably) kind of disappointed. Reguardless of my opinions of Microsoft, working on the Alpha has been a joy. I recomend that everyone who can should get theirselves an Alpha and start working on Linux. I intend to.
  • Many traditional Unix houses avoided Alpha systems for slower more expensive Unix machines from competitors because they took Digital's NT support as a sign that the company still didn't REALLY support Unix and might one day drop Unix support altogether.

    Sun in particular stole away a lot of traditional Digital customers because they were the only major vendor that didn't pollute/dilute their message by playing around with NT. I think that HP and SGI both also suffered from confusing their traditional customers with mixed signals.

    The move away from NT might give Tru64 Unix and perhaps even VMS a renewed respect in the industry.

    I would agree, especially in shops that have traditionally been Digital shops. I think that if nothing else, this certainly will also give Linux the benefit of increased credibility.

  • One of the cool things about the Alpha is it's flexability. It can do either. But it doesn't really matter from a performance standpoint.
  • If by "most NT users" you mean workstation users, you're right.

    Well, I was specifically thinking of such things as high end CAD workstations. In server space, you are correct that app availability is far less of a problem (which is one reason that Linux is gaining much faster in the server arena than on the desktop). Unfortunately, there seems to be this perception amongst IT pointy haired bosses that you have to run your servers on the same type of hardware as your clients are on (which I know to be bogus since I've used RISC UNIX based machines as servers to disparate hardware UNIX boxes and PC's quite successfully). But the reality for a company like Compaq is that they are more likely to sell x86 based NT servers than Alpha based ones, especially when it is perceived that Alpha is expensive.

  • But the reality for a company like Compaq is that they are more likely to sell x86 based NT servers than Alpha based ones, especially when it is perceived that Alpha is expensive.

    I always thought that Compaq should put an Alpha system in a nice beige Proliant rack case and call it something ike the Proliant 9000A - "the fastest Windows NT server" or something. IT Managers are otherwise falling over themselves to buy huge NT boxes, it's just that for some reason Alpha hardware has seemed unknown and scary.



    --
  • I'm following the Alpha processors since 1992 and they are *really cool chips*.

    I ran a Alpha Linux box for a while. What is annoying: you can't get programs that are delivered as binaries (a Netscape 2 stolen from Digital Unix was the only browser besides Mosaic).

    I think support has got better and a 21264 with Linux would be a cool box today.
  • The new UP series Alpha mother boards are using the AlphaBIOS firmware. This firmware supports Linux. The older boards like the 164UX and 164LX are using the NT ARCBIOS firmware which supports Linux. The UX and LX boards have decent price tag on them. The Up series carries a higher price tag, but not as high as the last DU system board I upgraded.
  • Not everyone needs microsoft to survive :)


    j-a-w-a-d------------------------------
    what's the purpose of spam-proofing signatures?
  • Microsoft threw in the towel. There is no question about it. Microsoft had no chance in this market.

    They should stick to that crap that they do well. THe home PC business. Windows is designed for a computer illerate human. Not in production on the server side.

  • 1. In general, very. IIRC, you can get a 533Mhz 21264 for like 1500 bucks or something. It's tempting :)
    2. The Alpha processors are the current speed kings of the world. Being fully RISC and 64bit, any x86 32bit processor cannot compare.
    3. Yes, they are available to the general public...if you can afford them :)
    4. I don't know of any specific distribution that is optimized only for Alpha use, but I know RedHat ships an Alpha CD with it's distro.
    5. Alpha's have just about ALWAYS supported SMP :)
    Where do you think the Athlon's EV6 bus came from?!
    6. I'm not sure of the performance, but it DOES scale much better than PIII's. It's still not linear (I can't image what would be needed to get a linear plot in SMP with current tech), but you get a larger increase with each added processor than with Intel.
    7. Compaq :) Actually, there's a couple of other vendors that you should be able to get one from, VA Linux comes to mind a s possibily. API may have a list of vendors on their site, but I'm not sure.
  • A few questions:
    1. How expensive are these things?
    2. What kind of performance do they get compared to something like the Athlon?
    3. Are the available to the general public?
    4. Is there a Linux distro that is optimized for use with these?
    6. Is there a multi-processor motherboard that supports these?
    7. What kind of performance does it get if it exists?
    8. Where can I get one?

    Kintanon
    I hope I don't get first post, I hate that.
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <(imipak) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Tuesday August 31, 1999 @05:26AM (#1715042) Homepage Journal
    Now, all Compaq has to do is get the cost of the Alpha down to something that mere mortals can afford -without- taking out two extra morgages and winning the lottery.

    The Alpha is a good chip, and I'm not surprised that they think it can survive on the Linux, *BSD and Dec Unix markets. Those three probably made up 99% of their sales, anyway.

    But if they can get the chip to cost less, so that home users can afford it, we could be on the brink of a major revolt in the computer market. With no NT/9x there, Microsoft is closed out of any market Compaq forge for the Alpha. And if that market starts creeping into the home, that's going to cause a major shift in the industry.

  • The wording was a little off. NT 4.0 on Alpha was/is native. Using a software translation program from DEC, FX!32, you could run x86 Win32 programs on an Alpha NT 4.0 system. However, it was a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit chip. Alpha Linux (available from alot of folks like Red Hat and Debian and Suse to name a few) is 64-bit out of the box. Check out http://www.alpha-processor.com for their motherboards and vendors who sell them.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "The Alpha's design made it incompatible with Intel processors. The Alpha can't run Microsoft Windows software without an additional program called an emulator, which makes the Alpha work like a Pentium chip."

    Was Alpha support really emulated, or is the author just using the wrong wording? I was always under the impression that NT for the DEC Alpha was at least some sort of native port of the x86 code. Can anyone out there give some insight as to what NT 4 (or Windows 2000) for Alpha really consisted of under the hood?
  • http://207.240.121.247/airport.jpg if that url doesn't show u where windows belongs and doesn't belong..then u got problems.
  • According to Linux Today, Aspen Systems have just released their 'Twin Peaks' dual alpha server, which runs Linux and Tru-64 Unix. There's a press release at
    [linuxpr.com]

    How fast? They're claiming a score of 53.7 in SPECfp_base95. AMD claims 22.4 for a 650Mhz Athlon and 15.1 for a Pentium II Xeon. According to the Aspen web site (www.aspen.com [aspen.com], a basic single-processor system with Red Hat Linux starts at over $10,000. You'd be looking at around $14,000 for a dual 500Mhz alpha system. HH

  • I just know it was a 32bit version on NT on a 64bit architexture. How lame....


    Civ CTP is awesome! Thanks Loki!
    Romans 10:9-10 [gospelcom.net]
  • They aren't cheap processors, but they aren't overly expensive either. The performance is way above the Athlon or any other similar architecture. I believe they hold the title of Fastest Processor. They are available to the public and RedHat has a distro for them. There are multiprocessor motherboards. Take a look at some benchmark sites, they have incredible integer and floating point performance, and the chip design is really something. Take a look around the net, or on ebay, you can pick up a used mb/processor fairly cheap.
  • I know everybody likes to trash Microsoft but there is another monopolist - Intel.

    Let's face it, Intel have been pushing a technology that is over 15 years old.

    Now that the Alpha seems to have assured support, hopefuly there is potentially SERIOUS competition to Intel (AMD produce great chips but when it comes to competing on price Intel have too much financial muscle to lose).

    Why?
    A) The Alpha has a superior design
    B) Linux(or BSD) runs on it
    C) Linux and associated applications port easily to other architectures
    D) Alpha and linux are ideally matched for server and heavyweight computing/network uses.
    E) The designs of both these products also result in stability.

    There is a huge amount of potential with this combination and let's face it - makes computing interesting again!
  • Sorry, fsck'd up the links and then hit submit instead of preview.

    The Press Release is at: linuxpr.com/releases/310.html [linuxpr.com] and Aspen is at www.aspsys.com [aspsys.com]

    HH

  • Hey, if I can get an affordable computer, with a real OS, that will not fail me on bigfloat division and isn't uniquely branded, I'm ready to sign.

    www.pricewatch.com might be a good place to start looking. :)
  • most RISC cpus have both big and little endian modes. usually one or the other mode is better supported by the rest of the hardware on the mobo and is the default. for example, alpha defaults to little endian and ppc defaults to big endian.

    also, nt was ported to mips. i'm not sure if nt ran it in little endian or big endian (default).
  • AMD is in a tough spot right now. They have the top chip out on the market. This is their chance to get their foot hold in the market or else slide out as Cyrix did. I really hope that they get that foot hold, but I fear that right now it looks like they won't. I have yet to see a real paper or TV ad for the K7. I could say AMD to my parents (who I think are of a relatively similar mindset to that of most of America's poulation) and they would maybe blink. AMD has to get on the stick and get their name out there. This means a head on media blitz. It also means getting salepeople at retailers and custom build shops to start talking about the K7 when a potential buyer walks in. Most people looking to get a computer know three companies: Microsoft, Apple, and Intel. There are no others. AMD needs to change that or else they might as well start selling off technology, patents, and building space right now.

    As for a partnership with Compaq/Alpha... Bad move right now. Unless they can swing it for little cost, they should concentrate on selling what they have, not finding more/new technology to bring down with the company later.
  • Funny

    middle-endian /adj./
    Not big-endian or little-endian. Used of perverse byte orders such as 3-4-1-2 or 2-1-4-3, occasionally found in the packed-decimal formats of minicomputer manufacturers who shall remain nameless. See NUXI problem. Non-US hackers use this term to describe the American mm/dd/yy style of writing dates (Europeans write dd/mm/yy).

  • Those are more reasonable than some I've seen. Having said that, in the domestic market, it's hard to see a $3000 machine, or even a $2000 one compete seriously with sub-$1000 PC's.

    Alpha systems need to be talking $1200-$1500 for a decent low-end box, before domestic users start looking at it with any real seriousness. If anyone can make a respectable sub-$1000 Alpha box, with stats equal to or better than a comparable Intel box, then I can see the market exploding.

  • It's not a joke if you're landlocked on NT by software issues and need Alpha performance.

    The problem being there is so little Alpha native software out there for NT that your situation describes only a very small number of people. Most NT users are landlocked by NT software that only ships on x86. FX!32 is only a partial solution because from what I've seen/read it makes an Alpha run converted applications at best only marginally faster than today's x86 boxes which are significantly cheaper. NT on Alpha, unfortunately wastes significant portions of the advantages of the Alpha processor due to it only running as 32-bit.

  • Well, technically NT is really VMS, and was therefore developed on the DEC VAX...

    Well, VMS is definitely an ancestor of NT, but to say that NT is really VMS is really quite an insult to VMS. I've never been a VMS fan, personally, but in many ways it is still a superior OS to NT (stability, SMP scalability, clustering, real POSIX compliance, etc).

    In my opinion it is more fair to say that NT would like to grow up some day and be half as capable of providing an enterprise ready environment as VMS does.

  • Since when is 'fsck' a dirty word, Mr. Oh-so-high-and-mighty Anonymous Coward?

    Sheesh. Someone censors themselves, and they still get attitude from anal-retentive moral crusaders. That is pretty sad. Some people are just too damned easily offended. Maybe people need to be offended sometimes or their brains will shut off and they will quit thinking.

  • Compaq can also move their Tandem non-stop line onto the Alpha chip.

    Can? I believe they already have in the Tandem Himalaya series. Or at least they are in the process of doing so.

  • Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) has/had been of great interest to me and everyone around me most of my life, having lived near headquarters: Maynard, MA. I must say that in the latter years of DEC's life I was disappointed to see them desperately try to ditch (IMHO) some very powerful and unique technology (VAX/VMS, Digital UNIX and Alpha) for the mainstream Windows on Intel. They in fact made a concerted effort to migrate VMS customers to Windows. I am very pleased to see Compaq is now renewing support for VMS, Digital UNIX (Tru64) and Alpha. One might have assumed that Compaq, being a WinTel company, would continue DEC's migration to that platform. It's good to see the Compaq marketeers have more brains than the DEC marketeers had.

    This sort of thing has cropped up before. And it has always been due to human error.

  • FYI the following web pages contain answers to 1, (2,) 3, 6, 7, 8. [2 is in parenthesis because you need to get spec for athelon elsewhere]

    http://www.digital.com/alphaserver/a-chart.html

    http://www.microway.com/

    the following page contains some relevant info
    for 4.

    http://www.unix.digital.com/linux/

  • I wonder what AMDs strategy is for dealing with Merced once it finally ships. It'll take them a while to clone it and they risk losing the momentum they've finally gained.

    It would be kind of neat if AMD and Alpha Processor merged. They could share development costs and AMD would gain a 64-bit alternative to Merced. They might even be able to build hardware x86 emulation into the Alpha (although I'm not really sure that would be useful - maybe for Wine).

  • You can get a motherboard with 533MHz Alpha for about $400 US.

    ^. .^
    ( @ )
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Microsoft isnt abandoning the Alpha. They are mearly droping support for 32 bit NT. They are still working on 64 bit version of NT for Alpha's. If you assume that MS has dropped ALL support for the Alpha then your an idiot. Course all you see if MS dropping support, you dont even see the facts that Compaq is restructuring and MS is has stopped support cause there will no longer be on campus Alpha support. Contracts between the two companies prevent MS from hiring the Alpha techies. When it breaks on x86 it exploads on Alpha.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Attention Moderation Person:

    I saw this message posted on the Blender News Server and it pointed to some 1998 messages titled "The Emperor Has No Clothes!".

    http://goethe.bowtie.nl/cgi-bin/web-ssql/news-bl ender/shw_item.ws?di_id=10685

    Those messages ("The Emperor Has No Clothes!") show a history of the Microsoft/DEC 64 Bit NT and gives references.

    In any case, the information would apply to this thread and you may present it as you like.

    TIA
  • Compaq can also move their Tandem non-stop line onto the Alpha chip.
  • CPU_______________SPECint95__SPECfp95
    alpha 667 (21264)_______32_______54
    alpha 500 (21164)_______15_______20
    intel PIII 500___________20_______15
    intel PII 450____________18_______13
  • and you DO realize that NT is made by MS. ?
    the post was a jab at MS's attitude that if anything MS doesn't run on the chip, then it's not worth having. Wether it was NT or 9X. They feel they can do anything they want to and all chip manufacturers and other companies will follow them
    like trained puppies. It's time they realized
    that if MS doesn't run on something, doesn't mean it won't be sucessful. And that marketing alone will not save them. Quality is needed too.
  • I was really suprised when support for future Windows products was dropped. I had expected there would be at least a 64bit Windows 2000 port. I retrospect I should not have been suprised, many obsevers of the DEC/Alpha market thought that NT was a boat anchor slowing adoption of the Tru64 Unix platform and steering customers away from OpenVMS. Many traditional Unix houses avoided Alpha systems for slower more expensive Unix machines from competitors because they took Digital's NT support as a sign that the company still didn't REALLY support Unix and might one day drop Unix support altogether. I have personally heard statements from multi-billion dollar Vax VMS customers saying that they would not migrate to AlphaVMS or Alpha Unix but to Alpha NT since they had heard rumors that Digital might force that migration in the future anyway. The move away from NT might give Tru64 Unix and perhaps even VMS a renewed respect in the industry.
  • 2. What kind of performance do they get compared to something like the Athlon?
    8. Where can I get one?
    Actually, there's a couple of other vendors that you should be ableto get one from, VA Linux comes to mind a s possibily. API may have a list ofvendors on their site, but I'm not sure.
    Try looking at http://www.alphalinux.org/hardware /vendors.shtml [alphalinux.org] -- there's a list of vendors about 3 pages long.

    As far as performance goes, the '264s are todays king-of-the-heap for numerical (FP-intensive) computation, but you definitely want DEC (Compaq)'s Alpha compilers (with Linux versions now available for beta-test [digital.com]-- because they use the Alpha predicated instructions (and some other technical stuff about bit-alignment vs. byte/word alignment in "gcc), they will perform 20-30% better than EGCS gcc [cygnus.com], which itself will do much better on Alphas than the previous "standard" gcc 2.7.x or 2.8.x (the latest 2.9.5 is egcs gcc).

  • Intel.

    That's exactly what I mean when I say:



    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • Don't fscking blame Compaq.

    It is the OS vendor's job to port their own fscking OS to other platforms. Not the hardware manufacturer's job.

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • That's a good point.

    The way I see it is that the technology behind the x86 family is becoming a limiting factor.

    Unix(and it's various flavours) although based on 'old' technology seems to benefit from it's design and history.

  • That's an interesting idea..

    If Compaq owns AMD they could be in a position to straddle both markets(AMD-low end PCs & Alpha-Server market).

    It is only a matter of time when Linux will appear on the desktops of mainstream users, Compaq would be at an advantage to lead the PC market again.


    As a side-note anyone remember their series of 'portables' - Compaq plus, Portable II etc...
  • Alphas are the dog's dangly bits if you are doing any sort of numerically intensive work. However, performance is typically better under OSF1/Tru64/Digital Unix than linux, as the DEC native compiler does a better job of optimising code, and has a faster maths library than gcc.

    Quite a few labs tend to fork out for third party compilers and librarys for linux, in order to get the best out of the hardware. I hear it is possible to compile static binaries under OSF1 and run them under alpha-linux though...
  • I offer the following quote from the Microsoft website:
    *********************************
    No Future Releases of Microsoft Products on 32-bit or 64-bit Alpha Platform
    There will be no future releases of Microsoft products for the 32-bit or 64-bit Alpha platform. This means there will not be
    32-bit Alpha versions of Windows 2000, beginning with Release Candidate 2, nor will there be new 32-bit Alpha releases of
    SQL Server, Exchange, or other 32-bit Alpha BackOffice products. There will also be no 64-bit version of Windows or
    BackOffice developed for the Alpha platform.
    *************************************

    This is available at http://www.microsoft.com/NTServer/nts/news/msnw/co mpaq.asp

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