Re: BIZ/COMP: Alpha & Sparc news of interest to some on this list.
Wed, 14 Jan 1998 12:11:36 -0800 (PST)

> > For example the new entry-level Ultra 5 workstation (Price: US$3895)
> > includes: 270 MHz Ultrasparc-IIi, 64Mb ECC RAM, 4Gb Hard Drive,
> > 17" Monitor, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, 66MHz PCI bus ...
> > At these prices Sun may actually find a new audience for their hardware.
> In what universe? My home machine is a PPro Dual 2x200, 64Mb, 4Gb,
> 20" monitor, 66MHz PCI, NT 4.0; I didn't pay $2895 for it, much less
> $3895. It's nice that Sun wants to compete with NT workstations,
> but charging $1000 for their logo ain't the way to do it.

I will grant that the price/performance is still a little beyond the PC market, but it fills a nice gap. Professionally, I do a lot of work on Sparc/Solaris, but use NT at home because of the cost of buying a decent Sparc workstation. This causes a lot of difficulties for me when I work at home, especially if I am writing code specifically for the Solaris platform.

For software development, it is really nice to be able to work at home without making significant sacrifices because of serious cross-platform incapabilities (such as NT vs. Solaris/Unix/Posix threads), or application sacrifices (Linux is fine for portable Unix development, except for when I am developing binary extensions to products like Oracle, which happens to be a lot of my development work).

Having a "reasonably" priced Ultrasparc available gives more freedom of choice to people who do consulting or software development at home. If nothing else, this is a move the RISC vendors should have done a long time ago.

-James Rogers