Re: mma operational concepts
- To: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu
- Subject: Re: mma operational concepts
- From: mek at guinan.psu.edu (Mark E. Kotanchek)
- Date: Tue, 23 Feb 93 10:49:46 -0500
I thought I'd clean up my e-mail files and post a summary about my
I have a Powerbook 170 8/80 at home (along with a Sigma
PowerPortrait) and a NeXTstation 32/(400+1.2) at the office
and got to thinking I should standardize on one symbolic
manipulation package rather than running Mathematica on the
NeXTstation and Maple on the Powerbook. My impression (based
on hearsay) is that Mathematica is too much of a resource hog to
run effectively on the Powerbook which would seem to indicate
that Maple is the winner and I should buy a copy for the NeXT.
HOWEVER, I got to thinking some more (a dangerous thing, I know)
and started toying with the concept of buying a couple of 14.4
modems for the machines and running the kernel on the NeXT and
the front end on the Powerbook/PowerPortrait. I was wondering
if anybody had implemented a similar configuration and, if so,
what their impression was of the setup?
I got quite a few responses which may be summarized as the concept of
running mma via a 14.4 modem to a real machine from a mac was "a good
thing". Thanks to Paul Schatz, Paul Fons, Paul Abbott, Stig Mjolsnes,
Tim McLarnan, Bob Weller, Doug Stein, Michael Prange, Brad Ramsey,
and William MacDonald for their interest and response. A few
highlights out of the comments include:
Paul N. Schatz writes:
Don't know whether this is directly relevant, but running
Mathematica frontend on my Mac IIcx at home and connecting with
a Supra 14400 modem to an RS/6000 kernel at the University works
Paul Fons contributes:
Why don't you use a simple serial cable (a lot cheaper) and you
should be able to push the line to 56,000 baud with luck using RS
422. All this presumes of course that you are locating the
machines close to each other if not, of course the modems work
just fine. I have tried the same at 14K baud over the phone line
and it works just fine (ethernet is the route I usually use!).
The only snag is that if you do very complicated graphics 3D high
resolution, at 14K it can still take a while to get output.
Paul Abbot says:
I have a Powerbook 180 8/120 at home and a DECstation 5000 at the
office. I have not standardized on one symbolic manipulation
package (as I need to use both Mathematica and Maple).
I recently bought a couple of 14.4 modems and run the kernel on
the DECstation and the front end on the Powerbook. I LOVE this
configuration! Recently I gave a talk in Tasmania using my
PowerBook and ran the remote kernel on our departmental
DECstation (over 2000 miles away). The advantage of this is,
with the internet, you can have your desired configuration
ANYWHERE in the world and you suffer very little in the way of a
speed penalty over the internet.
Tim McLarnan's view is
I recently bought a PowerBook 160 and have both Maple and Mma
running on both it and on some NeXTs at work. I personally tend
use Maple on the Powerbook if I am not at my desk, since Mma tends
to be slow and to use all available memory (I have 8MB). For
larger calculations when I'm sitting at my desk, I dial in to the
NeXT (I have Telebits on both ends). For large symbolic
calculations, this is clearly the way to go. For graphics like a
3D plot of Sin[x]+Cos[y], the time to transmit the PostScript
is such that there isn't any savings in time between letting the
PowerBook do it and sending it to the NeXT. Mma Notebooks are
also portable between the NeXT and the Mac, which is a big plus.
Bob Weller says
Version 2.1 on a powerbook 170 is a bit constrained compared
with a 20MB Quadra but is just fine for most applications. I
spend all day doing it yesterday.
Doug Stein (of wri.com) says:
I used a similar setup for Mathematica (IIsi/NeXTstation
connected via Ethernet) when I was developing the Mac Front End
for 2.0. I've also tried it recently (PB170/NeXTstation
connected via 2400 baud modems and AppleTalk Remote Access).
It's a neat setup - why settle for multitasking when you can have
Now, with respect to your first concern... I happily run
Mathematica on a PB170 with 8MB of RAM; I simply turn on virtual
memory and have my PB imitate a 16MB machine.
Michael Prange's contribution was:
When I'm using mathematica on my NeXT at home and the problem is
big, I routinely run the mathematica kernel on a computer at
work (via a 14400 baud modem) and view the results on my NeXT.
pleased with the results.
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