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MathGroup Archive 1996

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Re: Re: Help--which platform to purchase Mathematica for?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg4650] Re: [mg4582] Re: Help--which platform to purchase Mathematica for?
  • From: bayou at rouge.phys.lsu.edu (James Gregurich)
  • Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 03:55:05 -0400
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

>>My research lab will soon obtain our first copy of Mathematica.
>>However, we are unsure of which platform to run the program on--
>>we have available a Macintosh 7100/66 and a Sun Ultra 1/140.


Try putting it on a 225 MHz MacOS clone from power computing. Only the Dec
Alpha outperforms it on MMA performance.

I use MMA primarily on a PowerMac 7500/100 with RamDOubler, for improved
memory management. However, the stock virtual ram system on the Powermac is
much better on the powerMac than on the 040 macs like the quadra series.
I would recommend RamDoubler, 1/10 the cost of MMA, because it allows you
to set a very large memory partition on both the front end and the kernal
and RamDoubler intelligently distributes the memory to them and anyother
applications running.

With RamDoubler, I can run MMA, Excel, Word Perfect, Foxpro, and other apps
concurrently on a 32MB machine without any noticeable performace
loss...this is amazing because Excel alone requires a minimum of 24 MB.


I have used MMA on my department's Solaris Server and I can say that I've
experienced nothing but frustration. I've never been able to make it work
properly.

Right now, I'm doing non-linear curve fitting using the new EDA package
from Wolfram. It works well.

In my opinion, when used with RamDoubler and 32 Meg of ram, the mac version
is good enough from a standpoint of stability to make the Unix system's
adavantages in that area insignificant when compared to the mac version's
huge advantages in ease of use, ease of configuration, and level of
integration with the rest of the system...and decent advantage in raw
processor power as that PPC chip eats number alive.

Ofcourse, don't expect the speed on that 7100/66 to match that of the new
225 MHz systems.


What you can do, since you have such a slow sytem, is buy the kernel for
the sun system and the front end for the mac. That way, you have some the
advantages of both. However, the disadvantage that I've found is that any
data that is to be imported into mma for a calculation has to reside on a
disk which is available to the kernal. So, any numbers that need to be read
into MMA would have to be FTPed to the Sun Station. I hear that there is
software that allow Solaris to use an AppleTalk network which would solve
that problem. If anyone knows of a cheaper work-around, let me know.


hope this helps,





James Gregurich



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