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AIX On the Desktop Is Getting the Boot

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the caravan-moving-on dept.

Unix 366

flnca writes "Today, I was playing with the thought again to purchase an AIX workstation one day when I can afford them, and I was surprised to see that IBM is going to give its IntelliStation POWER Series workstations the boot in January '09. A black day for AIX on the desktop. I really wonder what's the problem there, warehouse costs? IBM has a history of burying its best stuff (like OS/2 for instance). Some years ago, I enjoyed hacking away on an RS/6000 workstation running AIX 4.2, and it was a pure joy. Not only the kernel, but also the admin tools, like smit and smitty. Their blade-centric solution uses Windows as a client for workstation application. This truly sounds like IBM wants AIX only for servers anymore. I'm not amused. Although, eXceed on Windows with an XDCMP server running on AIX might also be a viable solution ... whatever. But it can't beat a native POWER box sitting on your desk, that's for sure."

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No, (5, Insightful)

superskippy (772852) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803307)

No, it's just you.

Re:No, (1, Troll)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803403)

Worst.
Grammar.
In.
Summary.
Ever.

Seriously, was this submitted by a 5 year old and edited by a 6 year old?

Re:No, (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803499)

It was submitted by someone in Germany (so English is most likely a second or third language). It was edited by... well it wasn't edited.

Re:No, (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804285)

I have over the years with a number of Germans worked, and he the rules of Germglish appears not to follow.

Re:No, (3, Funny)

FeepingCreature (1132265) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804751)

[...] and he appears the rules of Germglish not to follow.

FTFY. --Your Friendly Neighbourhood Germglish Grammar Nazi

Re:No, (5, Funny)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803617)

I'm still waiting to get my IBM mainframe desktop, I'm hoping I can get a port of Wine for it so I can run WoW on it.

Re:No, (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803803)

That reminds me, does anyone have a copy of Ubuntu on UNISERVO tape for my UNIVAC?

Re:No, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804367)

Why ya downgrading?

Re:No, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804415)

you mean like this : http://www.funsoft.com/ [funsoft.com] ?

IBM Mainframe Desktop (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804493)

It's been done [wikipedia.org] . Back in '83.

Oblig. lame joke (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25803363)

Q: What happens when AIX is downsized?

A: It gets the AX!

Haw haw, thank you, I'll be here all week!

Re:Oblig. lame joke (4, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804039)

The joke around the place I used to work was that the little smit icon represented the salesguy running away with our money.

Insert Evil Laugh Here (3, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803375)

Perhaps your front page /. post leading to their product pages will screw with the marketing department stats, thus forcing them to reconsider.

Be honest, was this your plan all along?

2009: Year of AIX on the desktop (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803377)

Seriously, how is this a story? I used AIX back in the 90s and it was okay. What do I use AIX for today? Back-end processing when I can't get a Linux box past the procurement guys.

Do I code on AIX? Nope I code on Mac OSX or Linux.
Do I manage on AIX? Nope the management stuff lives on Linux and Windows.

A story would be IBM pushing AIX on the desktop. But this is just sensible and if you really want an AIX desktop then its an X environment so just run a server and use an old box as an X Terminal.

Personally I've been looking at getting a server as my next box and concentrating on networking, monitor et al on an XTerm running a stripped down Linux. What is this 1995 to say you have to have a box running under your desk?

Re:2009: Year of AIX on the desktop (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803537)

You're complaining about a news story that is devoid of anything noteworthy.

I was going to make some quip about you being new here, and then I noticed that your UID is an order of magnitude lower than mine.

So, complain on :)

Re:2009: Year of AIX on the desktop (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804005)

And you're complaining about someone who's complaining about a news story that is devoid of anything noteworthy...

I was going to make some quip about you being new here, and then I noticed that I'm AC, and older than your user...so I will: you must be new here.

Re:2009: Year of AIX on the desktop (4, Funny)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804019)

I'm sure that the submitter and the other five people who really want AIX on the desktop will be sorely disappointed for years to come.

Re:2009: Year of AIX on the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804073)

Yeah try gaming on that setup :)

Don't be silly (3, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803389)

Who on earth would need a 5GHz CPU on the desktop?
 

Re:Don't be silly (3, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803443)

Who cares about need.

Re:Don't be silly (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803477)

Who on earth would need a 5GHz CPU on the desktop?

Who on earth would need 640k of memory! Or wait...did I just "whoooooosh" myself?

Re:Don't be silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25803673)

5GHz, what does processor clock speed have to do with anything? For example an AMD Athlon 1700+ XP (~1.47GHz) out performed an Intel Pentium 4 2.26GHz (Northwood) processor on all levels from floating point to integer computation. So in this case the 2.26GHz processor was worse than the 1.47GHz processor.

Just because it has a faster clock rate does not mean it is better by any means.

Re:Don't be silly (4, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803937)

Except that the 5 GHz CPU is a POWER 5 processor (if I am right), that beats the living shit out of AMD or intel, when it comes to computational power per clock cycle. ;)

Re:Don't be silly (3, Interesting)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804201)

Power6 was the first one where they solved the high frequency power leakage problems by doing a hybrid design, so I assume it is not a Power5. Your point is still valid though :). It is doubtful that the power 6 beats any current Intel or AMD cpu for $/performance. For raw single chip performance it would be hard to beat.

Re:Don't be silly (5, Funny)

Trespass (225077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803851)

Who on earth would need a 5GHz CPU on the desktop?

Somebody without central heat?

Re:Don't be silly (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803901)

Who on earth would need a 5GHz CPU on the desktop?

So how do you heat YOUR desktop?

Advice (2, Funny)

Eponymous Crowbar (974055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803421)

Get used to disappointment.

My guess. (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803429)

The new I7 and maybe the new 45 nm AMD cpus are probably a better solution for a workstation then a Power these days. Linux has more hardware and software support than AIX so IBM probably sees the future as an I7 running Linux.

Pure Joy (1)

MShook (526815) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803439)

And you talk about smit and smitty... I guess that's the end of the conversation...

Re:Pure Joy (2, Insightful)

cruff (171569) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804525)

Indeed. I found smit to be a real pain in the rear to use. I'm glad I don't have to use AIX for my stuff.

Another victim of Linux... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25803459)

Early on, it was said that Linux would kill more Unixs than Windows ever would.

Re:Another victim of Linux... (3, Interesting)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803589)

Newer versions of *nix are killing older versions of *nix.

The exact opposite of what's happening with Windows.

Re:Another victim of Linux... (0, Troll)

TailGunner (461259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804093)

MS has sold over 200 million copies of Vista, so you are clueless when you say old versions of windows are killing newer versions. Vista adoption is also higher than XP adoption, even when put into relative market share terms. MS also sells more Vista licenses in a month than Linux users total, just keep that in mind when you regurgitate your lame anti-windows chestnuts thinking everyone will find you cute.

Re:Another victim of Linux... (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804345)

Throw a fucking chair at him, you fat baldy bastard!

It's not just you (5, Informative)

Kraegar (565221) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803473)

A few years back we had a surplus budget, and I was able to convince management that an AIX desktop box was a good investment - for testing & administration both. It has proven to be that and more. We got one of the 285's, and I get use out of it daily.

From testing OS & firmware upgrades to just being a great desktop platform, it's proven to be very valuable.

- Tony

Re:It's not just you (2, Interesting)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803925)

Forgive me, because I'm a linux guy (that's all I've ever used and known), and because of that, I don't know what the benefits of having an AIX machine on the desktop would be.

I understand that on certain large hardware, AIX is preferable due to hardware or other requirements, but what is the draw on the desktop? Is there superior software, or stability? Management tools?

I manage Linux servers, and I have linux on my desktop because it seems effortless to me now, but I can't imagine that if I had one of the BSDs, Solaris, or any other unix that my experience would be different. What is the draw? I'm not flaming or trolling, I'm really interested in being educated.

Re:It's not just you (5, Informative)

Amarok.Org (514102) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804247)

I used to be an AIX administrator.

There's not a lot of benefit to having an AIX box on your desk (though I did), other than it being the same as the systems you're administering.

(The following is my personal opinion - fanboys of other operating systems need not respond; I'm sure your OS of choice is just peachy too)

Yes, AIX is more stable and I prefer the management tools and interfaces to other Unix-like operating systems. As such, having it on my desktop was preferable to a Linux system because I was more familiar with the tools and they were the same as the machines I was administering all day long.

If I was running Linux systems for a living, I'd have a Linux box on my desk for the same reasons.

There are some advantages to writing/testing your code/scripts/etc on your local machine before pushing it out to a development/production system. While in theory ksh/bash/csh/etc should be the same on every system, we all know there are quirks to the implementations that cause issues.

So yes, there are some benefits to AIX on the desktop as an administrator.

Finally, there are some shops (a few military contractors I'm familiar with) that use AIX on the desktop for their engineers because the specialized applications they use only support AIX - usually graphic design hooked into large AIX systems on the backend for modeling/redering cycles.

Re:It's not just you (2, Interesting)

Kraegar (565221) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804325)

For me it was really about having a test environment. Any time I would get a "test" server, I'd quickly find that for the $$ the server would become something management wanted to "get their money's worth" from, and it would be re-purposed away from being a test machine.

The desktop was under $10k, sits at my desk, and is mine to do what I want with it. Currently I'm testing AIX 6.1 (works great, cool new features). It'll run KDE and an ancient version of firefox, if I want, usually I just have X with multiple shells open.

Whenever I need to do something particularly major in our prod environment, it's fully vetted on this desktop first. OS upgrades, patches, Oracle upgrades, firmware, new utility scripts - I have a great little test environment for them. And alt-disk-install makes it a snap to get back to 'normal'

Do I see any use for one outside of that? Not really, except maybe 3d rendering or something.

- Tony

Re:It's not just you (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804281)

Not trying to troll you, but just want to ask:

What do you extreme geeks do on these types of specialized boxes?

What special software does these boxes come with, that make them so much better than a normal PC?

Re:It's not just you (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804519)

A marked lack of Windows.

Re:It's not just you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804713)

streamflow analysis, modeling floods on the scale of a whole river basin. you don't think this stuff is interesting until your house is under water.

They made that? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803525)

Very informative summary, considering I was unaware IBM even offered AIX on the desktop. That alone should tell you how much they cared about it.

Re:They made that? (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803977)

Many years ago, I could swear I saw IBM (x86) branded PCs in a datacenter that were running AIX. I was handling Novell and Sun systems back then, but I was intensely curious about those machines and what they were doing. They were in the same chassis as my Netware systems, and looked completely different from the RS/6000s.

It's your fault (5, Insightful)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803529)

Maybe theirs.

"I was playing with the thought again to purchase an AIX workstation one day when I can afford them..."

So you haven't bought one because it's not affordable. Yeah, I have no idea why it makes business sense for them to cut that line. I guess keeping them around to amuse you wasn't enough. Either their hardware is too expensive or their users too poor.

One things for sure - there was no profit there.

IBM is not a computer company (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25803541)

They are an IT services and consulting company.

When their mainframe division stops being the cash cow that it is, it'll go to.

Re:IBM is not a computer company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804127)

it'll go to.

It will go to where? China via Leveno?

Re:IBM is not a computer company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804137)

it'll go to where?

Breaking news! (2, Funny)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803569)

Just in! "Geek wonders why product X that he loves to hack but is only used by 0.0000001% of the market is going the way of the dodo". Film at 11!

Hey, for example, I wanted Baldur's Gate 3 too :( (yes, I know that Stardock's founder wants to renew some old franchises).

Re:Breaking news! (1, Offtopic)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804043)

Hey, for example, I wanted Baldur's Gate 3 too :(

It was called Neverwinter Nights.

Seriously, you wanted a direct sequel? Following on from the end of Throne of Bhaal? What would you do? Depending on how you ended the game you're at least an ubercharacter of ridiculously high level, and you're quite possibly the god of murder. You killed Demogorgon as a side quest. Where do you go from here?

Re:Breaking news! (1)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804363)

Conquering the world :D

Seriously, I'm sure they would come up with something. And I would be okay with BG3 not following BG2 in terms of story. NWN was nice but it wasn't really a sequel IMO. Little actual roleplaying, and the main campaign was short and kinda weak. Personal opinion anyway.

Re:Breaking news! (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804435)

Just in! "Geek wonders why product X that he loves to hack but is only used by 0.0000001% of the market is going the way of the dodo". Film at 11!

      worse, he only fondly remembers hacking it several years ago...

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25803585)

sounds like IBM is trying to put their product out of the market entirely. I can run Solaris on a PC, any form of Linux, the only ones I can't are HP-UX and AIX. If that doesn't eventually make a mark in the DataCenter I don't know what will.

Really? (1)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803587)

Not one comment? Looks like AIX on the Desktop is going out with a whimper.

Target market (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803605)

Because the target market for AIX on the desktop is not people like you (namely, those who can't afford one machine, as opposed to those who regularly buy them in shipments of 1,000), I wouldn't count on IBM giving a damn whether you are amused or not by its business decision.

Go ahead and suck it up. (3, Informative)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803607)

AIX is horrendous. I mean, truly horrible.

Smitty - though it has its uses - is the nastiest piece of manure ever to disgrace an SSH window. Everything even remotely UNXy IBM makes is, IMHO, totally over-priced.

AIX hardware is over-priced, under-powered and totally uninteresting. I have machines running Linux on Opteron right here and they simply out-perform AIX machines (including a 12 CPU Power6 P570 AIX 5.3) at least 10 times.

And don't get me started on the stability of AIX vs Linux or BSD, please. I have software here that can make any AIX machine cry and call for mommy, when most Linux distributions just suck it up and carry on.

AIX machines are essentially dull ultra-expensive big iron. Most programmers I work with would rather have a small machine with Red Hat and tons of GNU goodness on it than a huge AIX beast.

And just in case you are wondering: yes, I do administer UNIX machines for a living. Just check my Slashdot journal, and you'll get a ton of information on AIX, Solaris and so on and so forth.

This being said, I'll take AIX over Windows any day. And either Slackware or OpenBSD over everything else.

Re:Go ahead and suck it up. (5, Insightful)

Sax Maniac (88550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803945)

AIX is even worse if you do any system programming it. Around here, AIX is pronounced "aches" for a very good reason. We also have a saying "AIX is always different". Anything difficult you want to do on Unix, you need to code up a special AIX-specific version. It's Always Different.

And not different-better, different-holy-crap-this-API-was-designed-by-crack-addled-clowns.

Re:Go ahead and suck it up. (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804041)

Hi! This is offtopic, but as a former slackware admin, I've got to ask. How did you manage to scale it to a large environment?

I got to a few dozen machines and used to spend all my time patching and admining multiple users. I eventually moved to CentOS authenticated over AD with Likewise Open. I'm interested in hearing how other people do it.

Re:Go ahead and suck it up. (2, Informative)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804409)

I agree with some of your comments.

SMITTY is ugly, but I think it's a good tool. The best feature is that it constructs the command line commands rather than trying to modify configuration files or re-write the tools. This means that anything that you can do via smitty can be easily scripted even if you don't have much AIX experience.

For some workloads Linux will kick the pants of AIX. For others, especially those that require high throughput, the story is different. AIX on pSeries can move massive amounts of data, more so than a similarly configured PC based server.

AIX has some awesome disk tools. I use Linux on a daily basis, but the Linux tools are not yet at the same level as AIX. The current state of LVM is about where Veritas was a couple years ago. This is still enterprise quality (and free, dammit), but generally not as easy to use as AIX.

And yes, I also administer AIX, but have been running Linux in production for more than a decade.

Re:Go ahead and suck it up. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804741)

HP-UX is far, far worse than AIX. AIX has some wonderful technology in it, including POWER6 and especially the virtualization used for LPARs, but HP-UX has pretty much no redeeming qualities, plus miserable Itanium hardware.

Anymore? Anymore? (1)

HoppyChris (1310725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803641)

Your use of the word anymore in a non-negative construction, combined with your desire to run an AIX desktop system make me question the validity of many of your life choices and decisionmaking abilities.

The future of IBM desktops? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803643)

Will they sell the AIX division to Lenovo just like they did with the thinkpad?

If there is any meaningful demand for the AIX desktop systems, I would think it would be worth money to someone, and hence IBM would follow their usual strategy of blundering the protift potential by selling it off to someone else to make money on it instead.

Re:The future of IBM desktops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804029)

If there is any meaningful demand for the AIX desktop systems

That's a big IF. The only way to generate that demand would be with a time portal back to 1995. Face it: Linux, Windows, (and to a certain extent, MacOS) have decimated the UNIX workstation market.

Re:The future of IBM desktops? (1)

whptech (1410089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804371)

No IBM is going after the large server market with AIX. In fact they have consolidated AIX,Linux, and i(Series) unto the "Power" platform which is making enroad into the mainframe market space. IBM stated that there was not enough interest in the Desktop market for AIX. In fact IBM has been backing out of the desktop market space for some time. Linux whould be a better desktop soultion since it will has driver for desktop and small sever enviroments

Me me me me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25803675)

I really wish they'd bring back the Atari 2600 so I can play ET on it.. oh the fond memories.

She lost 14 stone in a daaaay. 14 stone, in a da-aa-aay!!!

"Smit Happens" (3, Funny)

volxdragon (1297215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803685)

You are joking, you LIKED smit??!? We used to have bumper stickers that said "Smit Happens" on our doors where I worked a decade ago....the IBM guys REALLY hated those.

Re:"Smit Happens" (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803857)

If there is any system you don't hate, it is because you don't know it well enough.

Re:"Smit Happens" (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804547)

So, if you replace "system" with "shit" or "windows", do you still stand by it?

Re:"Smit Happens" (1)

pahoran (893196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804587)

If there is any system you don't hate, it is because you don't know it well enough.

I hate the communist system.

Don't get me wrong (1)

kidde_valind (1060754) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803691)

I love AIX. But really, if this is any indication of things to come - commercial Unices will be replaced by Linux in time. Not just on the de And finally, we may actually get that mythical unified Unix platform.

Re:Don't get me wrong (2, Insightful)

whitelabrat (469237) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804633)

I don't see that ever happening. The veterans like AIX and Solaris provide a consistency and stability that Linux cannot. Linux is a chaotic and anarchistic mess that I find difficult to maintain on an enterprise level. Having the OS developed in a controlled environment and tightly coupled to the hardware makes for predictability and a limited set of variable that allows for refinement.

Don't get me wrong. GNU is awesome. I've had to put up with too much crap from the linux distros that ends up making things less productive.

Somehow this remembers me 1995 (2, Insightful)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803695)

Am I the only one still remembering 1995, when RISC was the future and PowerPC would dominate both desktops and servers? PowerMacs, WindowNT for PowerPC and all those good stuff?

Re:Somehow this remembers me 1995 (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803943)

RISC still is the future. Or haven't you noticed how ARM is outselling all other CPU architectures combined?

Re:Somehow this remembers me 1995 (4, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804299)

Hmmm, and here I thought that old-school 8-bit computing is the future, since more than half of all CPUs sold are 8-bit processors.

Re:Somehow this remembers me 1995 (1)

Anonymous Conrad (600139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804603)

Hmmm, and here I thought that old-school 8-bit computing is the future, since more than half of all CPUs sold are 8-bit processors.

But if you had to categorise them as RISC or CISC it'd have to be RISC. None of them are particularly complex, there's no microcode in them, etc.

Re:Somehow this remembers me 1995 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804689)

No you moron, it *reminds you of* 1985. Tsk Tsk.

The march towards Linux (3, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803739)

Over time, all the cool features from proprietary UNIX versions are getting ported to Linux, either directly or by being re-implemented. As Linux becomes more and more acceptable as a replacement, expect to see proprietary UNIX versions start to go away.

If IBM hires a person to work on Linux, that work helps IBM across pretty much their whole product line. If IBM hires a person to work on AIX, that work has much less value now, and will have even less and less value over time as Linux gathers up more of the market. Also, as Linux keeps getting better, it would take more and more work to add similar features to AIX, to try to keep up. Eventually, IBM is going to stop paying for work on AIX at all; they will end-of-life AIX, and just sell Linux.

I don't know for sure about SMIT but Linux does have LVM and various tools to manage it. AIX gurus, how ready is Linux to replace AIX now?

And, are desktop POWER machines going to be available with Linux?

steveha

Re:The march towards Linux (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804559)

And, are desktop POWER machines going to be available with Linux?

Fixstars (formerly Terra Soft) offers a power-based workstation called the PowerStation [fixstars.com] , running Yellow Dog Linux. I think it's a new product. There was a review in the latest issue of Linux Journal. It mentioned a few problems, including X crashing (but that may have been fixed by now).

Warehousing Costs (3, Informative)

Associate (317603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803779)

Warehousing costs are an indicator not a base cause. If you have 1000 units sitting in a warehouse for six months depreciating, it's because no one's buying them. Which means you're losing money from a failed projection. Something this seemingly slow moving would likely need a different supply chain, say direct from manufacture, JIT. Also, the margins on such might just not be there. Hardly worth the effort since IBM is not a non-profit.

A Huge Blow (4, Interesting)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803787)

This is a huge blow to scientific and engineering computing. I know of thousands of POWER based Intellistations at several aerospace companies. CAD and finite element analysis software runs on these boxes, usually CATIA, NASTRAN, and some CFD codes. Engineering modeling and simulation software has been running on AIX for a while. Only now are Windows boxes near the performance that engineers need. The only good that might come of this is that hopefully the surplus market will be flooded with POWER based Intellistations and AIX CDs.

Re:A Huge Blow (1)

javiercero (518708) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804303)

Only now??????? Where have you been in the past decade.

The last outfit I worked that was using CATIA, the windows machines outnumbered AIX dekstop boxes like 10 to 1. And even the high end AIX gfx were starting to seriously under perform compared to the Quadros in the PeeCees.

Same thing for NASTRAN. I am no fan of windows, but Dassault, PTC et al have focused on the Windows versions for a while now. And that is because the price/performance of AIX workstations hasn't been there in a loooooong while.

It's a true desaster. (5, Funny)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803823)

To elaborate: He's bemoaning that this beautyfull desktop [jfedor.org] is being discontinued. A true catastrophe that will set back the entire industry by years to come.

Re:It's a true desaster. (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804009)

CDE is still standard on Solaris (you can choose between CDE and GNOME at install time), which runs on SPARC and x86 systems. IBM's POWER line are about the only computers still around that make UltraSPARC seem cheap - something Apple never managed.

Re:It's a true desaster. (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804513)

CDE is still standard on Solaris (you can choose between CDE and GNOME at install time), which runs on SPARC and x86 systems...

The school I graded from used CDE. First on AIX boxes in the unix lab, then they shifted to Solaris on x86 (cheaper desktops).

CDE is nice in a minimalistic way (though I'd choose blackbox or fluxbox over it). Actually there are tonnes of lightweight WMs I'd choose over it. Basically any that aren't tiled. Of course the choice at that time was between CDE and an early version of gnome. Most windows users would choose gnome, but CDE was the way to go if you wanted to get anything done as gnome wasn't the most stable or efficient desktop environment at that time.

Re:It's a true desaster. (1)

dannycim (442761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804097)

[My english is better than most other people's german, so please point out mistakes politely. Thank you.]

Respectfully, it's "beautiful", one L. :-)

Not a huge surprise. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803831)

It is a pity, in emotional terms, to see interesting and unusual hardware being retired; but it really isn't a surprise, nor is there much to be done about it. Because of overwhelming economies of scale, generic x86 gear is an extraordinarily good deal in price/performance terms. In very low end(cell phones, PDAs, etc.) this doesn't hold and in some high performance or high reliability scenarios(mainframes, exotic supercomputer architectures) it is also not the case; but the desktop is, hands down, x86's area of strength. Now that multiple 64 bit processors are available in even $300 word processing boxes, and dual quad cores with 32gigs of RAM are fairly cheaply available, any task that is out of reach of commodity x86 gear isn't going to be happening on the desktop anyway.

For something like AIX, with its serious UNIX roots, most of the things you would use it for can be done remotely, from just about any client that can handle ssh and maybe NFS. There just isn't all that much point in having costly, exotic hardware sitting on your desk. Now, I'm sure that there are certain exceptions; but it is very hard to sustain a product on "certain exceptions" in a market with substantial economies of scale.

It is a pity; but neither a new nor an avoidable one, that the technology market, particularly the lower end of it, has very little room for "a bit better and a lot more expensive". If AIX ran on commodity x86 gear, even a certified subset of it, there would probably be room(just look at OpenSolaris); but as long as it depends on POWER on the desktop, it is game over.

Wait? (2, Interesting)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803881)

Are you saying using smit and smitty was a pure joy?

Bwahahaha!

AIX is an antique (4, Interesting)

davie (191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803889)

Seriously. The toolset sucks. None of the major FOSS projects even know or care if their projects will build on AIX anymore, including (most importantly for me) the CPAN (CPAN testers haven't tested CPAN builds on AIX for years as far as I can tell). The command line utilities have feature sets from like 1976, so you have to install a bunch of GNU packages if you want to get anything done. The best part, IBM will happily sell you a pile of AIX hardware and promise you that the millions of bucks you're getting ready to spend for software to run on it will be well-spent, then you'll find out that half the stuff has never been tested in the real world. Fact is, in the time I spent working on (struggling with?) AIX recently I saw little evidence that IBM is putting any resources into AIX.

I recommend Xming instead of Exceed for X (5, Informative)

noc007 (633443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803965)

If you're just need an X server on Windows to connect to your *nix box, I suggest using Xming [sourceforge.net] . It's free, lightweight, easy to configure, and one can quickly setup shortcuts to connect to a specific server and run a program. It's also very useful for getting around a content filter if you can access your own *nix server from the internet.

I don't have any affiliation with Colin Harrison, however I've used other X servers on Windows before and this has been the best. Here's my experience with different X servers:
Exceed - Bloated, expensive, extra licensing fee for doing X11 over SSH, unstable copy and paste (in the past versions I used)
ReflectionX - A bit bloated, expensive, funky interface
Cygwin* - Too many unneeded apps included for just an X server, FREE, difficult to configure if you're not familiar with it
Xming - Light weight, FREE, quick install, can use PuTTY's plink to do configure free X11 forwarding over SSH, copy and paste works, it just works

*In regards to Cygwin, I understand that it is more than just an X server, however it has been recommended a number of times to me as a solution for a free X server on Windows

Other than for AIX server admins... why? (1)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803967)

Seriously, what use do you have for this unless you're working in an AIX server environment? Even then it would be of dubious value methinks. I hate to take a question and say use something else like Linux or OS X, but... yeah.

More detail perhaps on why AIX on the desktop is useful? And if there aren't many reasons, then we know why it was killed.

What do People Do All Day? (0, Troll)

Jodka (520060) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803985)

Today, I was playing with the thought again to purchase an AIX workstation one day when I can afford them...

Is that how you spend your time? Why don't you learn to program and get a job instead of posting your spending fantasies to Slashdot.

Someone needs to get a life.

good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25804021)

Is AIX worth saving? My last experience of it was 12 years ago, but it was horrid. By far the worst of the Unix-like machines I have ever had to admin, and hardly Unix-like at all. It did everything different from other Unix variants. It's log files and config files were all in binary so you couldn't grep through them. Yuck.

AIX on the desktop? (2, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804033)

It might have survived had the marketing department been able to come up with a better name for it in the last twenty years.

"I have AIX on my desktop!"

"Oh, I'm sorry honey. I got some aspirin in my top drawer at my desk. Help yourself."

"No, I mean it's AIX."

"You told me already. Take some aspirin and have a cup of coffee. That works for migranes too."

"Arrrrrgh!"

"Poor guy--I should talk to the boss about seeing if he can get some vacation time in soon..."

Re:AIX on the desktop? (1)

paazin (719486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804387)

Uh, what?

I deal with AIX servers daily and I've never heard anyone try to pronounce the acronym. And trust me, there are much worse names (I shudder every time I hear mention of HP's Tru64 flavor of unix)

Re:AIX on the desktop? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804423)

Sorry if I was trying to be funny in a forum of autistics... I'll just shuffle off to google news now, bye.

Speaking as 33% of the user base... (4, Funny)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804047)

I am outraged!

(Better be careful--I might take my ball and head back to VMS...)

1, 2, 3.... (1)

jimpop (27817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804123)

You and the two other AIX-on-the-desktop people just aren't enough demand. ;-) It's a numbers game.

Funny hah hah or peculiar? (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804337)

This was meant to be funny right?

In a day like this when Linux can hardly find way (1)

nomad63 (686331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804717)

In a day like this, when free linux on close to free commodity hardware can not find its way to the desktop, what would you expect. People shell out thousands of dollars to put a PowerPC on their desktop and run the most god-awful version of UNIX around ? And IBM to subsidize two masochists who enjoy torturing themselves by overspending and making life more complex for themselves by keeping a monster like this alive. Newsflash: IBM is a for profit company. Whatever shows or lacks the promise of profits will rightly find their way to the technology cemetary.

I am waiting for the day for AIX to die totally, server and desktop combined. But with stupid c-level executives keeping the notion of "nobody got fired buying IBM" I believe AIX will outlast my lifetime then some.
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