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Microsoft Bites It On 64-bit Microprocessors

Roblimo posted about 15 years ago | from the what-was-that-you-said-about-scalability? dept.

Microsoft 373

Lots of readers pointed us to this page that says MS has stopped trying to make NT run on 64-bit Alphas and isn't even going to release any new 32-bit Alpha products. For more info on the subject, check this Netcape Netcenter article and the Ixnay WinNT on Alphastory we ran last Friday. Meanwhile, according to a short blurb in The Register, Intel has finally prototyped Merced in silicon - and it runs Linux fine but won't run Win64 at all. It looks like Microsoft simply can't deal with 64-bit architecture. Please try not to say "I told you so" too loudly to your MS-boosting coworkers, okay? ;-)

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Microsoft (1)

Talisman (39902) | about 15 years ago | (#1724282)

MS _will_ make Win64 work with the new CPU. But until that time, it _IS_ pretty funny ;)


Who needs those other 32 bits? (firstus postus?) (1)

uncleFester (29998) | about 15 years ago | (#1724291)

'No one will ever need more than 32 bits:' -- Bill Gates[0]


[0] - ok, so it's fake, but doesn't this sound familiar? :)

-fester (still wanting flash for his hpux box)

Not on windows... (0)

Dr.Jay (67456) | about 15 years ago | (#1724295)

I don't have anyone stupid enough at my office to promote windows. But for anyone who has ever doubted me and trusty linux, I told you so : )hehe

Amazed it took this long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724297)

Let's be realistic here, was anyone using NT on Alpha in a meaningful way?

Like it or lump it, Intel is basically the only game in town.

PPC is hardly a fart in the windstorm comparatively.

Re:Amazed it took this long... (1)

witz (79173) | about 15 years ago | (#1724299)

I saw a lot of businesses using it for engineering purposes (CAD type stuff) on *very* high end hardware (RAID 5 with Cheetah drives, 3d mice, blah blah blah). $40,000 workstations. Just too expensive to get that much of a market share.


Re:Amazed it took this long... (1)

cmc (44956) | about 15 years ago | (#1724390)

Your inability to perceive the minor thorn in your side known as reality boggles the mind. Intel is hardly "the only game in town". Unless you mean NT, go look at all the systems running on Sun hardware, DEC hardware, etc.!

If you honestly believe that Intel is the "only game in town", I have serious concerns for your ability to deal with reality.

Uh Oh... (1)

jmoo (67040) | about 15 years ago | (#1724394)

Hmmm looks like time to junk my MCSE and get a Red Hat cetification

Linux 64-bit ready? (2)

Jerky McNaughty (1391) | about 15 years ago | (#1724399)

Hasn't Linux been 64-bit ready for years now?

I sort-of expected this (3)

jd (1658) | about 15 years ago | (#1724403)

Microsoft's software has enough trouble running in 32-bits. The changeover from 16-bits to 32 was positively painful for them, and that was with near-100% compatiable processors.

The idea that they could take Windows 2000 (or any other version of Windows) and simply compile it to work on the 64-bit Alpha, or Merced processors was always going to be a joke.


Mudhiker (15850) | about 15 years ago | (#1724407)

Even more reason to hate M$ and their shifty dishonest practices.

But frankly, I'm disappointed in the company that I used and supported for years. Shoot, I typed a lot of papers using Microsoft Works 2.0 on our old green-screen Tandy 1000, and it did the job pretty well. But things have changed...

I wish linux wasn't such a hyped-up hassle and that Be had some worthwhile multimedia support. (like more scanners and printers...)


sorry for the unoriginal anti-M$ rant. Moderate downward as needed. (Moderation seems to suck of late, perhaps not enough moderators being made??)

Well...The real problem is (2)

Zoltar (24850) | about 15 years ago | (#1724410)

Microsofts products are too fragmented and they don't have any development roadmap for the future :)

Why it doesn't work. (2)

CausticPuppy (82139) | about 15 years ago | (#1724414)

MS hasn't run Win64's source through their Code-Bloat Wizard 2000(tm) yet.
It's that simple.

Re:Amazed it took this long... (1)

clasher (2351) | about 15 years ago | (#1724418)

We're running an Oracle DB with NT on Alpha right now, hardly meaningful though. Like running solitare on a Cray.

Re:Hahahahahaha (1)

blandest (25682) | about 15 years ago | (#1724419)

...wouldn't that be the bugs which are so called "features"?

Are you sure of this? (1)

PenguinII (45223) | about 15 years ago | (#1724430)

I'l be suprised if this is accurate!??!
I mean Billy has lotsa money at his disposal, so surely he could pay for NT on the Merced.
I dont think microsoft's page has this on it.
Oh well, ive added it to #debian @ openprojects
so it has to be true

According to Compaq... (1)

jpowers (32595) | about 15 years ago | (#1724432)

No one was using NT on the alphas anyway. Why take a horse-drawn cart on a superhighway?

Amazon preference lists (2)

unitron (5733) | about 15 years ago | (#1724436)

Wasn't it Intel that was buying all the Linux books? Maybe now we know why.

NT portability (5)

Shoeboy (16224) | about 15 years ago | (#1724438)

What happened to "NT is extremely portable." In theory, the only hardware specific component is supposed to be HAL.DLL. The rest of the NT code base is supposed to be highly portable C code. By replacing HAL.DLL and recompiling the rest of the system, it was supposed to be possible to port NT to whatever in a matter of weeks. Why did compaq need an NT development team in the first place? Why did NT powerPC collapse when IBM withdrew funding? I refuse to believe that MS doesn't know how to write architecture neutral code - that's just too far fetched. I'm thinking that it's due to lightning storms.

It seems kind of ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724440)

That from the article yesterday one of the original NT goals was portability. It seems that the only platform that is going to be really supported is X86.

I don't remember, was portability one of the things they said was one of the two succeses of NT?

Oh how I love Micro$oft...

Re:Microsoft and win64 (1)

Thumper! (27031) | about 15 years ago | (#1724445)

Does anyone know if Merced ran the 64bit version of Linux?

Because if we're saying that it didn't run Win64, but ran plain old 32bit x86 Linux, that just reminds of the old Mindcraft thing:

"If a Linux advocate says it, it's probably not true."

They blame Compaq - as if it were their job! (5)

Paul Crowley (837) | about 15 years ago | (#1724447)

The way Microsoft phrase it, it's all Compaq's fault for "terminating Alpha support for current versions of Windows NT". As if Microsoft were helpless in front of Compaq's refusal to let them port their operating system!

Linux, as everyone here knows, ran on Alpha machines (as well as x86 and 68000) long before it could get acknowledgement of its existence from the processor manufacturers, let alone substantial help in making it happen. It was done in the usual way: get the specs of the hardware, and code to them. What is it that's so difficult about this process that Microsoft needs Compaq to hold its hand before it can think about it?

Microsoft don't expect ever to have to act like a software firm. You don't write code for other people's hardware - you graciously allow the hardware manufacturer to write code for you. Compaq have started to smell the independence from this kind of treatment that Linux gives them, and soon Microsoft will find out what that means for them.

Revenge is gonna be so sweet.

Re:Well...The real problem is (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724449)

hahahaha! Bingo! Make that boy a pundit!

Microsoft Recommends You Spend More & Get Less.. (1)

rit (64731) | about 15 years ago | (#1724451)

Snipped from the article about the MS/Alpha Split:

The first servers with eight Intel Pentium III processors start shipping to customers next month, and their performance equal or exceed midrange Alpha servers.
Which is awfully funny... It takes 8 x86 processors to get close to a single, _MID-RANGE_ alpha... however I suppose it fits into Microsoft's shady history to push us towards lower quality for more money... go fig.

Re:Why it doesn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724453)

Oh duh! You're right. They forgot to click the "Make it 64 bitz" button! doh! 8-)

win2K will PROBABLY ship this year as well!! (1)

martin (1336) | about 15 years ago | (#1724459)

Latest info also states....

1) Bill says he's pretty confident windoze 2000 will ship this year - said at DELL's conference earlier this week. ie it might not ship this year!

2) Latest info to analysts from M$ says they expect to earnings from w2k till Q2 next year - correlates well the above.

Looks like betting the family jewels on w2k was abad move Mr Gates.

Now that there's some muscle behind Star Office and KOfffice is developing nicely Unix (Linux/*BSD/Solaris...) on the desktop could be worthwhile looking at for major corporates.

IA-64 Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724461)

This only goes to show that all active Windows development on Alpha architecture is dead. That is after Microsfoft release service pack 6. Within the last four years they've dropped MIP, PPC, and now Alpha. Looks as if the company is hurting, and too be honest except for a few IS/IT managers I don't think anyone cares anymore. The 32bit version of Windows 2000 will be released sometime next year. I doubt it will make the fall release, and yes i've tried the beta, and no it's not good enough. A 64bit version might make it by 2001 to 2003, but considering their record on the true "Cairo" I wouldn't bet on it anytime soon. Microsoft is dying again, the only question is will they pull themselves out of the gutter like they did in 1994, well before the release of Windows 95. If they go I sure as hell won't be crying.

Does this really mean anything? (2)

sammy baby (14909) | about 15 years ago | (#1724465)

According to Microsoft's site:
On August 23, 1999 Compaq decided it would terminate Alpha support for the current versions of the Windows NT operating systems... Compaq also decided that it does not plan to support future Alpha versions of Windows® and BackOffice® including Windows 2000.
According to the Netcenter article:
The controversy over commitment to Alpha started late last week when Compaq informed about 100 engineers at its Bellevue, Washington, facility of impending layoffs. Many of the engineers were involved in the development of Windows NT and Windows 2000 on Alpha... "Compaq failed to communicate clearly within, with Microsoft, industry analysts, customers, and the media," said one source, who asked not to be identified
I dunno, this sounds more like it signifies big trouble for Compaq than Microsoft.

As for the Merced announcement, I have to plead ignorance. Is this really late enough in the game to signify big trouble for MS? Or is it a normal kind of problem we should be expecting here? (I guess I'm assuming the two aren't mutually exclusive...)

Hardware Abstraction Layer was broken with NT4 (4)

LizardKing (5245) | about 15 years ago | (#1724468)

The NT concept of a hardware abstraction layer that marshalled calls to the underlying system was fundamental in making NT stable. This is why NT3.51 was very stable. However, it also made many things slow, most noticably the grraphics side of things. With NT the GUI is not optional, so this poor performance was always noticable. To improve performance, graphics operations were allowed to bypass the HAL in NT4.0. This is why NT4.0 outperforms NT3.51, but is very unstable.

I don't know whether any other userland stuff was allowed direct hardware access, as I quit using NT after 3.51.

Chris Wareham

Re:NT portability (1)

Yarn (75) | about 15 years ago | (#1724471)

Originally almost everything went through the HAL, this was when "microkernel" was the buzzword of the moment. However this made it's graphics SLOW, so they slowly added architecture specific bits to the 'other side' of the HAL. The result? Suckage.

NB: this is all from memory of an article at the time :)

Same old MS B.S. - no? (2)

jabber (13196) | about 15 years ago | (#1724475)

Remember Access 1.0? Remember Windows 1.0?
Products that claimed to work - that sometimes worked - just enough to get a few people to buy into the concept, and fund development of another version. Granted, Access 97 and Windows 4.0 work /*much better than their predecessors*/, so the strategy worked. But I guess you just can't pull that crap with a whole new arch. Especially with Linux on the horizon - it's nice to know that 'the people have voted', and 64 bits on the desktop will be a reality, sans M$.

Now, about that 'chasing tail-lights' thing...

Bye Bye Wintel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724478)

Hello Lintel :)

Re:Amazed it took this long... (1)

Elmo (7644) | about 15 years ago | (#1724480)

We use it on two AlphaServers. I'm not saying they're great but we do use it.

the register? (1)

aphr0 (7423) | about 15 years ago | (#1724483)

Since when is the register a reliable source of information?

Re:Are you sure of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724489)

Billy does have lotsa money, but apparently not enough to develop a stable/secure OS either. Speculatively, "lotsa money" is the problem for them. Where's the motivation to excell when you're drowning in profits already?

Re:NT portability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724491)

HAL.DLL ---> 'What are you doing Bill ?'


Re:Linux 64-bit ready? (1)

Uart (29577) | about 15 years ago | (#1724494)

so has DEC Unix. and Solaris, and Aix, and.... a lot of other OSen

Alpha 64 is Tit-for-Tat? (2)

Chris Tyler (2180) | about 15 years ago | (#1724498)

Compaq had said that they would support NT for Alpha64. This sounds like MS is saying, "Oh yeah? Drop Alpha32 and kiss Alpha64 goodbye!".

It's interesting to see this in the light of yesterday's "Interview with Original NT OS/2" developers, which stressed the importance of platform independence and portability. With this announcement (correct me if I'm wrong), MS has finally gone from 4 platforms (PPC/MIPS/Alpha/x86) to 1 (x86).

Re:According to Compaq... (1)

iculver (64842) | about 15 years ago | (#1724500)

Alpha a "horse drawn card?" Are you for real? I'm sorry, I forgot. You're from Harvard. Alpha and PPC downright spank the Intel monkey!

Re:Microsoft and win64 (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | about 15 years ago | (#1724502)

I'm pretty sure it was Merced-native Linux, because *everyone* *including Intel* has been working on making Linux-Merced work beautifully.

Re:Uh Oh... (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | about 15 years ago | (#1724504)

Some people care about things other than money...

Re:Linux 64-bit ready? (4)

dirty (13560) | about 15 years ago | (#1724507)

Yes, on alpha it's been fully 64bit for a long time now. On UltraSPARC the kernel runs at 64bit but the apps still run at 32bit. So the support for 64bit has been there for a long time. I'm assuming the ia64 port is 64bit atleast for the kernel. I remeber reading something from Linus a while ago where he was saying that because the ia64 binaries are probally going to be so large it would be faster to run 32bit x86 binaries most of the time than to run ia64 binaries. The exception being binaries that need access to huge ammounts of memory, such as large databases.

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724510)

MS Developer? I'm worse than you... I code VB! (My former C/Unix job paid less, that's why.) I'll do anything for money! Hahahahahahahaha!
Who cares if MS sucks? Life sucks. Everything sucks. So? Yippee!!!!

Re:Uh Oh... (2)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | about 15 years ago | (#1724513)

You mean "Trade in your new Huffy for a Ross"?

Oracle on NT -- GAG (1)

Shoeboy (16224) | about 15 years ago | (#1724518)

Oracle on NT makes me retch. It doesn't belong there. CreateThread() vs. fork(), IO completion ports vs select() and poll. There are waaay too many differences for a single program to make efficient use of both types of systems. MSSQL7 will run rings around oracle on NT. (Actually MSSQL7 runs rings around just about everything on intel hardware - check if you doubt this) Oracle on Tru64 unix outperforms oracle on NT. There's simply _no_ good reason to run oracle on NT. Ever.

Microsoft and Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724521)

Didn't M$ and Intel have some kind of falling out? Perhaps Intel deliberately caused Win64 to not work to show their displeasure with M$. Yeah, I remember that Intel wanted to support Linux but M$ got angry. Then M$ wanted to support AMD and Intel got angry. Hmmmm.....

Re:Uh Oh... (1)

Brian Knotts (855) | about 15 years ago | (#1724523)

Maybe I can trade in my new Corvette for that Ferrari I've been eyeing.

Yup. Those Matchbox cars can be pricy these days.

Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page []

Re:According to Compaq... (1)

arivanov (12034) | about 15 years ago | (#1724525)

I think you got it wrong, I think that this post meant NT to be the horse drawn cart...

Re:According to Compaq... (0)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | about 15 years ago | (#1724526)

I believe he is refering to NT as a "Horse drawn cart" and Alpha as a "Superhighway"

Re:It seems kind of ironic... (2)

Shoeboy (16224) | about 15 years ago | (#1724528)

No irony at all actually. NT is still highly portable. It runs on 486, pentium, pentium pro, pentium II and K-6 chips. What more portability could you ask for ;-)

Dark lord of the desktops (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724531)

At last we will reveal ourselves to Microsoft. At last we will have revenge.

Nevermind M$, Compaq, what the hell is going on ? (3)

Goody (23843) | about 15 years ago | (#1724533)

What I can't understand is why Compaq can't get behind the Alpha and drive it home. It's superior over Intel architecture. Compaq could say "Screw you, M$ AND Intel" and have Alphas on every desktop. Get someone like the people who make VMWare to get Win9* to run on Alpha and start packaging RedHat on Alpha machines. Hell, they bought Digital and Tandem. If they knew how to integrate this vast wealth of knowledge together, they could kick ass, but apparently someone at Compaq just doesn't want to do it.

M$ will get NT working on 64 bits, but obviously they've got egg on their face. So much for portability. This is certainly going to drain resources. How many versions of Windows will M$ be supporting now ? :-)

Re:Linux 64-bit ready? (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | about 15 years ago | (#1724534)

Actualy, that and IRIX are about it, AFAIK.

The neat thing is: Linux has Merced support *now*. No other OS can say that.

Re:Amazed it took this long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724537)

go look at all the systems running on Sun hardware, DEC hardware, etc.!

DEC no longer exists - it was absorbed by a company that make intel boxes :).

Sun is porting Solaris to IA64. Do you think they're doing this to extend Sparc? Trust me, if the port is a roaring success, Sparc will be toast.

a horse-drawn car* (amish) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724540)

I might get moderated down for saying this, particularly by any Amish moderators, but it has to be said so I'll commence:

I don't think he meant to offend anyone Amish who might have read the comment, but I think he meant to liken NT to a horse-drawn cart and an Alpha box to a superhighway, not the other way around.

cough choke.. there goes Microcrap (2)

josepha48 (13953) | about 15 years ago | (#1724542)

It looks like they are heading on the out. I think that they just pissed off one to many companies, and now these compaines are seeing Linux as a way to circumvent Microsoft.

Rather than rewrite their OS, they can use Linux on there hardware. (Linux runs on Mac, Alphas, INtel, Sparc, etc. It make more sense to have one operating system that runs on many cpu's than many operating systems that run on many cpu's.

This is sort of the Java thinking. Java runs on may Operating Systems, but it is a layer above the Operating System. This makes porting form one cpu to another easier.

Most Linux software on Linux/Intel will run on Linux/Alpha, with just a recompile, or on Linux PPC. And it will run faster than Java, unless you compile Java to OS native code.

How will Linux eventually affect Java development? In 5 years some Linux hybred OS may be the new OS. But a hybred of Linux and what? (so far SGI is adding to the Linux melting pot).

Re:NT portability (1)

RedGuard (16401) | about 15 years ago | (#1724543)

NT is much like linux is this respect, a section
of the kernel is hardware dependant and has to
be rewritten for a port. HAL.DLL is really a
non-issue, that's just for motherboard/bios
manufacturers to supply any special code for the
particular model of computer to run. ntoskrnl.exe
itself also has hardware dependant code

Re:Microsoft Recommends You Spend More & Get Less. (0)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | about 15 years ago | (#1724545)

Hasn't Penguin Computing been selling 8 way PIII boxes for Linux for months now? (not that Linux can realy do 8 way, but...)

Re:Microsoft Recommends You Spend More & Get Less. (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | about 15 years ago | (#1724546)

Hmm... BTW, Hasn't Penguin Computing been selling 8 way PIII boxes for Linux for months now? (not that Linux can realy do 8 way, but...)

The inevitable decline has begun (4)

Brian Knotts (855) | about 15 years ago | (#1724549)

The inevitable decline of the Great Beast has indeed begun. This is a strong signal. Microsoft is realizing that with the very real threat of Linux, they can no longer play around with unimportant (as Microsoft sees them) platforms such as Alpha or PPC. They must concentrate on their core products/platform.

BTW, what happened to all the Astroturfers that were posting yesterday about how the Compaq decision was of little importance, because 64-bit NT Alpha development was going strong?

Whaddya think, everyone? Exit Cutler? Or is Merced going to keep him happy?

Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page []

Re:Hardware Abstraction Layer was broken with NT4 (3)

RedGuard (16401) | about 15 years ago | (#1724550)

Strictly speaking nothing in user-land is allowed
access to the hardware in any version of nt,
but after version 3.51 the code that implements
the gui was moved into kernel mode. In any
version of nt sections of the graphics drivers lived in kernel mode and had access to the hardware, what was apparently slowed nt 3.5/3.51
was the code path for gui calls which had to
go to another process, in nt4 they go directly to
the kernel.

Hey, NT still runs on multiple platforms! (0)

pp (4753) | about 15 years ago | (#1724551)

It runs on Intel CPU's.... and... umn...
AMD... and on a good day maybe Cyrix too!
That's 3 platforms already!

Re: NT4 stability, kernel and HAL (3)

Cato (8296) | about 15 years ago | (#1724552)

I'm no NT expert, but this is confused.

What happened is that up to NT 3.51 inclusive, the Win32 subsystem was a completely separate process, as were the OS/2 and POSIX subsystems. In NT4, the Win32 subsystem was migrated into the kernel (in Linux speak; in NT it's the Executive, the Kernel is a very low level layer just above the HAL). There are rumours that this was resisted by key people on the NT team, but there was a strong push to improve GUI performance; there are also rumours that this is the reason for NT4 being less stable than NT 3.5x.

Certainly I never had a crash on NT 3.5x and have had many on NT4, but YMMV. On some configurations, NT does not really crash much (e.g. my Linux workstation on top of VMware!).

As for the HAL originally hiding all hardware - this is not true, otherwise why would device drivers be necessary? I think the HAL abstracts basic resources such as CPU, memory, bus, etc, but many other resources require drivers.

I'm not hugely surprised by Linux doing better on IA-64, since Linux has been 64-bit for some time and has worked out a lot of generic 64-bitness bugs, whereas Win64 is still alpha.

Re:According to Compaq... (0)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | about 15 years ago | (#1724553)

I believe that the author of the analogy intended NT as the horse-drawn cart, and Alpha as the superhighway.

at last, big brother wins (1)

fernando.escobar (82131) | about 15 years ago | (#1724554)

in the deadline, if Microsoft simply can't deal with 64-bit architecture certain they will buy some company or solution to do it best others. it's the microsoft way. :-(

Re:According to Compaq... (1)

RoyBoy (20792) | about 15 years ago | (#1724555)

Hmmm, this according to a company that wants to sacrifice their newly acquired Alpha chips at the holy Intel altar. Seems like I read something from Compaq before the DEC merger promising to keep supporting the Alpha.Alphas make great DB servers, even under a broken OS like NT. And they scream with a REAL OS like {insert your favourite penguin flavour here} Linux.And I though the SEC said mergers were always good for competition ;-)

Re:Oracle on NT -- GAG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724556)

Oracle on NT is Oracle's fault. Oracle spent very little time on the port, even though NT is a large part of their market. Of course, leave it to Ellison's rantings and ravings to squash a potentially good product. Still, I have to say that Oracle on NT seems to perform fine for us, and is much more reliable than Oracle on our Sun boxes.

dammit (1)

Clay Mitchell (43630) | about 15 years ago | (#1724557)

will somebody get adobe and kinetix to go ahead and port photoshop and 3dsmax so i can go ahead and switch now?! jeez...

Re:They blame Compaq - as if it were their job! (2)

tm2b (42473) | about 15 years ago | (#1724558)

Actually, Jim Paradis at Digital was pivotal in getting the Alpha division interested in Linux, and has since been important in speeding along Linux Alpha's success.

Just some credit where it's due...

MS screws Intel too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724559)

If NT wont run on non-86x processors, then the Intel Merced line is screwed too. THat may be one of the reasons for its delay.

Re:Who needs those other 32 bits? (firstus postus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724560)

For the curious or abscent-minded: Bill Gates' original infamous quote was "640KB should be enough for everyone."

Re:Microsoft Recommends You Spend More & Get Less. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724561)

Did you actually check out the TPC [] benchmarks? For the kinds of systems they're selling these boxes for, the Compaq ProLiant 8000 really does seem to hold its own.

The highest-performing Compaq AlphaServer gets >102k TpmC [] , as a cluster of 8 14-CPU servers (read 96 CPUs), with a total system cost of $14m. The new ProLiant 8000/8500 gets >40k TpmC [] , with a single server, and a total system cost of <$800k. Lower quality? Maybe. More money? Clearly not.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to compare the high-end Alphas on NT as the benchmarks submitted for them were almost always using Unix of some this point it's somewhat irrelevant.

Re:Uh Oh... (1)

Tau Zero (75868) | about 15 years ago | (#1724562)

And I'm sure that he'll always be more buff than you, and get more babes.

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724563)

No, I said I'm a M$ developer! I get paid! But that reminds me. The other day in the grocery store, I saw a guy wearing a Red Hat T-shirt and carrying a bicycle helmet! HAHAHAHAHA

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724564)

That's not my problem.

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724565)

Sorry, but that's a lot of idealistic crap. Code is what I do to make money. You must still be a college student...

Re:Dark lord of the desktops (1)

ushirageri (80820) | about 15 years ago | (#1724566)

Yes.. and look what happened the last time. As I remember, when push came to shove, you got your ass kicked.

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724567)

Nope, sorry. M$ allowed me to be able to buy a $2K mountain bike. When will you kids ever learn...?

Linux already runs on Merced ? (1)

Renaud (6194) | about 15 years ago | (#1724568)

Excuse me if this is a silly question, but I can't seem to find an arch/ia64/ or arch/merced/ directory under /usr/src/linux.

Has Intel really ported the kernel alone ? I don't think this has been discussed at all in the linux-kernel list, and it'd surprise me if Linus, Alan, and the others had been working secretly with Intel.

Or does the article only mean that Intel is committed to porting Linux on Merced and that it'll be easy because the code is already 64-bit ready ?

Re:Uh Oh... (1)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | about 15 years ago | (#1724569)

Funny. Linux guys can't even BELIEVE how much money we make.

Funny, one of the reasons Microsoft says you should use their inferior products is that they are supposedly so simple that any idiot can administer or develop for them, so you can hire cheap recent grads and pay slave labor wages.

Surprise, surprise, either Microsoft isn't telling the truth or you aren't. Or maybe both (what I am leaning towards).
I can tell you around here, I develop for Solaris and I make as much or more than most of the Windows (VB) developers we have. I know this because I can look up on our intranet what job title people have and I know the salary bands that match up to them.

You can tell them, and their eyes get really big, and then they usually start to drool.

Well, I decided a while back that I'd have to make at least twice as much to be subjected to developing on Windows again. That kind of frustration isn't worth it.

Oh well. I've got a royal blue '98 'Vette.

Big deal. That is a nice car. I could afford one if I wanted one (I have four cars already, one of which is a '99, and another of which is a classic muscle car which can roast any stock '98 Vette in the 1/4 mile). There are plenty of *nix developers that make that kind of money. Hell, there are plenty of mainframe COBOL programmers who make that kind of money. There is no need to prostitute oneself by working with Microsoft.

If you live in NC and you have a "Red Hat" bumper sticker, chances are I've given you the finger as I flew by your rusting out '82 Honda.

Chances are that more than a few Red Hat employees are sitting on stock or options that would allow them to buy that new Ferarri you've been drooling over.

Hahaha - A MS Developer laughing all the way to the bank

Frankly, I pity you. You sound like a shallow, arrogant, egotistical, idiot.

does Linux support > 1 gig on Alpha? (1)

RelliK (4466) | about 15 years ago | (#1724570)

I heard that Linux's 64-bit support (on Alpha at least) is not exactly as good as it should be. Technically, Linux has 64-bit address space; both kernel and apps can use it. But there is a problem with PCI cards. Some cards need to be able to read/write to memory, but they can address only 32 bit space. In order for them to work, the kernel must allocate memory for them below 1 gig, as the person who told me that claimed. DEC Unix(*) does that, but Linux does not. This is similar to some old ISA cards, for which memory had to be allocated below 16 Mb.

Can somebody confirm / deny / comment on that?

(*) I refuse to call it "Compaq Tru64". Compaq had nothing to do with it, other then buying Digital. Besides, does anybody else think "Tru64" is a stupid name?

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724571)

Amen brother. Get what you can while you can.

Re:It seems kind of ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724572)

It runs on 486?! How slow is it? How much memory does it need for acceptable performance? Will it upgrade to Windows 2000?

Re:cough choke.. there goes Microcrap (2)

mangino (1588) | about 15 years ago | (#1724573)

This is completely false. Very little real software ports that easily unless it was designed on a 64 bit architecture. Too many people think that sizeof(int) == sizeof (char *) which is not true on alpha.

If your design and code is already 64 bit clean and abstract, you'll be fine. If not, have fun chasing down memory errors from assigning pointers to ints.

Quit Gloating !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724574)

We have a *long* way to go. Just cuz we stormed the beaches doesn't mean we've occupied the capital. We still got a long way to go and Bill's got plenty of reserve FUD troopers.

Re:According to Compaq... I stand corrected (1)

iculver (64842) | about 15 years ago | (#1724575)

Thank you all for the clarification. I guess you don't have to be from Harvard to make mistakes! :-)

Re:a horse-drawn car* (amish) (5)

CrosseyedPainless (27978) | about 15 years ago | (#1724576)

And what would be thy problem with the horse-drawn cart, Englishman? It is not a tool of the Devil, like the forsaken-by-God products of Microsoft!

dictated to me by an Amish moderator

Re:It seems kind of ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724577)

Office 2000 and Visual C++ 6 both run on my 486 laptop. I put NT 3.51 on it once just to try it. I wouldn't try putting NT 4.0 on it.

Re:Hey, NT still runs on multiple platforms! (1)

strl (73569) | about 15 years ago | (#1724578)

Don't forget the WinChip, too.
Luckily, unlike LinModems, LinChips don't seem
to be developed/planned at all.

Re:It seems kind of ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724580)

...and equally ironic that portability was deliberately compromised in the original design of Linux. It had to run on Linus's 386, and that was all.

Re:Amazed it took this long... (1)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | about 15 years ago | (#1724583)

Sun is porting Solaris to IA64. Do you think they're doing this to extend Sparc?

No, Sun is doing it to expand market share even on non-Sparc hardware. They have had Solaris on 32-bit x86 for quite some time now, and it hasn't affected Sparc much.

Trust me, if the port is a roaring success, Sparc will be toast.

I've heard this too many times. People said similar things about the Sun 386i. People said similar things when the first Solaris x86 came out... Sparc is still alive and well.

Sun would be remiss not to hedge their bets, but I don't think they will give up on Sparc anytime soon.

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

pointwood (14018) | about 15 years ago | (#1724590)

For pricy cars, you have to go to Denmark (where I live) - a Ford Mondeo with a 1.6 motor (!) costs about 200.000kr (the Danish currency) - that's about 28000$

The gas costs nearly 1$ pr. litre!

Besides that it's mostly a great country...

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724591)

Wow. I guess I won't be living/working in Denmark any time soon! Ouch!

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724592)

Oh please, I am still in school and I've made upwards of $125/hr just for LINUX consulting. Right now, I've got a part time Linux consulting job paying $40+/hr, and I don't even have a degree. Besides, there's really much more to life than money.

Re:Uh Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724593)

Yawn. And what's your point? Besides, try doing that full-time!

Re:Oracle on NT -- GAG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724594)

More reliable than Oracle on your Sun boxes? Sorry, I have to question the abilities of your Sun admins. That's about the most stable combination of software/hardware I have ever used. What kind of problems have you had?

Re:The inevitable decline has begun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724595)

I'm surprised Cutler hasn't thrown a tantrum and left already...after all, he left Digital for similar reasons (Digital corrupted his 'dream' by axing the Rainbow, etc). I mean, given how he wanted to make a real next-gen OS to 'kill' UNIX he CAN'T have been happy about moving the GDI into the NT kernel. He can't be happy about garbage like ActiveX and Internet Exploder further making his OS unstable.

More and more, marketing is interfering with his 'dream OS' and turning it into the mess we know as Windows 2000. He'll probably get angry (again) and jump ship with his loyal army of programmers (who also jumped ship from DEC with him).

Re:Uh Oh... (1)

aithien (32819) | about 15 years ago | (#1724596)

Will anyone remember your code and talk about it for years to come? Code is vision and poetry in math. If I made 6 figures a year, I'd still walk to work as I do now. I live a good life... but thanks for your monstrous perception.

Re:Oracle on NT -- GAG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724598)

Two days ago the listener just died. The DBA's can't figure out what happened. They've been on the phone with Oracle & Sun for 2 days. We had to move to a new dev box. Ouch. On the other hand, on another job, I've been working on the same NT/Oracle box for a year and a half with no hiccups.

Re:Does this really mean anything? (2)

scenic (4226) | about 15 years ago | (#1724601)

I'd have to agree. While I won't hold back criticizing the MSFT when they deserve it, I'm not sure if this is their problem. In other words, Microsoft seems to want to support the Alpha, at least a little, but Compaq is blowing away the NT Unit because it's "underperforming" for them.

As for the Merced thing, I'd have to agree. This sounds more like an early hiccup vs. any serious problem. Believe me when I say that Intel will not hold back any support for getting MSFT stuff to run on their processors. Too big a market.

Although, if Intel were to not help MSFT, it's be interesting to see who that would hurt more? Intel or MSFT? I mean, if you think about it, with this move, NT is basically a one architecture beast. So unless they start pushing AMD K7's as their premier processor (not a bad idea from the reviews of the processor), MSFT is really in some trouble. On the other hand, cheap Intel processors would probably aid Be, Linux, OS/2, BSD, and the number of other x86 operating systems out there.... be interesting, if you ask me.


Re:cough choke.. there goes Microcrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1724603)

> If your design and code is already 64 bit clean
> and abstract, you'll be fine. If not, have fun
> chasing down memory errors
>from assigning pointers to ints.

So let's assume, the makers of "big" software (like Oracle, Informix, IBM etc.) already should know how to make 64-bit clean SW?
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