[SunRescue] Good x86 Laptop?
havoc at apk.net
Wed Mar 29 10:28:34 CST 2000
> The Sun x86 play is simple, and makes a certain amount of sense given
> Suns history:
> While it is true that for end-user written/custom applications, there is a
> tremendous level of source code level compatability, allowing an org.
> to scrap Sun hardware in favor of Intel hardware. The more likely scenario
> is for young companies that can not afford/choose not to buy proprietary
> hardware they can develop their code to SOlaris APIs, and when they
> can afford it they can migrate their existing code base to the SPARC
> platform with minimal effort.
> It also allows an organization frustrated by WinNT servers to try Solaris
> without a major hardware purchase.
I agree completely with this strategy, and I think it plays into things as
well. I know of one site that falls into the "young company" category who
will soon be migrating to SPARC...
> So, Solaris x86 (IMHO) is viewed as a marketing expense, more than a viable
> standalone market. Solaris laptops, while valued by end users, have not sold
> very well due to high costs. The minimal hardware requirements for a "good"
> SOlaris Laptop have kept the costs up towards the $3-5K price range. Solaris
> x86 hardware needs were always was a bit ahead of the commodity laptops.
Well, I guess that's always been the problem with Solaris x86, and why it
may never go any farther than it's gone. On one front, it's viewed as a
migration and marketing expense, whereas there is a good standalone market
that has been exploited in the past, at least prior to 2.7, for the roving
developer and the field Unix folks. I mean, I've been told by people who've
worked with them that the standard issue for (at least a certain class) Sun
FEs was a Toshiba laptop running Solaris x86.
In the meantime, IMHO, Solaris x86 hardware needs have not kept up with the
laptop market, rather than the other way around. I've never had a problem
with buying high-end laptop hardware, I don't buy the commodity stuff.
However, there isn't a high-end laptop out there today that you can buy that
will run with Solaris x86 2.7 with full support. If you're lucky, you can
buy Accelerated X and at least your video may work (I know support for my
1.5 year old Dell was just recently added, Xfree 86 had it first). Of
course, buying Accelerated X seems a little silly in the first place, since
my understanding (and that of severl folks I know) was that Sun was using
Accelerated X in OEM form for at least Solaris x86, maybe even SPARC? They
just expect us to go out and buy the support we need from third parties, I
guess. This wasn't the case prior to 2.7, at least you had support for the
better laptop hardware in a lot of cases. One could argue that this may
have hurt the Tadpole & RDIs of the world, maybe that's what finally
changed things. Even at $3-5k it was cheaper to go x86 (and usually get a
more modern unit to boot) than to pony up the $10-12k for a Tadpole. To be
fair, though, there were always good reasons to go Tadpole/RDI, and there
always will be. I know that the product my company puts out will not run on
Solaris x86, due to hardware differences. And that's probably true of many
of the applications that Tadpoles & RDIs are used for (GIS, Oil exploration,
engineering applications, etc.).
> Also, with desktop machines so affordable (look at what you can get for $1K
> these days), most potential laptop buyers have opted for home desktop machines
> for folks that may have been a laptop candidate.
That's likely as well. That, or cheap older SPARC hardware (the route I
ended up taking). That, or the other alternative: Linux or a *BSD, and
then Solaris ends up taking the back seat...
Just strikes me as odd that Sun kind of seems to want to ignore what was
always a good, strong, traditional market for Solaris x86 to go and pursue
Intel-based servers. Maybe they think there'll be a Linux backlash in the
future and they want to be poised for that busines...In the meantime, I
guess I'll end up slogging 2 laptops if I want to use Solaris x86 (my old
Tecra should be supported, although it died half way through the install the
first time I tried it), or just give in and go Linux (not my first
Unigraphics Solutions Inc. Industry Services, Mid-America Region
Email: havoc at apk.net (Personal) petersen at ugsolutions.com (Professional)
> Just my opinions,
> Chris Petersen wrote:
> > I just don't understand this play on Sun's part, seem short sighted. If
> > they succeed at making Solaris x86 a successful "Intel Enterprise" platform,
> > than I would think they'd be hurting their own sales, and by basically
> > ignoring laptop support all they do is encourage developers to end up using
> > Linux or god-forbid, NT with an X-server package...
> > On the other hand, if somebody were to get Xfree 86 up and working well
> > under Solaris, and include Sun packages and instructions, that might be a
> > different story. Until then, if you want to run Solaris on a laptop, your
> > best bet is Solaris x86 on 2-3 year old hardware...
> > Chris
> > --
> > Chris Petersen
> > Systems Engineer
> > Unigraphics Solutions Inc. Industry Services, Mid-America Region
> > Email: havoc at apk.net (Personal) petersen at ugsolutions.com (Professional)
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