[rescue] ECC [was: Re: WOT: Ebay changes to IBM from Sun

Francisco Javier Mesa-Martinez lefa at ucsc.edu
Fri Jul 11 16:17:33 CDT 2003

On Fri, 11 Jul 2003, Dave McGuire wrote:
> >
> > Yeah, same things were saying the minis guys two decades ago, look what
> > happened to them. :)
>    Umm, that has *nothing* to do with the demise of the minicomputer,
> Francisco.
>    On architectural matters, I'll almost always defer to your in-depth
> knowledge.  But in matters of minicomputer history, I'm afraid I have
> to stand my ground.

It is all about economies of scale. Minis were a good solution when
compared with the PCs/workstations of back then. When autocad first came
out in the late 70's early 80s players like Pr1me (computervision), DEC et
all. Since most CAD packages ran on main/minis. Then the workstations
pretty much obliterated the minis, I can find posts from the usenet back
then were staunthc VAXers/Pr1mers were just complaining at SUNs "cheap"
and bad hardware, and OS.

Now years later we see the same stauntch SUNers, Workstationers
diminishing the PCs. And the problem is that a workstation may be
margninally better quality, but the performance differencial is just not
enough nowadays to justify their purchase. So I can ask my boss to either
get me a new Xeon or a SUN, look at the prices and well, specially under
this economy, I am more likely to end up using a DELL.

The problem is that if vendors like SUN keep on pushing "Better" products
that are only slightly better than the commodity offerings, at a
significant premium... they are bound to be swallowed. And in some sense
they are...

It is just market evolution, whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant.
The workstations swallowed the minis, and the PCs are going to swallow the
workstation, I assume that in a not too distant future PDAs will swallow
PCs and so on.... progress moves along, whether or not it moves in the
directions we want is a nother matter. Smaller does not mean better, but
sure as hell it means cheaper. And yeah as long as money is involved as a
mean to pay for transactions, those "bean counters" will matter.

It is like the music industry, some came out of the woodwork and they were
not prepared... either you adapt or you die. That is the beauty/uglyness
of capitalism (whether or not we are in a pure capitalistic society is
also another matter of opinion too... :) ).

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