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From: v...@sunb6.cs.uiuc.edu
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: System/6000 questions.
Message-ID: <40900001@sunb6>
Date: 29 Jun 90 05:00:00 GMT
Lines: 61
Nf-ID: #N:sunb6:40900001:000:2180
Nf-From: sunb6.cs.uiuc.edu!voss    Jun 29 00:00:00 1990
Posted: Fri Jun 29 06:00:00 1990


	I am considering the purchase of a System/6000 Model 320.
Before signing away my life to IBM, I've got some questions, and this
seems to be the best place to ask them.  Feel free to fill my mail box 
<v...@cs.uiuc.edu> if/when you think the answers are not of general interest.
I'll summarize (indicate if you want to remain anonymous).

	The following questions assume generic AIX Version 3.
If additional hardware/software is required, please indicate where/when/cost.

1)  Will an RS 6000 act as an NFS server?  client?

2)  Does it support SLIP?  Compressed SLIP?

3)  How fast can you push the 320's serial ports?  (I'ld love 56 kbps [ISDN])
    (One at a time, or both?)

4)  Anyone using a USR HST modem with it for uucp?

5)  Is the 2-d Color Graphics Adapter really "optimal for X Windows use?"

6)  What GNU software has been/is being ported to the Rios?

7)  Compared with porting a BSD program to SYS V, or SYS V to BSD,
    how difficult is it to port programs to AIX?

8)  Does AIX support the BSD three R's, rlogin, rsh, rcp?

9)  What do you think of AIX in general?  (I'm a BSD bigot myself.)
    One person told me half jokingly:
	"throw out the best of BSD, and the best of SYS V,
	 what is left is AIX."
    What do you think?

10) Does AIX come with /usr/man/man* or just /usr/man/cat* ?

11) What troff/TeX support is available?
	Will I need a postscript printer, or will an HP do the job?

12) Will AIX (using tar or dd) write to the optional "150MB QIC Tape Drive"
    in a format that a SUN with a 60MB tape can read/write?

13) Are there second sources for RAM cards and simms yet?

14) Are generic external SCSI disks supported, or only IBM disks?

15) Are floppies the standard distribution media for OS & Applications?

16) Will the Model 320 use a clone AT/XT keyboard?

17) How many buttons on the standard mouse?
	(None of the pictures I've seen show!!!!)

18) Given a choice between buying a Model 320, and spending
    the same amount on some other workstation, what would you buy?
    (Why? Have you used one?)

19) What have I forgotten to ask before deciding to purchase?

				thanks a bunch, I'll summarize,
				Bill Voss <v...@cs.uiuc.edu>

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From: je...@sandino.austin.ibm.com (Peter Jeffe 512.823.4091)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: Re: System/6000 questions.
Message-ID: <2644@awdprime.UUCP>
Date: 2 Jul 90 16:39:56 GMT
References: <40900001@sunb6>
Sender: n...@awdprime.UUCP
Organization: IBM AWD, Austin, TX
Lines: 60
Posted: Mon Jul  2 17:39:56 1990

In article <40900001@sunb6> v...@sunb6.cs.uiuc.edu writes:
>	I am considering the purchase of a System/6000 Model 320.
>Before signing away my life to IBM, I've got some questions, and this
>seems to be the best place to ask them....
>
>1)  Will an RS 6000 act as an NFS server?  client?

Yes.  Yes.

>2)  Does it support SLIP?  Compressed SLIP?

Yes.  Not at present.

>3)  How fast can you push the 320's serial ports?  (I'ld love 56 kbps [ISDN])

The configuration menu shows 38.4, but check with your rep.

>7)  Compared with porting a BSD program to SYS V, or SYS V to BSD,
>    how difficult is it to port programs to AIX?

AIX3 has attempted to be posix/ansi/bsd/sysv compliant, with a hierarchy of
priorities where conflicts occur.  Having ported several BSD programs to AIX3,
I can say that aside from the well-known portability issues, I have found no
suprises, and had a real easy time of it.

>8)  Does AIX support the BSD three R's, rlogin, rsh, rcp?

Yes, yes, yes.

>9)  What do you think of AIX in general?  (I'm a BSD bigot myself.)
>    One person told me half jokingly:
>	"throw out the best of BSD, and the best of SYS V,
>	 what is left is AIX."
>    What do you think?

I think that's a bit silly; much of the kernel is drawn from both sources,
and I can say from first-hand experience that the tcp/ip/socket code is almost
indistinguishable from BSD tahoe, except where we've fixed bugs.  As for the
rest, it seems well-structured and reasonably lean, considering that IBM has
put in a fair amount of security code and other "enhancements" aimed at
satisfying customer demand.  I believe that other systems (including BSD 4.4)
have had to do the same.

>10) Does AIX come with /usr/man/man* or just /usr/man/cat* ?

It uses "info", which contains complete system documentation, from how to
write device drivers to command reference.  I believe man uses this data and
formats it in the standard way.  The data is avaliable on CD, and can also
be loaded on hard disk.  My experience is that it's a bit slower than a
traditional man, but it's much more comprehensive.  It also features hypertext
links, which can be useful.

>17) How many buttons on the standard mouse?

Three.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Jeffe   ...uunet!cs.utexas.edu!ibmchs!auschs!sandino.austin.ibm.com!jeffe

        first they want a disclaimer, then they make you pee in a jar,
		   then they come for you in the night

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From: v...@sunb5.cs.uiuc.edu
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: Re: System/6000 questions.
Message-ID: <40900002@sunb5>
Date: 4 Jul 90 03:52:00 GMT
References: <40900001@sunb6>
Lines: 528
Nf-ID: #R:sunb6:40900001:sunb5:40900002:000:25949
Nf-From: sunb5.cs.uiuc.edu!voss    Jul  3 22:52:00 1990
Posted: Wed Jul  4 04:52:00 1990


* Summary (some responses omitted)            [Emacs Users Note: outline-mode]

	The consensus seems to be that the RS/6000 Model 320 is a superb
choice for floating point number crunching.  It is an acceptable to good
choice on a integer mips, general purpose workstation basis.

	AIX on the RS/6000 was generally considered good but immature when
the resondent had access to porting documentation, and general IBM hand
holding.  Without such support, AIX was considered horrible.
(Restated, porting workarounds are available if you can findout about them.)

	It seems that the RS/6000 will be much more attractive to turnkey
purchasers buying software & hardware support contracts, rather than
anonymous ftp junkies.  This is partly a matter of youth, after a year or so
most of the simple things will probably be ported.  However, IBM seems to be
only half heartedly supporting redistributable programs.  For example, there
seems to be little chance that a sample X server will ever support the rios.
(That may have cost them my purchase.)  The status of things like gcc, and
g++ is also unclear, though emacs, make, tar, bison, etc are expected.

* Andy Webb offered the following caution:
NOTE: Most, if not all, responders will have been using pre-release
code.  The machine and code are General Availability (real release) on
6/29.  Please consider this fact when reading responses re. performance
of certain sub-systems (X-windows sped by a factor of 4 from 9013 to
9021 at least) You might want to wait another month or two to see how
stable the real code is and what people think of AIX without the
debugging code in and the optimization on.

* 1)  Will an RS 6000 act as an NFS server?  client?

	Yes, yes.

* 2)  Does it support SLIP?  Compressed SLIP?

	Yes, SLIP is there.
	Probably no compressed SLIP.

* 3)  How fast can you push the 320's serial ports?  (I'ld love 56 kbps [ISDN])
    (One at a time, or both?)
** Jeffrey Smith
The 2 native ports, 1 will do 38.4, 1 will do 19.2...I think it's a
hardware limitation.  Spent about 3 weeks on the serial and tty drivers.
** Andy Webb
As of now, 19.2K - ultimately (september code release supposedly) 56KB.
The Multi-Protocol Coprocessor Adapter is probably better for ISDN since
it does offload comp. time from the main processor and will easily sustain
56Kb (Sept. again).  The MPCA will support 2 rs232 lines at 56Kb.

* 4)  Anyone using a USR HST modem with it for uucp?

	No responses.

* 5)  Is the 2-d Color Graphics Adapter really "optimal for X Windows use?"
** Chuck Karish
    X works quite nicely for my uses (software development).  I have
    no idea how much of this is due to the adapter and how much to
    having a fast processor and lots of memory.  What do you want from
    X?  The X protocol itself is decidedly sub-optimal for many
    graphics tasks.

    The 6091 monitor, which is reputedly a Sony Trinitron, is very
    nice.  It's one of the few color screens I've used that hasn't
    had me wishing for the clarity of a gray-scale monitor.
** Jeffrey Smith
Probably.  The 3d card still has X server problems.  Xtank leaves mouse
droppings, and it doesn't do as good on the Xspec as the 2d card.
** Andy Webb
I don't know what you mean by optimal, but it does a hell of a job.  Obviously
the 3-D adapter will be a bit faster since it has more hardware acceleration
than the 2-D board.  As far as 2-D vs. 3-D the 8-bit models look the same -
very good.  The display postscript is neat too if you get it.
** Markus Baertschi
  I've used both, the 2-D Adapter and the 3-D Adapter, the 2-D Adapter is a
  bit faster on text (xterms) and the 3-D Adapter is faster for extensive
  graphics (all the nice GL stuff). If you are going to need high performance
  graphics then take a 3-D, if you use mainly windowing stuff you will be
  fine with the 2-D. Later, if the need arises you can upgrade quite simple
  as all color displays work on both adapters.
** David Battle
Some X applications run *horrendously slow* and I'm not sure why.  The
x implementation of pac-man for example absolutely crawls (xchomp, I
believe it is called).  Xlife on the other hand, flys like a bat out of hell.

* 6)  What GNU software has been/is being ported to the Rios?
** Chuck Karish
    IBM shipped emacs with some pre-release AIX builds, so it's been
    ported.  They're not distributing it any more.

    At a show-and-tell a few months ago, somebody asked Kathy Bohrer
    (head AIX 3.1 architect) whether IBM would support gcc.  She laughed.
    This query was made in between two talks that described the fancy
    optimizing compiler that is needed to realize the full potential of
    the 6000's pipelined architecture.
** Eliot Lim
I've got emacs 18.54 ported.  IBM supplied the s- and m- files so the
build was easy.  I did insert a patch or two to prevent a problem when
using emacs through rlogin/telnet.
** Jeffrey Smith
There should be emacs availible from FSF someday.  IBM was going to ship
it, but there were legal problems still to be resolved.  Bison and
flex ported with no problems for me.  I got gcc producing 386 code
eventually.  The problems I ran into have been fixed.
** Chuck Purcell
I think that I have gnumake running on our rs6000, as compiled with cc.
I have not attempted the full gnu suite,'til we get our own rs6000 delivered
** Markus Baertschi
  GNU emacs was originally intended to to be shipped by IBM. Due to licensing
  problems (someone was going to sue IBM) they had to withdraw this plan :-{.
  Anyway, I have emacs running and someone else here is using gnutar, gnumake
  and others extensively. Gnu got some machines granted from IBM to make their 
  stuff work.
** David Battle
I have seen a very fragile version of gnu emacs and that's all I know of.
I have *not* seen a working version of xterm (as opposed to aixterm which
sort of serves the same purpose, but is by no means the same).  The main
problems I have had porting involved the terminal driver facilities
which seem to be some weird intermix between SysV BSD and POSIX.

* 7)  Compared with porting a BSD program to SYS V, or SYS V to BSD,
    how difficult is it to port programs to AIX?
** Mike Elliot
	It's a pretty easy port. Our code was originally written on the suns
	and I have ported it to HP's (SYSV), Tektronix (SYSV), Sony (BSD),
	SCO (SYSV), Multiflow (BSD), and now aix (SYSV). Since our code was
	already ported to alot of SYSV machines, it was minor to bring up
	our code under aix. Their were two major problems though:

	a.) The compiler still has bugs. I wish I could tell you
	    what they are, but they are highly dependant on your
	    code (i.e. I was able to isolate while lines the compiler
	    was barfing on, but not able to reproduce the errors by
	    doing the same things in a small test programs). But once
	    you figure out what lines it doesn't like, working around
	    them are usually trivial.

	b.) The Optimizer doesn't always work. That is, it optimizes
	    out code it shouldn't. I don't use the optimizer any more.

	NOTE:
		These are my impressions from using 9013s1.
** Chuck Karish
    AIX provides a range of programming interfaces from both worlds.  I
    find it easier to port to AIX from 4.3 or S5R3 than to port from
    either of those to the other.

    People in the AWD say that IBM management was stung by the response
    to RT AIX, where IBM's innovations were not appreciated by their
    customers.  The intent with 3.1 was to provide truly standard
    programming interfaces, and to do everything better than it was
    done for the RT.  Perhaps I'm not the best judge of how well they
    succeeded; I got along OK with the later versions of RT AIX (2.2,
    2.2.1).  I'm happier now, though, with job control and all the BSD
    commands I grew up with.
** Eliot Lim
The different AIX's have different porting behavior.  AIX/370 & AIX/PS2 is
quite easy, since they have BSD roots.  AIX/RT is a nightmare for someone
who's only used to BSD.  AIX 3.1 is quite good so far.  One just needs to
hack up the makefiles to insert the BSD flags to the compiler and linker.
I ported sendmail 5.61 with relative ease, and I'm definitely not a unix 
pro.  (It comes with sendmail 5.2)  I got a lot of public domain stuff
through anonymous ftp and many of them built without modifications.
** Jeffrey Smith
  Portability is pretty good.  I've ported or seen rn, nntp, nethack,
xtank (some problems), vn, some xmandelbrout things, umoria, xball.
I ususally use a sysv type environment, and add the BSD things when needed
(like sockets, etc).  Overall porting code that is portably written is
easy.
** Chuck Purcell
We have built a useful version of microEmacs V.3.10 using bsd practices, so
I believe that AIX is closer to bsd than sys5. (The sys5 emacs port failed)
(This version of microEmacs has been exported to Florida State Univ.as well)
** Markus Baertschi
  As I started working I was amazed how easy porting was (on the RT running
  AIX 2.2 this sometimes ended up being a major nightmare). The bsd libraries
  and commands are supported, but I really don't know if the last detail is
  there too.
** David Battle
Ridiculously hard.  Every time I turn around something new pops up and slaps
me in the face.  In the end most things can be ported, but the bigger
an application and the more OS features it uses, the harder it will be
to get running.

* 8)  Does AIX support the BSD three R's, rlogin, rsh, rcp?

	Yes.

* 9)  What do you think of AIX in general?  (I'm a BSD bigot myself.)
    One person told me half jokingly:
	"throw out the best of BSD, and the best of SYS V,
	 what is left is AIX."
    What do you think?
** Mike Elliot
	It's still a little bit buggy, but it is a fairly good implementation
	of SYSV. They also have alot of Berkely commands (in /usr/ucb) and
	a berkely compatibility library (/usr/lib/libbsd.a).
** Chuck Karish
    IBM is certainly an inviting target for cheap shots.  Before you
    take them seriously, make sure they're made by someone who has
    some experience with the system you're interested in.

    AIX 3.1 is a reasonably solid and very complete UNIX implementation.
    Considering that IBM developed it, complete with a number of
    extensions and internationalization support, on brand-new hardware,
    I'm somewhat surprised at how strong it is.
** Eliot Lim
I think that AIX/RT sucks.  I love the AIX/370 and AIX/PS2 TCF connected
machines.  They complement each other really elegantly.  AIX 3.1 for the
RS 6000 is fine with me, no major complaints.  (I was raised on BSD too)
All the nice BSD stuff is there and work just like BSD.
** Jeffrey Smith
  This is a tough one.  Personally I like AIX/ps on the 486 pretty well,
which is what I'm using right now (will I'm dialed up to it).  The 6000
is fast which makes it plesant most of the time.  Working with it here,
we had some very *bad* pre-release versions.  It still is still buggy.
There will be an update in July, which , well it usually works, but there
are many annoying bad messages and such.  They are getting around to them
now, so in August, it should please most BSD users, except for system admin,
which is different, but usually easy with the menu interface.

  I'm currently writing a driver for it.  It's better than I thought it
would be.  And under the covers there are a lot of nasy things that are
specific to the RS/6000 archetecture.  They shouldn't bother you, unless
you have to port AIX 3.  But they work on the 6K.
  
** George Seibel
Well, the initial software that came out on the 6000 probably should
not have been allowed to fall into user hands.  it was just *too* buggy.
by the time they got to the 9013 release, it seemed pretty solid from
my perspective.   I'm mainly bothered by the fact that they seem to want
to do everything "their way" instead of the normal way.   Some kind of
wierd ibm attitude...   I'm willing to put up with quite a lot to get
that amazing price/performance they offer.  If the box was not so blazingly
fast for my number-crunching applications, I would probably ignore it.
** Andy Webb
I'm quite fond of AIX.  One of the best things going is multiple-virtual
terminals on the console - multiple X hosts, standard shells all at the
flick of ALT-RTCTRL.
Dynamic kernel parameters, dynamic disk volumes, dynamic page space, fully
pageable kernel...
** Markus Baertschi
  If this person meant AIX on the RT he was certainly not too fas off...
  But AIX on the 6000 is a REVOLUTION !! (I'm VERY plesed we have finally
  a decent Unix !)
  I personally love AIX as I didn't found anything missing and there are 
  lots of goodies. (Korn shell, Menu guided system management, Online 
  Hypertext manuals, Windowed debugger, X.Desktop...)

* 10) Does AIX come with /usr/man/man* or just /usr/man/cat* ?
** Mike Elliot
	There is nothing in /usr/man/*. However they do have an info
	system which is better and worse than man pages. Also, with
	the info system, you can still type: man csh and still get
	pretty much what you would expect, although the format of
	the man pages isn't really unix man style (i.e. not exactly
	what I want)
** Chuck Karish
    Neither.  It uses a hypertext-based documentation system.  The
    familiar man pages are available from the fancy database,
    either from a point-and-click menu or from the command line.

    IBM provides the documentation database, which includes
    supplementary articles and tutorials as well as man pages,
    on CD-ROM.  When nobody's using the CD-ROM, the player's
    usable for music.

    I haven't tried to install my own man pages.
** Eliot Lim
Yes, but not really the same format as BSD man.  There's a real nifty hypertext
help called info explorer that I use most of the time.  I like that utility.
** Jeffrey Smith
  The documentation is in a special data base that has all the docs in it,
but realistically you need lots of disk, or a CD rom player.  It is nice
via X, but lacks some of the niceities of having /usr/man.  A semi-broken
man command is provided.
** Chuck Purcell
The man pages are extracted from the Info text, rather strangely. Info is
much better with 9013 than it was with 9005. I'll see about the 9021 O/S.
I can use my SUN 3/80 in a server/client relationship for viewing Info in
X-windows on my SUN. Now I know why I installed X-windows.
**  Markus Baertschi
  There are /usr/man/man and /usr/man/cat directories but they are empty.
  Man looks up the information in the online documentation. The directories
  are just there for utilities, goodies etc. 
  You can get the whole manual set online in a hypertext style database. This
  includes everything which is avaliable on paper (service guides have graphic
  illustrations). You can search using keywords, browse through books, lookup
  commands all using the mouse. Although you can use the database too from 
  an ascii terminal it is obviously much nicer on a graphic screen. The only
  drawback is the space this stuff takes on the disk or the additional expense
  for a CDROM drive. The CDROM drive is not much slower as having the stuff
  on disk in practice so I recommend this. You can also use just one cd-rom
  drive for several machines using nfs.

* 11) What troff/TeX support is available?
	Will I need a postscript printer, or will an HP do the job?
** Chuck Karish
    troff is installed on my system, with support for at least
    the IBM 4216 PostScript printer.  I'm sure it'll do at least
    nroff on a laserjet.
** Eliot Lim
There's a device driver for the LaserJet 2 and I've used it to print ascii
files without problems.  I also got the RS6000 to be a print server and
that works.  Haven't tried troff though the troff program is included.
Postscript is also supported but I haven't tried it yet.
** Jeffrey Smith
TeX and troff are both there.  TeX might be extra, and troff might be 
packaged in a Text LPP.  Don't know about printers.  We print from BSD
machines...
** Markus Baertschi
  Tex is supported and available from IBM.
  I think a HP will do it, but I don't really know.
** Harley Hahn (UnixWorld Reviewer)
AIX comes with built-in support for Postscript and for the 
HP laserjet (although I didn't test this).
** David Battle
Hmmm.  We got TeX working, but we don't have a way of printing from it
yet.  We have to copy the dvi files to another machine and print from there.

* 12) Will AIX (using tar or dd) write to the optional "150MB QIC Tape Drive"
    in a format that a SUN with a 60MB tape can read/write?
** Mike Elliot
	You can read sun tapes and write tapes which suns will understand
	by using /dev/rmt0.4.
** Chuck Karish
    No.  This is a limitation in the 150MB tape format, not in AIX.
    It's upward compatible with the 60MB format (can read 60MB tapes)
    but not downward (can't write 'em).
*** Me
	I should have remembered this.  Even a SUN 150Mb drive
	will only read the old 60Mb tapes.

* 13) Are there second sources for RAM cards and simms yet?
** Jeffrey Smith
  I heard rumors, but probably not.  It has some pretty cool error 
detecting/correcting and parallel fetching on these cards.  It will
probably be a while...
** A bunch of people
  Yes, REAL SOON NOW, or Eventually.

* 14) Are generic external SCSI disks supported, or only IBM disks?
** Chuck Purcell
I have attached Wren 4, Wren 6 and Wren 7 disks to our demo rs6000, electric-
ally easy but not very systematically, due to little documentation. We are
using AIX O/S 9013S1 and expecting 9021 tomorrow(ha ha the story of my life).

The scsi performance with hard disks is spectacular...the Wren 7 was measur-
ed at block transfer rates of 2 million bytes per second on a 200 Mbyte file.
If FORTRAN, especially 64-bit , is in your future, this is a good machine.
** Markus Baertschi
  There is a generic disk device driver who should do the job.
** Harley Hahn (UnixWorld Reviewer)
The IBM SCSI adaptor supports general SCSI-ness.  However,
you will need drivers.

* 15) Are floppies the standard distribution media for OS & Applications?
** Me
	There was no general agreement on this question.
	I've omitted most responses.
** Markus Baertschi
  You can get the OS & Applications on Floppys, 150MB tape, and exabyte or
  preinstalled.
** Harley Hahn (UnixWorld Reviewer)
The standard is that ALL system software plus other stuff that you
buy from IBM at the time come PRE-LOADED on your hard disk.
In fact, a lot or all of it is already installed.

You will NOT need to mess with diskettes.  BTW, the 3.5" built-in
drive takes the standard 1.44 MB diskettes, like the PS/2.

In general, software installation is easy.
Also, you do not need to connect or unpack the machine.  IBM sends
a "customer engineer" for free to do this for you.  When he leaves,
all you have to do is log in as root and start to add users.
*** Me
Note: Harley Hahn is/was doing a review of the RS/6000 for UnixWorld,
mere mortals may not get nearly as much hand holding.

* 16) Will the Model 320 use a clone AT/XT keyboard?
** Eliot Lim
Don't think so.  It won't even use a PS2 keyboard, though this may change 
with later machines.  (It uses a keyboard that looks almost identical to
a PS2 but different enough to f*** things up)
** Markus Baertschi
  I used some PS/2 Keyboards down in Austin last year with it, so it might
  work. But obviously nobody will guarantee it...
** Harley Hahn (UnixWorld Reviewer)
All the POWERstations (workstations) come with a keyboard and
mouse.  The keyboard looks just like the standard IBM 101-key
keyboard.  One small difference: as with AIX PS/2, the rightmost
Control key is also the "action" key: used to switch between
X-windows and virtual terminals.
The part number for the keyboard is later than that for the PS/2
keyboard.  I would stick with the one they give you.  Why would you
need a clone keyboard?
*** Me
> Why would you need a clone keyboard?
While I can tolerate almost any keyboard, I happen to love the keyboard
on my WYSE WY85 terminal.  (I'll be hanging the WYSE off whatever I buy.)
I also like a Northgate AT/XT Clone keyboard I purchased on the strength
of Pournelle's (Byte) review.  It is not quite as nice as the WYSE, but
definitely good enough.  Because I plan to convert my PC's to dedicated
routers (PC-ROUTE) I could easily salvage the Northgate keyboard if the 
machine I buy will accept it.

* 17) How many buttons on the standard mouse?
	(None of the pictures I've seen show!!!!)
** Jeffrey Smith
3...Some used to have a 2 button logitec/ps2 mouse, but they arn't supported
anymore... 
** Markus Baertschi
  The mouse is a Logitech 3-button mouse

* 18) Given a choice between buying a Model 320, and spending
    the same amount on some other workstation, what would you buy?
    (Why? Have you used one?)
** Chuck Karish
    If you want what AIX offers (support, filesystem extensions
    for mirroring and maintainability, good performance on a mix
    of integer and floating point operations) you'll get your
    money's worth.

    In terms of raw performance on a single proccessor, my
    understanding is that the 320 is in the same ballpark as MIPS
    R3000-based and Motorola 88000-based systems.  Your mileage may
    vary, depending on the proportion of floating point operations in
    your system's workload.
** Jeffrey Smith
I'd probably get a RS/6000, cause they are fast.  I've never used a Sparc,
or a decstation.  I've tried some SGI machines which seem nice.  There
was a time when I didn't like AIX 3 too much, but overall it is a nice
machine.  AIX 3 could be better, and it will be in time.

Also note that I havn't boughten a machine, and I probably won't.  I don't
have enough $, but I would buy one for a business if it had the software
I needed.
** George Seibel
I would buy a 320, unless something with equivalent price/performance
comes out soon.   Note however that I place a high premium on floating
point performance.   I'm mainly interested in the 320 as a compute
engine, not really as a workstation.   It would suffice as a workstation,
but I'd probably prefer something without a fan and with a nice keyboard
for my desk.   They are also among the uglier workstations available
these days...

* 19) What have I forgotten to ask before deciding to purchase?
** Me
	I've omitted responses that didn't answer their own questions.
** Mike Elliot
	How long is it taking to ship?

	We are supposed to be getting our by the end of July. We
	ordered it two weeks ago.
** Chuck Karish
    Q: What's system management like under AIX?

    A: Like no UNIX system you've seen before.  The system configuration
       is in a database format, not in ASCII configuration files or
       wired into the kernel.  There's a menu-driven system management
       interface, which will tell you, if you ask it, what commands
       it's invoking.

       One of the neater features is that you can enlarge a disk
       partition while it's active.  I've done this; it works fine.

       Drivers are loaded dynamically.  If an external device is
       powered on at boot time, it's loaded as part of the boot
       process.  If not, you can cause it to be loaded later.
** Markus Baertschi
  You might ask your IBM rep for the 'General Information and Planning Kit'
  (IBM Form NrGK2T-0237), this kit provides excellent information.
** David Battle
"Can I try one out for a while first."  I don't think anybody who has actually
tried to use one of these beasts would want one, at least not right now.
I strongly recommend against buying this machine unless you've tried it.
I have been trying to talk the people around here out of buying them, but
the only thing they seem to care about is speed (mainly because it is
people like me who wind up trying to port the software).  Everytime
I try to tell somebody how rotten the OS on these machines is they start
asking for specifics.  If I proceed to give them specifics they say things
like "Oh, tar doesn't work right with pipes?  That's not so bad, I'm sure
the guys at IBM can fix that." and so on.  The only thing I can say is
try it out for yourself.

* Other Interesting Information
** Jeffrey Smith
  First you want a 320.  What are you getting for disks?  A 120 is not
enough.  Your best off to start with a SCSI adapter, and a 300M internal
drive.  You did ask about SCSI, hopefully you already know that.

** Harley Hahn (UnixWorld Reviewer) 
If you want to find out more about the RS/6000 before you buy one,
I have published an 81-page report that explains all about the family
and AIX version 3.  You can order it from FirstGroup at (800) 444-2030.
If you want to see if you can get some type of educational discount on
the report, call Sam Albert at (914) 723-8296.

Still, for the more technical questions, you are best asking around the
net and talking with people who had early-development systems.
Remember, that they all had early, pre-release versions of
the operating system.  The final "Golden Version" was released
only last week.

* Thanks to:  (In order of arrival.)
men...@musl.ucsf.edu (Robert Mendelson),
m...@unix.cis.pitt.edu (Mike Elliot),
kar...@mindcraft.com (Chuck Karish),
el...@milton.u.washington.edu (Eliot Lim),
jeffs%ibms...@uunet.uu.net (Jeffrey Smith),
c...@ssesco.com (Chuck Purcell),
sei...@cgl.ucsf.edu (George Seibel),
stan...@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Andy Webb via Glen Stancil),
mar...@cernvax.cern.ch (Markus Baertschi),
har...@cs.utexas.edu (Harley Hahn -- UnixWorld Reviewer),
ab...@mcc.com (King Ables),
r...@ico.isc.com (Dick Dunn),
bat...@alphard.cs.utk.edu (David Battle),
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed above have probably been wildly
	     distorted by quoting out of context, and editting errors.

My opinions expressed above will of course be the official position
of IBM (after I make enough money to buy the company, assuming I don't
change my mind first. ;-)

					thanks all,
					Bill Voss <billv...@uiuc.edu>

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!sunic!uupsi!rpi!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!samsung!
cs.utexas.edu!ut-emx!ibmchs!auschs!awdprime!sandino.austin.ibm.com!jeffe
From: je...@sandino.austin.ibm.com (Peter Jeffe 512.823.4091)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: Re: AIX sendmail (was: System/6000 questions.)
Message-ID: <2671@awdprime.UUCP>
Date: 5 Jul 90 23:10:53 GMT
References: <40900001@sunb6> <40900002@sunb5>
Sender: n...@awdprime.UUCP
Organization: IBM AWD, Austin, TX
Lines: 20
Posted: Fri Jul  6 00:10:53 1990

In article <40900002@sunb5> v...@sunb5.cs.uiuc.edu writes:
>** Eliot Lim
>...
>I ported sendmail 5.61 with relative ease, and I'm definitely not a unix 
>pro.  (It comes with sendmail 5.2)

I'm afraid you may have wasted your time, since I can assure you that the
sendmail shipped with AIX3 is indeed 5.61 (from BSD tahoe); having done the
port myself last summer, I agree that it was uneventful.

Of course, IBM has added functionality to its sendmail, included National
Language Support, etc.  More interesting, we added support for MB, MG, and
MR nameserver records, which may be fairly pathbreaking.

But I'm curious: what led you to believe that it was 5.2?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Jeffe   ...uunet!cs.utexas.edu!ibmchs!auschs!sandino.austin.ibm.com!jeffe

        first they want a disclaimer, then they make you pee in a jar,
		   then they come for you in the night

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!sunic!uupsi!rpi!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!van-bc!
ubc-cs!alberta!myrias!edm!geoff
From: ge...@edm.uucp (Geoff Coleman)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: Re: System/6000 questions.
Message-ID: <1990Jul12.191604.648@edm.uucp>
Date: 12 Jul 90 19:16:04 GMT
References: <2644@awdprime.UUCP>
Organization: Unexsys Systems inc.
Lines: 21
Posted: Thu Jul 12 20:16:04 1990

[lots of stuff deleted ]
From article <2...@awdprime.UUCP>, by je...@sandino.austin.ibm.com 
(Peter Jeffe 512.823.4091):
->> In article <40900001@sunb6> v...@sunb6.cs.uiuc.edu writes:
->>>9)  What do you think of AIX in general?  (I'm a BSD bigot myself.)
->>>    One person told me half jokingly:
->>>	"throw out the best of BSD, and the best of SYS V,
->>>	 what is left is AIX."
->>>    What do you think?
->> 
->> I think that's a bit silly; much of the kernel is drawn from both sources,
->> and I can say from first-hand experience that the tcp/ip/socket code is almost
->> indistinguishable from BSD tahoe, except where we've fixed bugs.  As for the
->> rest, it seems well-structured and reasonably lean, considering that IBM has
						  ^^^^^

	And how do you define lean? It takes approximately 80 Mbyte of Disk
space to install the bare minimum of load 9013. I don't consider that lean.


Geoff Coleman
Unexsys Systems

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!cs.utexas.edu!romp!auschs!awdprime!
sandino.austin.ibm.com!jeffe
From: je...@sandino.austin.ibm.com (Peter Jeffe 512.823.4091)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: Re: System/6000 questions.
Message-ID: <2763@awdprime.UUCP>
Date: 13 Jul 90 16:27:21 GMT
References: <2644@awdprime.UUCP> <1990Jul12.191604.648@edm.uucp>
Sender: n...@awdprime.UUCP
Organization: IBM AWD, Austin, TX
Lines: 23
Posted: Fri Jul 13 17:27:21 1990

In article <1990Jul12.191604....@edm.uucp> ge...@edm.uucp (Geoff Coleman) writes:
>->> [ discussing AIXV3 socket code ]  As for the
>->> rest, it seems well-structured and reasonably lean, considering that IBM has
>						  ^^^^^
>	And how do you define lean? It takes approximately 80 Mbyte of Disk
>space to install the bare minimum of load 9013. I don't consider that lean.

If you had bothered to read the rest of my qualifying phrase, you would have
seen that I contend that it is fairly lean, *considering* all the junk that
has been added to support National Language Support, security, journalled
file system, etc.  Some of these are functional enhancements that are IBM-
specific, many more are those required by POSIX/ANSI/..., and others are
IBM trying to get a step ahead of other vendors by putting in features that
will probably be de rigueur in the near future.  I would further contend
that other vendors' kernels will be following this growth trend as they seek
to implement all this stuff that the consumers supposedly want.

I'm not trying to say IBM doesn't like selling disks; it's just I've come to
the above conclusion after perusing the source for the last year or so.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Jeffe   ...uunet!cs.utexas.edu!ibmchs!auschs!sandino.austin.ibm.com!jeffe
        first they want a disclaimer, then they make you pee in a jar,
                   then they come for you in the night

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!sunic!uupsi!njin!rutgers!usc!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!
mips!cs.uoregon.edu!oregon!milton!eliot
From: el...@milton.u.washington.edu (Eliot Lim)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: Re: AIX sendmail (was: System/6000 questions.)
Message-ID: <5058@milton.u.washington.edu>
Date: 13 Jul 90 22:37:14 GMT
References: <40900001@sunb6> <40900002@sunb5> <2671@awdprime.UUCP>
Organization: University of Washington, Seattle
Lines: 23
Posted: Fri Jul 13 23:37:14 1990

In article <2...@awdprime.UUCP> je...@sandino.austin.ibm.com 
(Peter Jeffe 512.823.4091) writes:

+>I ported sendmail 5.61 with relative ease, and I'm definitely not a unix 
+>pro.  (It comes with sendmail 5.2)
+
+I'm afraid you may have wasted your time, since I can assure you that the
+sendmail shipped with AIX3 is indeed 5.61 (from BSD tahoe); having done the
+port myself last summer, I agree that it was uneventful.
+
+Of course, IBM has added functionality to its sendmail, included National
+Language Support, etc.  More interesting, we added support for MB, MG, and
+MR nameserver records, which may be fairly pathbreaking.
+
+But I'm curious: what led you to believe that it was 5.2?

When I type mail to look at messages, it says "5.2 BSD".  I suppose I'm
mistaken.  More worrying, however, is that a standard campus wide
sendmail.cf file will not work with the shipped version of sendmail.
Using my vanilla ported sendmail works and that will be the one I'll be
using since I don't have the time to go and find out what's wrong.


Eliot

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!sunic!uupsi!rpi!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!ncar!ico!rcd
From: r...@ico.isc.com (Dick Dunn)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: Re: System/6000 questions.
Summary: leanness
Message-ID: <1990Jul14.012752.15182@ico.isc.com>
Date: 14 Jul 90 01:27:52 GMT
References: <2644@awdprime.UUCP> <1990Jul12.191604.648@edm.uucp> <2763@awdprime.UUCP>
Organization: Interactive Systems Corporation, Boulder, CO
Lines: 23
Posted: Sat Jul 14 02:27:52 1990

je...@sandino.austin.ibm.com (Peter Jeffe 512.823.4091) writes:
> ge...@edm.uucp (Geoff Coleman) writes:
> >	And how do you define lean? It takes approximately 80 Mbyte of Disk
> >space to install the bare minimum of load 9013. I don't consider that lean.

> If you had bothered to read the rest of my qualifying phrase, you would have
> seen that I contend that it is fairly lean, *considering* all the junk that
> has been added to support National Language Support, security, journalled
> file system, etc...

But wait...that means *I* can be considered lean, *considering* all the
beer I drink, my love of chocolate, rich sauces, meat, sweets, etc.!  I'm
really quite lean considering what I eat and drink; never mind that I'm 30
lb heavier than I should be.

Look, 80 Mb is *not* a lean system.  Leanness is a virtue to some people,
but other folks would rather have a feature-rich system and don't care
whether it's lean.  Fine.  For the ones who really want a lean system, your
conditional definition of leanness isn't helpful, and doesn't prove
anything.
-- 
Dick Dunn     r...@ico.isc.com  -or-  ico!rcd          (303)449-2870
   ...Reality is neat!  It works even if you don't believe in it!

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!wuarchive!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!samsung!
cs.utexas.edu!ut-emx!ibmchs!auschs!awdprime!sandino.austin.ibm.com!jeffe
From: je...@sandino.austin.ibm.com (Peter Jeffe 512.823.4091)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: Re: AIX sendmail (was: System/6000 questions.)
Message-ID: <2881@awdprime.UUCP>
Date: 24 Jul 90 16:56:04 GMT
References: <40900001@sunb6> <40900002@sunb5> <2671@awdprime.UUCP> 
<5058@milton.u.washington.edu>
Sender: n...@awdprime.UUCP
Organization: IBM AWD, Austin, TX
Lines: 26
Posted: Tue Jul 24 17:56:04 1990

In article <5...@milton.u.washington.edu> el...@milton.u.washington.edu 
(Eliot Lim) writes:
>+But I'm curious: what led you to believe that [AIX3's sendmail] was 5.2?
>
>When I type mail to look at messages, it says "5.2 BSD".  I suppose I'm
>mistaken.  More worrying, however, is that a standard campus wide
>sendmail.cf file will not work with the shipped version of sendmail.
>Using my vanilla ported sendmail works and that will be the one I'll be
>using since I don't have the time to go and find out what's wrong.

The id that is displayed using mail/mailx is mailx's version, not sendmail's.

AIX sendmail doesn't pretend to be plain-vanilla BSD; some of our programs
track very closely (such as mailx), while others such as sendmail diverge
where it's been decided to provide "enhancements".  This is reflected in
the .cf file, and I see no reason why a reasonably experienced mail
administrator would have more trouble configuring AIX sendmail than
another system's.  If you're doing something particular with the rewrite
rules, then you should be able to figure it out; otherwise, just configure
the options how you want.  The intent is to provide a config file that will
run the first time out under 95% of cases: it provides typical tcp, uucp,
and local mailers and rewrite rules.  And personally, I find it easier
to configure than messing with all the BSD m4 stuff.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Jeffe   ...uunet!cs.utexas.edu!ibmchs!auschs!sandino.austin.ibm.com!jeffe
        first they want a disclaimer, then they make you pee in a jar,
                   then they come for you in the night

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!sunic!uupsi!rpi!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!samsung!
cs.utexas.edu!ut-emx!ibmchs!auschs!awdprime!sandino.austin.ibm.com!jeffe
From: je...@sandino.austin.ibm.com (Peter Jeffe 512.823.4091)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.aix
Subject: Re: System/6000 questions.
Message-ID: <2889@awdprime.UUCP>
Date: 24 Jul 90 21:10:42 GMT
References: <2644@awdprime.UUCP> <1990Jul12.191604.648@edm.uucp> 
<2763@awdprime.UUCP> <1990Jul14.012752.15182@ico.isc.com>
Sender: n...@awdprime.UUCP
Organization: IBM AWD, Austin, TX
Lines: 41
Posted: Tue Jul 24 22:10:42 1990

In article <1990Jul14.012752.15...@ico.isc.com> r...@ico.isc.com (Dick Dunn) writes:
>> If you had bothered to read the rest of my qualifying phrase, you would have
>> seen that I contend that it is fairly lean, *considering* all the junk that
>> has been added to support National Language Support, security, journalled
>> file system, etc...
>
>But wait...that means *I* can be considered lean, *considering* all the
>beer I drink, my love of chocolate, rich sauces, meat, sweets, etc.!  I'm
>really quite lean considering what I eat and drink; never mind that I'm 30
>lb heavier than I should be.
>
>Look, 80 Mb is *not* a lean system.  Leanness is a virtue to some people,
>but other folks would rather have a feature-rich system and don't care
>whether it's lean.  Fine.  For the ones who really want a lean system, your
>conditional definition of leanness isn't helpful, and doesn't prove
>anything.

The mistake you're making is in equating weight with fat.  But the reality
is that weight can be composed of either fat or lean tissue, and this is an
important distinction.  In your example, your extra 30 pounds are fat.
They are useless, and should be trimmed.  But a football player's "extra"
30 pounds are muscle, and serve a useful function given his profession.

This is the simple fact I was trying to make: that the relatively large
size of AIX is not due to inefficient code, or even to adding a lot of
useless functions; rather, it is (largely) due to adding functionality that
is important in the context of the existing and near-term market for Unix
boxes.

You are right that people may choose whether the extra functions put into
AIX are worth the extra disk space they require.  I'm not particularly fond
of the added bulk, but my contention is that it represents a trend, and
that IBM has chosen to implement features that other systems will probably
implement in the future.  I doubt that the folks at Sun et al are going to
let IBM just walk away with the international and government markets.  So
like it or not, things like national language support and security are
probably here to stay, and they do tend to tip the scales.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Jeffe   ...uunet!cs.utexas.edu!ibmchs!auschs!sandino.austin.ibm.com!jeffe
        first they want a disclaimer, then they make you pee in a jar,
                   then they come for you in the night