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Equipment

In the coming years a change will occur in the platforms being used for computing research. While currently we use Unix workstations, they are losing their cost effectiveness and the enormous range of software available on personal computers, especially in engineering, is encouraging us to look towards other platforms. At the moment the exact nature these platforms is not clear, but they will most likely be a personal computer based on an Intel compatible microprocessor or a PowerPC chip running Windows 95, Windows NT or OS/2. We cannot halt our use of Unix workstations precipitously, especially since the future is still so uncertain. Thus our plan is to acquire Unix based workstation in the first year of the contract and gradually move to some other platform during the second and third years.

On Unix workstations, we depend on a great deal of software that is freely available, e.g., TeX, Emacs and the rest of the Gnu software library. Much of this software can be ported, or is already ported to personal computers and remains free. In some cases, however, commercial versions of the software are far superior, and better supported than the freely available versions. For instance, the Gnu compiler is quite good, but the development environments available on the personal computers (e.g., Borland , Microsoft Visual or Symantec ) are far superior. They come with substantially more powerful debuggers, user interface development kits and class libraries that facilitate interfacing a program with the operating system, e.g., Microsoft Foundation Classes. In addition, there are new classes of software that we will need and that are not free. For instance, we will probably manage the development of our software with some sort of group-ware software like Lotus Notes.

Finally, due to problems the Computer Science Department has had with network break-ins, the Department has decided to establish a firewall between ourselves and the Internet. As a consequence if we want to make any of our tools and technology available to researchers outside of the Computer Science Department, we need create duplicate servers outside of the firewall.



next up previous
Next: Travel Up: Budget Previous: Postdoctoral research associate



nuprl project
Tue Nov 21 08:50:14 EST 1995