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New Computer Technologies

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Paul

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Message 1 of 18

 New Computer Technologies
02-11-2004 04:36 . pm | View his/her posts only
I just looked at Cadalyst magazines October issue. I've been wondering about this for quite a while but finally I've seen this addressed in a magazine.

There are 2 new technologies that have recently come out. 1)64 bit CPU's and 2)PCI express cards.

I have been wondering how and when VX will phase these new technologys in.

PCI EXPRESS: The Cadalyst magazine magazine states "CAD/CAM systems will benefit from some performance increases immediately, but more improvement will depend on how quickly CAD/CAM applications add software support for features found in PCI Express"

64 BIT TECHNOLOGY: There is a Soldworks add that chimes in about their 64 bit capabilities. "The IBM Intellistation A Pro, powered by the AMD Opteron processor, and NVIDIA Quadro FX workstation graphics, allows Solidworks users to support configurations up to 4 GB of address space with the availability of the Windows 64 bit operating system. Designers will be able to design and to manipulate much larger data sets or models, bringing computer aided design to a new level of performance."

As a VX user would it make sense in the near future to invest in these technologys?

On another note: VX CAM/CAM received quite a glowing review in this CADALYST magazine.

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Steve

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Message 2 of 18

02-11-2004 09:02 . pm | View his/her posts only
Yeah, 64 bit addressing will be nice for designing LARGE assemblies and such. I'd bet at one time VX was 64bit, runing on IRIX of course

Now I don't really care much about the 64 bit stuff. What I REALLY want is a Linux version of VX. Even the large molds I do wouldn't benefit any from the 64 bit address space. But being rid of Microsoft, now that's a benefit

Just think of VX proudly putting this on their site

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 3 of 18

03-11-2004 08:43 . am | View his/her posts only
Hey! Microsoft have done a great job with Windows XP

Well, there is no doubt that 64bit is the future but there is still a lot of mileage in 32bit. Top Name PC manufacturers have been quietly withdrawing their 64bit workstation offerings because nobody is buying them - when there are more 64bit applications and the price is lower, things will take-off.

In their marketing blurb, SW are guilty of confusing processor capability, RAM and OS capability. The buck stops at the OS, no matter what the machine is built with. If you really want more RAM......on plain old 32bit (x86) systems, Windows Server 2003 (Data Center Edition) supports 64GB of RAM! Clearly, desktop space and air conditioning come into the reckoning If you are comparing SW with VX, you are not comparing apples with apples. Whilst VX is renown for handling large assemblies with aplomb, SW is famous for grinding to a halt. In fact, SW has published some extraordinary methods in the recent past, attempting to get the hardware to do more. Not futile, but the fact remains, hardware platforms being equal, large file performance is down to the Kernel - SW just uses an off-the-shelf Kernel, whereas the VX Kernel is our own. It's modern, it's exclusive to VX, it's brilliantly crafted and it rocks!

Should Linux really get established as an OS for CAD/CAM workstations, VX is ready. No one (well, almost no one) can deny that WindowsXP is the dominant force at the moment.

PCI Express is a bus standard (not just for graphics cards), championed by Intel and it certainly is a revolution. The graphics card manufacturers have wasted no time in building for it, but effectively you need to replace your PC to take advantage. Not sure what Cadalyst is referring to concerning "feature support", this is simply the job of the hardware. Perhaps they mean that an extension to OpenGL and the other graphics standards needs to be applied to take advantage of the Express bandwidth (100MB per pin x 40 pins, far greater than AGP). So, perhaps not the very near future but yes, the future is 64bit processors and PCI Express. Not forgetting WiMax of course........

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Steve

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Message 4 of 18

03-11-2004 10:49 . am | View his/her posts only
Yes, XP is *GREAT* strides in reliability and stability. But Linux/BSD/Mac OSX has the benefit of lack of Virii, malware, and even more increased reliability and stability. There is still probably a TON of UNIX friendly code in VX. I've also noted a distinct lack of many of the Wintel "bells and whistles" in VX compared to their competition. Delcam is deeply rooted now whith Microsoft, heavily using OLE functions for alot of different things, like communications between PowerMill/PowerShape/PSinspect/CopyCad. Since they aren't a "true" integrated solution.

And a good analogy is, while XP is currently the dominent force in the Cad/Cam platform. So is Solidworks in the Mcad apps. Doesn't mean that Solidworks is the best, is it?

I still would LOVE to see VX in the near future runing on Linux.

Me, the only time I use Windows, is for Cad/Cam work, and games. The rest is done on Mac OSX and Linux. I'd love to get rid of the XP partition on my home pc




Steve Mackay
a proud Unix/Linux user for over a decade

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 5 of 18

03-11-2004 09:34 . pm | View his/her posts only
On the Main Support page (http://support.vx.com/customers/index.cfm), Via the Hot Tips and Critical Issues link there is a survey asking Customers if they would like to see VX on Linux...........

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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 6 of 18

04-11-2004 07:30 . am | View his/her posts only
Now the one platform I'd like to see is Mac OSX. We use Macs for Graphics and visualisation CAD (FormZ) under OSX. No crashes in 6 months....seriously. Whilst individual apps occasionally bomb (Quark being the current culprit) nothing else is affected....unlike in Windows XP where if VX bombs (does happen sometimes) or other CAD apps it generally brings the OS to a halt and hogs memory.

On the 1GB RAM Mac I was running Photoshop, FormZ, Entourage, Acrobat and Indesign and foolishly tried editing a 450MB graphics file in Photoshop....it (eventually) bombed but the rest of the Macs were fine.

If only XP were like that!

and we could clear a lot more space in the office :-)



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Steve

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Message 7 of 18

04-11-2004 09:43 . am | View his/her posts only
Chris,
I've already filled that out, with an entusiastic YES

3Dmonkey,
I agree. OSX is probably the most stable platform to date. It gives you the combination of a top notch OpenGL layer(everything you see on the screen is OpenGL accelerated), and the Unix underpinnings.I've currently got 2 Macs. One Dual G4 1GHZ we use for daily use, and one 450MHZ G4 running as a web/ftp/MP3 server. We've had VERY few kernel panics. One being from a flakey hard drive. And another from an unsupported Video capture/tv tuner card, using an opensource driver. I can't say enough good things about the OS. I've had it for over 2 years, and have never had to re-install the OS, because of OS ROT(which lets face it, as good as XP is, it still suffers from OS Rot on a daily use machine). I can confidently allow my young neices to use the box, without fear of them downloading Virii or Malware.


Okay, I'll get off my soap box now

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Eli

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Registered: 2004-10-28

Message 8 of 18

04-11-2004 09:56 . am | View his/her posts only
Aside from being more stable, OSX is just much nicer to use than XP. If I could, I would use my MACs for everything, but I unfortunately cannot.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 9 of 18

04-11-2004 10:11 . am | View his/her posts only
<DIV>That Mac and Linux/Unix machines are not blighted by virus attacks has far more to do with fortune than design. The first ever virus outbreaks were on Unix. If the virus authors decide to go for it, Linux platforms in particular are vulnerable, especially open-source elements.</DIV>

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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 10 of 18

04-11-2004 11:41 . am | View his/her posts only
I did actually read in the last day or so (think it was the MacUser email newsletter) that in terms of virus attacks and vulnerability Mac OSX was best with Linux worst. I agree with Chris though, virus attacks on any platform - especially via Microsoft Office Macros!!

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 11 of 18

04-11-2004 12:37 . pm | View his/her posts only
......never had any problems with my abacus

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Robert

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 12 of 18

04-11-2004 04:48 . pm | View his/her posts only
It's a question of economics and software stability.

If we get enough interest (significantly increased sales potential), we'll consider the port BUT be careful what you wish for...

You're all concerned (as you should be) about VX stability and the more operating systems VX supports, the higher the probability that we'll suffer from instability issues. Multiple operating systems could more than double our QA load.

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Kevin

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Message 13 of 18

05-11-2004 09:09 . am | View his/her posts only
Absolutely right Bob! As much as a I like the Mac platform I would much rather see a totally crash free, slick, fast VX under Windows. I also use other apps that are dual platform such as FormZ and Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt. These don't work as well on the Mac as they do on the PCs (graphics card issues mainly). So for now stick to windows and give us super stability and every tool working perfectly :-)

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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 14 of 18

05-11-2004 01:00 . pm | View his/her posts only
I agree with 3Dmonkey, I would rather see a stable Windows version than an unstable Linux port. I just want one for selfish reasons I've had enough of unstable Cad/Cam software <cough>, PowerShape, <cough>.

I think it would do more on a PR/Advertising issue, than anything else to have a Linux port. It would also be an issue of support. Not many VARS would be able to support Linux IMHO.

But I do think it wouldn't be as hard to port VX as some other Cad/Cam apps. Since they don't seem to be using many MS "widgets". Hell, the dialog boxes aren't even windows compliant. Not that I mind that... Just making a point.

I was helping a local Cad/Cam developer port his app to the Mac(Webersystems), but ran in to a lot of problems with the GUI libraries that were supposed to be multi-platform. He succesfully got it to port to Linux and BSD though.

And, you are right 3Dmonkey. The graphics card issues are the big thing stopping cad/cam on the Mac. No support for "pro" series of cards like Quadro, FireGL, and 3DLabs cards. I still prefer the Mac for everyday use though

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Robert

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 15 of 18

08-11-2004 09:27 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Steve,

Did Weber ever finish their port?

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Steve

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Message 16 of 18

09-11-2004 12:25 . pm | View his/her posts only
Bob, I'm not sure if he did finish it. He'd been using my web server as a remote development box. Using SSH, and displaying a remote X session. Unfortunately, I don't think we ever got past the X session bombing out. It seems the QT libraries weren't cooperating. Haven't talked with him since the middle of June on the issues though. And he hasn't logged on my machine since. So I don't think he did finish it. Like I said, he did have BSD and Linux versions ported however.


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warren

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Registered: 2004-10-28

Message 17 of 18

05-04-2005 01:07 . am | View his/her posts only
As much as I'd LOVE to see LINUX running my VX seat I have to say I'm not aas much as a geek as I use to be.

Now I'm making money with VX. VX is the backbone of my self employment. Without it running all the time I don't work and don't get paid. I'm sure all of us out here appreciate the price tag on VX end-to-end. It's NOT cheap (but a good deal don't get me wrong) and the $300 or so I spend to have MS based Operating system is a small cost compared to the alternatives. I could go MAC too but there aren't any hardcore engineering firms using MAC based work stations. So unfortunately I have to stick to Windows. BUT Like I said I'll switch once the transition is made. You also have to consider what is VX going to support for us. I started my design carree on Unigraphics on HP-UX workstations. If you didn't have the exact computer Unigraphics demanded, you were SOL when it came to support. We may have to buy super fancy computers with proprietory LINUX installs that will cost more then a windoes based station.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 18 of 18

05-04-2005 09:51 . am | View his/her posts only
Hi cncsurf

The other thing to consider of course is all your other favourite software - if you migrate to Linux, will all your other apps work on that OS too? I spent more years than I like to contemplate on Unix boxes. Linux is a great OS (especially for servers), but it is not as User Friendly as Windows on your average workstation. It does not have the money behind it, nor the infrastructure, that would enable fast changes to be made, for example, in order to defend against new viruses. Indeed, the open source code is very vulnerable with this regard. If somebody was really determined, they could add time-bomb code. Unthinkable? It's a scary world out there..........

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