Re: Where are the NCs

Lloyd Wood (
Wed, 18 Mar 1998 11:39:34 +0000 (GMT)

On Tue, 17 Mar 1998, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:

> Sun gave us one of the first Javastations as they are funding some of my
> research and at one point in time, my project was the largest java
> software outside of Sun labs. The early version that I got was a small
> 1/2 shoebox sized gray thing, nifty logo, microsparcII processor and
> built in fast ethernet. It required a special installation of Solaris
> to be the boot server. Also, it didn't run Netscape, only HotJava and
> had some security bugs to work out. We tested a beta of JavaOS,
> and we primarily use it for testing from time to time.
> Overall, it's like an X-terminal.


Every so often our local Sun vendors drive a large walk-in truck with
a network in it up to the university for lunch to show off new
hardware etc.

The last time they did this they had a javastation running next to all
the ultras as well, and it was mindbogglingly I-could-draw-a-screen-faster-
than-that _slow_. It suggested either that on-demand-download
computing wasn't the wave of the future, or that the network in the
truck was badly terminated/otherwise hosed.

Frankly, I don't want local computing dependent on the network. I find
X tolerable - but then I'm sitting at console on a sparc20. Dumb
Xterminals are generally far less reliable/unusable IMO, and they
_never_ have enough screen memory in them; I open a reasonable number
of windows as work piles up with most recent stuff on the top, and the
damn things just fall over and have to be rebooted.

> The microsparcII was a sit-in
> for the Java chips. As I understand it, a 200mhz java chip runs
> bytecode just as fast as JIT compiled Ultra2-200mhz at 1/10th
> the cost.

If one were suspicious, one might suspect that the whole point of Java
as a standard all along was to flog hardware for precisely this

> The JavaStation is very PC like. It has a PC keyboard
> and layout, PC mouse, PC monitor. The destop software
> as austere and lacking some of the polished graphics of
> a real windowing system.

is the only windowing system I'm aware of with polished graphics,
although, being X, it only extends as far as the windowframes.
Windows/OpenLook/Macintosh just aren't IMO polished; that's IMO a
damning indictment of the Javastation interface.