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[Gcl-devel] Re: GCL on Mac Powerbook G4

From: William Sit
Subject: [Gcl-devel] Re: GCL on Mac Powerbook G4
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 10:15:12 -0700 (PDT)

> I never did get the PLEQN examples you said were attached.

My apology. There was some network problems that I have not been able to
resolve to send the files. I also typed the address for gcl group wrong. The
problem is I am at Dartmouth College at a rather intensive workshop (on
teaching Combinatorics) and I have not been able to reset my computer for a
lot of things, including emails (that is why I am using a yahoo account). I
think I know what the problem is (I set my computer on high security with a
firewall when I was at ISSAC, and now don't know how to cancel that so most
network communications are blocked.

I'll send you the PLEQN output files once I am back home (Saturday).

I have been keeping up at least with the news on Axiom. Great to hear that
the compilation is now going fine and near the end. I have been hoping for a
native Mac version.

Microsoft's latest version of Mac OS X Office contains VirtualPC             
which should allow you to run GCL and Axiom. I believe that Bill             
Sit's version runs quite fast under VirtualPC.                               
Bill, would you care to comment on the speed of VirtualPC apps?              
Kamal has a Mac powerbook and we tried to get GCL to run on it               
at ISSAC without success.                                                    
Tim Daly
My Mac Powerbook G4 does not have Mac OS X Office (there was a trial version 
which expired 30 days after the Powerbook first turned on, and it did not    
come with VirtualPC). I did not know that the newest version of Mac OS X     
Office contains Virtual PC. Microsoft bought Connnectix which developed the  
Virtual PC both for the Windows and for the Mac platforms. The Windows (host)
version has more features and integrates more smoothly with the Windows guest
OSes (even under Connectix, and surely more so now; the integration has to do
with sharing network and files, drag and drop, etc). However, that version   
does not support emulating PPC (probably never will; I think this is MS's way
to stop losing market share to Apple). The MAC OS version of VPC (emulating a
Pentium II MMX) supports all versions Windows guest OSes. VPC does not       
support Linux (x86) fully (so integration with the host OS is not as nice as 
for Windows OSes). I heard that MS will no longer support OS X Office, so I 
am a bit surprised that Tim speaks about a new version with Virtual PC.      
So the way I run Axiom is to install Linux as a guest OS under VirtualPC     
(VirtualPC for Mac with only the PCDOS OS is about $107 and then you can     
install your own licensed OSes). Then I install Axiom (Linux) under the Linux
OS. I have done that under RedHat 9.0 (this requires installing some older   
libraries from RedHat 6.3). I have also ssh to that VPC OS on another VPC    
(Debian) and run Axiom. I suppose I can also install Axiom on VPC Debian and 
run it directly. However, I find that RedHat 9.0 is slow under VPC (because I
simply installed the default) whereas Debian can be installed leanly and used
as an Xterm basically. This "division of labor" seems to run better. But     
running Axiom on VPC RedHat 9.0 is ok once loaded. I did not do any extensive
testing, but compiling is about 3 to 5 times as fast as on a Sparc 5         
Workstation. I also tested the PLEQN package and I think it runs again faster
than on a Sparc 5 or Sparc E1000 under Solaris 5.5. The comparison may not be
fair since my Sparc 5 had only 32MB RAM while my VPC can have as much as
Iassign it (for example 128MB or even 512MB). VPC seems to work best with    
smaller assigned RAM because the guest OS may reserve a certain amount of    
virtual memory (that is, virtual memory on a virtual machine) related to the 
"physical" memory. I think this causes some disk swap/cache (of course, this 
is virtual disk also) that slows VPC if the swap is too large. On top of that
Mac OS X may also do swap/cache; I do not know how to configure the Mac OS X 
not to create the virtual memory.                                            
I have not directly istalled GCL, but the version of Axiom (2.3) runs on     
whatever Lisp it comes with (AKCL?)                                          
I am attaching next two files showing a comparison of compiling PLEQN and    
running the test input.                                                      


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