> Does cost count as an ideological reason? I wouldn't argue that stereo on
> systems generally works with less trouble (at least for the sgi's and
> had a chance to play around with Mac's yet).
Of course not: cost is a pragmatic consideration, but cost should not solely
be defined in terms of purchase price. You must also include costs in terms
of your time and frustration. (However, having once been a graduate
student, purchase price alone can be THE overriding factor at that time in
By ideological reasons, I mean, for example, preferring Linux over MacOS
because it is pure "free software" as per the FSF dogma whereas OS X
effectively combines open-source software in synergy with proprietary code.
It is a very good thing that some noble individuals are willing to accept
less convenience and extra hassles in order to keep Linux alive on the
desktop, thus supporting the many positive long-term impacts open-source
code and "free software" have on society.
However, no one should ask or expect busy academic or industrial scientists
to prefer Linux for such ideological reasons. Common sense dictates use of
the OS that will enable you to accomplish the most science in the least time
with minimum hassles and at the lowest total cost, whatever that platform
happens to be when it comes time buy your next system. Linux was the right
choice in the past, and it may be so again at some point in the future (say
if Apple becomes like Sony, and Linux gets its act together w.r.t. OpenGL),
but I do not believe it generally is today. Indeed, Windows with Cygwin is
another convenient alternative to Linux, especially on a portables where you
need working power management and reliable LCD projector support.
> Slightly off-topic, but does parallels support OpenGL acceleration? I
seem to remember
> hearing that there was work being done on this, but I'm not up to date on
> virtualization stuff (you've definately got me beat for cool
>...the only useful thing I've done w\ a vm is a svn server on a usb stick).
No, this is a very important point. At present, only the host OS under
VMware or Parallels can provide hardware OpenGL acceleration. However, I
expect this problem to be solved (before too long) by the vendors of
virtualization software, in much the same way as they provide virtualized
drivers for networking, disk access, mice, and keyboards.
The way I handle this right now on the MBP is to triple boot in addition to
using virtualization, but that shouldn't be necessary over the long run. By
the way, configuring any system to triple boot can be a serious pain!
Win/Lin is easy, and Mac/Win is easy, but getting all three going at once is
a serious chore. Virtualization is a far better way to go.
From: Peter Adrian Meyer [mailto:pam52@...]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2007 2:07 PM
To: DeLano Scientific
Subject: Re: [PyMOL] pymol slow on linux PC
> Right now, I would only buy a straight Linux desktop for ideological
> than practical reasons. If you instead buy a Mac "Pro", you get the
> to run all three operating systems simultaneously, at native CPU
> on an as-needed basis thanks to virtualization. Right now, Mac is the
> way to go for desktop or for laptop.
Does cost count as an ideological reason? I wouldn't argue that stereo on
proprietary systems generally works with less trouble (at least for the
sgi's and alpha's; haven't had a chance to play around with Mac's yet).
> For example, I am currently emailing from native Outlook 2003 running
> Windows XP inside Parallels under Mac OS X Tiger on a Intel-based
> Pro, which also happily runs Vista and SUSE. Surreal!
Slightly off-topic, but does parallels support OpenGL acceleration? I seem
to remember hearing that there was work being done on this, but I'm not up
to date on the virtualization stuff (you've definately got me beat for cool
virtualization tricks...the only useful thing I've done w\ a vm is a svn
server on a usb stick).
BMCB grad student