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Re: LispM Market Share
- To: slug@WARBUCKS.AI.SRI.COM
- Subject: Re: LispM Market Share
- From: "kosma%ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com %ALAN.kahuna.DECNET.LOCKHEED.COM"@WARBUCKS.AI.SRI.COM
- Date: Tue, 16 Jan 90 18:56:15 EST
Received: from BLAISE.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com by ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com via CHAOS with CHAOS-MAIL id 16515; 16 Jan 90 15:53:24 PST
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 90 15:53 PST
From: Montgomery Kosma <kosma@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>
Subject: Re: LispM Market Share
4. File read performance is crummy on the Lispms. Since that's done so
often, it leaves the impression that the Lispms are slow machines.
This has got to be one of the most frustrating things about the
Symbolics for me. The symbolics may not be an inherently slow machine
but compared to a sparcstation (or even my amiga :-) it gives the feel
of being quite sluggish (disk i/o, keyboard response in certain
situations, changing windows, etc. etc.). Of course, I use a Connection
Machine so I'm not used to waiting around unless I *really* have to ;-).
Lets get quantitative about this.
okay, if frustration level isn't quantitative enough :-).
? Why is LISPM I/O is slow?
? What is a good way to measure relative performance given hardware
In my experience, the most obvious way to measure relative hard disk
performance (for the overall HD system including drive, interface, and
SW) is through a measurement of KBytes per second on reading and on
writing. I don't have any numbers for the symbolics (I suppose I could
generate some if I were so inclined) but for example my amiga does about
300 KBytes per second, and by putting in a faster disk drive I could
push that to 600 KBytes per second.
8. Lisp is still has the aura of being the "AI" language. Lisp
machines are for AI hackers, no?
I don't know quite how rare it is for somebody to be doing computational
physics on a Symbolics (probably extremely rare aside from the
occasionaly Connection Machine front end) but I guess some (at least
one) people are. If it wasn't for the Connection Machine I would be
doing fortran on a sun right now (****DEFINITELY**** not by choice), and
as it is, we will probably be concentrating more on Sun SPARC front ends
for the connection machine rather than the symbolics, primarily due to
issues of speed.
I find LISPM a wonderful place to crunch numbers as well as symbols
and objects. Selling a LISPM as JUST an AI machine is certainly
selling it short.
Is the issue of speed the fact that you can't hang array processors off
your LISPM, or that the number crunching performance of a LISPM isn't
good enough. I find that with some care in coding, LISPM number
crunch as well as the SUN 3's i have access to.
My AMIGA can number crunch as well as the sun 3's. My symbolics (which
costs at least 10 times as much) doesn't compare too well with our
recently-acquired SPARCstations. I'm not at ALL satisfied with
Symbolics being comparable to one of Sun's outdated models.