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Re: Optimized IDL machines and license question

"Noam R. Izenberg" wrote:
> I'm going to be upgrading my creaky Wintel PC soon and would like to optimize my new system to run
> IDL.
> I'm considering replacing my desktop with a notebook, and possibly a Mac G4's over Wintel. My
> questions are several.
> Does IDL run better (more stability, efficiency) on otherwise equal Wintel, unix (linux, etc), macs,
> or does it matter?
> Will IDL be carbonized to Max OS X, and when?
> Is there a recommendation for an optimized IDL PC of any type?
> My other question should most likely be directed to RSI, but I'm not sure to whom. My place of work
> has an IDL site license, but I'd like to use IDL on my machine (assuming I do get the notebook) on
> conference trips, at home, and in labs w/o reliable network connections. Does anyone know if site
> licenses can be parlayed or shared with individual computers?

Oh my.  Sounds like you want it all.  Last things first:  licenses come
in three flavors:

1. fixed with a hardware dongle
2. fixed without a hardware dongle
3. floating

if you have either of the first two, you can bring your license with you
anywhere, but noone else can use it.  If you have #1 you have to
remember your dongle.  If you have #2 you have to have your ethernet
card plugged in at all times (not required to connect to the network
though).  With #1 you can even just carry the dongle with you and plug
it into various computers.  If you have #3, and are connected to the
network, and your site license allows it, you can check out a license
from anywhere.

The best IDL platform is one which allows you to get your work done. 
Even though I have devoted some effort to measuring the relative
performance of IDL platforms, the real truth of the matter is, if you
have some operation which needs to run very fast, you really should just
write it in C (or fortran, or assembly, or...), and link it with IDL. 
So, with the speed issue cleverly side-stepped, you should probably just
choose the platform you'd be most comfortable on.

IDL will be carbonized, or, more likely, Cocoa-ized, but they have not
said when.  Apple has their hooks into RSI, so I'd suspect something by
Macworld NY in July (wild speculation).  As to optimized speed on a G4
with Altivec, only time will tell.

Good luck,