: LINKAGE 6.0 or anything on Mac/Linux/Rhapsody

Andy Law Andy.Law at bbsrc.ac.uk
Fri May 1 03:18:36 EST 1998

In article <l03102800b16ee0ac01e7@[]>,
grant.jacobs at stonebow.otago.ac.nz (Grant Jacobs - Biochemistry) wrote:

 >  I am starting out on linkage analysis in a Mac+Unix environment and am
 >  trying to figure out if a PowerMac with Mac's version of Linux and/or
 >  Rhapsody might be able to take on linkage software (re-compiled of course).
 >  I note that v6.0 of LINKAGE is apparently in C, which offers some hope that
 >  it might port without too much fiddling...

Hmmm. You're a natural optimist, right?

 >  I'd appreciate any comments at all, before any money or time gets spent in
 >  this direction.

You have several options viz. combining Macs with Unix software. The first,
and simplest is to use the Mac as a Mac, and get access to a Unix system
using X server software. You have a choice of three or 4 X server solutions
to run on the Mac, namely MacX from Apple, eXodus from White Pine Software
or XTen from Tenon Systems. All have strengths and weaknesses but all are
quite capable. Transfer of data files between systems is via Anarchie
(Peter Lewis - shareware) or Fetch, which I think is free to academics. In
that way, the 'UNIX' software is running in an environment where it may
already have been developed and tested.

If you want to have your PowerMac running as a UNIX system, then again you
have a couple of choices. Firstly, there is the MkLinux approach which I
must confess I have NO experience of. The other choice is MachTen from
Tenon Systems. This is pretty much a full blown BSD UNIX running as a Mac
application. You fire it up and there you are with all of UNIXs powerful
command line tools and compilers, but with the ability to flick backwards
and forwards to Word, or Excel or whatever else you have running in the
background. (You can even run Anarchie in the background and FTP files from
your Mac partition into your UNIX partition on the same machine). This has
the X server software built in to it, so you can also access external UNIX
systems. However it also has a price tag.

I run MachTen on my PowerMac and also connect to remote systems using it as
an X server (at which it is very good). Small, tinkering stuff I develop on
the MachTen system, but serious stuff is done on other systems. The major
plus point about MachTen is that because it is MY system, I have root
privileges and can try out new stuff before getting our "proper" sys-admins
to install on other systems.

You should be aware that porting software between different UNIX flavours
is a non-trivial operation and can seriously damage your mental well-being.
Porting to Mac-based UNIX systems is even more taxing.

If you have access to other UNIX systems, I would recommend that you go
down the mac as X-server route. If you have other needs beyond that, then
check out MachTen.


Andy Law
( Andy.Law at bbsrc.ac.uk )
( Big Nose in Edinburgh )

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