Which system for 3D graphics (FRODO/CHAIN/O)
misrael at csi.uottawa.ca
Sat Jan 30 01:06:00 EST 1993
In article <1993Jan26.120945.1 at ssrl01.slac.stanford.edu>, hudel at ssrl01.slac.stanford.edu writes:
> I am looking for comments on "which way to go" for 3d graphics. We have the
> option of buying:
> (1) an ESV 10 (moderate educ. discount)
> (2) an SGI Elan (good educ. discount)
I'd go with the SGI. You have to look beyond the current machine you're buying.
One day you may have a family of machines, and you'll want them to be compatible.
Both brands are satisfactory (my ex-boss, Mike James at the University of Alberta,
really likes his SGIs; Dr. Derewenda down the hall really likes his E&S); but SGI
does seem to lead in performance/price ratio.
> We will be using mostly FRODO/CHAIN (density fitting)
What's the current status of CHAIN? Last I heard, its future was in doubt
because of a dispute between Flo Quiocho and Jack Sack. Does it have bones yet?
> with an occasional "O"-session (modelling).
You could use "O" for fitting as well. That's what people at the NRC here
in Ottawa do (on SGIs).
> We would like to have full-screen stereo.
No problem: all the programs support that. But Mike's people use
side-by-side split stereo even on the machine that has full-screen stereo
installed. Does "O" have split stereo yet? A couple of years ago it
didn't (which discouraged us from using it).
> (1) How do SGI FRODO/O compare with their ESV counterparts?
Which Frodo are you using on the E&S? Rice or CCP4?
O and CHAIN were devised on the E&S and then imitated on the SGI, so
they'll be inferior on the SGI (but maybe only slightly). They're certainly
Arthur Chirino at CalTech and I have extensively hacked Christian Cambillau's
FRODO/TOM (for the SGI) to include some of the best features from O and CHAIN.
Cambillau used to charge for TOM, but has now given us permission to distribute
it free of charge; so it will shortly be available by anonymous ftp. TOM is the
only map-fitting program for the SGI for which you can currently get source code.
(The source code is a horrible mess, but if you're desperate, you *can* fix
any problem yourself, whereas with O, CHAIN, or TURBO you would have to wait
for someone else to fix it for you.)
Then there's BronXtal, a program they're developing at the Albert Einstein
College of Medicine (again, only for the SGI).
> (2) Do you know of anyone porting FRODO/O to the DEC Alpha?
O is written in PHIGS, so it should be portable to any modern graphics
machine. But Alwyn Jones is keeping the source code under wraps, so if
he doesn't know about a port to the DEC, there isn't one.
misrael at csi.uottawa.ca Mark Israel
Sunbeams brightly play, where Fancy's fair pavilion once is pight.
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