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Biology apps on PowerPC Mac: a brief test

Don Gilbert gilbertd at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu
Sat Mar 26 14:36:25 EST 1994

Here are my notes on testing some biology software on a PowerMac
for a few hours.  Note none of these biology apps are running native
mode on the PowerPC.

Mulfold (rna folding) 120 base drorrast:
	PowerPC Mac 8100/80 AV    11:07 secs
	Quadra 700		  07:10 secs
LoopDLoop, LoopViewer to view RNA folds:
	requires SoftwareFPU (free) to run on PowerPC Mac
	works properly on PowerPC Mac after adding SoftwareFPU in brief tests

	works properly on PowerPC Mac in brief tests
ClustalV multiple alignment from SeqApp:
	18 sequences, ~120 bases each, 
	PowerPC Mac 8100/80 AV    ~120 secs
	Quadra 700		  ~120 secs

MacClade 3 demo:
MacVector demo:
NIH Image, v 1.55b52:
MacPlasmap 1.82:
DNA Strider 1.01:
	work properly on PowerPC Mac in brief tests

MacPattern 1.3 (protein pattern matching):
	works properly on PowerPC Mac in brief tests
	seems to run at roughly same speed as Quadra 700 (not timed)

Paup 3.1.1, Branch&Bound search of Primate mtDNA (12taxa,898 chars)
	PowerPC Mac 8100/80 AV    04:05.7 secs
	Quadra 700		  02:42.5 secs
	Quadra 800		  01:52.0 secs
Phylip 3.5:
	work properly on PowerPC Mac in brief tests
	xxx81 variants of binaries require SoftwareFPU to run, probably nonFPU
	variants run faster.  Didn't time any runs

SoftwareFPU is a program available freely over Internet at mac archives
like Info-Mac, Mac.Archive.Umich.edu, that emulates a FPU coprocessor
which the PowerPC/Mac does not emulate.  Note that native mode math apps
run astoundingly faster than those relying on the emulation via SoftwareFPU.

In contrast, native PowerPC apps like Photoshop, Virtus, Graphic Calculator,
JPEGviewer (newest) all run quite a bit faster than their 68040 Quadra

Also I tested SoftWindows on the PowerPC briefly.  It looks like a very
good option for those who need MS Windows compatibility for some stuff,
including networking.  It won't be the fastest MSWIndows box, and the
current version of SoftWindows only emulates Intel 80286 instructions,
so there will be some MSWindows apps requiring 386/486 instructions that
won't yet run in SoftWindows. However, the Insignia company is promising a 
386/486 emulator this year that should run MSWindows significantly
faster on PowerMacs.

What impresses me most about SoftWindows on PowerMac, thought I didn't see
it configured and running, is that SoftNode (?SoftNet) included with it
will emulate the Novell network and TCP/IP connections thru a well connected
PowerMac. That would mean for my department that people could use a PowerMac
as a functional replacement for an Intel PC.  They could run their MSDos
and MSWIndows apps, at reasonable speeds, and can run network apps also,
and probably could print to our Appletalk network printers (not tested).
AND they can use the PowerMac for nice mac apps and for the super-fast
powermac apps.

-- d.gilbert--biocomputing--indiana u--bloomington--gilbertd at bio.indiana.edu

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