_UNIX_Today!_ hits a new benchmarking low

John Plocher plocher%sally at Sun.COM
Thu Aug 31 06:45:24 AEST 1989

I too was astonished by what seemed to be a blatent ad for Bell Tech
Unix (BTU) It seemed that the "reviewer" must have had old copies of
ISC and Microport sitting around and used them for comparison with a
brand new copy of Bell Tech.

On one hand, if the goal of the review had been "PC Workstations" (as
the title suggests), then he should have used BTU on ALL his hardware
platforms.  This would have given the reader a feeling about how
hardware changes affect performance.

On the other hand, looking at "Unix on PC Workstations", he should have
installed and used the different versions of Unix on the same
hardware.  This would have given the reader a way to evaluate the
products supplied by the different vendors.  Of course, the reviewer
should have gotten the latest versions of Unix from all the vendors -
Microport 3.0e, ISC V/386 3.2, and Bell Tech Unix 3.2, as well as
Everix ESIX/386 3.2C, SCO Unix 3.2, ATT 3.2, and Dell Computer's 3.2

On the third hand, if the thrust had been "Complete Workstation
Packages" (Those coming complete with both Hardware and Unix Software),
he should have compared some of the other 386 based "workstations" in
this price range (many of the Apollo systems, the Sun 386i, Convergent,
ATT WGS systems, and others).  Instead of this, the reviewer used Sun3s
(68020) and a couple of bigger Vaxen (VAX/785 & VAX/8600)!

As Dick said, ISC 1.0.6 is a year old! Microport 2.2 is almost TWO
years old!  The different hardware platforms and the old versions
combine to make a complete joke of the "review".

As an overview of 3.2 Unix and the Bell Tech/Intel product line it is
digestable, but to class this as a review goes a bit too far over the

The real laugh came when reading the author's background:

	Bob Morein is a software author and is well-known for his
	versatile benchmark- ing tools.  He is a frequent contribu- ter
	to computer publications.  Morein can be reached at
	bob at utoday.

Versatile Benchmarks?  With a methodology like he used in this
article?  Yes, I see.  His benchmarks can prove anything he wants them
to! :-)

   -John Plocher

In article <16054 at vail.ICO.ISC.COM> rcd at ico.ISC.COM (Dick Dunn) writes:
>Cautious disclaimer:  I'm speaking as an individual, not for ISC.
>The August 21, 1989 issue of _UNIX_Today!_ has an article reviewing the
>Intel (nee Bell Tech) MPE--a 386-based "workstation".  The discussion
>itself is OK, but the comparison to other machines is a mess.

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