Hardware and Software Portability and Performance
Portability of astronomical image processing and data analysis software in the context of a rapidly changing computer marketplace is discussed. Three levels of portability are considered: vendor (trust DEC and keep running VMS on VAXes), operating system (adopt UNIX and ensure portability among a wide range of high-performance scientific computers) and applications (follow the model of IRAF and AIPS). Hardware performance of scientific computers is discussed in terms of several buzz words: MIPS, MFLOPS, vector, parallel, RISC and VLIW. Finally, a necessarily brief and personally biased buyer’s guide is presented for the current market in scientific computers of interest to optical astronomers doing image processing.
KeywordsLocal Area Network Image Display FLoating Point Operation Software Portability Astronomical Data Analysis
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