Byte letter from Other Papers for M Gerstein
M Gerstein (1996). "Porting Unix," letter to Byte (August issue of magazine).
Below is original text of the letter.
I use Unix extensively in a scientific research environment, but looking at the price of new NT machines--and especially NT software--often makes me think about switching. But I have invested years in developing code in a Unix environment. How difficult will it be to port this code to NT? Will I be able to use Unix's powerful shell and great tools in NT? Alternatively, does NT have comparable text-processing tools? Will I have to learn a new editor, a new way of managing files, and so forth? Are there products that give NT a Unix-like flavor and help with the porting process? I wish answers to these questions had been included in the article.
Structural Biology Dept.
Unfortunately, those questions were outside the intend ed scope of the article. That said, there are a number of alternatives. The Hamilton C shell port is available from Hamilton Laboratories (Sudbury, MA; email@example.com). Mortice Kern Systems ( http://www.mks.com/ ) sells a popular Toolkit for NT. Datafocus ( http://www.datafocus.com/ ) offers the Nutcracker family of products. Softway Systems ( http://www.softway.com/ ) recently released OpenNT, and GNU tools are also available from various sources.
A search of the Web will turn up other resources. One place to start is the Windows NT Links page at http://www.unitek.com/pages/ntlinks.htm . If it's primarily a matter of cost, don't forget inexpensive Unix variants, such as Linux and FreeBSD.--Eds.