Byte letter from Other Papers for M Gerstein

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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.

Mark Gerstein
Structural Biology Dept.
Stanford University

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; Mortice Kern Systems ( ) sells a popular Toolkit for NT. Datafocus ( ) offers the Nutcracker family of products. Softway Systems ( ) 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 . If it's primarily a matter of cost, don't forget inexpensive Unix variants, such as Linux and FreeBSD.--Eds.


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