Bytes

Unix workstations at PC prices

Sun Microsystems today launches its new PCI family of workstations, code- named Darwin, as the company responds to the influx of PC vendors who have gained a share of the market with low-end Pentium II workstations running Windows NT. The UK prices were not available before the official launch, but Ken Okin, vice-president and general manager of Sun's Workstation Product Group, said: "Compaq is our target. We will be competitive with them per megahertz."

In the United States, the machines have been available through direct sales channels since mid-December. The Ultra 5 - which has a 270MHz UltraSparc IIi processor, a 4Gb hard drive and 10/100-BaseT network card - retails at less than $4,000. The base price for the Ultra 10, with a 300MHz UltraSparc IIi processor, Sun's new Elite3D 24-bit graphics architecture and support for up to 1,024Mb of RAM, is $12,995.

Reaffirming its commitment to Unix, arguing that the Solaris-driven machines offer powerful computing which is more reliable than NT, Sun is pre-installing a friendlier version of Solaris 2.6. However, support for Windows 95 is catered for with SoftWindows 95 and Windows NT with Ntrigue. By summer, the Sun PC Card for running Windows 95 off an onboard Advanced Micro Devices K6 processor will be available. Other future enhancements include PC file viewing and printing and collaborative tools for sharing Windows and Unix applications.

IE4.0 for the Mac released

Microsoft last week posted the release version of Internet Explorer 4.0 for the Macintosh on its Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/ie/mac/). Although the browser can receive push channels, the Active Desktop technology, which IE4.0 uses to turn Windows desktops into an extension of the World Wide Web, is not available for Macs. That may not be a disadvantage - according to many news groups most Windows 95 users opt to use neither push channels nor Active Desktop, preferring to stick to traditional ways of interacting with the Web and their desktops. IE4.0 for Mac includes Outlook Express, a mail and news reader, as well as support for the Java Development Kit 1.1.3, and the AutoComplete feature that finishes Internet addresses as users type them in. Five megabytes of memory is required.

With IE4.0 the default browser for new Macintosh machines, the release may well erode further Netscape's share of the browser market. According to the results of a study announced last week by Positive Support Review (PSR), since IE4.0 for Windows was released Microsoft's "usage" market share has risen from 42 per cent to 63 per cent. The methodology used by PSR is, however, unclear. A report from Dataquest, cited recently by Microsoft, estimated that Netscape still held the lead with 57 per cent, but concluded that Microsoft was rapidly gaining market share.

MS concern at special adviser

In the continuing anti-trust court case, Microsoft last week asked Lawrence Lessig, the Harvard law professor investigating US government claims that the software company is monopolistic, to resign on the grounds that he is biased.

Lessig was appointed special adviser to a US District Court as part of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's preliminary ruling on the case between Microsoft and the Department of Justice. Microsoft produced a series of e-mail messages between Lessig and Netscape attorneys, dated last summer, to demonstrate Lessig's alleged bias. His e-mails cited problems he was having with the Mac version of Internet Explorer. Microsoft claimed that Lessig's opinions would affect his views on the default bundling of Internet Explorer on consumer PCs, the focus of the court case. Lessig rejected the call for him to step down.

"We think that's very unfortunate," Mark Murray, a Microsoft spokesman, said. "We have serious concerns about Professor Lessig's lack of objectivity in this matter." The software company has filed a motion asking Jackson to end the process with Lessig or anyone else and has also filed an appeal. Lessig is expected to complete his inquiry into Microsoft's licensing by summer, but a court case could delay his report.

A virtual lover on your key-ring?

The Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair last week offered a glimpse of the electronic key-ring gadget that may succeed cyberpets. My Lover, manufactured by Solar Tune Electronics, sells for $10 in Hong Kong and is scheduled for export to Europe and the US. It allows owners to win the affections of a virtual partner with flowers, chocolates, karaoke dates and love letters.

Points thus earned can be converted into virtual kisses and marriage, but a lack of attention will lead to rejections and if the owner fails to heed warnings and mend their ways, their virtual partner may desert them for someone else.

"Teenagers are always looking for love, and this game can give them some experience, teach them how to respect others," Stanley Chan, the company's assistant marketing manager, said.

Andy Oldfield

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried