This Story Posted:
July 13th, 1999

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[2:42 PM]
Microsoft Donates "State of the Art" NT Systems To Mac Stalwart, Dartmouth
A Dartmouth alumnus passed along a letter received from Dartmouth itself. According to this letter, Microsoft has donated some 40 NT stations for Dartmouth's computer department. The letter, as given to The Mac Observer, in full [Editor's Note: For those with weak stomachs, we advise you not to read the letter as it may make you ill]:

Microsoft Research donates 40 workstations to Dartmouth Computer Science Department

Since 1983, when the College installed the first campus-wide data network, Dartmouth has been an ardent Mac shop. This month, Dartmouth's Computer Science Department will embrace an environment of diversity, thanks to a major equipment grant from Microsoft Research, a division of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft will provide the department with 40 networked high-end Pentium II workstations running Windows NT and a quad-processor Pentium III NT Server. The donation, totaling over $450,000, also includes hardware support and a substantial package of "bundled" user and developer software.

"A mixed environment is ideal for universities," says Professor of Computer Science Bruce Randall Donald, who proposed the project to Microsoft in order to place state-of-the-art workstations on every graduate student's desk. "Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world. This donation will provide us with modern infrastructure to attack the computational problems of the 21st century."

The addition of Microsoft equipment will add depth to the department's current suite of Macintosh computers, PC's and Unix systems. "Windows NT incorporates a number of significant advances in operating systems technology," says Donald. "Faculty expect that the new machines will expose students to the latest ideas in computer systems and will enable them to carry out computationally intensive research projects."

Donald estimates there are 300 graduate and undergraduate students at Dartmouth involved in computer science disciplines including algorithms, networking, mobile agents, multimedia, security, operating systems, parallel computing, simulation, robotics, scientific computing, and computational biology.

Thanks to the unnamed Mac fan/Dartmouth alumnus for sending this in!

The Mac Observer Spin: It would seem that Microsoft has to give away the hardware to foist off NT onto Dartmouth. That has been the pattern so far from Microsoft, Intel, and some of the PC manufacturers. Insert Win X into Mac bastions by making large donations, usually in the form of grants or direct hardware contributions, to these schools. Of course with these machines, the schools will have to hire additional support personnel and that's where the cycle pays off for MS and co.

Still, we usually "hooray" Apple for doing the same thing. The problem lies in the fact that what often begins as a praise for "diversity" in the system has often resulted in support personnel, dominated by the MS faction because it often requires so many more of them to handle the Wintel machines, screaming to be rid of Macs because support for one platform is supposedly cheaper than for two or more.

And what's with this claim that Windows is "state of the art?" What poppycock! Some aspects of Windows are still not even Y2K compliant! MacOS X Server, BeOS, and even Linux are all far more "modern" and "State-of-the-Art" than NT! BeOS in particular gets the nod on this concept. Before MS sycophants warm up their hate mail, we will acknowledge that NT does in fact contain many modern aspects. Much of it even looks good on paper. However, the implementation of those aspects is typical of MS's work outside of the Macintosh Business Unit, and that means it is crappy. From the letter:

"Windows NT incorporates a number of significant advances in operating systems technology," says Donald.

Professor Donald leaves out that it is big backwards step as far as administration and maintenance, but MS lovers often tend to do that.

In a nutshell: Bah!

Dartmouth



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