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Nothing new about 64-bit tech

In response to the April 30 Perspectives column by Richard Seibt, "What's 64-bit computing to Linux?":

I have to disagree with the claim that there's "pent-up demand for 64-bit computing." The large proprietary systems (Sun Microsystems, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, SGI) have been 64-bit for many years--long before 2001, when Intel made its first attempt at 64-bit.

Yes, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices will lower the bar and allow basically anyone to use 64-bit computing. However, Linux--not to mention NetBSD--has been able to run other non-Intel and non-AMD 64-bit platforms such as MIPS, PPC64, Sparc64 and Alpha for some time.

It really irks me when people "in the know" talk about "64-bit-ness" like it was something brand new. Intel and AMD are about three to four years behind in putting out a stable, reliable and widely used 64-bit platform. Others companies have already been there and done that.

If (Seibt) was an IT consultant and went to a large business and said, "Hey folks, we need to roll out 64-bit apps," he'd be laughed out of the room, since servers have been in place for years running 64-bit apps and operating systems.

Roger Grunkemeyer
Rockford, Ill.