Soft ICP: PC & Linux Hardware

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Posts Tagged ‘portable unix laptops’

SPARCstation Portable? The Powerlite

For people on the go, portable computing has become an essential part of the working environment. Many of us face the need for computing power at off-site locations. For most, a conventional Intel-based laptop computer fills the bill. For some UNIX users, however, such systems are at best a compromise, even when augmented by ports of familiar UNIX utilities. For some people, a non-UNIX, Intel-based solution is no solution at all. These users may need a Solaris-running, SPARC-based workstation they can carry with them for development, system administration, or product demonstrations. This is the audience for whom RDI Computer Corp.’s PowerLite portable workstation was developed. RDI positions the system as the performance equivalent of a SPARCstation 5. How close does this 110MHz, seven-pound system come to a real workstation, and is it worth the weight?


As with any portable computer, the PowerLite is essentially self contained. The screen, keyboard, and trackball are all part of the system unit, and the Solaris operating system is pre-installed at the RDI factory. Thus, basic installation is reduced to an inventory of parts, plugging in the power adapter, and powering up the system. Depending on the options that have been ordered, installation can be somewhat more complex, but not by much.