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Workstations .

Dec 26, 2015



Elwin Gibbs
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Page 1: Workstations .

• Workstations

Page 2: Workstations .

Music workstation - Third generation music workstations

1 Although many music workstations have a keyboard, this is not always the case. In the 1990s, Yamaha, and

then Roland, released a series of portable music workstations (starting

with the Yamaha QY10). These are sometimes called walkstations.

Page 3: Workstations .

Music workstation - Third generation music workstations

1 Akai developed and refined the idea of the keyboard-less workstation, with the Music Production Center

series of sampler workstations. The MPC breed of sampler freed the

composer from the rigidity of step sequencing which was a limitation of

earlier grooveboxes.

Page 4: Workstations .

Music workstation - Modern music workstations

1 Since the display is one of the most expensive components of these

workstations, Roland and Yamaha initially chose to keep costs down by

not using a touch screen or high-resolution display, but have added

such in later models.

Page 5: Workstations .

Music workstation - Modern music workstations

1 Another path of music product development that started with the

feature set of music workstations is to provide entirely software-based products,

using virtual instruments. This is the concept of the digital audio workstation,

and many of these products have emulated the multitrack recording

metaphors of sequencers first developed in the music workstations.

Page 6: Workstations .

Workstation - Decline of workstations

1 Another goal was to bring the price for such a system down under a 'M'egapenny, that is, less than

$10,000; this was not achieved until the late 1980s, although many

workstations, particularly mid-range or high-end still cost anywhere from

$15,000 to $100,000 and over throughout the early to mid-1990s.

Page 7: Workstations .

Workstation - Decline of workstations

1 64-bit workstations and servers supporting an address range far beyond 4GB have been available

since the early 1990s, a technology just beginning to appear in the PC desktop and server market in the


Page 8: Workstations .

Workstation - Decline of workstations

1 * Operating System: early workstations ran the Unix Operating System (OS) or a Unix-like variant or equivalent such as OpenVMS|VMS.

The PC CPUs of the time had limitations in memory capacity and protected mode|

memory access protection, making them unsuitable to run OSes of this sophistication,

but this, too, began to change in the late 1980s as PCs with the 32-bit 80386 with

integrated paged Memory management unit|MMUs became widely affordable.

Page 9: Workstations .

Workstation - Decline of workstations

1 * High-speed computer network|networking (10Mbit/s or better): 10Mbit/s network

interfaces were commonly available for PCs by the early 1990s, although by that time

workstations were pursuing even higher networking speeds, moving to 100Mbit/s,

1Gbit/s, and 10Gbit/s. However, economies of scale and the demand for high-speed

networking in even non-technical areas has dramatically decreased the time it takes for

newer networking technologies to reach commodity price points.

Page 10: Workstations .

Workstation - Decline of workstations

1 * High performance/high capacity data storage: early workstations tended to use proprietary disk

interfaces until the emergence of the SCSI standard in the mid-1980s

Page 11: Workstations .

Workstation - Decline of workstations

1 For this reason, almost no workstations are built by the

customer themselves but rather purchased from a vendor such as

Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics|SGI,

Apple Inc|Apple, or Dell.

Page 12: Workstations .

Workstation - Decline of workstations

1 Higher-end workstations still use more sophisticated CPUs such as the modern iterations of the Intel Xeon,

AMD Opteron, IBM POWER microprocessors|IBM POWER, or Sun UltraSPARC CPUs, and typically run a variant of Unix, often allowing these machines to still focus on one area of

expertise extensively

Page 13: Workstations .

Workstation - Decline of workstations

1 Although both the consumer desktop and the workstation benefit from CPUs

designed around the multicore concept (essentially, multiple processors on a die (integrated circuit)|die, the application of

which IBM's POWER4 was a pioneer), modern workstations typically use

multiple multicore CPUs, error correcting memory and much larger on-die caches

than those found on consumer-level CPUs

Page 14: Workstations .

Workstation - Decline of workstations

1 Some workstations are designed for use with only one specific application such as

AutoCAD, Avid Xpress Studio HD, 3D Studio Max, etc. To ensure compatibility with the

software, purchasers usually ask for a certificate from the software vendor. The

certification process makes the workstation's price jump several notches but for professional purposes, reliability is more important than the initial purchase


Page 15: Workstations .

Classes of computers - Workstations

1 Workstations are computers that are intended to serve one user and may

contain special hardware enhancements not found on a

personal computer.

Page 16: Workstations .

Midi - Workstations and hardware sequencers

1 Music workstations combine controller keyboards with an internal sound generator

and a sequencer

Page 17: Workstations .

Silicon Graphics - SGI Visual Workstations

1 Another attempt by SGI in the late 1990s to introduce its own family of

Intel-based workstations running Windows NT or Red Hat Linux (see also SGI Visual Workstation) proved to be a financial disaster, and shook

customer confidence in SGI’s commitment to its own MIPS-based


Page 18: Workstations .


1 Workstations were the first segment of the computer market to present

advanced accessories and videoconferencing|collaboration


Page 19: Workstations .


1 However by the late 2000s this difference disappeared, as

workstations now use highly Commoditization|commoditized hardware dominated by large PC

vendors, such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard|HP, selling Microsoft

Windows or GNU/Linux systems running on x86-64 architecture such as Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron CPUs.

Page 20: Workstations .

Workstations - Origins and development

1 Early examples of workstations were generally dedicated minicomputers;

a system designed to support a number of users would instead be

reserved exclusively for one person. A notable example was the PDP-8

from Digital Equipment Corporation, regarded to be the first commercial


Page 21: Workstations .

Workstations - Origins and development

1 Other early workstations include the Terak 8510/a (1977), Three Rivers

PERQ (1979) and the later Xerox Star (1981).

Page 22: Workstations .

Workstations - Workstation definition

1 A significant segment of the desktop market are computers expected to perform as workstations, but using

PC operating systems and components

Page 23: Workstations .

Total Worker Health - Sit-stand workstations

1 With the implementation of sit-stand workstations, individuals will be able

to reduce sedentary time while at work, thereby improving health

outcomes, and possibly improving work productivity.

Page 24: Workstations .

Total Worker Health - Sit-stand workstations

1 While the individual results of the studies varied, the researchers found that sit-stand workstations resulted in an overall improvement in health

outcomes of workers who switched to these workstations, in addition to the

reduced sitting time

Page 25: Workstations .

Office Workstations Ltd

1 'Office Workstations Limited' ('OWL') was a United Kingdom|British

software company based in Edinburgh.

Page 26: Workstations .

Office Workstations Ltd - Ownership

1 OWL was bought for over £7m in 1989 by Matsushita Electric Industrial

(MEI) of Japan and became 'Panasonic Office Workstations Ltd.'.

They subsequently developed software to support next generation

consumer electronics., including DVD technology, Digital television, next generation mobile communications, Internet delivery of multimedia and

3D car navigation systems.