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Re: st: Stata (gllamm) benchmarks for different platforms?
As a follow-up to the previous and related post from Fred Wolfe and Buzz
Burhans, with some comments from Michael Ingre also, some thoughts and
ideas follow that we have exchanged during the course of our exchange on
running on multiple computers or OS (again, whether Fred,Buzz, or Michael
made the comments is not germaine, so I have not tried to distinguish it
As most Stata users use MS Windows, we thought the above data would be
germane. When I purchased my Windows computer it was with the knowledge
that Linux was going to be faster. I purchased Windows rather than Linux
because many additional programs that I use frequently only run on Windows.
For example, a program (Reference Manager) that holds my 30,000 references
and formats them for publication only runs with MS Word. In addition, the
way I work requires frequent pasting from Stata (or a text editor) to Excel
(for formatting) and then to MS Word. My decision to go with Windows rather
than Linux was based on the assumption that the increased speed from Linux
would not make up for the loss of productivity inherent in using 2 computer
or partitions (Windows and Linux). Others might make different choices.
My Opteron is configured so I can dual boot it to either Linux or Windows,
though I haven't installed Windows on it yet, I have the partition
prepared. If you have hard drive space, an installation of Linux on a
second partition may be worth exploring. Other thoughts about working
between two operating systems are:
Very interesting possibility
Option 1, current practice:
I don't have that program. I will look into it. (Thanks, I found it and
downloaded it). My older machine which sits on the desk, too, is slower,
and I am trying to find a use for it.
I use a switch box that allows me to plug both boxes in to it, and use
only one monitor and keyboard. By double tapping on a keyboard key I
switch from one computer to the other, thus I run Stata, then switch back
to the Win machine for other work, all on the same monitor and keyboard.
I keep a duplicate directory for each Stata project on my WinXP machine.
I use a 256MB "mini cruzer" flash disk on the USB port (on both machines)
to keep a backup copy of the StataProject directory
On the WinXP machine I use a file sync program called FileSync (shareware)
to sync the hard drive and the flash disk copies of the StataProject
directory. That software is fast, and allows default settings, so it
comes up and does the file compares and updates the new and revised files
on either drive very easily and fast.
On the Linux box, I downloaded a program called UNISON that essentially
does the same thing between the min cruzer flash disk and the StataProject
directory on the Linux hard drive.
Syncing is easy and fast. There is a minor problem if I update the same
file on both disks before I sync them, but there is software that will
merge them even then, though I am not yet using it.
By the way, the KDE desktop on the Linux has an Office suite, and it is
compatible with MS Office which I use on the WinXP machine. In the little
testing I have done with it, the file interoperability, for spreadsheets
at least, is good. I have built some tables in the spreadsheet, and been
able to use them in MS Excell. This would not interest you probably, but
there may be similar inter-operability for whatever Mac based tools you use.
I think if I could get it to run with Reference Manager it might be worth
trying for me.
I also run and value Reference Manager, and have the same need to maintain
Option 2.: soon as I get time to set it up:
Yes, I run a LAN here, and keep my lap to synchronized (mostly by hand, but
I'll look into your synch program).
I bought a router ($50) and a cable ($14) that I can use to link the two
machines into a local network (all at the side of my desk). It will allow
me to use UNISON to sync the two machines (WinXP & Linux) without having
to use the flash disk. I am going to get a local Linux guy to set it up
for me. I may or may not be able to run Stata "remotely", I mostly want to
expedite the file movement though.
This "LAN" could be done with a single "crossover" cable ($14) and without
the router expense, but I actually have a third computer I want to link to
(it is even older and slower) so in my case I need the router.
I can manage to do the switch to Linux. But I would not want it for my
everyday work. Do you think it is possible to use the Opteron/Linux system
as a remote server and submit jobs to it from Stata on another computer
(My Mac, and My colleagues Macs and PCs)? Or is it only available from the
I think it is possible to use the Linux box as a remote server and submit
Stata jobs to it; but you would need to ascertain that with someone who
knows more about setting that up than I do. In fact, Stata tech support
probably could tell you.
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