One of the more trying problems for developers is dealing with
the complexities of cross-platform development. Aside from the
usual minutiae of API's and libraries that are "sorta kinda almost"
compatible, there are the even more vexing problems of differences
in word size as well as everyone's favorite monster under the bed,
endian issues. But at a simpler level there's an even more urgent
and immediate chasm for developers to cross: gaining access to new
hardware. Many companies, and nearly all open source
developers, can't afford to buy all the testing hardware they need,
let alone would like to have, and in many cases, such as Intel's
upcoming IA-64 architecture processors, the hardware isn't
generally available yet. So what's a cross-platform geek to
Intel's answer to this is intriguing in its simplicity and
generality--they put a small mountain of Itanium systems in one of
their sites (which is probably on the side of a big mountain in the
Pacific Northwest of the US), and let people sign up for free
access to them over the Internet. Intel calls this program EAS
(Early Access Service), and it's been available since August of
2000, since late September of 2000 with Linux. I recently spoke
with Melissa Laird, Intel's Director of Developer Services and
Support in their Solutions Enabling Group, and Umesh Shah, the
Technical Manager for EAS, who provided a little insight into how
this works and what Intel's plans are for this program.
Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.