[tex-live] running programs from texlive tlc2

Tigran Aivazian tigran at aivazian.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Dec 9 12:23:42 CET 2004

to be absolutely 100% precise I should perhaps have mentioned that by 
"Linux" I don't mean "some common distribution installed by a dummy user" 
but a properly optimized Linux system (both kernel and userspace) done by 
someone who spent several years in active Linux kernel development. I 
didn't mention this in the beginning because I thought it would sound like 
boasting and that was not my purpose.

But, on the other hand, I also optimized other people's Linux machines and 
this usually resulted between 2 and 4 times (yes 400%) performance 
increase, so to be fair I should have mentioned that my Celeron 600MHz 
Linux is actually faster than many people's 1.2-1.4GHz machines even if 
they run Linux...

On Thu, 9 Dec 2004, Tigran Aivazian wrote:

> just checked my email archives and found another inaccuracy --- it wasn't 
> actually 1 month on Windows but a "mere" 3-4 days :)
> Ok, so the absolute final truth is:
> 1. with no changes to the sources, switching from 2.2GHz Windows to 600MHz 
> Linux results in a speed up from 3-4 days to 3.5 hours.
> 2. with trivial source changes it speeds up to 1 hour on Linux (or 1 day on 
> Windows).
> So, instead of saying "Linux is faster than Windows by hundreds" of times I 
> should have checked my emails and and told only the facts --- it is only 24 
> times faster (ignoring the 2.2GHz -> 600MHz, i.e. excusing Windows for using 
> 2.2GHz machine as if it was only 600MHz).
> Kind regards
> Tigran
> On Thu, 9 Dec 2004, Tigran Aivazian wrote:
>> On Wed, 8 Dec 2004, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
>>> Tigran Aivazian wrote:
>>>> I have seen some reasonably complex books typeset in LaTeX which can take 
>>>> about a month of computer time to be processed under Windows Xp on a 2GHz 
>>>> with 1G RAM machine and took only a few hours on a Linux Celeron 600MHz 
>>>> with 256M RAM.
>>> I can't imagine what your books are like. I have been typesetting books 
>>> for 20 years using LaTeX and I can't recall a LaTeX run for more than
>>> an hour. I count 10 minutes these days as a really big TeX job.
>> books with Hebrew or/and "interlinear" (bilingual) layout do take an awful 
>> long time to typeset. My Hebrew OT takes 1 hour to process on Celeron 
>> 600MHz 256M RAM but only 9.5 minutes on x86_64 2x4GHz 1G RAM (using natice 
>> 64bit binaries).
>>>> So, the Windows OS can make things tens if not hundreds of times slower
>>> I find that a fairly extraordinary claim. What do you suggest the 
>>> operating system may be doing
>>> to hold up the processor, the disk, and the memory by that much? I have to 
>>> assume that your LaTeX job
>>> which takes so long is "computing", rather gthen vast amounts of disk 
>>> access
>> actually, there was a tiny little "white" lie in there :)
>> i.e. in reality, it was a _combination_ of several factors. Someone (Victor 
>> Zhuromsky) complained that his Interlinear Russian-Greek NT takes about a 
>> month to do all three passes on a reasonably fast Windows machine (the one 
>> I mentioned). He asked me to have a look. I tried his sources on my very 
>> very slow Celeron 600MHz 256M RAM and it was painfully slow but the 
>> progress it was making I estimated the completion at about 3-3.5 hours, 
>> which was still a lot better than Windows.
>> Then I had a look at his sources and noticed that he is not making any 
>> paragraphs but only explicit line breaks \\ and manual indentation to 
>> simulate paragraphs (which makes TeX very slow). So I fixed this and the 
>> resulting sources passed all three passes (it has to pass three times in 
>> his case) within a matter of an hour or so.
>> So, the above story I "averaged" as "1 month -> 1 hour" conversion, 
>> skipping some details :)
>> Kind regards
>> Tigran
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