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Recent advances in personal computer workstations, such as the IBM Personal System/2® Model 80 with its increased memory and CPU speed, loosely coupled with a host IBM 3090™ Processor, can provide considerable computing advantages for executing and visualizing numerically intensive computing (NIC) applications. We have developed a prototype visualization environment which demonstrates effective use of this hardware. The user interface for the NIC application is written using Microsoft Windows® on the PS/2® Model 80 running DOS 3.3. The PS/2 Model 80 is connected to a host 3090 via a PC network. The user enters requests which are application parameters and selects graphic views for displaying the output results file. The entries are made through user dialog screens on the workstations. The user view of the system is such that it appears that it is running on the workstation. To achieve this transparency, caches are used on both the workstation and the host. The cache on the host is in the form of graphic metafiles and numeric data. The cache on the workstation contains metafiles. Requests are monitored on the workstation to determine whether the results are in the local cache. When they are not, a request file is transferred to the host and checked against the host cache. The NIC application is run only when the requested result is not in either cache. In order to reduce the file size, the results file is converted to a metafile before being transferred to the workstation.
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