I just picked up a Verizon Wireless PCMCIA air card to go with the new Dell laptop. The HPC connection comes from this being the unit I take with me on-site. The wireless card is a PCMCIA unit, the PC5750. It is basically a PCMCIA -> USB bridge for a modem. I installed the Verizon software in the windows XP portion (didn’t check to see if it works in XP x64, which I had been still considering reloading that portion with). Did the usual dance for “autodetection”. Install the software, configure it, wait till it tells me to insert for “autodetection” and off it went. Took me a bit to get it connected, the speed was quite slow, but it was far better than nothing. It worked though, so that is important.
I got an interesting letter in the mail today. It was a somewhat … well … cheesy looking letter from the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark office) indicating that a patent which was applied for 7 years ago, was finally awarded. Patent number 7,249,357 if you are interested. I won’t comment on the substance of the patent. The group I worked with was absolutely top notch, and an it was an honor to be associated with them.
But that wasn’t the point of this post. I have been reflecting on an interesting anniversary coming up in a day. I have been feeling introspective about it for a while. It is somewhat humbling.
Sorry folks, huge demand for my cycles. Has effectively stopped me from having time to write the followup bits. Will do soon.
One of the more annoying parts of writing stuff for consumption online is that, every now and then, someone with an agenda, a very obvious agenda, will go off with weak arguments. One of those weak arguments that we saw yesterday was TCO. Not that TCO is a minor concern, it is a real, significant concern for management. How much something costs in the end is a sorely needed datum for any enterprise, company, entity, to make rational and realistic decisions.
That said, there are ways to use TCO, and there are ways to abuse and FUD with TCO. We saw my attempted fisker (I was the fiskee? I dunno, we need a new jargon here) hand wave, poorly, the TCO argument. We saw a weak argument, that companies now must hire new staff to support Linux.
Allow me to deconstruct and eviscerate this argument. It is wrong, it is illogical, it is weak. It is also the most common FUD we hear, so it is worth spending time to do this.
Yesterday, I commented on a puff piece article on Windows CCS. Go ahead and read it, the article and the commentary. This morning, I saw a comment on this same article from John at InsideHpc.com. I disagreed with John’s premise, and wrote a long article discussing this. While I respect John, I do disagree with him. But I will do so respectfully.
The rest of this article will be … sarcastic … flippant … and I am going to fisk the fisking post that was derived from John’s on another site. So gentle reader, if your stomach cannot take this, or you don’t like this stuff do skip this article.
On windows clusters. They quote Don Becker, cluster illuminati, who made some quite pointed and correct observations. They quoted some marketing types from other organizations who don’t appear to be technical, and don’t grasp what “hard to install” actually means.
or mine as it turns out. Found this via a link from Google Scholar. I was looking for the HMMer acceleration paper, specifically to see if it had been cited, and found my thesis.
The HPC connection has to do with the amount of simulation that went into the calculations. Way back in the good old days, 64 atom supercells took 1 week for 100 time steps on the machines we had (borrowed SGI R3000’s). Last time I ran the code, it took all of 11 seconds per time step on my old Opteron 246 machine.
Scary. I’ll go back to my abaqus now …
Grab the tarball from the open fabrics alliance (or from here)