OT: Ramping up spam protection

I have been displeased with the massive upswing in spam, and not looking forward to 30-40k spam messages next month. So I did some research on the additional features of our MTA, and then did some analysis of the spam we had. With a few quick changes, focusing on where/from whom we were getting the most spam, I instituted and tested some additional filter elements.

Read moreOT: Ramping up spam protection

On dynamical systems and climatology

That all of these are modeled on HPC gives me the tie-in to HPC that we need. I think we need more theoretical development, modeling, and model refinement. HPC systems accord us virtual laboratories that allow us to create and probe state spaces that may be impossible to consider in an experimental sense otherwise.
And this is, IMO, where we need to spend more time/effort/cycles.

Read moreOn dynamical systems and climatology

Do more. Spend less.

This has become our mantra. There is a nice article in The Economist about this.
While JackRabbit provides best of breed performance for what it does, and it also costs less than other solutions. Quite a bit less in most cases. While we are hearing, from customers and users, of “orders of magnitude” better performance (their words … multiple customers) than competitive boxes, we are emphasizing less stress on the budget aspect. Yeah its faster. And it costs less.

Read moreDo more. Spend less.

About to pass a dubious milestone …

[update: 8:49am 27-Jan-2009] Yup … my spam-box is at 20012 and counting.
[update 2: 8:29am 31-Jan-2009] 25188 and counting … wassamatta, they couldn’t get me to 30k by the end of the month (16 hours away)? Sheesh …
On a positive note, Thunderbird is able to handle 25188 email sized box without problem. I remember when 1000 emails would give email clients fits …
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Our spam filter is a pipeline. It can handle quite a load … we have been email bombed before, and far from causing the server conniptions, it handles it quite well.

Read moreAbout to pass a dubious milestone …

Pulling no punches: Firefox 3.x sucks

Having used it, watched it crash, hog memory, stall, screw up rendering, …
I have to wonder exactly what the Mozilla corporation is thinking by releasing this stinking pile of bits. My laptop is a dual core Intel machine with 2.5 GB ram, and a fast 7200 RPM SATA drive.
And it is brought to its knees by firefox 3.0. A third of ram gets snarfed by it immediately upon running. User load increases to 1 during anything stressful. Like loading Drudgereport. Javascript? Yeah, it can, and does bring the browser to a grinding halt, driving user load and memory consumption through the roof. Don’t believe me?
Have a look.

Read morePulling no punches: Firefox 3.x sucks

An "ouch" moment

/. indicated that as of this moment, Redhat is worth more (higher market capitalization) than Sun. So I checked it out.
As of this writing, RHT has a market cap of $2.62B, with $0.76B cash on hand. This suggests that the company has a value exclusive of cash, of about $1.9B. Not bad for a company that doesn’t actually make the technology behind its core product offerings.
As of this writing, JAVA has a market cap of $2.65B, with $2.63B cash on hand. This suggests that the company has a value, exclusive of cash, of about $20M.

Read moreAn "ouch" moment

The RIFs continue: now the bigger players in HPC

News (I guess not unexpected) this morning is that Microsoft is cutting staff, Intel is closing down underutilized resources and cutting staff, IBM is cutting staff, and we heard yesterday from John at InsideHPC.com of more cuts at AMD.
Having been on the wrong end of RIFs before, I know what it is like. I empathize with those effected. Having run a company for 6+ years, I know the abject terror of the other side of this. It is very sobering. When credit is available, you can generally borrow to keep paying people to help ride out the economic soft spots. Credit is not available.
In all these cases, these companies have core businesses, and HPC programs or business units, or groups. None of these businesses have HPC as a core business. Which means that the magic words you need to be listening for are “focusing upon core business”. That could have some significant (negative) implications for HPC at these companies. I know of two of the list here where it already has.
Put another way, the accountants and management at each organization has to ask some very hard questions, such as if we invest $X in this group, will we get $X+$Y with $Y positive going forward, and how large is $Y as compared to $X? For companies developing product and looking to break into a market, $Y is negative. The rate at which you are spending $Y is your “burn rate”. Startups know this all too well. After $X is gone, you either need a new $X, profit from ongoing operations ($Y) to feed into $X (after taxes, costs, …). It usually takes a while to get the earnings ($Y) up to the same level as $X.

Read moreThe RIFs continue: now the bigger players in HPC