Detroit: Where the weak are killed and eaten

Way back in graduate school, my family was in town for my wedding. Back then, Detroit had a reputation … not a pretty one … for being the murder capital of the US.
Sure made my folks happy I was going to grad school there.
So while we were wandering around in Greektown right after a meal, we spent some time in Trappers alley, at a number of stores. One of the stores had a T-Shirt my older brother really seemed to enjoy. It read
“Detroit: where the weak are killed and eaten”
Well, news from Forbes today is somewhat grim. We seem to have regained a title like that. Forbes has named Detroit the US’es most dangerous city.

Read moreDetroit: Where the weak are killed and eaten

Acquisition day T + 5: We learn more

Ok, looks like I was dead on right on some aspects, and likely pie in the sky with others. Here is where I was right.
This acquisition was, and is, about Java and MySQL. From The Register yesterday:

Exclusive Oracle’s senior management has expressed its love for Sun Microsystems’ software and hardware but warned tough decisions are coming on what people and products stay.
President Charles Phillips and chief corporate architect Edward Screven have committed to keeping Java open and to not killing MySQL.

Yup. Makes sense.

Read moreAcquisition day T + 5: We learn more

Great concept, terrible implementation

I’ve mentioned rPath before, as it is the basis for OpenFiler, and other appliances. Now with the mad headlong rush into the misty vapors of cloud computing, they are rebranding as a cloud appliance provider.
Their concept is great. Create a functional software appliance, run it everywhere.
Thats not what i am going to complain about. Its about the implementation.
[rant mode full on]
Its always about the implementation. As the implementation is the thing that drives support.

Read moreGreat concept, terrible implementation

Amusing story of the day: yes, someone has tried to scam us

So there I am waiting for my 3:30pm phone call. Working on a Delta-V for a partner. Get a call from the number
Remember that number.
This person claimed they were representing Hugh Downs production company and wanted to do a story. Obviously this person had no clue, was reading from a script, and didn’t have any research background on us.
I was at least amused.
One of their questions at the end got me thinking that this person wasn’t clueless, but was fishing for something. Aroused my suspicions.
They asked me what my advertising budget was.
So I gave them a random range pulled out of a hat.

Read moreAmusing story of the day: yes, someone has tried to scam us

The bell may toll for Chrysler … next week

From the NYT, we learn that they are being pushed to a Chapter 11 filing. This is needed, in order to cause a break on some of the really bad contracts and other business elements they have agreed to over the years.
Chrysler is a consumer of HPC products. Rumor has it a large (effectively free/risk free) cluster was provided by one of the tier 1s in the last few months.
Chrysler has been hammered by the economic downturn, and the effective absence of credit in the market. Without credit, most consumers won’t buy cars.

Read moreThe bell may toll for Chrysler … next week

96TB JR5 now available

96TB raw capacity, 5U high performance storage system with 64GB ram, 8 processor cores, 4x GbE, 2x 10GbE ports, dual hardware accelerated RAID cards, SSD boot drives. For well under $1000/TB. More information coming in the formal announcement this week.

Acquisition T + 1 day:

As John West points out over at, the FAQ really didn’t live up to FAQ standards … very little was answered, and there are many more questions. But a pattern did emerge, that fundamentally suggests that we may have been (more) right (than we knew).
This acquisition was about MySQL and Java. And other software bits. But no mention of Lustre, and even more important to a larger number of HPC sites, GridEngine.
No mention of VirtualBox, arguably giving Sun and now Oracle similar virtualization capabilities to EMC and VMware. I said arguably … don’t thwack me for it.
Notice that the FAQ (I read it through) appears … well … repeatitive … in its answers. Which say very little by themselves.
Of course I have had a day to think about this, and have come up with some thoughts … which could be way off base, but they are at least some thoughts …

Read moreAcquisition T + 1 day:

"Customer service"

Names not used to protect the guilty.
We have a motherboard that we bought about 2 years ago now. It was used to run 5310 processors for a build machine for a while. Well, the fist motherboard we had from them, while advertised as compatible with quad core … wasn’t. We had to RMA it to get the right version from this vendor.
Well, we had to upgrade the bios recently to support a new card we placed in the machine.
And the bios update bricked the machine. Well, stuff happens.
But this isn’t the problem.

Read more"Customer service"