Fads, waves of the future, etc.

Fads are standing waves of marketing/sales/technology that have limited lifetime, yet generate buzz. Fads die out, and they consume resources during their existence. Fads rarely ever do more than help cull the herd … assisting evolutionary processes that weed crappy technology dressed up nicely and packaged for sale.
Best example of these I can come up with were the cycle stealing codes, that turned your machine into a “supercomputer” by aggregating cycles across many hundreds and thousands of machines. Run your code on it. The economics of it are unbeatable. This is inevitable. Or at least the pitches went that way.
Venture groups fawned over the technology. It couldn’t lose, it was the wave of the future. All those bad HPC companies had better watch out, cause the cycle machines were a comin, and they would forever change the landscape of HPC.
This was 2001 or so.
Now, 11 years later, those “bad” HPC companies still exist. What about the cycle stealing companies?
A fad has one or more fatal flaw, that is usually masked, or glossed over. Its not explained, not discussed. Its an implementation detail. A simple matter of programming. Or similar.
Then there was Itanium. Not the proudest moment in Intel’s existence, but IMO they’ve more than made up for that particular epic failure. Used an VLIW architecture. VLIW was an awesome idea in theory. In practice, good compilers were a SMOP. We heard all about how by 2003 or so Itanium would dominate everything. What happened?

Read moreFads, waves of the future, etc.

Not good

Rich B at InsideHPC.com posts about the national labs exit from floorspace at SC12. The claim is due to budget cuts, but the GSA scandal and its fallout likely have a higher precedence to the upper echelon of decision makers. Which if you think about it, only a minute amount, you realize is the very … Read moreNot good

Oh joy … a crash on our Amazon EC2 hosted web server

[update 2] Yuppers, Amazon US East N. Virginia is experiencing issues. C.f. here.

Doug thought I did this with our IP update (larger block of static). So did I for a moment until I logged in.
Partial failure on my part for not having the backup live/ready. Wlll remedy over the next day or two.


[update] I think we can call this one a #fail.

Imagine if some small business with no technical acumen, sold on the “push this button to run your website” saw that error message.


We moved the company web server to EC2 during our site move. So far, I’ve been pretty happy with arrangement, though it is not cheap to run a web server in the cloud.
So a few minutes ago, we noticed the site was down. I log in and find this:

Read moreOh joy … a crash on our Amazon EC2 hosted web server

Interesting post on macroeconomic trends, risk, investment, and farms

Saw this linked on from zerohedge. Understand that, to a degree, this is a sales pitch for this persons’ new fund. But the reasoning behind doing what they are doing is fascinating to me. Along with a description of what happened to the global financial markets. Definitely worth the view just for the history and … Read moreInteresting post on macroeconomic trends, risk, investment, and farms

AMD has an SGI moment

$131M quarterly loss. They have a looming 15% (think one out of every seven) RIF. I remember those from SGI days. I remember being on an ACS show floor, giving demos, and learning that some of my colleagues on the show floor with me, were part of the RIF. SGI itself isn’t doing well, but … Read moreAMD has an SGI moment

Initial plans for SC12

Assuming all the hardware is ready … not sure, but hopefully it will be. We’ll have a siCluster at the booth. Powered by partner’s 10/40GbE fabric, and running a few different cluster file systems. FhGFS is a no brainer, it will be on there. Ceph should be on there. GlusterFS should be on there. Thinking … Read moreInitial plans for SC12

Interesting and depressing article on Michigan's future

A few prefaces …
First, I disagree with the premise throughout this article that our governor is timid. He is, IMO, and in many people’s opinion, doing a great job. Governor Romney is very similar to Governor Snyder in many ways. Timidity really isn’t apparent.
I guess that people see someone making a cost-benefit analysis for engaging in a particular debate, or pushing for a particular outcome, and deciding to forgo a particular fight, as being timid. I disagree. You fight the battles that are meaningful, and the battles you can win. You don’t aim for a bridge to far at the outset. Because if you do aim for that bridge to far, you’ll expend far to much political capital needed to accomplish your goals. Accomplish the goals, and then push.
Second, I don’t disagree with the authors characterization of the proposals in front of us here. This is pretty accurate.
And if they pass in toto or in significant part, business will probably start exiting the state enmasse. Worth considering if you are in Michigan and voting in a few weeks. Make the climate hostile to business, and it will move. Make it more expensive, and it will move. Funny how that works.
We will be opening an office in NJ/NY area fairly soon. We are a Delaware C company. If the climate here is made even more hostile than it was during the preceding governor, yeah, we’ll move. We don’t need the drama.

Read moreInteresting and depressing article on Michigan's future