Tuesday, April 24, 2007

new geek stuff

As a super geek, I am WAY into gadgets. Unfortunately I lack the income necessary to purchase all the things I want. I did, however, manage to snag a new phone:It has a 1.3 Megapixel camera, and a really cool microSD slot, which I promptly filled with a 1GB card! For only $14! Here is a nice little pic of the card in my hand.

How the hell do they fit 1GB in there? I think they even sell 4GB and 8GB versions as well, but they aren't $14.

On another geek front, I found this nice 37 inch monitor for $540 on newegg.com! I should be getting it in about 2 or 3 days. NICE:
YESSS. (disclaimer - this 'TV' is 'HDTV ready' - meaning it does not have a tv tuner in it. We bought this screen to watch movies on - I still hate TV)

arrgh! an update!

I've meant to post here more often, but I've been too darn busy. Anywho (I hate that word), the workers have nearly finished their magic on the machine room. All the coolers have been attached to their water lines, and the PDU's have all been connected and are turned on (little red lights aglowin'). Also, they have the air handlers going as well, testing things out and making sure they all work correctly. Exciting!

(here, you can see my reflection in the window, with my hand holding the phone to take a picture, hobo-gloves and all. I wear fingerless hobo gloves because my office gets too cold and then I can't type anymore)

It sure is gonna be nice when we start actually receiving the equipment.

We would have started messing with the new equipment sooner, but the contract between us, the NSF and the unnamed company has not been signed yet. I know, it's *only* been 6 months! Who could ever get a contract signed in a measly 6 months (sarcasm)? Everyone is dragging their feet on signing off on the contract, because it is a huge amount of money, and the bureaucracy at all three places is preventing everyone from getting anything done.

So, it's been knots-in-the-stomach the whole way, and everyone I work with is starting to get nervous.

But I am confident that everything will turn out ok in the end - this is just one of MANY growing pains that will be experienced while we continue to build the BIGGEST COMPUTER IN THE WORLD. BWA-HAHAHAHAHAH.

Monday, April 9, 2007

tv is a nightmare

So, about 10 years ago, I got rid of my television. Here is a comment I made on a blog I came across where the author wrote about how to become more productive:

I haven't had a tv for 10 years. Bravo!

There is not only the money, there is the TIME wasted on tv. If you watch an average amount of television, most people spend around 20 hours a week in front of the tv. Most people claim to watch far less, but they are lying to themselves.

Do the math - that's around 43-50 SOLID *days* of watching tv if you were to do so concurrently (20 hours a week times 52 weeks in the year). The majority of people watch way more - I think the average for most kids is around 40 hours a week.

Anyways, if you only watch 20 hours a week, for every 5 years you are alive, ONE ENTIRE YEAR of that is spent in front of a tv, if watched continuously. So by the time you are twenty years old, you have wasted FOUR YEARS of your life! 6 years wasted at 30, and so on...

Once I did the math, I threw my tv out the next day.

It's addicting, by the way - you will have tv withdrawal symptoms for the next month or 2, before you are completely weaned.

Enjoy that thought!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

irrational exuberance

I know this isn't related to supercomputers or clusters, but supergeek owns a house that he recently purchased. This house was purchased for almost twice the amount I swore I would never go over in buying a home. It's a great house, and I really don't deserve to live here. Thing is, I was looking at it as an investment, and sunk a large amount of money into it. This graph tells me I am about to lose all that money. I'll still have the house, but I can tell that the perceived value of my house, and every other house in America, is about to plummet.

Friday, April 6, 2007

unrelated side note

This post is about something my department is working on for an un-named company in exchange for a donation of said product. We developed a simple, inexpensive solution for this company to create a video wall of nine 42" monitors all working in unison to display one picture. Such a solution is normally prohibitively expensive, but our open source solution makes it come within reach of the everyday joe (or ordinary joe organization with a good number of relatively affordable bucks)

I would like to point out that this is about 5 feet tall and 8 feet wide:

by the way - that's an image of blood flow in an artery.

*updated, from comments:
I probably should have said 'affordable' in scare-quotes. This thing costs around $100,000 the way it was implemented. We could probably lower the price by using less memory per node, and less high-quality nodes as well, which might get it to go down to around an 'affordable' $60,000!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

If you need a place to store meat...

So I just want to make a quick post, to show the world I am still alive. There are going to be 115 of these liquid-cooled APC units, and the room is starting to look like a scary scene from 2001, with alot of the black obelisks looming scarily in this space.

Those black obelisks come in giant crates like what you see in this photo here.

It takes quite a lot of work to get them shipped, unpacked, moved into place, wired to the power, then plugged into the chilled water lines. Overall, it's about a 3 day process. I can't believe just how much work has gone into this so far - I mean, the manpower required for just the cooling in the room is nuts.

More later!