The UK is th eonly nation which has developed a spacefaring capacity. Then abandoned it after the first successful launch.
188 posts • joined 18 Sep 2014
My father worked in a research unit in Gastrointestinal medicine in Glasgow. They were pioneers before their time in what we now call expert systems as applied to medicine. They found that people would be more open and honest in giving answers to GI symptoms when asked by computer.
HE tole me that when foreign doctors (read English too) came to Glasgow they had to be given language coaching 'A huv the dry boak doctor'
I managed several SGI Itanium systems. They were very good for CFD work.
True tale - when a blade had to be replaced on an Altix, the SGI engineer had to phone a number in the States and get a unique code. Else the blade would not join the system.
Preventing $COUNTRY fro assembling a supercomputer by buying spare parts.
The keyboard and mouse devices appear as USB devices.
SO the cute thing is that you can lock out unknown USB devices - such as USB drives - at the hardware level. Your remote workstation never 'sees' them at all.
For hardware PCOIP you have a daughter card power from the host workstation, and appears on the bus as a USB device for keyboard/mouse.
The graphics card output is looped into the PCOIP card and there is an onboard processor which does the conversion to a network stream. The card has its own ethernet connector.
Teradici PCOIP is fantastic - I have deployed it. RDP is of course adequate for desktop use. But if you are doing high end graphics and 3D then PCOIP is what you need. I gather it uses adaptive compression - different compression depending on the type of movement on the screen.
PCOIP Also 'builds to lossless' - so on restricted bandwidth when you stop moving or rotating you will get a lossless image.
PCOIP is also entirely secure - certified to UK Govt standards.
My mother was a trained typist. Yes indeed with early computers she would use lower case L and letter O
When I got a TRS-80 Model 1 for Christmas she set it up on a special shock absorbing typists mat. Then sat if front of it in the proper position, wrists cocked.
She then proceeded to pound the hell out of it. You could actually see the case bend.
Typists in those days were STRONG.
Itanium was a great architecture for CFD work and meshing.
Not only HP machines - SGI Altix were constructed from Itanium processors. NUMA machines which could address huge amounts of memory.
When a blade was replaced in an SGI Altic, when the machine was rebooted the blade would join the system.
Of course there were export control regulations - Uncle Sam did not want $nation to make supercomputers by buying up spare blades..
So when a blade was replaced the SGI engineer had to phone up a number in the USA and be given a code number to type in at boot time.
Or the blade would not be recognised.
My mother was a shorthand typist. I got a TRS-80 as a Christmas present. We introduced my mother to the machine.
She set it up on a special heavy rubber pad - such things were used to support typewriters and you are about to know why.
She sat in a proper position, hands poised above the keyboard...
Then proceeded to POUND THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of it. I saw the case flex under the onslaught.
typists were trained to operate mechanical devices which needed a lot of force...
Also she would use the letter l key for the digit 1 - I think typewriters lacked a digit 1 key as you could work out the sense from context.
Also she was an audio typist who used a foot pedal. Never used the mouse with her foot though - she was a smart lady!
We have Hyperoptic in the apartment building where I live. they are excellent.
There is a half rack of kit in the underground car park and Cat5 out to each apartment.
I believe they use Openrach for FTTP - so what is this price hike going to mean for Hyperoptic customers? I guess we will end up paying more.
Magnetised monitors? You've never been to CERN then have you? Back in the days of CRT monitors I worked underground in one of the CERN experiments. We had a 1.5 Tesla magnet which you could walk into. We just had to tilt otu heads to the side to read the text on the CRTs...
Now it can be told.. I worked in a frather famous Soho effects and animation house. One of our very expensive effects suites had clients in payung $$$. The suite was run by a $$$ SGI Origin 2000 machine with fancy graphics pipelines.
Cue me in the machine room, needing a serial terminal to log in. I start a serial terminal ont he laptop and plug into an RS-232 port on the SGI Origin. Which promptly reboots.
Cue sound of running feet and the server room door bursting open...
Turns out there was a process sitting waiting on that RS-232 port. For what I do not know.. but as soon as it received any data the machine reboots.
I shall look at that channel.
In my student days I bought a surplus BT baudot teleprinter for a fiver (or maybe a tenner). TI took two people to lift the thing. IT still had the hotel code for where it was originally stationed wired on, so would print this.
I connected it up as a printer to my TRS-80. Wish I still had it but it was huge and was binned at some point.
Never printed smut on it!
Back in the days of CRT monitors in offices I Was once warned against Christmas tinsel bedecking monitors.
Something about static charge being gathered by metallic tinsel.
I was also given the line that CRT monitors give you spots. The screen does get charged, which produces an image charge on your face which attracts dirt.
SO spotty IT nerds may not be that much of a cliche.
It is in the Nordics. They probably have existing hydro electric capacity next door.
For the UK, I have often said that why is there not a green data centre in Kinlochleven?
There was a hydeoelectric plant there for an aluminium smelter.
I guess the hydro plant may no longer be active, and not worth reviving.
Williams F1 developed a flywheel for KERS energy storage. This is tightly wound carbon fibre filaments. It is lightweight and spins extremely fast.
There is a danger when flywheels fail, I gather the carbon fibre one is safer than most as it explodes into carbon fibre particles (which probably should not be breated in).
That flywheel was said to be being commericalised - I wonder of the Navy are using that technology?
I love the USB-C standard, and have it on my laptop.
Thoughts on why USB-C is not on Rasp PI? I guess that having a separate HDMI output is no big consumer os space, and it allows hobbyists and schoolchildren to hook up a cheal HDMI Cable to a standard television. With a USB-C port you would need a separate hub to fan out to HDMI, stanrard USB for keyboard and mouse, and for ethernet. Which would cost more than the Rasp PI
Also I guess USB-C chipsets aren't integrated with the SoCs used on Rasp Pi.
Wow. That brings back memories.
As a graduate student in high energy physics, I got my very own 3270 terminal, connected to the mainframe downstairs by twinax cables.
Best keyboard I have ever had.
Many joyful days running virtual machines under CMS. I remember the REIPL CMS command to reboot (Initial Program Load). It probably would all come back if I got a 3270 in front of me!
In later days I got a FALCO terminal at CERN. VT220 emulation, plus a hotkey to Tektronix graphics emulation. I used a 3270 emulator on DEC VMS to access the mainframes there.
You cram them in a rack because they will likely to be accessed remotely.
OK, these ones are said to be quiet. But powerful workstations, as the article says, are noisy and produce heat.
So you use Teradici PCOIP terminals or Citrix to access them
These guys are good at this, and I have worked with them.
Low power, silent terminal on your desktop, can be on the back of your monitor.
Secure encryption for spooky sites.
Workstations are secure in the data centre, your data never leaves there.
Workstations are on a fast network near the data.
If a workstation fails, you just connect another one in the rack up to the desktop, No crawlin about under desks ad the engineer gets up and running faster.
Fantastic blog from an experienced chemist:
What if the AI is stupid enough to try brewing up FOOF for instance?
In the blog Derek describes compounds so reactive that if they go on fire and you throw the sand bucket on them.. the sand catches fire...
I'm no chemist, but I have seen notices in chemistry departments about compunds which smell so bad you have to notify people. What if the AI fancied a little batch of one of them?
David, I believe the target for a realistic Exascale machine is 30MW - not as in target to get above 30, but to get below.
Yes indeed, having worked for several HPC integrators the running costs are just as important as the hardware. So any innovative schemes to improve the PUE, or indeed to reduce the power per transistor switch cycle, are of interest.
None of these designs are low power because at the end of the day a transistor is a transistor.
Well said. There is work going into the power consumption per instructions 'picowatts per flop'.
I saw one commen tthat the advent of GPU computing taught a generation that double precision floating point is not needed for everything. I think there will be more effort put into choosing the appropriate precision for calculations, saving power by making the actual algorithms more power aware.
In the Oxford Supercomputer centre they have a similar system. An inert gas is used to keep the oxygen content in the server room below the point at which ignition will occur, but you can still breathe.
Very sensible safety precautions there are never to work alone.
I do recall feeling a bit woozy after being in the server room for a few hours though.
Thanks AC. I have installed and configured my fair share of 48 port switches, most recently Mellanox 10Gbps switches.
The cabinet looks like a standard wall mount comms cabinet to me, and as it is mounted high up I have never really been curious enough to go poking in it. 200 CAt5 cables is quite bulky. I guess I only need to count the cables coming out of the box.
There is a standard sized wall-mounted cabinet in the basement. I have never had a close look at what is in there.
The babinet is about 10U high, so you are right it probably does not have a whopping big enterprise router in there.
Actually the cabinet is in the underground car park and cables go off up the cable risers to each floor. I would say you are correct, and there must be some small switch in each riser, so each set of apartments is connected to a leaf switch.
The apartment building wher eI live has Hyperoptic as the provider. Blooming marvellous, compared to the awful ADSL service which went before, and would stop working on hot days. Far too many connections multiplexed onto Docklands infrastrucure which went all the way back to the Bermondsey exchange. I saw the excuse was that in the Docks era all the warehouses had alarm lines via telephone. These could not have junction boxes in the streets, as the crims would bypass the alarm.
Anyway - Hyperoptic runs a fat fibre connection to the basement of the building. Every flat gets a Ct5 cable back to the router in the basement. Works great and I was able to stream the 4K test signal from the BBC.
Sorry, but I paid nigh on 2000 quid for a high end laptop, which I love. HP Spectre.
I can boot it into Linux and do all the development work I want.
I paid Micorosft for windows 10 Home, which I actually quite like. But I want to run some Docker containers? Oooh noo mate... shell out some more cash.
IF anyone from Microsoft reads this, you are not encouraging anyone to dabble in Docker with Windows. Not relvant to Dev Spaces of course.
You will find that on downloading Docker for Windows it wil lnto run with Windows 10 Home edition. It needs the Professional Edition.
That is not a great way to encourage anyone to try Docker out.
I think this really flags up that passwords are an outdated concept. Mock as much as you like abotu writing passwords down, but why in the 21st Century are we relying on a series of characters pressed out on what is quaintly known as a 'keyboard'.
I don't have the solution myself, however I rather do like Microsoft Hello and facial recognition.
I realise there will be many responses saying 'this is not secure enough'
For centuries, people have placed great store in physical keys. You can still see keys for ancient castle doors for instance, so we have a cultural appreciation of keys.
I really dont see why more companies dont use smartcards for authentication. You normally have a smartcard on a lanyard, and this is used to open doors within the building.
OK, for the home user and e-commerce sites you wont have a company smartcard. But increasingly we see two factor authentication using a one-time code sent to a mobile phone.
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