When I was a kid, I used to go out for Halloween. That was back in the day when you got real big candy bars and all kinds of other goodies. I also remember collecting money for UNICEF. We would take around the little orange boxes and ask for donations. Almost everyone gave money. I mean how do you say “no” to cute kids in costumes. The biggest problem was at the end of the night the combined candy haul and pile of change got real heavy, which of course was a good kind of problem.
I’m on the other side of Halloween now. Yes, I buy those little candy pieces to give out and I make sure I give to the kids collecting for UNICEF. Although out of respect for the little tykes I give them paper money instead of heavy change.
If you don’t know where I am going with this, it is about Haiti. The country was literally shook to the ground and now they need our help. I just gave to both the Red Cross and to UNICEF. Both of these organizations make sure the money goes to those in need and not to overhead. Indeed, UNICEF has pledged that 100% of the funds gathered for Haiti will go to relief efforts.
Now it is your turn. If you have not donated, I invite you to do so. If you have already donated, consider another donation in the future because this is not going to be fixed in a week or two. We now return to the SC09 video parade.
In the past, I have written about the IBM iDataPlex, but it is great to have a first hand video tour of the real hardware. If you ever wondered about the name iDataPlex and what it actually looks like, then here is your chance to learn about a very efficient clustering system from IBM. I must say there is nothing like pulling a server and placing it on the floor and then pulling pieces out to show the camera. I’ll let Keith Olsen of IBM handle the tour that includes the field stripping of an iDataPlex node.
The next video is from my visit to the ScaleMP booth. In case you don’t know, ScaleMP aggregates SMP servers into larger virtual SMP servers. That is, a typical server node now has 8 cores that all work together as a Symmetrical Multiprocessing (SMP) node. In a cluster, multiple SMP nodes are used together in a distributed fashion using MPI. There is no memory shared between nodes, only messages. ScaleMP is a software solution that allows multiple SMP nodes to share memory and provide one large SMP system image. To the user, it looks like a huge SMP machine. Amazingly, ScaleMP can provide up to 4TB of shared memory. Incidentally, this capability is used in the Gordon Cluster which is designed to solve large data problems. Let’s take a look at the video.
One of the goals I have at any tech conference is to collect t-shirts. I pride myself in not buying t-shirts because I tend to harvest them at trade shows. This year the pickings were kind of thin, but none-the-less, I tried my best to discretely ask for t-shirts. In the next video, you will see my attempt to get a free t-shirt, hear about SICORP, and learn about the “lore of the deadline.”
What can I say. The deadline has got it going on. My email address proceeds me. (cough, cough) And, don’t forget to donate, Sam Hithead will be proud. More videos next week.
Douglas Eadline is the Senior HPC Editor for Linux Magazine.