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Hawking Is First User of "Big Brain" Supercomputer

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the big-machines dept.

Space 93

miller60 writes "Calling your product the 'Big Brain Computer' is a heady claim. It helps if you have Dr. Stephen Hawking say that the product can help unlock the secrets of the universe. SGI says its UV2 can scale to 4,096 cores and 64 terabytes of memory, with a peak I/O rate of four terabytes per second and runs off-the-shelf Linux software. Hawking says the UV2 'will ensure that UK researchers remain at the forefront of fundamental and observational cosmology.'"

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hawking's been hacked. (5, Funny)

notgm (1069012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332269)

i'm convinced that someone else is controlling what his computer-chair-interface says. perhaps it's even...bum bum bum....a super advanced AI, tricking us all into giving it access to a supercom...oh no! it's too late!

Re:hawking's been hacked. (4, Informative)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332355)

From the article it sounds like it. I find it hard to believe that Hawking wrote the line "soon to be supercharged with Intel’s MIC technology" they have him quoted as saying. Sounds like a PR flack programmed his speak-and-spell.

Re:hawking's been hacked. (5, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332397)

I find it hard to believe that Hawking wrote the line

Me too. Maybe dictated.

Re:hawking's been hacked. (1)

rraylion (1406761) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334345)

Well then you should see Hawking in Intel's promotional video's --- he is making a lot of money promoting Intel lately. At the end of one video he state that Intel has always powered his wheelchair -- the video is quite gimmicky but it's Hawking so... I have no problem believing he has sold his soul to Intel, They are probably paying for his flight into space.

Re:hawking's been hacked. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#40335875)

SGI....is this Silicon Graphics Inc?

Wow...I thought they went out of business a LONG time ago....

Re:hawking's been hacked. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40336343)

Well then you should see Hawking in Intel's promotional video's --- he is making a lot of money promoting Intel lately. At the end of one video he state that Intel has always powered his wheelchair -- the video is quite gimmicky but it's Hawking so... I have no problem believing he has sold his soul to Intel, They are probably paying for his flight into space.

Well, Hawking's first voice computer was a PC interfaced to a DECtalk running something under DOS. It's been updated many times since then (other than the DECtalk), and I suspect Intel sponsors a lot of that work - probably writing and re-writing his software (moved from DOS to Windows, interfacing hardware, etc). I won't be surprised if there's a small department at Intel meant to ensure his wheelchair still works and being able to rapidly fix it if it doesn't.

The later iterations of his wheelchair have featured the Intel logo on them as well.

Re:hawking's been hacked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332673)

...in exchange for a free computer.

Re:hawking's been hacked. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332791)

Hawking has always been a second rate scientist with a first rate promotional skill. Like Germaine Greer, he took advantage of what society perceived as a weakness in order to propel himself to the top of his field, and then morphed into a crass celebrity.

In Hawking's case, he gives the false impression that "very disabled people can do anything", which is patent bullshit and diminishes the extent to which the very disabled are increasingly marginalised - it is true only to say that exceptionally clever people with a merely physical illness have a small chance of being appreciated by society. In Greer's case, she's managed to make it cool for women to shake off all the unique qualities of a traditional woman and adopt all the bad qualities of traditional men: instead of people acting as equals and loving each other more, all we have a more cutthroat world in which both partners must leave the kids and go out to work.

Re:hawking's been hacked. (4, Interesting)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332983)

I never expected Germaine Greer to be used on this board.
Regardless of the impression given, there is a need for celebrity scientists. Second rate scientist with a first rate promotional skill is just what the TV needs. Plus the promotion time couldn't be better spent in the lab either.
These people inspire the young to become scientists and raise public awareness for what ever cause made the news that week.

How on earth did you bring Germaine Greer into this? That's wonderful..

Re:hawking's been hacked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333727)

Bear in mind that the public at large has no idea that they're second rate scientists, it's been shown time and time again that the public is largely uneducated. Nobody cares if us scientists know the difference because we're the proverbial choir that telly science preaches to.

The level of science education in Britain (and I suspect extrapolated worldwide) can be summarised thi: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/901988-a-third-of-young-adults-in-the-uk-dont-know-bacon-comes-from-a-pig

Re:hawking's been hacked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334353)

Wait a second... You're calling Hawking a second rate scientist? Please, explain to me what makes him any less intelligent than the likes of Newton? He has made a number of astounding discoveries, all (save for his early scientific career) while being completely paralyzed. The man is a genius. What gives you the right to belittle his works?

Re:hawking's been hacked. (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357681)

I wasn't calling Hawking a second rate scientist at all. The parent does and not being in the scientific community I can't counter the point either. I could pitch in with "I know he wrote a book and bits in the book are wrong." But it doesn't get you a +5 here so I edit my drivel. I've not done so now.

My point is, good TV needs a person that can read really dull text out and give it a bit of stuff. It doesn't matter if they are not in the top 10% of the scientific world.

I'm not sure what level the people at University of Nottingham are; but I love the sixty symbols videos. They are interesting and at a level that my mind can take at 2am in the morning. http://www.sixtysymbols.com/pages/links.htm [sixtysymbols.com]

Re:hawking's been hacked. (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333999)

Funny post. He isn't second rate but over-rated. He is, for example, not in the same category as Roger Penrose, Ed Witten or, although a different kind of scientist, Feynman. And like all normal humans he has always been interested in making a good profit from what he does. Fair enough. My issue with him is that his books are dull dull dull.

Re:hawking's been hacked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40335325)

So please explain what the difference is between a first rate and a second rate scientist and use a living example of the first.

Re:hawking's been hacked. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332651)

Everyone who has watched Weekend at Bernie's is already well aware of what's going on here...

Re:hawking's been hacked. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333273)

From an old QI episode...Jeremy Hardy I think

"Now, you're basing this on what Stephen Hawking says, and the fact is, he's subject to interference from minicabs. So – "

So maybe not so much with the Super AI..

Re:hawking's been hacked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40339939)

I welcome our our overlord computer master. Maybe now we can get something done that does not involved missiles or religion for a change. Oh hail Dr. Hawking and the puppet master.

Too bad SGI was gutted (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332289)

It's really too bad that the company currently known as SGI has only the name in common with the SGI of yore. Truly some pioneering work done there, although they did fail to keep up with the "G" portion of their name in the late 90s. Imagine what the world would look like had they bought out nVidia way back when? Probably, we'd all be running SGI video cards, and Monoprice would sell Craylink cables. Microsoft would be a struggling software company, Linux would still be a pipe dream, and SVR4 (with some BSD stirred in for good measure) would pretty well rule the world.

Well, maybe. It's nice to imagine...

Re:Too bad SGI was gutted (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332721)

amen. Though (and maybe you know this) - up until the late 90s, nvidia was comprised of little more than SGI engineers at varying stages of disgruntlement.

If you've ever wondered how a hack like huang could be so successful now you know - he just stole technology the legal way - by hiring away from a company whose management were too incompetent to care.

Wrong. Both LInux and MS would be doing fine (5, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332871)

because

A) Silicon graphics had little influence one way or the other on the progress of Linux (or Windows so the same applies) even when they were a big player.

and

B) Your average home user would not be willing to pay the multi thousand dollar price tag of an SGI system just to have a version of Unix wirth decent graphics at home.

Unfortunately both SGI and to a lesser extent Sun missed the signs that x86 PCs were going to rapidly catch up woth the abilities of their workstations and instead of dropping prices to sane levels continued to carry on business as usual as if it was still 1990. And the end result is what you see.

Re:Wrong. Both LInux and MS would be doing fine (4, Informative)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334171)

Unfortunately both SGI and to a lesser extent Sun missed the signs that x86 PCs were going to rapidly catch up woth the abilities of their workstations and instead of dropping prices to sane levels continued to carry on business as usual as if it was still 1990. And the end result is what you see.

As a general statement, if they had kept up their research with their own processors, instead of trying to catch a ride on the Itanic [wikipedia.org] they would have kept ahead on capability for quite a while longer. It wasn't really that they missed the signs, it was that they stopped their own progress to all get on the same bus, not noticing that it was in the slow lane, with its blinkers on and belching smoke. By the time it got up to speed, x86 had already whizzed by.

Re:Wrong. Both LInux and MS would be doing fine (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40339635)

SGI hired a Microsoft exec much as Nokia did.

Re:Wrong. Both LInux and MS would be doing fine (1)

jmv (93421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40342487)

As a general statement, if they had kept up their research with their own processors, instead of trying to catch a ride on the Itanic they would have kept ahead on capability for quite a while longer.

Itanic might have been a mistake, but there's no way SPARC/MIPS/Alpha could have stayed way ahead of Intel given the huge volumes Intel ended up getting in the late 90s. A large fraction of the cost of CPUs is the cost of the R&D and the fabs. Those got more and more expensive from one generation to the next and the only way Intel was able to keep up was because of the boom in the PC market at that time.

Re:Wrong. Both LInux and MS would be doing fine (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345651)

The PC market only boomed because the unix workstation manufacturers saw the consumer and small business market as beneath them. More fool them.

Re:Wrong. Both LInux and MS would be doing fine (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40339625)

Silicon graphics had little influence one way or the other on the progress of Linux

Wrong on three counts. 1) OpenGL has a huge influence on Linux and 2) A number of Irix design elements were incorporated into Linux and 3) SGI engineers were (and still are) huge contributors to Linux, providing much of the memory scaling infrastructure for one thing, and the respectable if now somewhat dated XFS filesytem.

Re:Wrong. Both LInux and MS would be doing fine (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345629)

Wrong.

1) OpenGL had an influence on parts of X windows which framebuffer aisde has nothing to do with the linux kernel.

2 & 3) XFS had been pretty much an irrelevance in the linux ecosystem , hardly anyone used it. As for the memory scaling - I think you're overestimating their contribution to the total.

Re:Too bad SGI was gutted (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333383)

yes.

SGI couldn't buy out Nvidia - they had laid off the graphics designers who went to Nvidia...

This was during the time of their MS VP that did the same thing to SGI that has just been done to Nokia.

And he sold much of SGI graphics patents to MS.

Re:Too bad SGI was gutted (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40339575)

It's really too bad that the company currently known as SGI has only the name in common with the SGI of yore.

Not actually true. The company formerly known as Rackable Systems also has many of the former SGI engineers in common, and the Altix technololgy. What's gone is the original corporate, the flashy headquarters (now inhabited, hermit crab-like, by Google) and the graphics business, which is now owned by we, the people.

I bet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332305)

he ordered it to change his diaper. (He poops in diapers ya know)

Re:I bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332339)

so what?

Re:I bet (1)

Rainbowdash (2645097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332761)

That means if you're supersmart you can get away with never being potty trained because you're good at other stuff... DUH

Insert brain in slot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332331)

NOM NOM NOM!

But more importantly... (-1, Offtopic)

klingers48 (968406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332351)

Later this year it'll be able to run Steam.

Re:But more importantly... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333059)

my mighty mod powers have brought you down to FLAMEBAIT. Go use origin

Finally... (-1, Offtopic)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332361)

SGI says its UV2 can scale to 4,096 cores and 64 terabytes of memory, with a peak I/O rate of four terabytes per second and runs off-the-shelf Linux software.

Finally, something that can run Java/Flash/WoW/Firefox/WMP/etc. at full speed!

(sorry... until someone posts with an interesting comment, I have nothing helpful to add... I should really just wait... sorry again)

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332467)

The correct meme in this case would be :

'Imagine of beowulf cluster of those ... ' .

And

'I welcome our oversized brain-computer overlords" .

Not sure if I'm allowed to combine two memes according to regulations, so posting anonymous.

Re:Finally... (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332593)

thx. it's late, brain in economy mode

I've wondered... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332431)

I assume that most great cosmologists aren't expert computer programmers with specialties in high performance computation, and that most great programmers specializing in high performance computation aren't great cosmologists.

So how do these people get their ridiculously complicated physics stuff crunched by ridiculously complicated machines?

Re:I've wondered... (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332611)

I assume that most great cosmologists aren't expert computer programmers with specialties in high performance computation, and that most great programmers specializing in high performance computation aren't great cosmologists.

So how do these people get their ridiculously complicated physics stuff crunched by ridiculously complicated machines?

This: the humble computer scientist (no, programmers are not necessarily, and only very infrequently, computer scientists) will act as a liason between the two.

Re:I've wondered... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40335367)

That is pretty much never the case. Physicists have long been proud makers of their own tools and software is no different.

Re:I've wondered... (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341123)

That is pretty much never the case. Physicists have long been proud makers of their own tools and software is no different.

You are begging the question. Computer Scientists aren't necessarily making tools, but are the architects of computer models. A computer scientist may not ever write a single line of discrete code, but at a higher level, direct programmers to code modules that fit in the grand design. Also, it matters not what the discipline the scientist comes from, if they are doing computer science, they are computer scientists.

Re:I've wondered... (5, Interesting)

sleiper (1772326) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332681)

So how do these people get their ridiculously complicated physics stuff crunched by ridiculously complicated machines?

Because they know the equations for their ridiculously complicated physics stuff, and most physicists are expected to be literate with computer programming. I have two PhD friends, both in Physics (meteorology and cosmology) who are now both hardcore coders due to their training.

Re:I've wondered... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40337045)

PhD 1: Hmmm... I have this ridiculously complicated physics stuff that I need crunched by ridiculously complicated machines
PhD 2: Give it to the grad students and tell them they won't be fed until the ridiculously complicated machines are satisfied.

Grad Student: I can survive 2 weeks without food, but only 2 days without water. If I save my pee and distill it in the lab, I can stretch out my survival to 4 days. 4 days is just enough. Those PhDs won't kill me this time!

Re:I've wondered... (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333855)

So how do these people get their ridiculously complicated physics stuff crunched by ridiculously complicated machines?

a) Their algorithms aren't complex but they typically have a lot of data.

b) They're not real hardcore programmers so they program in BASIC, Python, etc. They need bigger machines to compensate for the inefficiency of their toolset.

Re:I've wondered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334089)

Freudian toolset envy??

Re:I've wondered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334943)

No. Real scientists use C, fortran and special libraries written in assembly plus optimise their code.
they need big machines because the solutions of the problems are _very_ complex. Even then
they have to make approximations because the supercomputers just aren't powerful enough.

Yes, I am a physicist, and I do not use interpreted languages to do my stuff.

Re:I've wondered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40335265)

No. Real scientists get big grants so they can afford hire graduate students to optimize their code for them.
Up and coming scientist don't have big grants and have to code themselves...

Re:I've wondered... (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40336709)

No, the algorithms too can be quite complex, depending on the field. And nobody with a sane mind uses BASIC. Usually something will be tested using a small test-problem in Matlab or Mathematica (or even Excel for very simple stuff) that have built-in graphing capabilities and mathematical libraries to get a feeling of how everything works. If everything looks good but runs slow, the model will be re-written in Fortran or C that will do the number crunching. Usually the scientist will write a serial version of the code that will be handed over to a programmer for refactoring and parallelization. Nobody will bother with a GUI at this level, so there is no need to use anything fancy and languages like Fortran are pretty fast out of the box (just remember to loop through the columns first). The Fortran or C output-files will usually be ASCII so that the raw data can be reviewed if necessary. If some semi-automatic graphing capability is needed, gnuplot will be used via a shell script or even from within the main program. When all bugs are eliminated, and depending on the complexity of the output, unformatted files can also be used to increase speed that will later have to be parsed in post-processing in order to throw the data at programs like ParaView.

So, as you see, the toolset is actually as efficient as it can get. As far as I know, all tools that can actually take advantage of parallel machines are very efficient themselves, even if used by non-experts. Interpreted languages have their place too, however. As mentioned above, these come into play at early stages of development, when it takes longer to write the program than to run it. Matlab is a good example. Python has the advantage that it is free and also object-oriented, if that is your kind of fruit. Developing new stuff using a compiled language can be a drag, especially if they use static typing, because you will be changing the code a lot at the beginning. When you have your algorithm working, you are familiar with it and you need to run it using large data-sets (and/or many of them), then it is time to switch to something faster. The second programming pass will then not take that much time because you will (hopefully) know what you're doing by that time.

Re:I've wondered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40337099)

They're not real hardcore programmers so they program in BASIC, Python, etc. They need bigger machines to compensate for the inefficiency of their toolset.

Bullshit!
Their algorithms are programmed in C, and costly loops and iterations within their software is hand coded at the bare metal in assembly. They don't do anything in BASIC or Python, except for scripts for job control. Here's a hint: C runs in parallel very well, Basic and Python do not (well, you can make them fake it, but its basically useless). You suffered a brainfart when you posted, FTFY.

Re:I've wondered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40335303)

Because you've assumed wrong. Most great (current) cosmologist are pretty much expert programmers. That's what physics has mostly come down to.

off the shelf (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332433)

Who keeps Linux on a shelf? I'd say "off the internet" or "off the hard drive" Linux lol. By the way, there's no nice way to say this, but they could perhaps assign 5% of the computing resources to "help UK researchers stay on the forefront of observational cosmotology"

People who are used to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332455)

buying computers off a computer store shelf. Oh wait...

Re:off the shelf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332851)

While perhaps not technically correct, off the shelf is a universally known analogy.
Since you obviously knew what it meant it did it's job and it also provides a concept people who do not know Linux can grasp.

Re:off the shelf (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40336023)

Who keeps Linux on a shelf?

I do. The easiest way to install it is from a CD or a DVD. I keep a collection of older distros in case somebody has an old Windows machine with the OS so corrupt that there's no fixing it without a reinstall and they don't have their Windows disks.

vista (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332435)

All well and good but... will it run vista :p

Re:vista (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332479)

No.

Off the shelf Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332767)

Is the standard linux kernel optimised for 4096 cores...?

Re:Off the shelf Linux? (3, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332863)

Is the standard linux kernel optimised for 4096 cores...?

Imagine a Beowulf Cluster ...

Re:Off the shelf Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332899)

havent seen on of those comments for years, ahh nostalgia

Re:Off the shelf Linux? (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333927)

Yo dawg. I heard you like Beowulf Clusters, so I put Anglo-Saxon lore in your nutty breakfast cereal so you can kill the Grendel while you get your Guideline Daily Allowance of dietary fibre.

amidoinitrite?

Re:Off the shelf Linux? (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333623)

last I checked (a long time ago), yes. To clarify: it doesn't need any specific optimizations for whatever number of cores.

hiiii (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332807)

Finally, something that can run Java/Flash/WoW/Firefox/WMP/etc. at full speed! (sorry... until someone posts with an interesting comment, I have nothing helpful http://www.wnf-sourcing.com

Is he a real genius (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332869)

I have always doubted Hawking's "genius". The guy repeats what other lesser known (even the well known scientists) scientists have already said or claimed.
Is this a matter of just feeling sorry for the guy because of his handicap? I am only going by what I have heard the guy say, I do not know him personally nor have I ever worked with him to determine if he is a real deal. Nor do I really believe what other scientists say about the guy.

I do not dislike the guy, but I just feel he repeats what others have pointed out in theory...

Re:Is he a real genius (3, Insightful)

GloomE (695185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333479)

Maybe you should do some research into this and present your findings.

Re:Is he a real genius (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40335741)

He is most famous for Hawking radiation, ie: the discovery that black holes evaporate. I don't know of anyone who says something new every time they open their mouth?

Excess CPU cycles? (2)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332963)

The British government can use this system to keep track of what everyone other than Hawking is doing on the net!

Re:Excess CPU cycles? (1)

JustLikeToSay (651328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333175)

I daresay the Govt could make a pretty good guess already: Porn and Euro2012 (and /. of course).

Re:Excess CPU cycles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333303)

The government probably already has 4 of these.
This was the 5th one decommissioned and replaced with Bigger Brain, more kickass and in your face than ever before!

screenshot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333025)

i'm waiting for HTOP screenshot or cat /proc/cpuinfo

Four TB / s (1)

David_The_Expert (2563031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333215)

Jesus... it can process four TB per second? I can't even comprehend how fast that would be.

Re:Four TB / s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333635)

Daysieeeeee, Daysieee.......

Re:Four TB / s (1)

instagib (879544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333713)

It means that it is able to consolidate my complete pr0n collection in a single day!

Re:Four TB / s (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 2 years ago | (#40337273)

It means that it is able to consolidate my complete pr0n collection in a single day!

Ah ha! So that's how they lured Stephen Hawking into endorsing this machine.


In case anyone's been living under a rock, here's [huffingtonpost.com] an interesting tidbit.

DR Stephen Hawking.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333395)

Okay, while I won't dispute that he has a PhD I think it a little insulting not to recognise that he's a PROFESSOR!!

Re:DR Stephen Hawking.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40336129)

Okay, while I won't dispute that he has a PhD I think it a little insulting not to recognise that he's a PROFESSOR!!

Really? How so?

"Doctor" is a title; Professor is a job. Yes, it's a prestigious job, and a tough one to get, but it's not appropriate to refer to someone by their occupation and not their title.

That's like being insulted because someone calls you "Mr. Anonymous Coward" instead of "JUNIOR CUSTODIAN Anonymous Coward."

He should ask it (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333777)

How may entropy be reversed?

Re:He should ask it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334125)

make a contract with me and I'll tell you.

Re:He should ask it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334185)

With magical girls [wikipedia.org] , of course.

Well if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333939)

Well if the Hawk says its a good computer who am I to argue.

Unlock secrets of universe (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333977)

Every computer can help to unlock the secrets of the universe.

Way to go, England! (1)

H0ek (86256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334073)

Aww, how cute! England wants to come out and play. While I am happy to see that our mates from across the pond are getting themselves a nice little number cruncher - it is still little. NASA has a setup called Pleiades [nasa.gov] :

Total cores: 112,896
Total memory: 191 TB

But here's the real hard-to-fathom point. The sport two 11-dimension hypercube interconnect configurations using Infiniband QDR and DDR networking (mostly DDR). Now DDR is ~4GB/s and QDR is ~8GB/s, but Inifiniband is rarely singily-connected. Usually you multipath using four connections to the switch, which in this case bumps the transfer rate up to 16GB/s for DDR and 32GB/s for QDR. Peak theoretical speed for this system is ~240TB/s.

Oh, and it's running SUSE Linux [suse.com] . That off-the-shelf enough?

Last I checked, the system is running at 90% utilization. This is one heck of a cluster and it isn't just for show. Yet Pleiades only rates as #7 on the TOP500 list of supercomputers worldwide [top500.org] . The new list comes out in a few days. We'll see if they can keep that illustrious position.

Side note: The #1 supercomputer is running an interconnect called "Tofu". Since I'm an Infiniband guy, I'd like to know more. Right now, though, it rates very high on my silliness scale.

Re:Way to go, England! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334393)

While Pleiades is indeed impressive, it's an apples to oranges comparison. The UV2 architecture is not a cluster, but an individual massively parallel computer.

Not to denigrate the great work that's been done in cluster technology over the past 15 years or so, but I consider clusters boring -- the only limit to the performance numbers you can claim with them is the purchaser's wallet. Something like the SGI UV1/UV2 architecture and certain Cray or IBM systems are vastly more interesting because they're stretching the technological envelope of what's possible with a computer in a different manner -- the technology itself, rather than the pocketbook, is the main limiting factor.

Re:Way to go, England! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334451)

Makes sense. Humans eat Tofu.

obligatory troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334123)

(duck and run)wow, imagine a Beowulf cluster of these (/duck and /run)

But... (1)

mattgoldey (753976) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334199)

how many frames per second does it get in Crysis?

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334385)

23 because it's running in Wine

Re:But... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40339679)

how many frames per second does it get in Crysis?

Only 60 FPS, but the screen resolution is 10,000,000 x 10,000,000 projected on the inside of a sphere

SGI? (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334429)

As in Silicon Graphics Incorporated?

I thought they went out of business.

Ah. They are Rackable [wikipedia.org]

Exceptions Per Second (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334439)

Just imagine how many Windows BSOD's this "Big Brain" could possibly generate. Thank Satan it's uses a sensible (TM) Operating System.

MineSweeper 2.0 (1)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 2 years ago | (#40335351)

All that power and he is playing Mine Sweeper and Free Cell ;-) just kidding. Try to think of how fast Ski Free would run on that.

Hawkings@BigBrain:~$ cat ~/.bash_history (1)

amirishere (2651929) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341541)

echo "first bash"
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