2556 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007
If you look carefully and from the right angle
The stars spell
So long, and thanks for all the fish
Re: 10-1 on that
Ah, the well-known cloud magnet effect. My scope is 15-16 years old, but every time I buy a new eyepiece clouds rush in.
@ Some Beggar
What Wirth means is that for a given task, the current software needs vastly more resources (CPU and memory alike) than similar software years ago.
Why is this worrying? Because it suggests that we could get by on much leaner compute capacity for many mundane tasks. It means machines that still work fine have to be replaced when the software is updated, and the minimum specs are upped again. This is ultimately wasteful. It also means that bigger server parks are needed for a given workload. If you can make code more efficient, less hardware is needed, and less energy is wasted. Mobile computing (like embedded) can give an impetus to leaner programs, simply because cutting clock cycles can cut battery usage.
Re: And not a moment too soon!
As Niklaus Wirth says: Software is getting slower faster than hardware is getting faster.
Word 2.0 was a very capable word-processor, and ran happily on my 25 MHz 80386 machine with 4 MB of RAM (I really splashed out on that machine :-) ). Word 2010 would require rather more. More in fact than the processing power and memory of the good old Cray Y-MP. That is worrying.
GUIs of course do need more resources, but the above example suggests you can run a full-blown GUI-based word processor in 1,000 times less memory than we seem to need today. If you look at the memory footprint of something like FLTK, which is so small you can afford to link it statically for easier distribution, and compare that to some other tools, you cannot help but question the efficiency of some code.
Much of the best coding is going on in the embedded-systems world. You really have to conserve resources in that arena.
Re: So much for being a global company.
I must say I was a bit miffed at not being able to take part. I have several ideas of what to do on a petaflop machine, but as I am not a US or Canadian resident (excluding Quebec (mais pourqoui?)) I cannot send them in. AMD had similar rules for their "what would you do with 48 cores?" competition. There may be some law in the US requiring this, so nVidia may be obliged by law to include this rule. Pity.
Re: Right, so I will need even more RAM
"FFS - get yourself a high end graphics card! 256 cores + 1TB memory (or more) + proper parallel coding using CUDA. £300 will get you the dogs-danglies in the commercial world. If you want mil-aero specification - GE-IP have them for reasonable prices.
Image processing - visible, infra-red, microwave, radar, or all combined is exactly what CUDA on these high end graphics cards was designed for."
I assume you mean 1GB not 1TB of memory. If you can supply me a 1TB memory graphics card for £300, I am happy to give you a £300 tip :-). My images start at about 1GB, and end at 1.5 TB (for now). So they will not fit in my graphics cards (with the additional data needed during processing.
Regarding image processing and CUDA: For quite a few image processing problems you are right, in this case you are wrong. Connected filters that we use have a strictly data-driven processing order, which does not work well in CUDA. Indeed, because the outcome for every pixel depends on every other pixel (potentially), parallelization itself is hard (see the first method with can be found here (warning, pdf)). On 64 cores I am now getting about 30x speed-up. I am trying to adapt this to CUDA (or OpenCL) in collaboration with the CSIRO in Sydney, Australia, but we have not got it running yet.
Right, so I will need even more RAM
I am just testing a new compute server for processing remote sensing images (64 cores 512 GB of RAM). My first runs already use up to 480 GB of that, and chug through a detailed analysis of 3.5 Gigapixel image in just over two minutes (was nearly an hour). The new images will be 2.2x larger for the same area covered.
I WANT A TERABYTE of RAM!!!
I had an Enterprise 128
that was my optional title which was somehow removed (did I offend? ;-) )
These are not often mentioned, but they had quite a following. It was a neat machine, with Z80A and 128kB of memory expandable to 4MB, two asics controlling memory, sound and graphics. The memory worked at twice the clock frequency of the CPU, so the controller and CPU did not interfere (one had the even clock ticks, the other the ODD. Nice machine to play around with. Decent Basic, and word processor on board, very expandable. Linked it up to my Dad's daisy-wheel typewriter (what a racket that was
My guess: Windows ME
in which case you do not need to introduce a virus to have data and files going AWOL
Let the government handle it. That seems the most sure-fire way of messing things up.
Bringing back bespoke BACK FROM THE DEAD!!
Bespoke zombie processes?
Sorry couldn't resist
It suggests bucks can be passed arbitrarily.
How things have changed
We just did our first experiments with a 64 core machine with 0.5 TB of RAM. Great days back then, but boy are we spoiled now.
Re: Interesting stuff.
A scan will be needed
Might set these papers as study materials for our students.
Re: Some of these people should have done maths and not engineering
"Yes, but thats like saying "I've had a really clever idea - the sun is a large energy emitting source".
Its completely damned obvious.
The only people "making money" are those who actually aren't counting costs in the first place - ie someone writing something in their evenings or whilst sat at their desk being paid to do something else ;-)"
Agreed, it is obvious, but politicians need people to point out obvious things to them. Frequently.
And of course the pointing out the bleeding obvious must be done by qualified people like professors and engineers, or else the politicians might look silly.
Re: Some of these people should have done maths and not engineering
Was it not exactly the point of the professors and engineers that you have to sell a lot of apps just to break even?
Furthermore, what they appear to be saying is that you need a lot of investment, and that the idea of getting rich quickly from an app slapped together in a few weeks/days of coding is a pipe dream. That seems to make sense.
I do not think this will make a good mother's day gift
Tempting, very tempting
I have liked the format from the start. I will give this a serious look indeed.
So when they want to find interesting new asteroids
Do they just google for them?
Sorry, couldn't resist.
Mine is the one with "Turn Left at Orion" in the pocket
Re: See... i knew i was stupid.
Conceding you are stupid (or that you do not know something) is a clear sign of intelligence.
Politicians never make such concessions
Re: maybe i'm stupid
why do you think we have fast caches for chips? Imagine the entire memory working at the speed of the CPU. That would be awesome.
At the moment, I have to think hard about cache friendly processing orders. Getting it wrong can incur a 10-fold speed penalty, easily. If have a set of for-loops to traverse an image, having the x-coordinate loop outside the y-coordinate loop is tens times slower than the reverse, because of the way images are stored (row by row). A step in x moves to the next element in memory (= cache hit with standard read-ahead), whereas a step in y steps a whole row of data further, yielding a cache miss.
Such simple cases are easily sorted out, but some image processing has data-driven processing orders, very frequently requiring odd memory jumps. In these cases getting rid of latency is a godsend. Also, think of multi-core: ensuring cache coherence is a pain. Older Cray machine had no cache, and the memory worked at the speed of the CPU. This is much simpler and yields much better parallelization.
Re: and to think...
Clearly none of you have read the opening page of "Good Omens" by Pratchett and Gaiman properly!
Nobody welcomes our XNA-based overlords?
After all, we all know how this ends in SF films
Re: Can you imagine 70 years or so in a prison,
knowing you aren't getting out?
Good point. I sometimes wonder if even for the likes of Khadafi or Saddam Hussein, being put in prison for the long haul and being treated as if you were ordinary would not be the worst possible punishment for those types.
I must have an unerring instinct for avoiding these bad movies. I have not seen a single one of them (so I will have to take other peoples' words for the lack of quality), except a few dislocated fragments of Highlander II, whilst flicking around channels as it was on one of them, couldn't be arsed to stay on that channel for obvious reasons. Even in my state of boredom at the time that film did nothing to make me want to see it.
Not that I have not seen some cringeworthy films in my time. I saw "Once upon a time in the west" in a showing at my student union donkey's years back. It had some good bits, but so many silent, LOOOONG drawn out scenes, and pointless close-ups of people looking constipated as they are waiting (endlessly) for the other to draw first. I felt like shouting "Come on, shoot the guy, get on with it!" but I kept my peace for the sake of the other people watching. Afterwards, it turned out about 80% of the audience felt the same way.
Good old Boris!
You can rely on him for comedy at least, ans politicians you can rely on on any topic at all are rare enough.
Were are getting a compact little monster for giga-pixel and later tera-pixel image processing coming Monday: 64 cores, 512 GB RAM, 6 1TB disks in RAID, and a 320 GB Fusion-IO card. I do not think I will let my students loose on this API just yet. First let them code in a transparent portable way, and only then (maybe, just maybe) check whether this API has any benefit (which I doubt).
Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?
I prefer the Politicion. It comes in three quantum "flavours": Labour, Conservative, and Libdem. When observed before an election, the three flavours are distinctly observable. After an election Conservative and Labour turn out to be identical in terms of greed, incompetence, and all other observable quantum properties, and Libdem vanishes.
Re: The seperation of spin . . .
Yes, but creatively. We might of course find that politics is nothing but spin, and taking spin away leaves nothing but emptiness (or a residue of hot air at most).
But are they peril sensitive?
Well, are they?
Cue planetary racism: we do not like your type here, you do not belong here really!
But maybe planets of a certain age have gained wisdom, rather than becoming stupid with more authority (as Lu Tse said in "Thief of Time")
And in Austria you can stay in Camping Hell
In the Zillertal to be precise. At least they are honest, one might say.
Re: One way the software may work better
Au contraire! Some criminals do regularly get their nose bridges realigned. Not necessarily voluntarily, I'll grant. As I recall a usual start of such a procedure is "What yer lookin' at?!!"
Re: Quite simply really
In true style, you should wear a Guy Fawkes mask, shouldn't you?
Re: The problem...
Conveniently, a criminal is defined as anyone recognized by the system as being a criminal. Hey, look! Our system makes no mistakes!
What? Do you say our system makes mistakes? That is criticism of the Party! You must be a criminal!
Unfurl the solar sails and pick up a tail wind!
If only it could ;-)
A toast to Elon Musk and his team! They will be first on Mars, I bet.
WON"T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!!
and those that haven't grown up
Re: Then lets take the financial incentive away
Unfortunately, politicians only know how to take financial incentives away by taking the finances away. This does change the scientific outcome, in that there is less science. Please do not give the powers that be any ideas
Good news for snow leopards.
The real beasts that is, not the OS (which by all accounts was and is doing well).
Also good news for the scientific debate. Basing theories on shaky data is like building on quicksand. Better data are always a boon.
Re: Re: The Teletubbies
Unfair! The Predator's brains would implode after watching just one episode of teletubbies
Re: retelling of Heart of Darkness
"This too was one of the dark places of the world"
That start of storytelling by Marlow is just great. It is very hard to top. Then there is the crazy case of the lone French cruiser shelling the amorphous jungle while its crew members are dying at a rate of fifteen a day from disease. They still keep to their task of shelling the "enemy" who is totally invisible.
So my question has to be: Does Heart of Darkness need retelling? I am not against retelling and reshaping stories (that has been going on through history). Even great stories can grow in retelling, and retelling can get people to read the original. The original in this case is very powerful indeed. Much as I liked Apocalypse Now, I still prefer reading Heart of Darkness. Does it need retelling in SF?
Valiant effort for a really poor film script!!
However, you risk going over the top and becoming hilariously funny. The simpler method would probably be simply giving Michael Bay a very big budget and whatever you do do not interfere with his decisions. The man has an unerring instinct in getting it wrong. He could be considered the Bergholt Stuttley Johnson of cinema.
This is your satellite help line
For communication problems, press 1
For launch failures, press 2
For attitude problems, press 3
For software failure, press 4,
To speak directly with some guy who knows nothing about the problem either, press 0
Is your satellite dish pointing the right way?
Have you tried rebooting the satellite?
Did you try switching it on and off?
Have you tried reinstalling Windows?
How old is your software? I am sorry, we do not support that version anymore
Seriously though, excellent engineering to keep something working for 10 years, we are so used to things failing just outside of warranty.
Isn't life a physical process?
The presence of pink noise is not a proof of life. Many physical processes (including life, in my book at least) produce forms of pink noise. If a white noise random source is effectively filtered by some damping process you will typically get similar effects.
If they were really sure of their results, would they not submit this to Nature or Science? I will read the article more carefully, but I have my doubts.
Re: WHT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO
WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!
What were these guys smoking?
I want some
Re: FTL Velociraptors
And a packet of peanuts I trust
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