* Posts by JLH

120 posts • joined 14 Mar 2010


Pano does browser-thin virty desktops


Re: Wow, another company inventing the thin client. (again).

And indeed it would. The Vmware View client is available for Linux.

Look at the Raspberry Pi Thin Client Project http://rpitc.blogspot.co.uk/

UV 2: RETURN of the 'Big Brain'. This time, it's affordable


Big Iron goodness

Mmm mmm mmm.

IBM US nuke-lab beast 'Sequoia' is top of the flops (petaflops, that is)


Re: Is it me??????

I don't agree with you.

The techniques used to build, manage and run jobs on beasts like this filter down to the HPC machines used by 'normal' business and academia.

NHS 'pays up to THREE times over the odds' for IT gear


Getting stuff on expenses

I used to work for an NHS hospital.

I found it cheaper and easier to go to Tottenham Court Road in my lunchtimes and buy small items like cables and connectors on my own credit card and claim them back on expenses, rather than going through filling out a requisitions form.

Tech City hailed as saviour of THE ENTIRE PLANET


Re: Turning off servers at 6:30?

Oh, and another point. A lot of us aren't quiche eaters.


Some of us build and install systems which are used for aircraft engine design and nuclear weapons simulations.

A lot of us run systems which do Real Work (TM) - which of course includes e-commerce, big databases, high frequency trading in the City.

In my case I care for and manage hugely powerful Beowulf clusters which run 24 hours a day, running simulations, the results of which my colleagues will look at over the weekend and on Monday morning. If I were to TURN OFF these machines overnight I would be

a) laughed at

b) out of a job


Re: Turning off servers at 6:30?

Turning off the email servers at 6:30? What a clod this guy is.

I work for a company which has a global presence - we send teams of engineers and technicians all over the world, complete with racks of servers and data comms.

We also have branch offices and dealerships all over the globe, which means we are a 24/7 operation.

I also am very glad to say I work with a team of dedicated, hard working people. I guarantee my office will have people in and working hard at 8pm tonight, same as any other night.

Turn the email servers off at 6:30? Ha ha ha ha. In what time zone?

Google cools data center with bathtubs, dishwashers


Re: Effluent temperature

I was a boy in the town in Scotland which had the huge Singer plant. They had their own power station for the factory, which discharged warm water into the Forth and Clyde Canal. The canal was populated with enormous foot long (and larger) goldfish.


Re: True believers

Yes - but the discharge is HOTTER

If you took an intake from downstream of your outtake you would end up heating the same water again and again. There has to be a temperature difference between the hot water which comes from your server room pipe loops and the water which you are using for cooling - too close a difference and you aren't able to transfer much heat into the cooling water. Identical temperatures of course and you can't transfer any.

SUPERCOMPUTER vs your computer in bang-for-buck battle


Re: Units

Talking about VAXes, at CERN years ago the standard unit of comparison was a VUP - Vax Unit of Performance

I THINK a VAX 750 was one VUP, might have been a 780

I'm surprised that an IBM PC is measured in milliVAXes - I thought they would be roughly comparable.


Re: Damn you..

God have mercy on my soul for using that word.


Bob H

I get your argument re. the amount of CPU power in an average office.

And IB switches are quite cheap these days - see colfaxdirect.com for example

I would conter though with exactly the same argument - CPU horsepower is relatively cheap these days, and it is the effort and wages of the programmers and administrators which is the cost.

So I would say it is better to have dedicated hardware in an environmentally stable room, close to the data. Rather than coping with a mongrel set of desktops, which vary in speed and memory.

Depends on your application of course.

And cloud (ye Gods why did I have to use this word...) changes things - I wouldn;t bother these days to do office level cycle scavenging. Hire those cloud machines by the hour.

At the Sandybridge launch the other day there was a talk by Amazon - their HPC instances when ganged together reached 42 in the Top500

Johns Hopkins and VMware forge medical records mega-cloud


Re: "an open-source clinical image and object management system."

John Smith,

this is not (as far as I know) a medical records project like the NHS project - it is a PACS project, ie allowing remote access to medical images.

You should not confuse the two.


The reply from Sporkinum confuses the compression applied to the image on disk (which may or may nto be lossy - I don't know).

Anonymous coward asked about PCOIP compression - which is the compression used by the remote desktop protocol. Read up about PCOIP - it is pretty smart. It will 'build to lossless' - ie you might see some loss when an image is rotating, depending on how much bandwidth you have.

HOWEVER when the image is stationary - ie like an X-ray image - you will have a perfect image.

Speaking as someone who worked on the first PACS system in the UK, this is really interesting stuff and a good use for PCOIP.

CERN's boson hunters tackle big data bug infestation


Rather strangely I am a particle physicist who worked at CERN and I now with a Formula 1 racing team.

What do you mean? If you're talking about using the LHC tunnel to race vehicles through, then sorry to say it is (a) too small (b) probably not ventilated enough.

Stop sexing up IT and give Civil Servants Macs, says gov tech boss


OSX based on BSD

Actually, OS X is not bad, based as it is on BSD

Indeed. Someone please remind Mr Watmore that OSX is based on BSD - which is - errrrr..... open source, no? And therefore easily hacked. Ah well.


Open source "more easily hacked"

Mr Watmore is a senior civil servant. He has gone before a parliamentary select committe and stated that "He insisted the government was committed to using more "open source" software to save cash - but had to balance this with concerns about how easily it could be "hacked". "

This is purely and simply FUD.

Mr Watmore, if you read this please present the eveidence for your assertion that open source software is more easily hacked.

Please stand up and speak at any one of the IT user groups which meet in London and give a presentation to back up the statement you make.

Windows Server pushed to the super limit


UV hardware fault tolerance

Re. UV coping with RAM failures, it has the rather neat trick of detecting DIMM errors then marking those pages as unusable.

Red Hat rolls up RHEL 6.1 beta



There is also a program called F5-Cache that provides a persistent cache for NFS.

I think you mean fs-cache!

Fukushima: Situation improving all the time


Dose meters

"that a few more people have (access to) geiger counters than back in 1986."

Err... well no not really. 1986 was not that primitive a year.

Ionizing radiation detectors have been around for over a hundred years, beginning with gold leaf electrometers and cloud chambers.

"Geiger" counters as you term them are pretty standard bits of kit in any physics lab, or health physics setup, and were certainly common in 1986.

In 1986 I was a student at university, working at a CERN experiment.

My PhD is in experimental particle physics - so I know a thing or two about radiation detection devices - and I have also worked for several years in a medical physics department.

I really don't like the term "Geiger counters" being used by the media - there are many, many types of radiation detectors, which are relevant to the type and energy of the radiation you are tyring to measure (spark tubes, scintillators, ionisation chambers, Geiger counters, filem dose badges, calorimeters, semiconductor detectors, drift chambers)

What you see on TV are dose meters - which are likely to be ionization detectors.

Football U goes to 3Leaf for HPC


Tbyte of RAM

"...a terabyte per node is going to be normal with the server chips that Intel and AMD are cooking up for this year."

Very interesting - a reference here would be great. I know Nehalem EX is coming, but not sure they can take that much RAM.


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