How to Upgrade a Supercomputer, 37,376 Chips at a Time

The most powerful supercomputer in the world, the Cray XT5 — aka ‘Jaguar’ — is a computing monster with the ability to clock 1.759 petaflops (1,759 trillion calculations per second).

So just what exactly is inside this machine?

About 37,376 AMD processors, to begin with. The Jaguar has 255,584 processing cores and is built using AMD six-core Istanbul Opteron chips running at 2.6 gigahertz.

That’s a step up from the four-core AMD chips that the computer used to have.

Here is a video of the upgrade process:

Read more about it here: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/11/most-powerful-supercomputer/

The most powerful supercomputer in the world, the Cray XT5 — aka ‘Jaguar’ — is a computing monster with the ability to clock 1.759 petaflops (1,759 trillion calculations per second).

So just what exactly is inside this machine?

About 37,376 AMD processors, to begin with. The Jaguar has 255,584 processing cores and is built using AMD six-core Istanbul Opteron chips running at 2.6 gigahertz.

That’s a step up from the four-core AMD chips that the computer used to have.

Here is a video of the upgrade process:

Read more about it here: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/11/most-powerful-supercomputer/

The Man Who Made You Put Away Your Pen

NPR’s Guy Raz got a chance to talk to Ray Tomlinson about how e-mail came about. Ray Tomlinson is the one who came up with the @ symbol used in email to be user @ host. Today, more than a billion people around the world type that @ sign every day. Tomlinson says that back in 1971, he did have some idea of the impact his invention would have.

“What I didn’t imagine was how quickly that would happen.”

Read more or listen at NPR’s site http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120364591&ft=1&f=1001

NPR’s Guy Raz got a chance to talk to Ray Tomlinson about how e-mail came about. Ray Tomlinson is the one who came up with the @ symbol used in email to be user @ host. Today, more than a billion people around the world type that @ sign every day. Tomlinson says that back in 1971, he did have some idea of the impact his invention would have.

“What I didn’t imagine was how quickly that would happen.”

Read more or listen at NPR’s site http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120364591&ft=1&f=1001

Microsoft confirms first Windows 7 zero-day bug

Microsoft Urges users to block ports until a patch is ready, but workaround cripples browsers. The ports that need to be block are 139, a common NetBIOS port and 445, a common SMB over TCP port. The vulnerability hits Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 both 32 bit and 64, but not older version of Windows. The newly found bug was discovered by Laurent Gaffie and details were posted on the Full Disclosure mailing list.
Here is more coverage of the zero-day exploit:
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/182257/microsoft_provides_guidance_on_windows_7_zeroday_vulnerability.html
http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/scrt/E9592E1A9719742ACC25766F0066B38D
http://www.dailytech.com/First+Windows+7+ZeroDay+Exploit+Airs+But+Danger+Isnt+Great+For+Most/article16817.htm

How to protect your computer from the Win7 exploit http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/111209-protect-your-pcs-from-windows.html

Microsoft Urges users to block ports until a patch is ready, but workaround cripples browsers. The ports that need to be block are 139, a common NetBIOS port and 445, a common SMB over TCP port. The vulnerability hits Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 both 32 bit and 64, but not older version of Windows. The newly found bug was discovered by Laurent Gaffie and details were posted on the Full Disclosure mailing list.
Here is more coverage of the zero-day exploit:
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/182257/microsoft_provides_guidance_on_windows_7_zeroday_vulnerability.html
http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/scrt/E9592E1A9719742ACC25766F0066B38D
http://www.dailytech.com/First+Windows+7+ZeroDay+Exploit+Airs+But+Danger+Isnt+Great+For+Most/article16817.htm

How to protect your computer from the Win7 exploit http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/111209-protect-your-pcs-from-windows.html

Google Offers A 16 Terabyte Cloud Drive For $4,096 A Year

No, it is not GDrive but it is close. This is basically a cloud storage upgrade for Gmail and Picasa. This is a much better deal then the previous storage upgrades offered by Google. If 7GB for Gmail and 1 GB for Picasa is not enough storage you can upgrade your storage for a hefty price compared to buying your own drive. 1 TB of storage will cost $256 a year and 400 GB is $100 a year. You can buy a 1TB drive for less then $80 now and be free to use it for whatever you wanted.

Cloud computing is really picking up and the prices are dropping. Here is some more information about the announcement from Google. Here is a TechCrunch article about Google’s storage upgrade and prices: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/11/google-offers-a-16-terabyte-cloud-drive-for-4096-a-year/

No, it is not GDrive but it is close. This is basically a cloud storage upgrade for Gmail and Picasa. This is a much better deal then the previous storage upgrades offered by Google. If 7GB for Gmail and 1 GB for Picasa is not enough storage you can upgrade your storage for a hefty price compared to buying your own drive. 1 TB of storage will cost $256 a year and 400 GB is $100 a year. You can buy a 1TB drive for less then $80 now and be free to use it for whatever you wanted.

Cloud computing is really picking up and the prices are dropping. Here is some more information about the announcement from Google. Here is a TechCrunch article about Google’s storage upgrade and prices: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/11/google-offers-a-16-terabyte-cloud-drive-for-4096-a-year/

Go-go Google Gopher Go! Google invents its own programming language

In exciting, but not unexpected news, Google has has put its name behind the brainchild of three of their in-house genius programmers. But it’s not a web app, nor is it an enterprise solution — it’s not even a downloadable tool like their Chrome browser. They’ve actually gone and invented a new language. It’s called Go.

Read more about it here: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/11/11/go-go-google-gopher-go-google-invents-its-own-programming-la/

Here is Go’s homepage on google.

In exciting, but not unexpected news, Google has has put its name behind the brainchild of three of their in-house genius programmers. But it’s not a web app, nor is it an enterprise solution — it’s not even a downloadable tool like their Chrome browser. They’ve actually gone and invented a new language. It’s called Go.

Read more about it here: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/11/11/go-go-google-gopher-go-google-invents-its-own-programming-la/

Here is Go’s homepage on google.

HDD vs SSD

SSDs (Solid State Drives), the future of storage, is trying to dethrone the big old mechanical HDD (Hard Disk Drive) that’s been around for decades.

I am sure many people have seen or read an article on the new SSDs and seen benchmarks of how fast they are. I’ve been thinking about them a lot over the past 3-6 months. I asked many questions, did research and here is what I found.

Read here for more: http://www.overclockers.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4559:hdd-vs-ssd&catid=59:systemsacomponents&Itemid=4265

The drives used in this are: 2x WD 640 Gig Black HDD
2x Intel X-25M 80 Gig Gen2 Drives

The results are not that surprising. The price of SSD is what is surprising. It is still very high for a consumer but the prices are coming down quickly.

SSDs (Solid State Drives), the future of storage, is trying to dethrone the big old mechanical HDD (Hard Disk Drive) that’s been around for decades.

I am sure many people have seen or read an article on the new SSDs and seen benchmarks of how fast they are. I’ve been thinking about them a lot over the past 3-6 months. I asked many questions, did research and here is what I found.

Read here for more: http://www.overclockers.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4559:hdd-vs-ssd&catid=59:systemsacomponents&Itemid=4265

The drives used in this are: 2x WD 640 Gig Black HDD
2x Intel X-25M 80 Gig Gen2 Drives

The results are not that surprising. The price of SSD is what is surprising. It is still very high for a consumer but the prices are coming down quickly.

Wi-Fi scale tweets your weight loss (or gain)


A new WiFi-enabled scale from Withings encourages users to lose weight by sharing their body weight, lean & fat mass, and calculated body mass index (BMI) on Twitter.

The first WiFi scale linked to the internet to automatically register weight, fat and BMI calculation! The Withings connected body scale analyzes your body composition and automatically stores your weight data online thanks to a wireless Wifi connection. You can monitor the long term evolution of your weight, your BMI (Body Mass Index) and your fat mass directly on a secured web dashboard. Its stylish design comes in addition to high performance electronics, using a technology so far only used by health professionals. The accuracy of its measurements makes it the ideal tool to monitor your health and fitness.


A new WiFi-enabled scale from Withings encourages users to lose weight by sharing their body weight, lean & fat mass, and calculated body mass index (BMI) on Twitter.

The first WiFi scale linked to the internet to automatically register weight, fat and BMI calculation! The Withings connected body scale analyzes your body composition and automatically stores your weight data online thanks to a wireless Wifi connection. You can monitor the long term evolution of your weight, your BMI (Body Mass Index) and your fat mass directly on a secured web dashboard. Its stylish design comes in addition to high performance electronics, using a technology so far only used by health professionals. The accuracy of its measurements makes it the ideal tool to monitor your health and fitness.

Wright Line Wins Patent on Heat Containment System for data centers and rack space

Wright Line has been awarded a patent for its Heat Containment System (HCS), which uses a “chimney” to remove air directly from a server cabinet. The patent was granted on Oct 20 to Wright Line LLC, and the inventors are listed as Mark Germagian, John Prunier and Martin Olsen. The Wright Line HCS captures heat exhaust from IT equipment to the top rear of the rack enclosure, were it is ducted to the data center’s air conditioning units through a ceiling plenum or hot air return.

“Our new HCS patent is a great example of how Wright Line continually competes and wins through innovation,” said Ed Bednarcik, CEO of Wright Line. “Chaotic cooling is a fact of life for even the most advanced data centers in operation today. The ability to contain the hot air exhausted by servers at the rack level, and then return it directly back to a cooling device provides a much more predictable and efficient operating environment.” The HCS system can be seamlessly integrated into Wright Line’s own platforms, as well as most third-party server enclosures. Here’s a two-minute video overview of Wright Line’s heat containment system:

Learn more about The Wright Line Heat Containment System™ (HCS)here.

Wright Line has been awarded a patent for its Heat Containment System (HCS), which uses a “chimney” to remove air directly from a server cabinet. The patent was granted on Oct 20 to Wright Line LLC, and the inventors are listed as Mark Germagian, John Prunier and Martin Olsen. The Wright Line HCS captures heat exhaust from IT equipment to the top rear of the rack enclosure, were it is ducted to the data center’s air conditioning units through a ceiling plenum or hot air return.

“Our new HCS patent is a great example of how Wright Line continually competes and wins through innovation,” said Ed Bednarcik, CEO of Wright Line. “Chaotic cooling is a fact of life for even the most advanced data centers in operation today. The ability to contain the hot air exhausted by servers at the rack level, and then return it directly back to a cooling device provides a much more predictable and efficient operating environment.” The HCS system can be seamlessly integrated into Wright Line’s own platforms, as well as most third-party server enclosures. Here’s a two-minute video overview of Wright Line’s heat containment system:

Learn more about The Wright Line Heat Containment System™ (HCS)here.

Intel’s next-gen memory closer to reality

Researchers are two steps closer to creating a mass-market version of technology called phase-change memory that could change how computers of the future are put together.

Intel and Numonyx, the chipmaker’s joint venture with STMicroelectonics that’s focused on flash memory, announced Wednesday they’ve built a new type of phase-change memory chip they hope will help fulfill the technology’s promise for small size and large capacity.

Read more here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-10385438-264.html

Researchers are two steps closer to creating a mass-market version of technology called phase-change memory that could change how computers of the future are put together.

Intel and Numonyx, the chipmaker’s joint venture with STMicroelectonics that’s focused on flash memory, announced Wednesday they’ve built a new type of phase-change memory chip they hope will help fulfill the technology’s promise for small size and large capacity.

Read more here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-10385438-264.html