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I had the pleasure of attending the dedication for the new HPC at the Naval Postgraduate school today.

NPS High Performance Computing Center Sun Microsystems Blade Supercomputer “Hamming” Dedication

January 30, 2009

2:00 PM

The Naval Postgraduate School is located just down the road from us here at Fleet Numerical. As such we deal with each other a bit, not nearly as much as I would like to see, but some.

NPS has put together a 4 frame, 1152 core Sun blade system with a performance of 10.7 Teraflops That’s 10.7 Trillion mathematical operations per second. Not too shabby.

The system is named after Dr. Richard Hamming, who was a Professor Emeritus at the Postgraduate school after his 30 or so years with Bell Labs. He’s famous for his communications algorithms and there is even an IEEE medal given out each year in his name.

We had the pleasure of meeting Mrs Hamming. Dr Hamming passed away in 1998 at the age of 82. I didn’t know who the little old lady with the walker was until they announced her. She waved to everyone with a shy smile when she was introduced.

There were several professors who spoke about research they planned on doing with the new system. One professor of physics spoke of taking a model simulation from a months run time to a single day.  A high speed inpact simulation. Another spoke of taking a Computational Fluid Dynamics model of a jet engine from inlet model, first stage model,…, outlet model, to a single complete airflow model through the engine from inlet to outlet.

Kudo’s out to the folks who made this possible.

  • Dr Christine Cermak- VP Information Resources
  • Dan Oliver – NPS President
  • Leanard Ferrari – NPS Provost
  • Bill Vass-  Sun Microsystems Federal President
  • Dr. Jeff Haferman – Technical Manager -HPC
  • The staff and others involved.

It’s easy for those of us in the field to forget what this kind of computational power can mean to a university or school environment. My first thought upon hearing about the size of this system was, “What’s the big deal?”. I’m spoiled in that I’ve had the pleasure of playing with some really big systems over the years. This is a really big deal to folks like those at NPS who have only had small clusters to play with before this. I’m hoping the system is hammered on by all the different professors and students. The busier the better. All my best and good luck.

Happy number crunching.

UPDATE: Dr. Jeff Haferman dropped me an email with a couple of corrections. I’ve corrected. (-: Thanks for the heads up Jeff.

Well, it seems Molly tried a physics experiment tonight. Will a plastic container full of spagetti sauce, when dropped from a refrigerator shelf with a height of 4ft, onto a linoleum floor, keep it’s contents from exploding onto everything within 8 ft of the point of impact?

And the answer is…… Nope!

Unfortunately I was only about 4 feet from the epicenter of the experiment. It is amazing how something that only drops 4 ft can have a splatter effect 8 feet out. Even more interesting was that nothing higher than about 4 feet got hit. I was splashed from just above the waste on down. The whole kitchen was like that.

Ah the fun of physics.

Roberta and I went up to Santa Cruz today to check out a bluegrass get together at the Oceanview Park. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, so had the rain. No bluegrass, but we were in Santa Cruz and so decided to wander around a bit. We ended up in a bookstore from the planet “New Age”, or maybe the planet “mysticism”. One of those.

Then we wandered over to a tiny little music store that was open. Turns out it’s owned by Kurt Heisig. A big time Sax and Flute maker. We ended up chatting with him for about 15 minutes or so.

With our stomaches rumbling we hit this small mexican place that seemed interesting. The lady behind the counter was maybe 5ft tall and slim. Seemed nice enough. We both ordered the beef burritos and sat down to eat. It’s about this time that we started noticing all of the boxing memorabilia. Mostly womens boxing. Looking at the waitress, looking at the posters, waitress, posters…. Yep. Carina Moreno. 4 time world champion female boxer. Another link about her. Here’s a boxing quote “Arguably the best women’s boxer in the world, Watsonville, Calif.’s Carina Moreno” and SHE was our server. Turns out her family owns the restaurant and she helps out.


Carina Moreno

Carina Moreno

Needless to say. I doubt the restaurant has EVER been robbed.

The other day we walked down to the Point Pinos Lighthouse just down the road from us. It’s the oldest lighthouse on the California coast. 1855 or so. Pretty little light house.

Point Pinos Lighthouse

Point Pinos Lighthouse

And the really funny bit. Here is a sign that was on the fence. We have a lot of deer around here. And where there is prey, there are predators.

Mountain Lion warnings

Mountain Lion warnings

I have another new job. I am now a electric scooter repairman. Molly and Nora got electric Razor scooters for Christmas. They’ve been having a blast with them, running up and down the road.

Today one of those scooters, Nora’s, bit the dust. Wouldn’t turn on, wouldn’t charge, would do nada. So, since I am still toolless I did a quick run over to Chucks and took it apart in his garage. After a few minutes of poking around I found a connector from the reset button disconnected. Hooked it back up and voila! It’s a workin scooter again.

These scooters are a blast for the girls. They really have fun on them.

Scooter Girls

Here is a funny joke from one of my ex-coworker/friends in Scotland. It’s a dig on the Irish of course. (-:


Paddy calls British Airways to book a flight. The operator asks ‘How many people are flying with you?’ 

Paddy replies ‘I don’t know! Its your f*ckin’ plane!!’

While the girls and I were walking back from the beach the other day we went past the Pacific Grove Golf course just as the sun was setting through the trees. So I took a couple of pictures with my trusty Nikon point and click digital camera. I ended up with this picture being the best of the bunch I think. It’s my new windows background. I sized and cropped the picture for my screen resolution.

Here is the picture, half sized.  1632×1224 pixels. Large enough for most displays.

Sure is rough living in such a beautiful area of the world.

Pacific Grove Golf Course

Pacific Grove Golf Course

Well, it’s done. Lynn and Chuck, Nana and Papa to the girls, have officially taken over Sea Harvest in Monterey.

A few reviews.

They are going to do great with it. So, if anyone is in Monterey they need to stop by the BEST fish market and restaurant in town.

The BelAir is difficult to start once it’s warmed up so I thought I would check the timing, connections, battery, etc today since it’s a nice sunny Asilomar California kind of day. I pop the hood and poke around a bit. While checking the battery I had my head shoved down inside the engine compartment, catch some movement out of the corner of my eye, turn my head and this stow away was so close I crossed my eyes to get a blurry view of it.

Stow away spider in the 55 BelAir

Stow away spider in the 55 BelAir

Needless to say, once my higher brain functions caught up with my lower brain functions I was already 5 feet back from the car. I’m surprised I didn’t squeal like a little girly man.  It was literally the biggest Black Widow spider I have seen in my life. So, I run inside and grab Roberta and the girls to show them. We all go back out to the car, and no spider. Uh Oh.  We spend 10 minutes looking when the neighbors walk up and start helping us look. Everyone at this point is probably thinking I’m nuts. Finally I sprayed bug killer in the area and convinced the critter to come out with a stick. Once we have it out running around on the ground Roberta grabbed a tupperware container and we put it in that. Then Nora brings out her bug kit and we transfer the critter into that. The toxins are hitting the bug by this point and it’s slowing down, so I let the girls have it with the condition that if it gets out they stomp on it and run!

Top View of the Black Widow

Top View of the Black Widow

Bottom of the Black Widow

Bottom of the Black Widow

Good or bad my girls aren’t afraid of much. Here they are playing with a Black Widow spider.

As anyone who knows me knows, I can’t leave well enough alone. So, I’m doing some under the covers modifications to the blog.  Adding some statistical plugins, and cleaning things up.

I don’t think anyone will notice any changes to the blog/website, but if you do drop me a note and I’ll fix, or break more. (-;

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