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We had a person start work where I am and I was forwarded this persons resume. 8 pages without cover letter. 8 pages? Really? I have always kept mine down to under 2 pages by deleting 80% of my experiences and training. If it’s not relevant or current why have it?

I’m one of the most fortunate underachievers in the history of mankind. I’m a college drop out with a bit of military experience. So why am I so fortunate? Here’s a brief list of the toys I’ve been allowed to build, maintain, and play with.

Arctic Region Supercomputing Center. ARSC

  • Icehawk –  117 fastest computer in the world and my first HPC toy.
  • Iceflyer – The first customer installed IBM p690 system in the country
  • Iceberg – 56th Fastest in the world when built and the biggest IBM p655 system ever built from scratch at a customer location. Also biggest Federation system ever built at the time we did it.

Naval Oceanographic Office. NAVO

  • Habu – another IBM SP system. Started at 7th fastest in the world but was down to mid 300’s when I began working on it.
  • Marcellus – IBM p690 system Started 11th fastest before I worked on it.
  • Kraken – IBM p655 system. 9th fastest in the world. Kept this baby up as Katrina went over our heads.

University of Edinburgh Advanced Computing Facility – EPCC

  • HECToR –  High End Computing Terascale Resource.  Second fastest computer in Europe when I started.  17th Fastest in the world.
  • HECToR – X2 Vector system. Only publicly accessible X2 in the world.

Temp assignment – Oak Ridge National Labs – ORNL

  • Jaguar – 7th fastest in the world at the time I worked on it. Updated to the fastest in the world.

FNMOC – Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center

  • Classified and unclassified clusters used for weather modelling and oceanographic modelling.

So, I’ve been pretty darn lucky. I always wanted to play with computers and i’ve been allowed to play with some really neat ones.  Told ya I was lucky.


Well, it seems the City of Monterey is going to change out roughly 2000 street lights for more energy efficient LED lights, replacing the sodium vapor lights currently used. They are doing this to ” allow Monterey to comply with a state law requiring the reduction of municipal greenhouse gas emissions“.

Article in the Monterey Herald.

So, a few items of note that I find interesting.

The total cost of this is going to be $934,000 for just over 1900 LED lights, or roughly $490 per light. The city is using a 10 year low interest loan to pay for this and will pay the loan back with the money they are “saving” in lower energy bills.  Hmmm…

$490 per light vs $50 (total guess) or so for a High Pressure Sodium Bulb.

FYI. From what I can figure out the Mean Time Between Failures of a LED light like this is quoted at roughly 50,000 hours.  Now that sounds like a lot, but remember there are 1900 LED lights with that average. So,

50,000 hours / 1900 lights / 8 hours on a day(rough average over the year) = 3.28 days between average failures.

This means the City of Monterey will be replacing one of these $490 LED lights every 3 1/4 days, or 2 per week.

$490 x 2 per week x 52 weeks per year = $50,960 per year in replacement costs. Let’s be nice and say the replacement cost is 1/2 that of initial installation (I’m being nice). So this makes it $25,000 or so in just bulb replacement cost over the course of an average year.  Or another way to look at it $250,000 in replacement costs on top of the $934,000 in initial installation costs plus interest over the course of the loan.

I’m hoping that I really screwed something up here. Otherwise this whole California attitude of “save us from Global Warming” by bankrupting us idea just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. At least the article isn’t claiming they are doing this to save money. It actually looks like a money loser even when you figure the savings of more energy efficient LED’s.

If anyone has better figures for LED replacement cost vs Sodium Vapor (I don’t know the cost of the bulbs for comparison), and/or the difference in MTBF for both I’d be interested to hear. On the surface this whole project looks like more “Green” bullshit to spend money that doesn’t do anything but let politicians pat themselves on the back say what a wonderful job they are doing saving the world.



The things you learn by chance.

I was going to make a comment about the interesting behaviour of a Blue Jay here at work, when I went to look up a picture on wikipedia I discovered the Blue Jay doesn’t have a natural home range in this area. Nope, no California in the green area, and there are a lot of what I thought of as Blue Jays around here.

Instead it’s a very similar bird called the Western Scrub Jay. Who knew?I sure didn’t. They look very similar to me.

The Western Scrub Jay

Blue Jay

Looking at them side by side you can tell, but, hey, they’re not side by side out in the quad area at work. (-:

Anyhow, the whole reason this began. I was walking between buildings and noticed on of the “Scrub Jays” with a peanut in it’s beak. It had found/made a hole in the grass large enough to hide the peanut in. So as I walked passed I was watching this Scrub Jay trying to work the peanut into the ground when it saw me, stopped what it was doing, (peanut buried at this point) and waited till I was about 30 feet away or so, grabbed the peanut out of the ground, moved about 5 feet over and reburied it.

I guess the silly bird was thinking that I knew where it’s stash was, so it moved it. Anyhow, I thought that was kind of cool. What’s interesting is to think about how many nuts are buried in the area. There are a lot of Scrub Jays around here. Something to think about.

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January 2012
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