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This year during Supercomputing in Salt Lake City it decided to snow on our last day there. Morgen and Nora decided to wander out and do some adventuring. I really like this picture of them.

Morgen and Nora adventuring around Salt Lake City

Morgen and Nora adventuring around Salt Lake City


I’ve made my reservations for Supercomputing 2012, also known as in my household as Nerdfest 2012.

I’m also going to be taking Megan again this year. This will be her second year of attendance. I’m afraid it might turn into something of an annual trip for us. 🙂

A friend of a friend who works for Altair is hooking Meg up with an exhibitor pass for free (Normally $100) to save us a bit. We chatted about getting her the Technical Program pass ($150 for students) but none of the talks really jumped out at her. I don’t blame her. I didn’t get the tech pass either. I don’t find PhD wanna be’s spouting theoretical garbage interesting any more. Which, sadly the tech program has become. It’s pretty useless for people who actually build and maintain the systems, and at a cost of $575 it’s really not worth it. Oh well.

So, we’re flying out on Saturday from Monterey. No driving 85 miles to San Jose, or 110 to Oakland. Nope, 10 miles is all we need to worry about. Woot!! And, it only cost an extra $40 to fly out locally. Save that just on gas by not needing to drive to San Jose and back.

It’s going to be nice seeing some of my friends and co-workers I haven’t seen in ages. Some of whom have scattered to the far reaches of the world. Guy Robinson is in Perth Australia now working on the Square Kilometer Array pathfinder project. Cool project that. John’s in Texas, Christine’s in Mississippi, not sure who’s coming down from Alaska, but can’t wait to see them. Hoping Hank makes it over from DC. It’s going to be a gathering of nerds from all over the place.

Megan and I will be staying just a block or so away from the Convention Center at a place called The Peery Hotel. Looks like an interesting place to stay.

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.

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