Uncommon: Intel Paragon on iOffer

Tim Shoppa shoppa at trailing-edge.com
Wed Dec 22 06:44:29 CST 2010

Pontus wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 11:16:16PM -0500, Tim Shoppa wrote:
>> That said, it does not strike me as an especially "something to be
>> run at home" machine. Those who want to do this at home are already doing
>> BOINC with machines 2 decades newer or they have their own Beowulf cluster.
>> This is the fickle world of parallel supercomputing.

> I think you are on the wrong list Tim :D Speed isn't really the reason.

I was a user of both the Delta and a Paragon when they were new. Speed
really was the reason! There was very little cute or affecting about the
machines. The OS and Compilers sucked. (OK, not a lot worse than the
suckiness of some others at the time). Parallelizing code that wasn't
easily parallelized, a lot of folks wasted time with that. But for
the problems in the sweet spot, wow, speed was ENTIRELY the reason.
Knowing that I was using one of the fastest "machines" on earth (although
really a farm of many machines) was in itself exhilirating.

Bringing back that exhiliration by running the same hardware that was new
20 years ago, but today? It's just not the same. Again, the fickle
world of parallel supercomputing.

These are machines that are fine for displaying in museums, they were
truly the pinnacle of parallel supercomputing for a couple years. I'm
very happy that CHM has examples of each. But not at home :-).


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