Friday Mar 13, 2009

Interview -- Second Part

Sun's web team has just posted the second part of the interview that Janice Heiss conducted with me recently.

Janice has also written a very good summary of the interview. In conducting the interview, Janice gave me an opportunity to go over some of my own thinking in the subject matters we considered together. I'm truly grateful to her for turning this into a productive conversation that goes well beyond the expected questions. Thank you Janice.

This interview was originally conducted for and Sun Developer Network

Tuesday Jul 08, 2008

Using Apache Derby / Java DB with Caroline

Here is another embedded use case for Java DB in a full Java environment: On Grid Derby-based Server. For more on Caroline, see here.

Thursday Oct 18, 2007

Where is this?

Where is this?


Tuesday Jun 26, 2007

Constellation in Dresden

I still remember using Sun Microsystems Inc. machines when I was a graduate student doing scientific computing work at University of California, at Stanford's CTR and at NASA Ames. One particular summer, in 1987, my objective was very clear: to compute conditional probabilities of rare events based on direct numerical simulations of chaotic physical systems. Even back then it was clear that the world of supercomputing and scientific computing machines was a changing and difficult world to satisfy.

Scientific computing bars have been continuously rising since engineers and scientists used the first digital computers in the 50s and 60s to perform calculations resting on all kinds of scientific problems.

Sun broke into this market in a big way when it first introduced its scientific computing desktops and graphics stations in the mid 1980s, and later, its bigger computing servers.

Now, Don Clark of The Wall Street Journal has reported Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Constellation announcement at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Dresden, Germany.

[Sun Microsystems Inc.] says it now has technology to build the world's biggest scientific systems.

The Silicon Valley computer maker today is providing new details about a massive machine called Constellation, which includes an unusual high-capacity switching system for passing data among thousands of chips that act as electronic brains in the system. Sun developed the machine in collaboration with the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas, which is installing the hardware in its facility in Austin. 

Andreas Bechtolsheim, a Sun co-founder who is its chief architect, attacked the problem with a massive switching system -- with the code name Magnum -- that by itself can manage high-speed data traffic for 3,456 calculating engines in a supercomputer, Mr. [John] Fowler said. Other approaches would take 300 smaller switching components, the company says. Mr. Bechtolsheim even designed special cables so that just one-sixth the number of wires is necessary to assemble a system.

When we talk about the Constellation, we are talking about hundreds of teraFLOPS.

Sun Microsystems High Performance Computing group is one of the sponsors of the ISC meeting.

Monday Jan 22, 2007

Solaris Deskop + Sun-Intel

I don't know what the default Solaris ("Nevada," Solaris 11, build 55+) desktop is made of but whatever it is made of, it looks and works great. I've only begun exploring it, and it is proving very sticky, meaning that once you start working on it, it is hard to let go. In terms of look-and-feel and real-time user-level performance (not to mention other measures), it competes extraordinarily well with the very best Linux desktops I've ever used, including the ones I'm using now. In my environment, i.e. a 2003 two-CPU Gateway desktop located in building 17 of MPK, it is blazingly fast, and it is not even the latest Xeon. Little wonder: Check out the Sun-Intel announcement coming soon here. The WSJ report on the deal, based on analysts' predictions, can be found here. Sun's CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, has just posted about the announcement.

Saturday Jan 20, 2007

Google's Capital Spending

Google's capital spending more than doubled to $800m in 2005. Expansion has continued, and capital spending numbers for 2006 will be released next month. It will be interesting to watch.



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