Friday Nov 28, 2008

The New World

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Thursday Sep 18, 2008

Message In Hand

Message In Hand I am stoked to tell you all about a great initiative that Third Place Consulting is launching. This goes to the bottom line of using a third place to fund causes. We can change the world one cup of coffee at at time.

Ever heard the phrase that ‘for the price of a cup of coffee you can change the world?’ Well, it might actually be true, but you don’t have to give up your cup of coffee to do it. Just USE your cup of coffee to change the world!

Message in Hand is an initiative to create conversational coffee sleeves that will share the message and bring awareness to great causes. Through the exposure to these messages, people will become aware of ways to be active in supporting or becoming involved in efforts, causes, and plans to bring support to children in underdeveloped countries, provide mosquito nets for families in Africa, help aid homeless families, etc. The average person spends 45 minutes with their coffee drink, and this is a way for a cafe community to reach beyond itself and make a difference in the world.

The current Message In Hand is in collaboration with the Junky Car Club and Compassion International. This year Junky Car Club set an ambitious goal of supporting 500 children through its network, and we thought this would be a great way to launch Message In Hand.

How can you and your café become involved in this initiative? It will involve simply ordering Message in Hand sleeves for your café. These sleeves are similar in price to the sleeves that cafés are already purchasing and are made by a reputable company in the coffee industry. Why not leverage your purchasing power to get the message in the hands of your customers?

Thursday Sep 04, 2008

Sun HPC ClusterTools 8.0

As I mentioned yesterday the next release of ClusterTools is out today... below is an official announcement.

Sun HPC ClusterTools 8.0 is based on Open MPI 1.3 and it is the first release of ClusterTools to include support for Linux platforms as well as Solaris. It also provides support for MPI application profiling with Sun Studio Performance Analyzer (available in Studio Express 7/2008). MPI is the dominant programming paradigm for cluster applications in High Performance Computing (HPC), and HPC ClusterTools provides a production-quality MPI -- supported by Sun -- which is crucial to today's compute-intensive HPC workloads.

Key features of HPC ClusterTools 8.0 include:

  • Support for Linux (RHEL 4&5, SLES 9&10), Solaris 10, OpenSolaris
  • Support for Sun Studio compilers and tools and GNU/gcc toolchains on both Solaris and Linux OSs
  • MPI profiling support with Sun Studio Analyzer, plus support for VampirTrace and MPI PERUSE
  • Infiniband multi-rail support
  • Mellanox ConnectX Infiniband support
  • DTrace provider support on Solaris
  • Enhanced performance and scalability, including processor affinity support
  • Support for InfiniBand, GbE, 10GbE, and Myrinet interconnects
  • Plug-ins for Sun Grid Engine (SGE) and Portable Batch System (PBS)
  • Full MPI-2 standard compliance, including MPI I/O and one sided communication

For what it's worth.

Wednesday Sep 03, 2008

When did that happen

So a couple of updates... and trying to re-jumpstart myself to get back into blogging... I have ended up community building on twitter lately (@dlacher). So I thought I would share some updates on what the heck I have been up to, what I am doing and some general catch up.

My team has been working on getting the next release of Sun HPC ClusterTools, should drop any day now. With in some testing for follow I have been working with getting ClusterTools up in I have to tell you, I love pkg and I can't wait for caiman.

On a personal note, my backpacking / hiking season has more than likely ended for this season, since I don't winter backpack. Turns out that a knee injury from a few years back has come back and is not subsiding this time. A few year back I found that the meniscus in my right knee has two tears in it. Then the pain went away and all was back to well so nothing was to correct the tears... could be now is the time for the corrective methods, I will find out more in a couple of days. So my backpacking partner knows all of this and is not allowing me to go with on the trek that we had planed for North Manitou Island again this year. I just hope that rehab if the knee has to go in for corrective measures heals fast and I can still make the 20 mile day hike in November.

So that is the catch up, I thought I would leave you today with a simple yet wonderful recipe for marinated tomatoes.

Marinated Tomatoes
  • 3 large tomatoes sliced
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp basil
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
Shake well & chill. Pour over tomatoes. Enjoy

For what it's worth.

Thursday Jul 17, 2008

Clean off the cobwebs

I am been back in the woods for a while, and not in the backpacking way. I have been a bit heads down on some Sun HPC ClusterTools work, starting up the PreSEED mentoringship, summer, and kickin' some cool articles that will hopefully be published... soon and then by the end of the year. Bits of personal notes, the home office is back in working order and the SR@H is back up and kickin', now to finally get the DVI switcher for the SR@H and the laptop.

Back off to the xterm for the defect workings.

For what it's worth.

Friday May 30, 2008

Which one is mine?

The other day I caught this photo... I was staring down at the couch trying to figure out which one was daddy's and which was little E's. It is very fun listening to the "conversations" that she has on her phone.

For what it's worth.

Goal: 150

Someone mentioned to me that I never came back to mention that I had achieved my weight loss goal. As of a couple weeks back I reached my goal weight and now I am working on the maintaining side of the loss. I thought before I started that I was just always going to be a little overweight... not so and it feels great. Can't wait for the first backpacking trip this year, I will be carrying about as much gear as weight that I lost.

For what it's worth.

Thursday May 29, 2008

Rhubarb Cobbler

Thought I would share a recipe that we used last night for some rhubarb cobbler ... looks like a flop while you are making it, turns out awesome in then end.

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup boiling water

Evenly distribute rhubarb on bottom of baking dish (8x8 in original, we used a 9x13). Cream together sugar (1/2 cup), butter, milk, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour mixture over the top of the rhubarb. Combine sugar (1 cup) and cornstarch and sprinkle over the stop of the creamed topping. Pour boiling water of the top of the whole thing and bake for 60 minutes at 350 F.

We enjoyed it hot out of the oven with a little bit of ice cream.

For what it's worth.

Friday May 23, 2008

new blogs I am following

An update on some new blogs that I am following:

For what it's worth.

share HOPE

Guest blogger today, my wife Erin has the following post, a copy from our families blog.

For those who may not have heard, there is some very sad news in the world of Christian music. Steven Curtis Chapman lost his youngest daughter in a tragic accident at their home. In addition to the incredible music he has contributed to this world, Steven and his wife are active advocates in the world of international adoption. Maria was one of three daughters the Chapman family adopted from China. Dan and I have always had a heart for China and are big fans of SCC’s music, so I was literally crying as I read the news yesterday. My heart goes out to the Chapman family and I pray for peace for their aching hearts. You can read more about the family at and there is now also a link to a new blog set up in Maria's memory with some very precious videos of this beautiful 5 year old girl. Please pray for this family.

Thursday May 08, 2008

Not @ Java ONE

I feel a little out of the loop this year, one that Java ONE just snuck up and it happening now and that I am not attending and have not been following the news... time to get my head out of the sand I guess.

For what it's worth

Sunday May 04, 2008

Third Place Vacation

church bartender @ WFX Three days last week I took a little vacation to head down to Indianapolis for the Worship Facility Expo where I rocked it out making drinks at the Aspen, Cogun, Third Place Consulting booth. I was there to help share what God is doing at the cafe at my home church, share how a third place at someone's home church can be used to the Glory of the Lord and to make some awesome drinks. The conversation that took place and the people that I had the pleasure of meeting were well worth the time and investment. Who knows, I met get a chance to do it all over again in the fall. Now to figure out how to up my home espresso machine to a Nouva...

For what it's worth.

Wednesday Apr 16, 2008

Michigan -> Amsterdam -> Edinburgh -> Cluster Hacking -> return(home);

Last week I was on some travel for work that took my from my home around the world to Edinburgh, UK to work on a large cluster of Sun v20z nodes. This is an internal cluster that will further enhance what we can test and try out with our products. More on the cluster to come... now for the adventure.

My manager called and asked if I wanted to fly over to Scotland to setup Nessie... that is right, we have a corny nickname for the cluster that matches the region of the world in which it is located. Of course I said that I would travel the world to setup a massive cluster so that we could make Sun HPC ClusterTools a more rock solid product. I have a passion for playing with the hardware as well as the software and have not been able to do that for some time. After the right folks all signed off I was given the green light to pack the bags and book the travel. So off I went.

I left the United States late one evening and landed in Amsterdam, Netherlands the next day on my birthday. On the flight over I watched, The Simpsons Movie, and American Gangster. I had a 11 hour layover so I headed into the city to walk around a bit. My plan was to first find a nice little cafe to have a coffee at, notice I said cafe instead of coffeehouse there is a difference. I chatted a bit with the barista and got some good directions on where to head to just browse around the city. I was pointed down a small side street to reach the canals and which ones might be better to see. While walking around with the day pack, the earbuds in and a camera out... I am sure I stood out like a tourist. Now after some wondering around a bit along with the lack of sleep I think I was basically lost, well that would mean that I knew where I was to begin with. I was just about to ask for directions when I saw the train station. I stopped by a small pub close the train station for a birthday drink. After that I headed back to the airport for a nap. Late that day I arrived in Edinburgh and off to the hotel for a couple hours of sleep before I headed off to the Sun facility to get cranking on the cluster setup.

After arriving a little late for my first day of cluster hacking (man I needed even more sleep) I was hooked up with some of the local folks on sight, given the quick ESD overview and pointed to the lab. The cluster will consist of 1024 v20z nodes, each with two AMD procs. The nodes are broken down 32 to a rack and there will thus be 32 racks. By the time I left we had the SPs up on 576 and Solaris installed or ready to be installed on 480 of them... ran out of hardware to get the three other racks up with Solaris. The other 14 racks are waiting for a power issue in the lab to be resolved and then they can come up online. I don't take all the credit, the local folks all ready had the racks in place and power to them and I was joined by a colleague from the London area.

While spending the week in Edinburgh I did venture out for dinner each night and a little sight seeing. Note, that almost all of the shops close at 18:00, plan accordingly. I had some great food while out in the city including some local favorites... fish and chips, bangers and mash. I did not partake of traditional Scottish breakfast... I stuck to my americano and muffin from one of the cafes right by the hotel. The Edinburgh castle was amazing and all of the sites along the royal mile. A full collection of photos from the trip can be found over here.

The travel home was a little eventful, I was delayed leaving Edinburgh do to a security issue with baggage on the flight I was on. By the time it was resolved all the bags were removed from the plane, laid out on the tarmac, each person had to claim their bags, re-board the plane, the extra bag was identified, removed and the flight finally took off... two hours late and two connections in Amsterdam down the drain. I stand behind the pilots decision to ensure that the correct bags were accounted for and unknown bags were not onboard in this day and age of travel. All delays aside, KLM is my new favorite airline. Their level of customer service is second to none. I have not flown Southwest or Jet Blue but the KLM folks know how to do it right for their passengers in flight, the counter crew could be a little more friendly. On the flights home I watched The Bourne Ultimatum and The Kite Runner. I finally made it home 17 hours later than I was set to and a couple hours late for my little girls birthday party. No worries, I was here for the presents and the cake but missed the pinata.

All and all a great trip and a wonderful experience... I would head back anytime to work on the cluster and to help bring the over half up when the power issue is worked out.

Tuesday Apr 08, 2008

coffee abroad


The coffee abroad has not been to decent to date. Had a nice americano in Amsterdam at Coffee Connection, Dave was great barista. The coffee on flights and at the hotel are a pass. Stopped by Caffe Nero yesterday for the latte above, a bit less than I am use to. The americano this morning from Nero was proper and good to the last drop.

For what it's worth.

Thursday Apr 03, 2008

Lift OFF

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Tuesday Apr 01, 2008

Starbucks keeps growing...

Arizona Coffee to be acquired by Starbucks.

Thursday Mar 27, 2008

Sun HPC CT 8 (EA1)

The ClusterTools 8 (CT8) Early Access 1 (EA1) release is now available.

The CT8 EA1 software is a set of MPI libraries and tools for launching parallel MPI jobs on Solaris (SPARC and x86/x64). New in CT8 EA1 is MPI profiling support via VampirTrace and MPI PERUSE, Infiniband multi-rail communication, support for C++ applications built with libstlport4 or C++ standard, as well as other fixes and features contributed to Open MPI by the community.

CT8 EA1 is based on the upcoming Open MPI 1.3 release.

For what it's worth.

Monday Mar 17, 2008

Open MPI Heterogeneity

For a while now Open MPI has had heterogeneity support back into the source base. In the current version of Sun HPC ClusterTools 7.1 that is based on Open MPI, the heterogeneity testing did not fair so well base on that rev. of the source base. Big thanks to George and Brian for the work that was put into getting the code to work and I am sure many more along the way for additional support. Fast forward to the current source base that I have built and install on some nodes in the lab, Solaris/SPARC and Solaris/x64, and I kicked off the heterogeneity testing again. I have to say that I am happy to say that the limited testing of MPI jobs that I kicked off all passed. So I was seeing MPI communication on the mixed architecture cluster in the lab. From a ClusterTools perspective this is not officially qualified but looks to be something we might see in a future release. So what's next? Back to the lab to test out some other configurations like Solaris/SPARC, Solaris,x64 and Linux/x64.

So why is this anything to worry about? Think about places that have several "clusters" sitting around that they have had for a while... each time they built a new cluster it was a different OS or a different architecture... now they take an start using the entirety of their resources with a version of Open MPI that they can kick off large scale MPI jobs on. Why waste idle CPU cycles when you can put them to use.

For what it's worth.

Thursday Mar 13, 2008

Day Pack review

It is that time of year again, time for me to start telling you all about my love of backpacking. This year we are going to try to get a couple day hikes along with the multi day trips. The first one that we have planned is a 19 mile day hike... So to enter this new endeavor I picked up a day pack. No for those light weight packers this will not be the pack for you, even though it is a day pack it still weighs in at 3 lb 14 oz. I am going to feel it out for a few days and then make the final call to keep it.

First impressions of the Bigelow Day Pack:

  • positives
    • side load as well as top load the main compartment
    • built in rain cover
    • small strap above the water bladder compartment to help the bladder up even as it becomes empty
    • nice cross tightening straps to keep the load tight and secure (load should be minimal for a day hike, but could be use if I can find out how to use this for a short multi day, or multi day pack for my wife when I carry my full pack)
    • nice venting in the back panel
    • full waist belt for load control
    • top lid even in a day pack
    • big back and side stack pockets for the times you don't want to get into the main compartment
    • two large mess pockets
  • negatives
    • weight... there are lighter day packs on the market
  • undecided observations
    • small stack pocket in the waist belt

Time to hit the trails...

For what it's worth.

Wednesday Mar 12, 2008

get CT in a new way

Just a quick update on work, I have been working on getting ClusterTools ready for delivery through Indiana.

For what it's worth.

Friday Mar 07, 2008


Join the chinposin revolution! [1] [2]

Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

choose the right platform

Watch it, worth you time... choose the right platform. Originally posted via Alec's blog.

For what it's worth.

Tuesday Feb 26, 2008

ink anyone?

I give this guy props for showing off commitment to the craft.

I sent my wife the link... and got the following back, "don't even think about it". If you have some ink that shows off your dedication to the career you are in post the links in the comments.

For what it's worth.

Friday Feb 22, 2008

Hello World (#2)

Back when our first child was born a colleague gave me the most precious little shirt and #1 wore it and now #2 has had the privilege of wearing it.

For what it's worth.

Stuck on...

So I go to transfer our girls cloths from the washer to the dryer the other day when what did I find, but a super hero clinging to the inside...

I came running out of the laundry room, grab the camera and rushing back in telling my wife she needed to follow me. What a precious shot and some good laughs. Oh, Spider Man was a sticker that was on one of the girls shirts before it went into the wash... now he is a super clean super hero.

For what it's worth.




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