@CERN

Hi,

just a short note, to tell you that a couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to be invited to give a lecture at CERN, in the "Computing Seminar" series:

http://indico.cern.ch/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=131493

As you may imagine, it was also a great occasion to learn more about the ongoing experiments - @LHC mainly, but elsewhere too - and meet many groups of researchers running almost exclusively Linux, and Oracle Linux in many cases on their computers (*).

Among the many visits to interesting sites in the campus, I have also been to the Computing Center, sponsored by Oracle, where I saw the huge StarageTek machines:

http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/eye-on-oracle/oracle-with-new-5-terabyte-storagetek-tape-drive/

In the same building, I met afterwords the researchers belonging to the OpenLab project:

https://proj-openlab-datagrid-public.web.cern.ch/proj-openlab-datagrid-public/

and discussed various topics having to do with parallel computing in C++ on Intel and AMD machines. Separately, I also met other C++ power users, belonging to the Geant 4 team:

http://www.geant4.org/geant4/

and to the Root team:

http://root.cern.ch/drupal/

In both cases I learned about their needs vs C++ and its runtime library, and sometimes have been able to suggest specific C++0x features to try together with the latest GCC releases, which potentially could improve their software, from the performance point of view or somehow else.

Overall, I had a great time and enjoyed fantastic hospitality over there (I have to thank Vincenzo Innocente, in particular, for that!)

... only, where I live in Italy, I can have far better perch, believe me! ;)

If you have specific curiosities, don't hesitate to contact me!

Cheers,
Paolo.

(*) As an amusing anecdote, at some point I joined a tour of the LHC Control Room. A physicist said to a bunch of high school students coming from Milan: "We mostly use off shelf computers very similar to what you have at home, only we use Linux, not Windows, because we like to be able to control and change the OS we run". Eh! ;)

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