Tuesday Feb 19, 2008

SPEC awards, virtualization

Virtualization is such a hot technology that Dilbert is poking fun at it: 2/12, 2/13 and 2/14. No wonder, since IT centers must use both hardware and energy more efficiently. At SPEC's 2008 annual meeting in San Francisco SPECtacular awards were given to members of the Virtualization committee. As always, I won't post anyone's name without permission, but you know who you are and SPEC is grateful for your contributions.

SPEC is working on a benchmark to model server consolidation of commonly virtualized systems such as mail servers, database servers, application servers, web servers, and file servers. Requiring a very different technical approach than SPEC's traditional benchmarks, virtualization has brought unique challenges. SPEC recognizes these engineers for outstanding contributions in meeting those challenges:
  • Andrew Bond, HP
  • Cathy Reddy, Unisys
  • Chris Floyd, IBM
  • Fred Abounador, AMD
  • Greg Kopczynski and another engineer, VMware
  • Nitin Ramannavar, Sun
  • Stephen Pratt, Communigate
  • and an engineer from a company so modest that they don't even want to accept public thanks.

Tuesday Aug 14, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes - guide to raising children

It's amazing how Bill Watterson, who has no children of his own, has such insight about them. Forget all those books by psychologists; Calvin and Hobbes tell you what it's really like to have a boy. Here's a practical example from the first Calvin and Hobbes book.

 1. [Calvin is building in his sandbox.] "Here we find a thriving city: brand new buildings, a bustling economy."

2. "A scenic thoroughfare winds through this happy municipality. Here, a farmer drives his livestock to market."

3. [Calvin fills a bucket with water.]

4. [Standing in the sandbox, smiling.] "Tragically, this serene metropolis lies directly beneath the Hoover dam."

Sometimes it can be hard to get kids off the computer, and outside to play in the sunshine. Taking my cue from "Dr. Watterson" here's all I had to do: I filled a bucket with water and built one small building in the sand box. Then I said "the people in the village were very happy, but they didn't realize there was a giant dam nearby," and walked away. Slowly a smile came over my boy's face very much like that smile Calvin sometimes gets.

Then he started building the village. The rest of the afternoon computer games were forgotten as, alas, the unfortunate villagers suffered a series of disasters: dam collapse, flood, hurricane, tornados, earthquake, and tsunami.

 

About

I am a software engineer in San Diego, president of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (spec.org), formerly a mathematician and a violist.

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