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Space Supercomputing Science

Hawking Is First User of "Big Brain" Supercomputer 93

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-machines dept.
miller60 writes "Calling your product the 'Big Brain Computer' is a heady claim. It helps if you have Dr. Stephen Hawking say that the product can help unlock the secrets of the universe. SGI says its UV2 can scale to 4,096 cores and 64 terabytes of memory, with a peak I/O rate of four terabytes per second and runs off-the-shelf Linux software. Hawking says the UV2 'will ensure that UK researchers remain at the forefront of fundamental and observational cosmology.'"
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Hawking Is First User of "Big Brain" Supercomputer

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:12AM (#40332289)

    It's really too bad that the company currently known as SGI has only the name in common with the SGI of yore. Truly some pioneering work done there, although they did fail to keep up with the "G" portion of their name in the late 90s. Imagine what the world would look like had they bought out nVidia way back when? Probably, we'd all be running SGI video cards, and Monoprice would sell Craylink cables. Microsoft would be a struggling software company, Linux would still be a pipe dream, and SVR4 (with some BSD stirred in for good measure) would pretty well rule the world.

    Well, maybe. It's nice to imagine...

  • I've wondered... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:47AM (#40332431)

    I assume that most great cosmologists aren't expert computer programmers with specialties in high performance computation, and that most great programmers specializing in high performance computation aren't great cosmologists.

    So how do these people get their ridiculously complicated physics stuff crunched by ridiculously complicated machines?

  • Re:I've wondered... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sleiper (1772326) on Friday June 15, 2012 @03:59AM (#40332681)

    So how do these people get their ridiculously complicated physics stuff crunched by ridiculously complicated machines?

    Because they know the equations for their ridiculously complicated physics stuff, and most physicists are expected to be literate with computer programming. I have two PhD friends, both in Physics (meteorology and cosmology) who are now both hardcore coders due to their training.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Friday June 15, 2012 @04:50AM (#40332871)

    because

    A) Silicon graphics had little influence one way or the other on the progress of Linux (or Windows so the same applies) even when they were a big player.

    and

    B) Your average home user would not be willing to pay the multi thousand dollar price tag of an SGI system just to have a version of Unix wirth decent graphics at home.

    Unfortunately both SGI and to a lesser extent Sun missed the signs that x86 PCs were going to rapidly catch up woth the abilities of their workstations and instead of dropping prices to sane levels continued to carry on business as usual as if it was still 1990. And the end result is what you see.

  • by ciderbrew (1860166) on Friday June 15, 2012 @05:20AM (#40332983)
    I never expected Germaine Greer to be used on this board.
    Regardless of the impression given, there is a need for celebrity scientists. Second rate scientist with a first rate promotional skill is just what the TV needs. Plus the promotion time couldn't be better spent in the lab either.
    These people inspire the young to become scientists and raise public awareness for what ever cause made the news that week.

    How on earth did you bring Germaine Greer into this? That's wonderful..

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.

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