Archive for ‘Technology’ Category

When SysAdmins Ruled The Earth…

datePosted on 11:18, August 6th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Just found this on Cory Doctrow’s blog…..When SysAdmins Ruled The Earth….It’s a great read/listen, specially if you’re a current/former SysAdmin.

Here are the different parts read during his podcast over a couple of sessions:

If you like to read it yourself here is the entire story. This is great stuff……..They even kill the CN Tower……Now you can’t ask for more than that people.

Argonne National Laboratory will soon have the data analytics and visualization capability to complement its distinction as the fastest computer in the world for open science. Argonne awarded GraphStream, Inc. a contract that will help to make data analytics and visualization at this scale possible through the world’s largest installation of NVIDIA Quadro® Plex S4 external graphics processing units (GPU). This new supercomputer installation, nicknamed Eureka, will allow researchers to explore and visualize the data they produce with Intrepid. The powerful installation will offer 104 dual quad core servers with 208 Quadro FX5600 GPUs in the S4s.

Using the NVIDIA Quadro Plex S4 visual computing system as the base graphics building block, Eureka will deliver a quantum leap in visual compute density, enabling breakthrough levels of productivity and capability in visualization and data analysis,

said Craig Dunwoody, CEO of GraphStream. The base server building block is the SuperMicro 6015-UR. The S4 attaches to a server on either side of it, forming a “sandwich.” To the servers, it appears as if they have two Quadro FX5600 graphics cards inside of them. While there are small system disks in the server, all of the data comes from the large storage system over the network.

Economical, low-latency modular switches represent the heart of the data-management system. The nine-switch complex supports up to 2,048 connections, each of which simultaneously exchanges data at roughly 1 billion bytes per second. The storage system offers a bank of more than 10,000 disk drives that will send and receive data from the Blue Gene/P’s more than 100,000 processors. Altogether, this system can deliver nearly 80 billion bytes per second to and from the disk—the equivalent of transferring the content of 100 full CDs every second.

Read full press release here.

Microcontroller Madness…..

datePosted on 11:26, July 22nd, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Not sure if this madness will be the next big thing for the Demo Scene, but it sure is nice to see some the younger generation using their talents to come up with these circuits. In the old days — yeah I’m gonna date myself now — I used to do Demo programming on the C-64 and the Amiga 1000 later on, we had dedicated processors and although we did some heavy duty low-level programming, it wasn’t too bad.

The stuff that Linus Akesson and his buddies have come up with are actually brilliant in that they are very analog in nature. Don’t get me wrong, it is a micro doing all that, but the thought process behind the algorithm is very analog… is a excerpt of what it all entails:

One display line takes 24 μs, and is followed by a 7.75 μs break called the horizontal blanking period. After 480 such lines, there’s a longer break (1428.75 μs, equal to 45 full display lines) before it all starts over. Two digital signals are used to synchronize the sender (graphics card, custom demo hardware etc.) and the receiver (monitor).
[…]Sound is generated during the horizontal blanking periods. That gives a sample rate of 31496 kHz. Of course, only the really timing critical part (waveform generation) is performed during the horizontal blanking. Melody, rhythm, amplitude envelopes, arpeggios etc. are handled by a playroutine which gets called once for every video frame, during vertical blanking.

Have a peek at the video…..It’s mind blowing :-)

Searchme: Visual Search Rocks!!!

datePosted on 11:01, July 21st, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Just came across Searchme: today (thanks to Leo Laporte). It is to search engines what OSX is to GUI’s. It uses flash for interface design and it’s absolutely beautiful (and functional). It’s great to finally be able to “SEE” your search results before leaving the search site. I know there are several “preview” extensions out there for firefox that preload the website in a small popup window, but searchme is so much nicer and easier to use. If you’re doing any sort of research the ability to reorder things (hits) in a stack and to create multiple stacks is god sent. The best way to start is to try your own name, once you get familiar with the GUI, then start searching for other stuff.

Drobo 2.0 is out…..

datePosted on 16:01, July 8th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Yeeaaaa, wait long enough and the 2.0 version will give you atleast half of the features you’re looking for. I always thought that Drobo was a great device but I refused to buy one since it was only USB2.0 device. Well, that was yesterday, today Drobo announced the availability of the same great Drobo features, but now with Firewire800 to boot…..woohoo.

For those of you who don’t know Drobo is a external drive housing that has the next generation of raid protection built in and can literally take four different drives of any size and present them as a unified storage disk with raid protection. If you want to find out more info please see this page under technology tab. The barebones Drobo will sell for $499, while a 2TB model is $899 and at 4TB it’s $1299. Now if they could only add E-SATA and Network to this little guy, that would be perfect.

Project C-90 – Audio Cassette Tape Heaven

datePosted on 14:13, July 6th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Since I was getting all nostalgic last weekend with the cassette tape photo shoot, I figured this might be a good follow-up. Have a quick look at It’s a “in progress” catalogue of all sorts of cassette tapes from all around the world. I think I might actually have some that they don’t have in their DB, so I’ll probably hop over and contribute. So go find those old tapes and if you’ve got pristine ones that are not in their database, make a contribution or two.

Glide OS 3.0 Webtop syncs with you Desktop now

datePosted on 12:16, May 30th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

For those of you who haven’t tried it, you should really head over to and create an account. It’s an excellent Webtop that provides a widerange of application plus 5GB of online storage for free (there are also commercial accounts for a small fee). Not only do they have one of the cleanest interfaces out there, they’ve also developed a cross platform application called glide that allows you to sync your webtop with your physical desktop machine. This is really useful specially if you’re in a situation where you use windows and linux at work and osx or something else at home. The glide application can sync all your online data between the different platforms.

Yeah, that’s why the OLPC team sold their soul to MS….right? Get ready for OLPC running Windows XO. Because there aren’t enough lemmings out there. This must be Bill G’s wildest dream, an army of illiterate starving kids who’ll program the next version of Winblows for food and water…..brilliant.

These guys know how to have fun…..

datePosted on 21:28, May 2nd, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I have to admit, once I finished reading the article I just about fell of my chair laughing. Not at the idea/concept, but at the shear ingenuity/nerd factor of this project. You see the N.E.R.D.s down at Purdue University are planning to literally build the largest Big Ten supercomputer that is not part of a national center….not in a year, not in a month, but in a DAY. Yep, you read right, 200 employees will be hacking and slashing this behemoth together in 24 hours. Guys and Gals, we salute you. You are true N.E.R.D.s……Good luck :-)

OLPC dreams shattered?

datePosted on 21:09, April 23rd, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

According to a slashdot story:

Many participants in OLPC’s ‘Give 1 Get 1’ program of last November are now encountering what has come to be known as the ‘stuck key’ problem, in which one or more of the keys on their XO-1 laptop’s built-in keyboard become stuck in an activated position, or are activated when adjacent keys are pressed. More…..

Now I’m all for giving and sharing and all that, but what the heck are these guys thinking. First they sell us on the idea that these laptops will help kids in third world learn about computers — forgetting the fact that 90% of these kids can’t read/write. Now it turns out that because they were sourcing the cheapest material in the universe — from those same third world countries “slave-like” labour shops — the keyboards on these laptops are failing. So the next time you whip out your valet to help the third world, think about what you’re promoting and then make a donation instead. That way a school can be built, and those kids can learn how to read and write, which is much more useful to them than a broken computer that will end up poisoning them eventually.