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Old 2007-02-23, 00:04   #1
Fusion_power
 
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Default Hector Testicle

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/s...st/6384481.stm

Very interesting specs. The capacity of supercomputers today is what laptops will be doing in a few years. At least, that is what has happened in the last 20 years! Somehow, I doubt my laptop will get this much capacity any time soon.

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Old 2007-02-23, 08:41   #2
ATH
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60 TeraFLOP that is only 60 computers with 2 x Geforce 8800 SLI

http://www.tgdaily.com/2007/02/16/nvidia_cuda/



But the 35 Tb RAM and 700 Tb diskspace is impressive, think of the ECM you could run with that RAM.
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Old 2007-02-23, 10:07   #3
Richard Cameron
 
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60Tflops is phase one; the system should go to 250 TFlops in 2009 with a further upgrade a couple of years later.

This pattern of a system life of 5-6 years with one or two hardware updates seems to be a common pattern for large systems. So my question is, what do they do with the 'obsolete' hardware when its retired (which in fact is only a couple of years old)?

One system that Hector will replace has just been upgraded (from Power4 to Power5) but will be retired at the end of 2008:

previous story

is there a second hand market in these systems?


Richard (UK taxpayer)
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Old 2007-02-23, 15:23   #4
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Cameron View Post
So my question is, what do they do with the 'obsolete' hardware when its retired (which in fact is only a couple of years old)?

< snip >

is there a second hand market in these systems?

Richard (UK taxpayer)
I don't know what your government or academia will do, but I can give you one example of what companies have done with "'obsolete' hardware" in the past.

From the mid-1980s to mid-1990s I developed software for automatic teller machines (ATMs). Our testing room usually had about a dozen different models of ATM, from manufacturers such as Diebold, Fujitsu, NCR, and IBM.

Inside each ATM was a small computer of some sort that controlled the screen displays, cash dispensing, maintenance, diagnostics, communication with the electronic funds transfer processing center, and so forth. In some IBM ATMs, that interior computer was built around an old IBM 360 mainframe CPU's circuit boards. That is, IBM was reusing 'obsolete' CPUs, which had been returned to them twenty-or-so years earlier by customers who had leased 360s, in their new ATMs.

Similarly, other ATMs were controlled by early-1980s PCs that had been obsoleted on the home PC consumer market. When you opened an ATM's back panel to perform maintenance (or, in my case, to load more play money into the cash dispensers prior to testing new software), you faced an IBM PC jr. or a Radio Shack TRS-80 or some similar PC sitting on an interior shelf, waiting for you to enter diagnostic or maintenance commands.

I notice that all the recent supercomputers are built around thousands of, for instance, Intel CPUs. When those supercomputers become 'obsolete', those individual CPUs will not become useless. Those that remain in good working order can be reused in some other hardware application, perhaps not yet conceived. They might even become part of some future home appliance -- I'm seeing some pretty fancy refrigerators in stores now. :)
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Old 2007-02-23, 19:11   #5
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Cameron View Post
is there a second hand market in these systems?
Yes. They appear on ebay every so often.


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Old 2007-02-24, 14:54   #6
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Quote:
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Yes. They appear on ebay every so often.


Paul
thanks, thats reassuring


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead
Similarly, other ATMs were controlled by early-1980s PCs that had been obsoleted on the home PC consumer market. When you opened an ATM's back panel to perform maintenance (or, in my case, to load more play money into the cash dispensers prior to testing new software), you faced an IBM PC jr. or a Radio Shack TRS-80 or some similar PC sitting on an interior shelf, waiting for you to enter diagnostic or maintenance commands.
I wonder if they still recycle old PCs this way: I recently saw my card extracted from an ATM that had swallowed it. From what i saw on the screen inside, it looked like it was running DOS.

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Old 2007-03-02, 15:39   #7
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Indeed the RLX Blade servers I picked up on eBay came from Sanger (Wellcome Trust Institute) where they do lots of sequencing and analysis of the genome.

Finally got round to making them network boot as running 96 40GB HDDs just isn't needed.

47 (for one has a b0rked network card) x 800MHz PIII with 1GB of RAM each. All merrily running my own version of ecmnet.

Last fiddled with by Greenbank on 2007-03-02 at 15:41
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