This weekend I did something I never thought I would do: I moved away from Windows. I ran Windows 7 on a Traverse laptop since I came to work here almost 18 months ago, and personally since I was a kid, starting with Win 3.1x. After all that time amd experience I can't take it anymore. I have jumped ship and I am not coming back. This weekend I wiped my Windows install and loaded Ubuntu 12.04 LTS onto my primary drive. Physically, installing the new OS was easy; only after installing the OS did I realize there was a psychological effect I had not really counted on.
I recently attended an industry event with speakers representing a number of the largest technology companies in the world. An executive from Lenovo kicked off the event with a presentation that explained how their future was dependent on how well they could sell smartphones. I donít doubt his sincerity because a few weeks later Google off-loaded their Motorola handset business to Lenovo for a few billion and pocket change. Not long after this event Lenovo purchased IBMís server business to take on Dell and HP which have expressed varying degrees of interest selling PCs over the past few years. Depending on the week, HP is either ďall inĒ on smartphones or leaving them behind to focus on something new and exciting. Itís getting nearly impossible to say who is selling what anymore. Many of the traditional PC companies appear to be selling everything except PCs! Which brings me to the point of this post: Focus is difficult.
The NVIDIA Tesla accelerator is a well established work-horse for many useful and important High Performance Computing applications and we are happy to be able to provide Tesla acceleration for our "Peak" systems. The developer ecosystem around CUDA is well established, however, at Puget Systems we believe there is new round of developer interest on the horizon that will be catalyzed by the soon to be released 6.x series of the CUDA platform, advances with openACC, new libraries, new hardware, and perhaps significantly, NVIDIA's acquisition of The Portland Group and their excellent compilers and tools for working with Tesla. So, I've loaded up a Peak mini with a Tesla K40 and I'm ready to give Tesla programming a fresh look.
On my way in to work today, I was passed by a small blue Honda Civic. It raced and weaved through traffic, sporting a bolt-on spoiler, and an exhaut pipe that made it sound more like a go-cart than a legitimate driving machine. I allowed myself my moment of sarcstic thoughts. "Really? Your Honda Civic gets around with such great velocity that you need a spoiler to keep your rear axle firmly planted??" Maybe I'm just getting old, but I looked at that vehicle and I didn't see the style and power the installer may have intended. I saw immaturity and insecurity. This driver self-identified with performance and power. He didn't have the right tool for the job, so he bolted on the parts.
Attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas reminds me of the years my grandfather took me to see the Ringling Bros. & Barnum Bailey Circus as a young boy. There was so much going on that it was difficult to concentrate on one display. It was also loud and crowded and occasionally didnít smell quite right. But every now and then I saw something magical that I couldnít wait to tell my friends about.
If you are thinking about getting a system for doing development work targeting the Intel Xeon Phi and you hesitated because of the additional cost of the Intel developer tools you would need then, you should get a system with the "Xeon Phi developers starter kit". The savings on the Intel tools can completely offset the cost of the base system. It's a serious bargain!
Can you use the new RHEL/CentOS 6.5 release with the Xeon Phi ... yes! But, there is a gotcha that we will need to work around. Read on.
At Puget Systems, we build extremely high end PCs each and every day. Some of our PCs are used as high powered workstations, where they are pushed to their limits every hour of every day. Others might be the expensive play-things for those of whom price is no object. Is there a such thing as a PC that is TOO high end?
Unlike desktop computers that sport large cases, ample power, and generally remain stationary, laptops can be confusing to contrast and compare. Desktop computers are typically much easier to upgrade than laptops so when youíre selecting a laptop, itís a good idea to ensure it includes the level of performance you require from day one. For example, the graphics card thatís used to power games or render complex 3D objects can be simple to upgrade in a desktop computer, whereas you may not have many, if any options to upgrade the graphical performance on your laptop. Swapping out CPUs and drives can be done, but again, you usually have fewer options than with a desktop PC.
Can you fly with a computer (not laptop) in your carry-on bag. Sure! With some restrictions of course...
Most of my career has been spent working for large companies where employee manuals fill a 3-ring binder, policies number into the hundreds and metrics are used to measure the worth and effectiveness of employees. Puget Systems hasnít been around long enough nor have we grown so large that every issue can be solved by creating a new policy. When employees don't have dozens of policies and procedures governing how they get their work done, their actions might not always been predictable.
The time has come. The time is now. And with apologies to Marvin K. Mooney, itís time to consider running Windows 8 on your desktop or laptop computer. Although thereís no shortage of opinion surrounding Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8 remains somewhat of an enigma. Iíve spoken to people who have told me the following: 1. Windows 8 is for touchscreens only. 2. Windows 8 is worthless for desktop users. 3. Microsoft is forcing a tablet OS on us. 4. Windows 8 is nothing more than Windows 7 with spiffy skin.
I've seen it happen a hundred times. I'll be having a great conversation with a customer about computer needs, what the computer is currently used for, and what it might be used for in the future Ė but as soon as I ask something like ďWhat type of wireless network compatibility do you need this laptop to support?Ē, everything screeches to a halt. I might as well be speaking Greek.
Will the Xeon Phi work in an X8 mode slot? If so, will the performance degrade? Yes and yes!
Windows users don't get a lot of love from the HPC community but, hey!, they have serious compute heavy programs to run too. ... and they are desperate for performance!
While taking an accounting course in college, I often wondered why the professor demanded we manually tally columns of numbers instead of using a calculator or computer. During her office hours, I finally decided to express my frustration. My professor calmly agreed that using a calculator or computer would be a much more efficient solution.
Yes, you can use a Xeon Phi on a Windows system!
Many people have heard about the Intel Xeon Phi by now but there is still a lot of misunderstanding about it. Here's 5 of the misconceptions that I've heard mentioned when discussing the Xeon Phi.
Are your customers telling you you're doing fine? Can you trust that feedback?
Some more advice if you are looking at (or having trouble with) motherboards for the Xeon Phi.
Ever since we started developing oil-submersion aquarium kits in 2007, we've been repeatedly asked if you can submerge the hard drive in the oil along with the rest of the components. Our answer has always been a yes for SSDs and a no for traditional platter hard drives. While we are very confident in our answer, we have never actually tested to see exactly what happens. So, to finally set the record straight we decided to take the plunge and dunk a hard drive into mineral oil.
During my teens, when music was at an apex of importance in my life, I stumbled across two large boxes full of albums in the back of my closet. Of course I was curious and began shuffling through them. Most album covers were in good shape, while others had seen better days. Their design and colors drew me in to the point I had to inspect each one.
Some quick benchmarking using the Intel MKL double precision Linpack benchmark shows Haswell to have the potential to be a stellar performer for floating point heavy code.
Want to try your hand at programming the Intel Xeon Phi? Think a card will work in your existing system? ...probably not!
Forgive me if this seems like a random post but itís the last few hours of work on a Friday night during summer in Seattle, so, you know, itís random. I am sitting here, in the Puget Systems bunker, thinking about all the stuff I have to do around the house. As my list grows I start to think about the fact we get like 15.3 sunny days in Seattle every year, they are gold. Who wants to be doing chores in the yard when you could is barbecuing in the yard?<< Older Posts