[Beowulf] Shameless self-promotion...

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Fri Sep 14 14:20:51 EDT 2007


I have at long last returned to my online book to try to create an
actual paper/print version of it using lulu (now that I've got a pretty
good pile of books I've done and have learned a lot of the gotchas it
seemed like time).  After a certain amount of teeth-gritting cursing as
I learned that my eps files included non-embedded fonts where lulu
requires embedded fonts, followed by a frenetic conversion of eps to jpg
and epsfig to graphicx and latex/dvips/ps2pdf to pdflatex in Makefiles,
I succeeded in getting a crown quarto conversion of the book to upload
and build into a book with a still-dweeby cover from their stock cover
list.  It passes the initial page-riffle in evince, but paper copies
often have hidden flaws and it will take a week or so for me to get one
to review.

The book also (momentarily) has ALL the flaws of the online version --
missing chapters, somewhat obsolete material (but still a damn good
treatment of Amdahl's Law and parallel scaling if I do say so myself,
and still a good getting started sort of treatment for newbies).  So it
may be of some benefit even in its 0.1 draft version.

I do plan to work on it pretty aggressively to turn it a book without
all the missing sections, then into a book that is more up to date (as
in all computers currently made are pretty much multicores and have
gigabit ethernet onboard, not single cores where you have to buy and add
100BT), then into a book with more sections that is up to date again.
That way it won't "look" so obviously unfinished and I can fool more
people into buying it so I can grow fabulously rich...;-)

Anyway, I've pretty much broken the hell out of my personal website
Makefile targets for A4 and postscript images, and probably won't
rebuild them any time soon.  So the online version at Duke is likely
frozen for the time being where its been for some years anyway (so no
big deal).  So for now, the FREE DOWNLOAD available via my lulu store
drop for the book will be the only up-to-date version of the text
available, and it should pretty much exactly match the paper/print text
version.

In the long run, this will (I hope) prove beneficial.  If people
actually buy paper copies of the book (as so many people have requested
and said that they would in years past) I'll have a strong incentive to
work on it and update it.  If people are happy with it pretty much as it
is, downloading the free PDF, that's fine too.  Either way I'm going to
clean it up at least one more time and make it fairly current and
"complete" and buy it an ISBN just so it can be found on Amazon and B&N
and BookSense webstores.  I don't expect it will ever be horribly
expensive, and I do expect to continue to make a PDF download available
for free pretty much forever (for our many friends overseas who would
have a hard time affording even an inexpensive book).

Hopefully that's not too spammy and self-serving an announcement, but if
it is, well, what can I say?  Demote me to proctored or something...;-)

Remember, the rgb web-store is here:

   http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=877977

and Engineering a Beowulf-Style Compute Cluster is right there
underneath (in no particular order that I can discern).  You can see
that the download is immediately available for free (and grab one right
away if you need one).

I'd LOVE feedback, suggestions, comments -- a good time for it as I
crank up to work like hell on it for a while.  I plan to include some of
the content I wrote for CWM (now on clustermonkey.net) in suitable
chapters or sections.  I also promise to autograph any print copies of
any of the draft versions to increase their eventual FABULOUS value one
day (yeah, right...:-) if and when I have the opportunity.

Be Warned!  As noted above, the print copy hasn't been reviewed by me
yet, and might look a bit "odd".  Chances are pretty good it is
readable, though, as the page sizes and so on are a perfect match and it
IS my fifth or sixth lulu effort... but purchase now at your own risk!

     rgb

-- 
Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu


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