[Beowulf] How Can Microsoft's HPC Server Succeed?

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Fri Apr 4 12:30:08 EDT 2008



Gerry Creager wrote:

>> This will also be a big factor for University ITS departments
>> too which often seem to have (at least here in Australia) become
>> MS only shops.
> 
> It's not just in Oz.  We see the same thing here.  All the kids I 
> interviewed this year had a lot of C# and .net "experience" with no 
> grasp of how to do more general programming.  Got a lot of folks who 
> could do web work if we'd bring in FrontPage, too.  And these were from 
> our CompSci department...

Sadly, when I taught some HPC usage/programming classes a few years ago 
at my alma mater, the students varied between knowledgeable scientific 
computing users in chemistry/physics/biology, to people who "knew" Java 
and C++.  The latter couldn't program in C for some reason.  No. 
Really.  Stop laughing.  (for those that don't get it, C++ is C with 
some extra stuff added on ... they are for all intensive porpoises, the 
same language if you ignore OO stuff, generics/templates ...)

There were one or two people who knew Matlab programming.  This is what 
they used to run their code, and they want to use a cluster to run 
Matlab faster.

Monoculture is not serving HPC well.  CompSci has changed quite a bit 
from when I was in school.  I don't know too many CompSci departments 
teaching Fortran these days.  This is the case, though lots of the 
serious scientific students/researchers I meet are continuing to use it. 
  I expect to hear of Fortress classes soon, and the next 
Fad-of-the-month classes soon.  But some of the bedrocks of scientific 
computing are like Rodney Dangerfield ... they don't get no respect ...



-- 
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
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