[Beowulf] MS Cray

Tim Cutts tjrc at sanger.ac.uk
Wed Sep 17 09:51:34 EDT 2008

On 17 Sep 2008, at 2:22 pm, Lux, James P wrote:

> But how is that any different than having a PC on your desk?
> I see the deskside supercomputer as a revisiting of the  
> "workstation" class computer.  Used to be that PCs and Apples were  
> what sat on most peoples desks, but some had Apollo or Sun or Perq  
> workstations, because they had applications that needed the  
> computational horsepower (or, more likely, the high res hardware  
> graphics support.. A CGA was pretty painful for doing PC board  
> layout).
> Same sort of thing for having the old Tektronix 4014  graphics  
> terminal, rather than hiking down to the computer center to pick up  
> your flatbed plotter output.
> Jim

We don't generally allow people here to buy their own PCs and Apples  
either.  They get a standard build from us, all centrally managed by  
LanDESK.  They also get a known type of hardware; they can't just buy  
what the hell they like. I have more than 800 Windows desktops to  
support.  If they were all different and purchased ad-hoc by  
individual users, I would be in even worse hell than I am already.

Most people don't build Beowulf clusters out of ad-hoc piles of  
machines from God-knows-where.  Most of us buy consistent hardware,  
because it's impossible to support anything else.

The Tektronix graphics terminal is slightly different, because it was  
just that, a terminal, and consequently doesn't present such a headache.


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