[Beowulf] [OT] HPC and University IT - forum/mailing list?

Andrew D. Fant fant at pobox.com
Wed Aug 16 15:30:24 EDT 2006

Bill Rankin wrote:
> Ya see, this is the sort of thing I wanted to discuss *on-line* but
> figured that the Beowulf list was not the best place to do it.  ;-)
> The educause site that Mike pointed out may be a good solution, or I
> have access to a mailman server.

To chime in briefly and late, I am unsure that the educause RMS list is a
particularly good place for these discussions.  As a subscriber to it, I have 3
observations in particular

1)  It is a very low-volume list.  There is usually less than one message a
week, and the longest thread I have seen on it was less than 10 messages total.
I would hope for a more vibrant list than that on this topic, and I doubt that
adding even 10-20 messages a week to the RMS list would be welcome

2)  The target audience of the RMS list seems to be C*O types and their
immediate reports.  There is no restriction on joining the list, but the people
who actively participate tend to identify themselves as in that cadre, and the
questions that do get posted tend to be relatively divorced from any specific
technical issues.

3) Personally, my senior management does read the list.  I have been reluctant
to post or respond to posts with them watching over my shoulder as it were, and
I would be even less likely to want to discuss the interface of policy and
implementation in a forum where I might express a negative opinion about a
practice that they have imposed from above by fiat or one that they are
considering implementing as a pet project.  Does anyone really want their CIO
getting copies of emails where they are asking a question about something that
the CIO would consider obvious or questioning by implication the wisdom of a
"settled" decision?  And I certainly don't like the idea of word coming down
from above that the issues being discussed are above my pay-grade and that I am
not supposed to think about them or discuss them further.

Please note that I am NOT opposed to a list that is more explicit in its
discussion of the non-technical aspects of academic HPC/technical computing
support.  If one is announced, I will be the first to sign up for it.  I just
want to see it succeed and not die from misplacement of the discussion


Andrew Fant    | And when the night is cloudy    | This space to let
Molecular Geek | There is still a light          |----------------------
fant at pobox.com | That shines on me               | Disclaimer:  I don't
Boston, MA     | Shine until tomorrow, Let it be | even speak for myself

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