[Beowulf] Re: g77 limits...

Jeremy Baker jellogum at gmail.com
Wed Mar 1 15:52:53 PST 2006

Thanks for the info, it is very helpful.
Since I'm new to this forum, I'll write a little info about myself and CS.
Currently I'm referring to a Linux text that was used in a community college
course I finished; however, it's sometimes more trouble than I think it
should be and have bought some new books but haven't had time to open any.
The command line instructions I've learned never seem to work well on the
system I try to use (Fedora 3 and 4, and live CDs like Kill Bill, Slax, and
others ). Trying to sort through modern texts has been overwhelming, so many
languages and then so many books on each one. While my hobbies and CS
studies are generally neglected to make time for my college work (I'm
studying for a BS in Biology), when school is over I have in mind to finish
a few incomplete projects: i) learn basic electronics with a Radio Shack
solderless bread board (basic circuits, IC chips, etc.), ii) move from
installing Fedora to Slackware, iii) continue reading about the Art of
Assembly and some new CS languages, and iv) maybe try to fiddle with writing
a language and/or drivers.
My experience with computers is somewhat limited. As a child I taught myself
how to use the Atari and Apple IIe with BASIC, adv BASIC, and I became
interested in peek/poke instructions before abandoning computers for music.
The format I followed was to allocate memory for variables, block the
algorithms, and build data columns. Are pointers in C similar to peek/poke
instructions? I sorted through many books on BASIC before settling on a text
to use for self instruction.  Thirteen years ago I finished a community
college course on C, wrote a short program that bounced back four variables
related to the requested element (periodic table), and then the guitar,
again, took over...
I use BLAST for my class work in microbiology and genetics. Post graduation,
my aim is to mix my  biology degree with CS and then learn how to write code
with a good design building on the Linux model.
Art students take design courses, a developed language/system to encompass
the elements of the set that includes all art mediums (painting, ceramics,
sculpture, etc.). There must be texts that also discuss good design for CS,
and I would take into consideration any suggested titles.
I am very interested in Beowulf, and feel drawn towards the numerous
problems to be solved by hooking together "toy things". Maybe Beowulf is
better suited for other endeavors, but if it helps with using multiple
platforms to efficiently accomplish work then I'm in the right place. I like
to recycle and hope to empower the poor or those with limited resources.
Out of curiosity, does the set of "toy things" include the X Box
by Microsoft, because I've found some info that suggests Linux can be
installed on these machines?
Concerning the generation of a RND, is it within reason (or practical) that
a system could be built that could pass a current through the random
movements of vapor atoms to produce a random number?
Vermont has some nice microbreweries, and I'm currently fond of the beer
Brown Dog. From a keg it is the most interesting flavour I have yet to find,
but what one drink's depends on personal preference... seemingly like
programming in some cases.

On 3/1/06, David Mathog <mathog at caltech.edu> wrote:
> Leif Nixon wrote:
> >
> > "Robert G. Brown" <rgb at phy.duke.edu> writes:
> >
> > > As for the python... well, I just plain like delimiters in my code.  I
> > > might even use it if the authors of python hadn't imposed two pieces
> of
> > > religion on its users:
> > >
> > >    No line terminator (e.g. ;)
> > >    No {} -- all code grouping MUST be accomplished by indentation.
> >
> > In braces-riddled languages you have to mark up the block structure
> > twice; first with braces for the sake of the compiler, and then with
> > indentation for the sake of humans. That's a bit silly and error prone
> > in my eyes...
> A language war is brewing...
> Indentation can be a PITA when tabs are mixed with spaces.
> Editor settings may convert tabs on some operations to spaces and
> then the indentation can be mangled.  Or the tabs in one editor are
> 6 spaces and 8 in another.  If indents are pure spaces this isn't
> a problem.
> If the compiler can make sense of the braces then so
> can other programs, and so generating proper indentation from the
> braces can be done automatically.  Perhaps the ugliest piece of
> source code I've seen in the last decade is taxalign.c from
> the NCBI toolbox (needed to build the BLAST program.)  As
> distributed the indents are messed up and it is just awful
> trying to figure out how that code works.  The #ifdefs don't
> help matters.  It also used the syntax which I think is one
> of the biggest mistakes in C:
> if(i)
>    dosomething();
> Blech.  More than one line, use braces! A pass through
> "indent" cleaned up the mess (indent wise) and helped immensely in
> figuring out what the code was doing.
> Conversely, if something stomps the indentation in a
> nonbracketed language there may not be any way to put things right
> again automatically.
> I'm pretty much agnostic on line terminators.  It doesn't matter
> much if the standard requires line terminators or line continuation
> characters.  It is unfortunately a major pain to switch back and
> forth  between languages that do this differently.
> Regards,
> David Mathog
> mathog at caltech.edu
> Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
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Jeremy Baker
SBN 634
337 College Hill
Johnson, VT
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