[Beowulf] [tt] World's most powerful supercomputer goes online

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Aug 31 17:29:55 PDT 2007

At 02:21 PM 8/31/2007, Peter St. John wrote:
>I'm imaging this system as a computer, and the headaches of it's 
>operator (the guy who scripted the worm, maybe) whose million nodes 
>are infested by a million hostile users (the refeverse of a users 
>desktop infested by a worm, is a worm's virutual supercomputer 
>infested by users).

I'm sure that the architect sees the value of the Beowulf mailing 
list for such things. After all, we all like a challenge, right? 
Heterogenous hardware configurations, non-deterministic latency 
interconnects with an ever changing topology, configuration 
management issues galore.  By the time we're done, rgb will have to 
add another chapter to his book on building Beowulfs.

 >>So besides preferring to call it a "Virtual Special-purpose 
(mail-bombing) Supercomputer" instead of a "(General purpose) 
Supercomputer" I'd also be skeptical of all performance metrics. If 
you can't measure the number of nodes within an order of magnitude 
then other metrics are perforce dubious.

Well, there IS that, but then, it's more a matter of scale of 
dubiousness rather than whether any sort of single cluster metric is "truth".

>And I'm pretty sure that Deep Blue could beat it at chess, if 
>someone managed to MPI a chess program on Storm Bot. But I"m sure I 
>can't prove it.

Come on.. someone needs to throw down the guantlet. Challenge the 
botnet to a smackdown duel. race for pinks* or something.

>*impromptu drag racing, winner takes possession of loser's vehicle 
>(i.e. the certificate of ownership, which used to be pink in 
>California (aka pink slip).. now they're a harder to forge rainbow color)


I like the linked interesting quote from Tony Blair, in re: his pink 
slip (the other kind). Apparently in the UK, there's actually an 
official form (P45) for such things. The wikipedia didn't say if the 
P45 is pink, though. Here in the U.S., we have forms for lots of 
other things, but not that.

This list is so educational, in ways that one cannot even begin to 
describe.  Now I have something to talk about with my wife's 
relatives in Surrey, stories about bureacracy having universal 
appeal, and much more cheery than death and taxes.

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875 

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