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

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Fri Apr 4 09:30:08 PDT 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
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax  : +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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