[Beowulf] They appear to be reading beowulf ....

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Mon Apr 9 09:41:37 PDT 2007

Quoting from that link,
...And even in a market with cultural barriers, pragmatism can win the day.
That was the case for Matt Wortman, director of computational biology and
information technology at the University of Cincinnati's Genome Research
Institute. His group already has Linux clusters, but picked Windows CCS for
a 14-node cluster that runs simulation software to analyze drugs' molecular
behavior. It integrated easily with researchers' computers, 95 percent of
which run Windows, he said.

"I don't care if it's Microsoft or Scyld, (Linux cluster software from
Penguin Computing)," Wortman said. "I want to make it easier for the average
biologist to find new drugs."
This suggests, to me, confusing the user interface with the operating
system; but my own soapbox is that MS, by designing for marketing and
(arguably) ease-of-use (as opposed to designing for DP, like VMS, or for
developing, like Unix) integrates the OS with the UI and identifies these
two things in the mind of the consumer (like identifying a pretty girl with
a brand of razor blades).

The UI can make it easy for a biologist to **operate** the software. Unix
makes it easier to configure, scale, and adapt the software. VMS might make
it easier for the nodes to perform at their maximum.

For the biologist to get the best results, we want him to be effective, and
we want the compute nodes to be effective, and the budget to be effective.
Making the UI easy for the users is not the only or biggest component of the
OS decision.

I'm sure Matlab runs on MSWin, but I'm also sure that all of them, from
FORTRAN to MAXSYMA to Maple to whatever y'all are inventing in your labs
right now, run on Unix. That's where all these things were and are
invented...including the "Windows" UI technology (which MIT named XWindows
in honor of Xerox) itself.


On 4/8/07, Joe Landman <landman at scalableinformatics.com> wrote:
> C.f. http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6174266.html ... especially
> quoting the eminently quotable RGB.
> Obviously Microsoft declares victory, or at least success.  What
> marketing organization would admit failure (and keep their jobs)?
> What I would like to see is evidence of uptake.  Real numbers, not
> marketing numbers.  Our take has always been that we would support it if
> our customers asked us for it.  We have proactively asked customers
> about it, and have not had interest expressed in it.  From windows shops.
> --
> 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  : +1 734 786 8452 or +1 866 888 3112
> cell : +1 734 612 4615
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