[Beowulf] Why We Need a Supercomputer on the Moon

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.com.pl
Mon Oct 15 16:09:28 PDT 2012


On Tue, 2 Oct 2012, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:

[...]
> IN any case, a few years back, I did a design for a >100Mbps link back
> from Jupiter, and there was nothing particularly bold or unobtainium about
> it, except the dollar cost and the electrical power requirement.

Cool. It would be nice to have kind of live transmission from next probe 
somewhere there. All those Jupiter ascents and descents, watched from a 
"window inside a monitor". Almost like being there, minus pesky AI trying 
to freeze me out of the ship and stupid####### benevolent aliens trying to 
lure me into journey to nowhere...

> >Space Odyssey,? says Chang?s course supervisor Madhu Thangavelu, of USC?s
> >Viterbi School of Engineering.
> 
> 
> With choral works by Ligeti playing in the background?

Yeah, I can bet they plan to send a chorus there, too.

Those guys talk like this is a five year long project, after which all is 
set and running. But in reality, especially nowadays-like reality 
(including budget constraints and lack of political will), I guess the 
shortest time to have it is more like 30 years. If all goes well.

BTW, I think I never have been a big fan of sending supercomp up there. At 
least not after I learned that space is nasty place to live without good 
shielding. I guess this haven't changed recently? Also, CPUs being sent 
there are actually special radiation-hardened versions AFAIK, and I think 
much more pressure is put on their reliability than speed. So they are not 
quite good as supercomp building blocks and average PC is no good when 
being zapped by ultrafast particles every few minutes or exposed to CMEs 
from the Sun...

BTW2, maintaining this behemoth would be a (logistical) nightmare if it 
ever got built. I mean, it is ok to send people to the Moon and live in a 
permament base for purposes other than taking care of poor man's copy of 
Google computing container, full of hardware designed in tech process 
generations behind the newest one (thick paths last longer)...

BTW3, I love(d) the story of maintaining/debugging Deep Space remotely:

http://www.flownet.com/gat/jpl-lisp.html

Just my random thoughts on the subject. Will be happy to be corrected by 
someone.

Regards,
Tomasz Rola

--
** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **


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