[Beowulf] commercial clusters

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Fri Sep 29 14:08:28 PDT 2006

Jim Lux wrote:
> Having spent a fair amount of time working in a notoriously shallow
> industry where people are more than willing to spend much more than they
> have to "look like a winner", I'd be willing to bet a substantial sum of
> money that chess playing ability isn't even in the top 100 list of
> attributes, much less ownership of a machine with chess playing ability.
> In many, many cases, ownership of these things is more a matter of
> "conspicuous consumption" and is driven more by the purchase price,
> rather than the actual performance. We could go into lots of details why
> people conspicuously consume (demonstrating desirability or suitability
> for mating/pairing seems to be one plausible scenario).
> However, just as with perception of value of a fast chess computer, the
> number of people who would evaluate the owner of such a device, vis a
> vis, "partnering possibilities" is sufficiently small that it doesn't
> constitute a market big enough to justify the development. You do see
> fast cars in tabloid journals, but not many fast computers.
> However, *marketing* is the whole art of making people desire something
> they don't really need, eh?  So there is hope.  If you're not interested
> in world domination, but just making money for yourself, then you can
> sell a very small number of very expensive widgets.  Who knows, maybe
> Warren Buffett, George Soros, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates will all
> get together over drinks on Paul Allen's yacht and talk trash: "my chess
> computer can whip the pants off your radio telescope or personal
> spaceship".  I just wouldn't start planning on taking out ads in
> Architectural Digest just yet.
> By the way, my current job at JPL is hardly the notoriously shallow
> industry I refer to above.  If you're curious, you can google for the
> answers.
> 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

After googling...

April 1985-July 1985
Natasha's Models, Barcelona Spain

My envy level just went skyward.

Certainly, there are niche industries where people are willing to make
insane expenditures for dubious gains (think audio). These markets are
for sure minimal, and often not very profitable, unless there's some
sort of scam going on.

Geoffrey D. Jacobs

Go to the Chinese Restaurant,
Order the Special

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