[Beowulf] top 100

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Fri Sep 29 17:20:28 PDT 2006

Actually if you are going to ask a top 100 list of "want to haves",
of course a new car at #1 in my personal list (though it is questionable
whether that 50k euro that a reasonable car costs here whether i ever
earn that in my life, so probably this will top my list for another 40 
then you'll find very high in that list the desire for a new and especially 
game computer.

Which is exactly my point.

Some are prepared to spend more than others for that.

If you'll realize that Sony sold 100 million units PS2, you start to slowly
understand what i mean. That in a time that pc definitely was faster than 

The next PS3 will blow out of the water every pc in terms of graphics 
performance and
cpu speed of course.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim Lux" <James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov>
To: "Vincent Diepeveen" <diep at xs4all.nl>; "Robert G. Brown" 
<rgb at phy.duke.edu>
Cc: "Geoff Jacobs" <gdjacobs at gmail.com>; <beowulf at beowulf.org>; "Angel 
Dimitrov" <stormlaboratory at yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 10:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] commercial clusters

> At 02:36 PM 9/29/2006, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>>In reality that isn't the case.
>>People just want to see whose car is better, not whether they can outrun 
>>the car.
>>Additional they want to analyze their own running (most important feature) 
>>in the most objective manner possible, or they want to compete with it in 
>>a 300 KM/h contest.
>>To look like a winner, people are prepared to pay any price.
> The thing here is that "look like a winner"... the evaluation is NOT in 
> the eye of the buyer of the thing (be it chess computer, fast car, or arm 
> candy) it's in the eye of the viewer.
> 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

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