[Beowulf] For grins...India

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Dec 10 05:37:54 PST 2008

On Wed, 10 Dec 2008, Dan.Kidger at quadrics.com wrote:

> And I am sure Iceland would find it much easier to do the machine room
> cooling than say Spain or the Southern USA

Or the same people that are bringing you e-paper in e-book readers and
superphones will figure out how to spray a processor core, a GB of sram,
and a GB of nvram onto a piece of vinyl the size of a postage stamp that
is powered by the spray-on-solar cell that is sprayed on top of it, and
your kilonode supercomputer will become your desktop, literally, as long
as you don't cover it all with papers so ambient light can't power it or
spill your coffee on it.

In the meantime, the advent of the overdue ice age will a) put a whole
lot of climatologists out of business, but don't worry, the ones that
aren't actually lynched will move on to get important work in public
relations or cleaning roadsides wearing lovely orange jumpers or working
in the coal-from-ground extraction industry in the forlorn hope that
somehow getting enough CO_2 into the air will actually delay the
inevitable progress of planetary orbits in interaction with the solar
cycle; b) make the idea of a nice, warm desktop computer very attractive
once again.  DEC/Compaq/HP (which by then will have been take over by
Toshiba) will trot out a new release of the Alpha and we will once again
have a small computer that is entirely capable of heating a standard

Iceland will become distinctly unfavorable real estate as it is once
again covered with glaciers -- DEEP glaciers.  Of course, so will
Europe, most of North Asia and Canada down to roughly Ohio.  The world
will wistfully discover that global warming was actually rather a lovely
dream, and that being warm, wet and fertile is GOOD even at the expense
of some coastline where having 1/3 of the planet's surface, including
most of its wheat growing regions, covered in permafrost is really,
really bad.  Bad.  Did I mention that it won't be good?

North Carolina, of course, will thrive, with a climate roughly like that
of Nova Scotia today, and we'll do our best to accomodate all of you
yankees reading this to tend our farms and bring us our mint juleps to

Just remember, you heard it here first.  I estimate a roughly one in a
hundred chance of the current low in the solar cycle triggering the next
(expected) Maunder minimum perhaps by altering the thermohaline
circulation that is some five or size orders of magnitude more important
a global climate determiner than any greenhouse gas (with water a
similar number of orders of magnitude more important than mere CO_2)
into deep freeze mode.  In any event, out here at 10,000+ years of
interglacial (the second longest in the last ten) our ass is definitely
hanging over the abyss and we may even live to see the fall.

So cooling clusters may not be that much of a problem very, very soon.


> Daniel
> -----Original Message-----
> From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of stephen mulcahy
> Sent: 10 December 2008 08:21
> To: Vincent Diepeveen
> Cc: Beowulf Mailing List; Robert G. Brown
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] For grins...India
> Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>> Maybe some decades from now all power per flop wasting supercomputers
>> will be located in India.
>> In the long run, they're the only ones on the planet who can afford the
>> energy real cheap,
>> and supercomputers usually burn a lot more power per gflop than they
>> should, power6 up to factor 10.
> Iceland have energy literally pumping out of the ground - if they can
> sort out their connectivity to the US and Europe I think they'll quickly
> become the data centre to the world. Okay, they have some minor issues
> with seismic activity to deal with but you can't win em all.
> -stephen
> --
> Stephen Mulcahy       Applepie Solutions Ltd.      http://www.aplpi.com
> Registered in Ireland, no. 289353 (5 Woodlands Avenue, Renmore, Galway)
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Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
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Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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