[Beowulf] Re: bonic projects on a cluster

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Mar 21 16:52:41 PDT 2008

At 03:37 PM 3/21/2008, Robert G. Brown wrote:
   And at
>this point the question is moot because you'd have to be crazy to buy a
>CRT >>over<< a flatpanel when you have to replace a monitor -- the
>differential marginal cost at my payoff rate of $50-$60/year will pay
>for the difference in a very short time, and CRTs eat desktop, weigh a
>ton, and are full of lead

But what if you wanted to use the CRTs as shielding, saving you money 
on shielding that x-ray source you're testing. Or you needed the mass 
of the CRTs to hold your desk down in a seismic event. Or, you live 
in a cold climate, and the CRT is being used as " workspace heat source".

There's also the carbon footprint of you (or some vendor) shlepping 
those CRTs off to the dump, the cost of hazmat disposal of the CRT, 
and then the carbon footprint and cost of bringing the new flatpanel 
display home, etc.

One really does have to consider these other "system" issues...

(That's what I tell my wife about why I still have all those big CRT 
monitors out in the garage... they're providing radiation shielding)

>(where yes, the flatpanels have mercury and
>both have arsenic so it is a matter of choosing your toxin).  Overall
>the environmental kindness of flatpanels beats that of CRTs, I would

In terms of toxin content of your output display device, I might 
point out that an ASR33 teletype (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASR33) 
uses rolls of inexpensive newsprint type paper (preferred by beat 
poets! no interrupting the stream of consciousness with switching 
pages as you create), produced from a renewable resource (trees) and 
can be recycled after use, either as fuel or feedstock to make more 
teletype paper.  They also draw almost no power when not actually 
typing (assuming you have the autostart for the motor turned 
on).  Not much persistent toxic stuff in a teletype, just good old 
19th century mechanical components made of steel, grease, 
etc.  Nobody worries about fireproofing the housing either with 
brominated compounds.. they're made of steel as well.  If you were to 
use one of those newfangled LA36 DECwriters or my own favorite, the 
TI 820KSR, which could print at a blistering 150cps, you're into the 
plastic case era (although probably not fireproof, but certainly lots 
of chlorinated hydrocarbons involved in the manufacture) (Why, yes, I 
have one of those in the garage too, the TI810, without keyboard, 
also providing shielding from radiation)

If you feel compelled to have computer generated graphs, plotters 
also use paper as their output media, and one could make the ink from 
oak galls, squid, etc., which is a quite sustainable source.

Just how much output do you really need to know that the answer is 42 
(or 41 or 43)?

Spend those precious joules on computation, not eye candy.


More information about the Beowulf mailing list