[Beowulf] Wired article about Go machine

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Mar 25 20:55:37 PDT 2009

On Wed, 25 Mar 2009, Geoffrey Jacobs wrote:

>       Bad paid and simple work. Not so long ago i saw 'em still use at
>       one
>       bank OS-2 from IBM as client :)
> Bank employees use what they're told to use. No exceptions.

Not only are they told what to do -- in banks in particular, they cannot
make ANY CHANGE in ANY COMPUTER SYSTEM associated with the actual
banking process without going through an extensive and expensive
auditing and certification process.  Banks are locked down tighter than
a drum.  As they should be, although the lockdown IIRC interferes with
anything like a normal update stream, as all updates have to be tested
and certified.  Banks tend to stick with systems on a decadal time
scale, because when I say expensive I mean expensive, like six month
long periods of testing and six more months of training, that kind of
thing.  It's not like running out to the store and getting a box with
the latest version of Vista Ultimate and slapping it inside your bank's
trusted financial network.

> No. Please stop. A processor like a Celeron 600 will run OpenOffice easily
> on Fedora/Mandrake/Ubuntu.  The same processor will run wonderfully using
> something lightweight like XFCE. It was a little slow, but I used to run
> OpenOffice 2 on a 266Mhz IBM laptop. Not recommended for XP and Office.

OO is a bit bloated -- I seem to recall 300 MB+ of rpms in the last
round -- but hey, WYSIWYG integrated office tools are the very
DEFINITION of bloat so it is really no surprise.  You want non-bloat,
stop using word processors or integrated office suites altogether and
stick with jove.  Small.  Tight.  Fast.

The essential tool of rgbots.

OO to my experience generally runs just fine ONCE IT LOADS on just about
any linux box with 512 MB or more of memory (where memory is important
-- ooffice beats out even the bloat of firefox in VSZ, although firefox
has a much larger RSS), and yeah, on older systems it can take a while
to load.

On my current-gen laptop, it's downright peppy, though, usually, and its
RSS is under 100 MB (the relatively few times I have to use it) which I
guess is better than being over 100 MB.  Sort of.

But it isn't really a problem.  I'm more interested in trying to figure
out why 32 bit Centos under 64 bit VMware on a dual core 4 GB laptop is
really, really slow while it boots and for a short while afterwards,
then speeds up until it runs almost normally.

I'm guessing it's either a memory management problem or a 32/64 bit
problem.  Interestingly, 64 bit vmware workstation wouldn't let me
install 64 bit centos on my 64 bit laptop.  The 32 bit version works
fine, but it may be causing my split processor to have a severe identity
crisis as the code mix percolates through it.


Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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