[Beowulf] Roadrunner shutdown

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon Apr 8 15:46:33 PDT 2013

Throwing money is encouraged, but it just improves the quality of the product, not the speed of delivery, at least in the short run.
(Mythical Man-month, 9 women making a baby in a month, etc.)

  If we DO throw sufficient money, then we might fill the pipeline and encourage people to do HPC rather than iOS apps or node.js code for social networking sites.  Sadly, the social networking people seem to have a bigger revenue stream and it makes hiring those HPC folks hard.  

As to why you are not being rewarded with millions of dollars?  That's simple: It's because you are working, not investing.  Increased returns go to those who invest in increasing productivity, perhaps by paying the wages of workers who make that possible.  There are also better and worse places to invest for a given return.  In general, investing in things the government needs (nuclear reaction simulation, exploring Mars, etc.) will result in a low but steady return. Investing in things that consumers want (e.g. tulips with unusual coloring) will result in a high, but volatile return. 

Jim Lux

-----Original Message-----
From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Hearns, John
Sent: Friday, April 05, 2013 10:08 AM
To: beowulf at beowulf.org
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Roadrunner shutdown

> I would think that the problem is more that you can easily stamp out 
> another 1000 processors than another 10 software developers.  HPC 
> developers are the scarce commodity, and just throwing money at it 
> doesn't solve the problem.

Brother Jim, as a card-carrying member of the Union of HPC Wranglers and the Confraternity of Supercomputer Mavens, as a comrade I ask you not to make statements like this.

Indeed, I shall be reporting you to the JPL chapter of said Union.

Any further talk of NOT throwing money at HPC experts is not to be tolerated.
Indeed, I can cope with oodles of money being thrown at me and I can solve lots of problems!

Seriously though - if skills like ours are that rare, and can save lots of computer resources, why in a capitalist (running dog) society are we not being rewarded with millions of $$$ ??

Brother John Hearns
Shop Steward, Union of HPC Wranglers
Motto - "One CPU out, All CPUs out"

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