[Beowulf] Lustre Upgrades

Lux, Jim (337K) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Jul 27 10:52:10 PDT 2018

If you need more pictures of the early JPL cluster computers, using acoustic and optical interconnects, let me know.. They’ve recently reorganized the photo archives here, and it’s a lot easier to find stuff (like pictures of the foundation of the building my office is in, from the 1950s, when they were digging it)

There’s also a story from Feynman of a pipelined compute chain using EAM equipment (EAM – Electric Accounting Machinery – readers, sorters, punches, programmed with plugboards) and human computers. You might be able to find pictures, but since the whole project was classified, it’s less likely – the pictures probably declassified 50 years later, but that doesn’t mean someone has spent the time and money to put them online anywhere.

Jim Lux
(818)354-2075 (office)
(818)395-2714 (cell)

From: John Hearns [mailto:hearnsj at googlemail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2018 6:17 AM
To: Lux, Jim (337K) <james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov>
Cc: Beowulf Mailing List <Beowulf at beowulf.org>
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Lustre Upgrades

Jim, thankyou for that link. It is quite helpful! I have a poster accepted for the Julia Conference in two weeks time.
My proposal is to discuss computers just like that - on the Manhattan project etc. Then to show how Julia can easily be used to solve the equation for critical mass from the Los Alamos Primer.
I havent done a damn thing for the poster yet.. ooops.
I am also arranging a visit to Bletchley Park at the end of the conference.
JuliaCon is sold out but I am sure you can watch the presentations http://juliacon.org/2018/

On Fri, 27 Jul 2018 at 15:06, Lux, Jim (337K) <james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov<mailto:james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov>> wrote:
William Henry Dana – “Two Years Before the Mast” – An excellent book describing what it was like to be a sailor in the days just before steam, there’s plenty of climbing the rigging in a sleet storm, while trying to round Cape Horn. – but when they got to California, the weather was a lot nicer.  Dana later went on to be a lawyer fighting for sailor’s rights.

Silicon valley wasn’t very developed when Dana was doing his shipboard duties, and there weren’t any disk drives at the time.

They *did*, however, have parallel cluster computing – rooms full of computers grinding out navigation tables.  And I suppose they were commodity computers, using commodity interconnects (of the day), so could they fairly be called a Beowulf.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/06/the-women-behind-the-jet-propulsion-laboratory/482847/ describes a 1953 version of the same.

From: Beowulf <beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org<mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org>> on behalf of "beowulf at beowulf.org<mailto:beowulf at beowulf.org>" <Beowulf at beowulf.org<mailto:Beowulf at beowulf.org>>
Reply-To: John Hearns <hearnsj at googlemail.com<mailto:hearnsj at googlemail.com>>
Date: Friday, July 27, 2018 at 1:03 AM
To: Jörg Saßmannshausen <sassy-work at sassy.formativ.net<mailto:sassy-work at sassy.formativ.net>>
Cc: "beowulf at beowulf.org<mailto:beowulf at beowulf.org>" <Beowulf at beowulf.org<mailto:Beowulf at beowulf.org>>
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Lustre Upgrades

Jörg,  then the days of the Tea Clipper Races should be revived. We have just the ship for it already. Powered by green energy, and built in Scotland of course.

Just fill her hold with hard drives and set sail. Aaar me hearties.
I can just see HPC types being made to climb the rigging in a gale...

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