Morning Grind #10

August 19, 2005

Networking, Technology

From the heartland, here are your morning bits and bytes…

  1. I am now fully immersed in the most recent grid computing initiatives. I ran a couple of work units for the Folding@Homefolks at Stanford. This is a very cool project that is performing distributed calculations to determine protein folding characteristics associated with key protein sequences. The folks at Standford are looking at solving sequences associated with key diseases – such as Alzheimer’s disease. The project is worth your consideration. But for me, I will not be spending a lot of cycles on this project. Simply put, the computing engine is one-dimensional. That is, it supports this one project. Consequently, I am focusing more attention (and resources) on the more generalized computing frameworks. I currently am running both the World Community Grid and the BOINC framework.The World Community Grid is a project sponsored by IBM and United Devices. It is a generalized grid framework which can be used for a variety of scientific tasks. Currently, it supports just one task: the analysis of human proteome folding. This project differs from Folding@Home in that the Human Proteome project is focusing on the science of protein folding and not the assessment of specific diseases.

    As noted previously, I am really excited about the BOINC framework. First, it is generalized tool that can be used for any number of projects. Second, it has more than one project in flight at this time. Third, some of these projects are immensely interesting to me. In particular, I love the fact that SETI@Home is running on the same framework that the modelers of the CERN LHC are using. Further, the WYP (World Year of Physics) team is using this framework for its Einstein@Home project. Einstein@Home is being used to interpret laser interferometry data in an effort to detect gravitational waves.

  2. I forgot just how geeky I am. As noted above, I am fascinated by the LHC and what it will mean in our efforts to understand our universe. And I have used “LHC” as a Technorati tag. By looking at the results of that tag, I found a whole bunch of links to bright (and quirky) young minds. One link pointed me to a website where atomic decay models are compared to dating models. The most frightening part about seeing this link is that I understood what this young man meant!
  3. Broadband convergence is great – and it’s hell as well. Cindy and I have one provider for cable television, broadband internet access and VOIP. The convergence is great because I have one bill. And it will be great when converged features start to emerge (e.g., interactive TV linked to broadband, callerid on the TV, etc). But it is hellacious when we have a cable outage. This morning, a series of thunderstorms took out the cable head-end in the neighborhood. Consequently, we lost voice, data and video. Of course, my heart was pumping and my kidneys still cleaned my blood. But my wife and kids almost seemed forlorn at the challenges. I should have told them to think of it as urban camping. Oh well. Things are back to normal. And I’ll have to think about how we can minimize the impact of these kinds of events.
  4. My son amazes me – and frightens me. He really likes hard rock. And he likes seventies music. Last night, we listened to some Eric Clapton (Cream) and some Jimi Hendirx. My sone really likes Jimi. And he likes Van Halen as well. It was really odd listening to Van Halen’s “Dream” with my teenage son as I remember seeing the video when I was a teenager. Wow! I’m getting older (and grayer). But it is great to talk with your kids about insanely simple stuff. Sometimes, we get too wrapped up in the urgent/important stuff that we forget about simple and “unimportant” things. I hope that my son will think of me as someone he can approach whether the issue is cataclysmic or commonplace.
  5. There are still some problems with current Deer Park nightlies and Blogger. Today, the items under MG#10-1 were poorly aligned (i.e., they didn’t flow around the embedded graphics). I’m sure it will be fixed soon. I love working with nightly builds. You see the development process in all its amazing beauty. 😉

That’s all for now. It’s off to meetings for me.




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