Archive for March, 2005

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Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

… and people say that Macs are no good for serious stuff! Well, eat this!

Virginia Tech gained international honors for building the fastest supercomputer at any academic institution in the world. And they did it using Power Mac G5s. From that milestone, Virginia Tech has moved ahead again with System X, a new cluster using 1,100 Xserve G5s.

Ranking seventh in the Top 500 list of the world’s most powerful computer systems, System X was built at a fifth of the cost of the second-least expensive system in the top 10.

“When we built the first supercomputer from Power Mac G5s, we proved that a radically-different communications technology could be used to create a large-scale computing platform,” says Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan, director of the university’s Terascale Computing Facility and the system’s lead designer.

“We’re recognized for knowing how to build these terascale computing machines and with very good price performance. But the measure of the facility is the kind of science it produces.”

… and did someone say that Macs are only used for graphics and video???

Computational Science Applications at Virginia Tech

Molecular modeling
Numerical algorithms and software for mathematics
Quantum chemistry
Molecular static and dynamics
Computational geophysics
Biophysics
Computational fluid dynamics
Air quality simulations
Computational biology
Plasma and gas physics
Weather prediction

Read the whole article: http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/vatech2/

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Saturday, March 26th, 2005

Anonymous asks: “Vaisy what you think is the best way to keep your workers motivated and have a low employee turnover?… keeping in mind you are a struggling company with bright future but can’t pay big money for the time being…. any bright idea?”

There is no formula answer for motivating workers. The first thing is to not view them as workers – rather as partners who are going to help you achieve that “bright future.

Ask yourself, everyday, if you still believe in the dream. Sell the vision to your team and push them to tap into the energy source that powers you and your passion.

Stretch your pennies. Look for young, excited, turned on kids who maybe aren’t even through college yet – give them a chance to work with you and become part of something huge.

While growing up, the general refrain one heard was that in order to be successful, all you need to do is work hard and be honest. Well, luck and timing are also absolute essentials and are phenomena that you can’t control. So, you have to be tough as nails and keep plugging away until you think you’ve got to where you wanted to be.

It’s very important also, to define “success” and “failure”. Our society has a very narrow view of failure and success is measured by your bank balance and the car you drive. This is the biggest crock of shit ever. Of course, money puts bread on the table and the car gets you from Point A to Point B but what really matters, is the clarity of your vision, the quality of your work, the integrity with which you conduct transactions, the chances that you give others to grow, how you respond to a crisis situation, etc. Doing all this costs money and if it diminishes your bank balance and sets you back another couple of years from being in the black, do it. Don’t take the easy way out and just do something boring, dishonest, and BLAH, because you can’t figure out where next month’s salaries will come from. Entrepreneurship is not easy – nothing will be handed to you on a platter. But, the ecstacy you will feel when a client says, “WOW, that looks great” will make the pain worthwhile.

Your core values should drive everything you do and you have got to make Employee # 1 through 5 at least, believe in those values. Make them understand that you folks are in this together and that the going will get tough and everyone should be ready to face the highs and lows together. When you achieve something, share the credit with everyone. Make people feel valuable.

I hope this doesn’t sound like esoteric bullshit – just sharing my own experiences.

Just testing e-mail2blog

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Just testing the e-mail2blog facility. If this works, it’s pretty neat-o!

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Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

It’s 12:58 am. Want to go home. Will need to be back at work in a few hours anyway. Have started reading Nudist on the Late Shift again. Feel mono-syllabic. Realize I have said this before, many, many, many times, but really, Windows is truly awful. Practically got hypnotized watching a colleague install IIS on a laptop. Alert Sound, Error Message, Enter, Alert Sound, Error Message, Enter, Run, Alert Sound, Shit, Enter, Run, Error Message, Kiya Museebat Hai!, Alert Sound, Error Message, Run, Laanat Ho, Enter, Dialog Box, PING, TING, ZING, DUH, CAN YOU PLEASE HIT THE MUTE BUTTON!!!!!!!!

Wish we could get a Dual Apple Xserve G5. What a beauty!

And please don’t miss what we are actually stuck with!

People who think Macs are expensive, which they aren’t anymore, have not figured out how much peace of mind is worth. Am dreaming of strawberries and icecream. Need to renew my passport but can’t figure out when I can waste an entire day at Awami Markaz. Moan, groan, bleah – nothing in this landscape is changing.

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Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

A typically George Carlin(ish) takeoff on a famous Shaw quote:

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that crap!!
;-)

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Sunday, March 20th, 2005

Keith Haring, a 1980s New York based graffiti and visual artist, said, “The best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint. I’d like to pretend that I’ve never seen anything, never read anything, never heard anything – and then make something.”

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Saturday, March 19th, 2005

As part of a series to celebrate its 75th anniversary, Fortune magazine, in its latest issue, presents “The Best Advice I Ever Got” – 27 or so luminaries talk about the people who most influenced their business lives.

Here’s what Peter Drucker had to say – he’s 95!!!!!!!

Get good – or get out.

“The most important instruction I received was when I was just 20 and three weeks into my first real job as a foreign affairs and business editor of the large-circulation afternoon paper in Frankfurt. I brought my first two editorials to the editor-in-chief, a German. He took one look at them and threw them back at me saying, ‘They are no good at all.’ After I’d been on the job for three weeks, he called me in and said, ‘Drucker, if you don’t improve radically in the next three weeks, you’d better look for another job.’

For me, that was the right treatment. He did not try to mentor me. The idea would have been considered absurd. The idea of mentoring was post-World War II. In those days (before World War II), you were hired to do your job, and if you didn’t do it, you were out. It was very simple.”

Hmmmm. All this mentoring and nurturing that we do these days for kids who think it’s their birth right to be molly-coddled … wonder if it isn’t time to go back to the basics and remind people that they get paid to do their jobs and the very least they can do is get it right.

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Friday, March 18th, 2005

One Hour To Madness And Joy
Excerpt from a poem by Walt Whitman

O something unprov’d! something in a trance!
O madness amorous! O trembling!
O to escape utterly from others’ anchors and holds!
To drive free! to love free! to dash reckless and dangerous!
To court destruction with taunts – with invitations!
To ascend – to leap to the heavens of the love indicated to me!
To rise thither with my inebriate Soul!
To be lost, if it must be so!
To feed the remainder of life with one hour of fulness and freedom!
With one brief hour of madness and joy.

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Friday, March 18th, 2005

A few days ago, everything went right. We had a hat-trick of approvals all in one day and I was deliriously happy! Bought a tub of bubble mixture to celebrate. Bubble blowing is a low maintenance, high impact methodology to bring about instant pleasure and peace. All you need is Rs. 10 and a few minutes.

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Thursday, March 17th, 2005

Switched the Squawkbox commenting system to Blogger’s thinggy today. Pooey. Obviously lost all my old comments and am not altogether thrilled with this new deal. Squawkbox was definitely dodgy and creaky but, but, but, whatever …