Table of Contents

Computing

Super computers

After a super computer? The current models available are:

  1. Cray Research Technology - Raw Scale-able power -Primarily used by Government and Military Research, and rumoured to be the back end of the Echelon global wiretap network. They will sell to anyone with a big enough cheque - assuming you can get past the front door to reception. You just keep slotting boards in to scale to the processing level you require for your project. Cracking 128 bit RSA keys in 10 minutes would likely be about 20 - 30 boards. Most Echelon nodes run in excess of 100 - 300+ boards. Feel secure now?
  2. Starbridge Systems - Hyper Computer PC cards utilising a programmable CPU system using a propriety language called VIVA which you can learn the basics of via emulators, and training and materials available on their website. Primarily used by education and private research. With systems priced under 10million and the ability to set a CPU to a highly specialised role giving comparable performance (for a single given task) to crays its the budget option for budding megalomaniacs. You just don't get the raw Cray parallel multitasking power unless you own several.
  3. IBM - Bigblue - IBM still has mainframes, which although technically super computers, would probably be classed more as super-bandwidth redundant multitasking machines - for education and research where lots of data needs to move safely between points without much extra processing, needing automatic backup these are ideal.

SATA

General notes about SATA -

  1. Is it hot swap-able
    1. Yes and no -
      1. (No) For the sake of sanity and compatibility most people run IDE emulation of one sort or another, which is not hot swappable. In theory it wont PHYSICALLY hurt the disk to plug/unplug under power but it will likely crash the host OS.
      2. (Yes) In the case of full AHCI mode (which despite being the current HardDisk standard, often still requires a driver at windows installation time stupidly enough) so long as the drive is not the primary OS drive, and it is not used for temp files, swap files, or restore points, and has no open file handles or locks (ie any OS /NOT/ Windows) it should be totally hot swappable so long as you tell the host OS to refresh the AHCI.
  2. How do I get AHCI to work? When booting windows it just stops/crashes/refuses to see or recognise HD/etc
    1. If you are not reinstalling fresh, and for whatever reason the machine suddenly seems incapable of booting (eg, you ran a repair or some other similar OS level fix/replace of files) or if you are reinstalling fresh and windows just refuses to recognise the existence of any HD, and you don't have the “SATA driver disk” jump into your bios/cmos (refer to your PC power on screen or manual for the appropriate key, usually F1 or DEL) and either fully turn off AHCI, or switch it to IDE compatibility/emulation mode.
    2. This should allow the system to boot/install - at this point you should install all windows updates and optional drivers. If you still want AHCI support at this point you will need to locate a windows installation of the AHCI/Mass storage drivers from your mainboard manufacturer, then reboot and turn ACHI back to Native (or on at all) mode.
  3. Do I Need AHCI mode?
    1. If you are running solid state and you are a speed Nazi, yes
    2. If you want to get the most out of a RAID configuration, Maybe
    3. If you plan to hot swap, yes
    4. For everyone else, who just browse, type and casually game, no not really, the performance gain is less than most people would casually notice since it is mainly the nuts and bolts of disk read/write efficiency behind the scenes that are improved upon.
 
computing.txt · Last modified: 2011/12/01 00:17 by admin
 
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