MachFive: fast and smart

Can he sue for name theft? QT3 Lawyers, do we hear the ka-ching ka-ching of a settlement?

Not a lawyer, but I think products need to be similar in order to be considered for trademark infringement.

I wonder if this qualifies:

I wish people would stop believing that a beowulf cluster is a supercomputer.

Eh? How is it not a supercomputer? I’d imagine if it wasn’t doing the job, there wouldn’t be all these government agencies and universities buying them.

Not that it can’t do the job, but, well…

This is a supercomputer.

This is a supercomputer.[/quote]

I’m going to break my normal rule and debate semantics. “Supercomputer” did originally refer to mainframe computers, because those were the only powerful computers when the term was coined. Now that the big computing power is found in the clusters, those are the supercomputers. The language has evolved, and the dictionaries are out of date.

The Top 500 supercomputer list is chock full of clusters. I’d imagine the people preparing it, who include the University of Manheim. the University of Tenessee, and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, would probably notice if they were using the wrong term. If that many academics think that clusters can be supercomputers then I’m not going to argue with them.

But doesn’t it strike you as odd to call some thing “a supercomputer” when in reality, it’s just a thousand regular computers?

I just find it fascinating that the first Cray 1 was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1976 installed for $8.8 million dollars and could do a record-breaking 133 million floating-point operations per second, or 133 MFLOPS.

Today, your average low-end $500 computer can do well over 1800 MFLOPS.

Why would it? Those clusters are acting as part of one machine in order to complete the same task you would give any other supercomputer.

Supercomputers have almost always been a bunch of little computers. It’s just that until recently, the little computers all lived in the same box. Now they don’t. Big whoop.