Showing posts from 2015

The Spark Notebook from creator Kate Matsudaira

I received my Spark Notebook. What is the Spark Notebook, you may ask.
The Spark Notebook combines form and function. The Spark Notebook project raised funding on Kickstarter too.

The way I see it, the Spark Notebook is an agenda (a 6-month agenda) with additional features. These features include (from the guide) the yearly planning pages, accomplishments, the monthly planning pages, the weekly planning pages, the inspiration pages, and the note pages. The monthly planning pages include something called the 30-day challenge. According to creator Kate Matsudaira, the 30-day challenge feature is useful to help start (or break) a habit.

The Spark Notebook comes with a guide. On this website, some of the text is white with a background image which makes it hard to read. For example, consider the screenshot below.

How did I learn about the existence of the Spark Notebook ?

One of my hobbies consists in watching videos on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) YouTube channel. I like these videos be…

The convergence of HPC and cloud computing

An exascale computer is an imaginary system that can sustain one exaflops (10^18 floating point operations per second.) Such an object is needed in science and engineering, mostly for simulating virtual versions of objects found in the real world, such as proteins, planes, and cities. Important requirements for such a computer are 1) memory bandwidth, 2) floating point operation throughput, 3) low network latency, and so on.

2 of the many challenges for possibly having exascale supercomputers by 2020 are 1) improving fault-tolerance and 2) lowering energy consumption. (see "No Exascale for You!" An Interview with Berkeley Lab's Horst Simon).

One typical solution to implement fault tolerance in HPC is the use of the checkpoint/restart cycle whereas in most cloud technologies fault tolerance is instead implemented using different principles/abstractions such as load balancing and replication (see the CAP theorem). The checkpoint/restart can not work at the exa scale because …