Seymour Cray - a genius , a wizard , a true star !

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Faust
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Seymour Cray - a genius , a wizard , a true star !

Post by Faust » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:57 am

Not nearly enough credit is given to this quiet genius .

Almost every project he was involved with became the most powerful computer of it's time , starting in the sixties ,
from the CDC 6600 to the Cray-1 , Cray Y-MP and finally the Cray-4 .
He more or less invented and built the practical super-computer .

At the time 1 GHz clock speeds were thought to be technically impossible but he did it ,
although the machines cost tens of millions !
It's strange to compare that now with the latest Raspberry Pi which has a quad core 1.4 GHz ARM processor ,
and costs 40 bucks !

IBM never had a chance of competing because they failed to understand key concepts that were obvious to Cray .
Dealing with imprecise interrupts , shortest possible physical paths for data , and state-of-the-art cooling ,
and he pioneered vector processing where everyone else had failed .
On top of that , he realized sooner than anyone else that implementing a RISC system was vital to reducing cpu load .

He wasn't very keen on management interference .
So much so that he moved his research facility as far away as possible , while still being in the same state as the CDC HQ .

Some memorable quotes from the great man :-

"Anyone can build a fast CPU. The trick is to build a fast system."

It's interesting that he never really accepted the concept of parallel processing -
"If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use: two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?"

And when told that Apple had bought a Cray machine for their future design projects ,
he replied that he had "... just bought a Macintosh to design the next Cray "

Then a car crash tragically ended his life .

All of his hardware looked so futuristic and outstandingly cool ; like tech from another galaxy !
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" And so it goes " - Kurt Vonnegut
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Flemur
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Re: Seymour Cray - a genius , a wizard , a true star !

Post by Flemur » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:51 pm

"Today, all 500 of the world's top 500 supercomputers are running Linux."
https://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-tot ... computers/

This is the current fastest one:

https://www.olcf.ornl.gov/olcf-resource ... ms/summit/
Specifications and Features

Processor: IBM POWER9™
GPUs: NVIDIA Volta
Nodes: 4,608
Node Performance: 42TF
Memory/node: 512GB DDR4 + 96GB HBM2
NV Memory/node: 1600GB
Total System Memory: >10PB DDR4 + HBM + Non-volatile
Interconnect Topology: Mellanox EDR 100G InfiniBand, Non-blocking Fat Tree
Peak Power Consumption: 13MW
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 18.3 Xfce/fluxbox/pulse-less
Xubuntu 17.10/fluxbox/pulse-less

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jimallyn
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Re: Seymour Cray - a genius , a wizard , a true star !

Post by jimallyn » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:48 am

I am somehow related to Seymour Cray. I used to know exactly what the relationship was, but I can't remember anymore. Third cousin, or something. Should have hit him up for a good used supercomputer: "Hey, cousin Seymour, you got any old supercomputers laying around that you don't need anymore?"
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catweazel
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Re: Seymour Cray - a genius , a wizard , a true star !

Post by catweazel » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:57 am

jimallyn wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:48 am
I am somehow related to Seymour Cray. I used to know exactly what the relationship was, but I can't remember anymore. Third cousin, or something. Should have hit him up for a good used supercomputer: "Hey, cousin Seymour, you got any old supercomputers laying around that you don't need anymore?"
Well, seeing as we're now big-noting ourselves, my grandfather invented the toothpaste tube :) and I'm a direct descendant of William the Conqueror and other famous and infamous kings and queens of England and Scotland :mrgreen:
Last edited by catweazel on Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seymour Cray - a genius , a wizard , a true star !

Post by jimallyn » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:59 am

catweazel wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:57 am
Well, seeing as we're now big-noting ourselves, my grandfather invented the toothpaste tube :)
Well, I hope he patented it!
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Re: Seymour Cray - a genius , a wizard , a true star !

Post by catweazel » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:00 am

jimallyn wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:59 am
catweazel wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:57 am
Well, seeing as we're now big-noting ourselves, my grandfather invented the toothpaste tube :)
Well, I hope he patented it!
He got 3000 English pounds for the invention. Back in his day, that set him up for life.
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

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Re: Seymour Cray - a genius , a wizard , a true star !

Post by Portreve » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:11 pm

My dad used to work as an electronics technician for NASA in the 60s and 70s, retiring when they did the big reduction-in-force in 1981/2.

He loved electronics, and used to come up with all kinds of his own circuitry. When he would execute a design, you could compare it to a factory-built device and not be able to tell which was which. At least I know where I get some of my own personal standards of how things ought to be from. (Thanks, dad!)

In the 1970s, he decided to try his hand at inventing, and created a water-tight, bouyant flashlight design which functioned as a standard flashlight or would blink S-O-S. Had it all patented, US Coast Guard certified, etc. He did both deck-mounted and hand-held versions.

Unfortunately, it never went anywhere because another company got wind of it and stole the design, built their own, flooded the market, and then when my dad tried to do something, they simply withdrew the product, and that was that.
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