Monday, June 21, 2004

Super computers & 1 terabyte hard drives

I find it very interesting that 250 GIGABYTE hard drives have come out. We are just 5 years away from 1 Terabyte 1,024,000 Mega Bytes. Microsoft is developing a Windows environment, codenamed Longhorn, that’ll be compatible with 1 terabyte hard drives. One terabyte is only done in IBM labs. IBM has the world’s finest microprocessor / storage research and development (R&D) facility located here in the United States. In 1999, IBM helped make CPU for the Nintendo Gamecube called the “Gecko”, and now the company making a super-processor for both Playstation 3 called the “CELL”, and Microsoft Xenon. IBM also makes high density hard drives for the US Government’s super computers, and NASA’s space shuttle(s). The term most computer users use called multi-tasking (aka - running more than one program at the same time) has a more technical term called “parallelism”. For more information on super computers read this article, http://wawa.essortment.com/supercomputersw_ppk.htm. A super computer can theatrically process all the calculations from data feedback of a space shuttle mission for an example. The term “pipelining” is primary used in the gaming industry to describe graphic data, and polygon ratios in today’s GPUs (graphic processing units). Remember GPU wasn’t a computer term before 1999 (before it was only called video card), and the first video card to use ‘GPU’ to categorize it was the 16-MB Nvidia Geforce 256. Remember way back in late 1999 and 2000. I personally like to use gigaflops, and polygons more than pipelining. A gigaflop is a billion floating point operations per second. These terms make more sense to me. To get back on topic, this new hard drive technology is a combined effort between IBM and Seagate from what I hear on Google News. These companies developed this new platter (the rotating disc in the hard drive) called HAMR. HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) can start storing data beginning from one terabyte way up to 400 terabytes. http://www.seagate.com/cda/newsinfo/newsroom/releases/article/0,1121,1503,00.html So we’ll see this technology for another 20 years until year 2024, maybe longer. I don’t know but I’m perfectly happy with 120 Gigabytes of hard drive space, thinking of buying another 120 GB or 160 GB external hard drive before too long. Right now, my computer is using 45.6 Gigabytes and that’s with DIVX movies saved on it. Without the DIVX movies I would have 40 Gigabytes of hard drive space used. That’s with everything I use which includes 14 PC Games installed:

My DELL XPS gigabytes usage with 111 GB total hard drive space

• Unreal Tournament 2004 = 5.52 GB
• Unreal Tournament = 1.4 GB
• Anarchy Online with expansions = 1.5 GB
• Need for Speed Underground = 1.26 GB
• Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction = 1.3 GB
• Call of Duty = 1.17 GB
• Dungeon Siege – 1.1 GB
• Metal of Honor Allied Assault /w Spearhead = 1.2 GB
• Far Cry = 3 GB
• Knights of the Old Republic = 3.5 GB
• Star Trek Elite Force II = 1.8 GB
• Diablo Hellfire = 650 MB
• America’s Army v2.1 = 1.8 GB
• Counter-Strike 1.6 = 800 MB

Game Data = 25.9 GB = 57%
MP3 collection = 8.85 GB = 19%
DivX movies = 5.33 GB = 12 %
MISC = 3.9 GB = 9%
Windows XP Pro = 1.8 GB = 3%
Total = 45.6 GB



As you see above I haven’t filled up ½ of my hard drive yet. I am perfectly happy with what I have now. Tigerdirect.com sells a Fantom 250 GB external hard drive. One site said that if I read a book for every day of my life for 30 years – I would accumulate 30 GB worth of text or 1 GB per year. Is he sure, because I’ve been writing a Modblog, and I haven’t even come to a MB yet? This also depends on how many pages are in the book. I’ve been writing in this blog for just over 6 months, and this site has accumulated 420 KB of text. I know this because I read the Properties of my saved backup entry file I downloaded from Modblog.com. This is great - I think I’m going to publish a book in 3 years called, “My Life” by Ian C. This book would be 360 pages long, three times it is now. I’ll explain how big this actually is in the easiest terms. If someone saves one page of a Microsoft Word document in ANSI or text, it would approximately be 3.5 KB. In this blog, I wrote about 120 Microsoft Word document pages of text so far if all the text was saved in TXT file, which it is.

To get back to the subject super computers, I first heard about them in the movie, Jurassic Park, where the Bio-engineering scientists use super computers to extract Dinosaur DNA strains onto blueprints. DNA strains takes days to sort out ya know? I watched “Forensic Files” on Court TV saying that scientists are using super computers to search for the stars for ET, and others want to use them to “decode” a human brain DNA strain. In 12th grade as part as Science class, my school used a heating device, and color dye to show the DNA of a carrot nuclei on paper. If the bars lined up with each other vertically than that carrot was apart of the same family of carrots. Unfortunately my carrot rotted, and fungus grew on it after being sealed away in an air tight vacuumed bag.

History of Hard drives

• 1956 – IBM made a 5 Megabyte hard drive size: refrigerator
• 1987 – Apple introduces a 40 MB hard drive for $4400
• 1987 – IBM introduces first 40 MB hard drive for about the same price
• 1996 – My first computer, a Compaq Presario, had a 3.5 Gigabyte hard drive in it.
• 1997 – 10 Gigabyte hard drives become available.
• 1999 – My second computer, also a Compaq had a 20 Gigabytes hard drives become available which the most for a consumer at that time.
• 2000 – 40 and 60 GB Gigabyte hard drives become available.
• 2001 – Apple introduces a 20 GB MP3 player and portable hard drive called the iPOD about the size of your fist for 400 dollars
• 2001 – 120 Gigabytes Ultra-ATA hard drives become available.
• 2002 – 160 and 180 Gigabyte Ultra-ATA hard drives become available
• 2002 – Apple releases their 40 gigabyte iPod
• 2003 – 200 GB Ultra-ATA and SCSI hard drives become available
• 2004 – 250 GB Ultra-ATA and SCSI hard drives become available
• 2004 – 400 GB Ultra-ATA and SCSI hard drives become available for a large sum of money.
• 2004 – Apple releases their 80 gigabyte iPod

“WINFS” News alert!!!

Microsoft plans to develop Windows for super computers. I thought Microsoft already had an X86 platform (operating system) for super computers. Apparently Windows XP can’t partition itself onto a super computer’s massive hard drives. Just think about it for a minute... Super computers can probably carry 500 gigabytes or 1 terabyte of data. From my knowledge, NTFS can’t handle any hard drive space more than 200 Gigabytes. This new operating system has been called Windows Server HPC Edition. There would have to an awful lot of Windows XP partitions on a super computer like 5. Windows Server HPC Edition may have the new improved WINFS, which will partition more space at once still being as stable as NTFS. I haven’t thought about it this way. Super computers primary run a UNIX operating system. Sun Microsystems makes a Unix OS called Solaris 10.0, and that is their main backbone for server, and java applications which has support for super computers with absolutely huge hard drives, not only one, but probably 10 of them hooked up to one super computer. 200GBx10=2 terabytes. From the looks of it, NASA has 50 of them linked together on one single-mode fiber extended star topology with satellite transmission capability. Yes, I can tell all of that from a little screenshot. Think of how much space, and bandwidth that would be? I am really surprised I saw a screenshot off Google Images of these super computers. They look like servers because they are servers. 100 servers running the same program can act as one server capable of massive bandwidth. There might be 10 64-bit Intel processors in those, huge machines. NEC and IBM also make 64-bit processors. NEC’s Earth Simulator has an 8 GHz processor with 4 terabytes of RAM! I know my computer is as powerful as the 1990’s world’s most powerful super computer. I know the consumer will have 8 GHz computers soon, but why the heck would someone need 4 terabytes of RAM? I only need 1/400th that to run my computer, and still be lightning fast in UT2004. I heard somewhere that if you knew where the super computers exact location and hacked into one, the FBI would find you and shoot you. I don’t know if that’s true or not.

Today I’ve trying to play Metal Gear Solid - The Twin Snakes again without success. I had the cheat codes on and I got pass the door by stealth. I rather use my hand gun and kill those guys. The Gamecube version has Metal Gear Solid, and Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty in the same game, and includes extra content to help connect the two together. This was about 3 ½ hours. Then I logged into battlenet, and played Diablo 2 from 12:30 to 3:40PM. I leveled up my character, chatted with other players and talked about what the best weapons / armor is in the game. I asked some online Diablo 2 players when Diablo 3 is suppose to be released without success. I play without the map hack from Mouse Pad. Open battlenet is where everyone hacks their characters so that’s not as fun. I tried it out and there are a lot of high level characters on their servers. And everyone wants to duel each other when their vitality is 99999999999999999999. That's not exactly legitable. At least no one makes a game trainer compatible with the 1.10 patch unless their hacked character was used in the v1.09 era of Diablo 2. I know they all use Shadow Master D2 character editor because I had a chance to ask a few of them. The easiest thing to say in times like these is saying, "Can you help me hack my character?" And some of them will tell you how they did theirs. I own the latest version of Shadow Master 0.87 which hacks .d2 files. I only use it when Bob comes over when we need a high level character fast. I don’t like my stats maxed out because that takes all the fun out of the game, plus the game strangely fights back, and raises enemy stats 100 fold. Dad brought home a 20 pack of DVDRs for me. I thanked him for those. I plan to compress more movies into DIVX, and save them on DVD. When my parents get a new DVD player, I’ll ask for one that can play DIVX movies. These DVD players are labeled with the DivX logo on the front, and they are around. The advantage of them is watching the DIVX movies I obtain from my cousin, David, and the ones I encode myself.


Top 5 Super Computer manufactures [http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-22_11-5241800.html]

IBM = 44.8 %
Hewlett-Packard = 28.0%
Silicon Graphics = 4.8 %
Sun Microsystems = 3.0%
User-built = 2.8 %
Cray = 2.6 %
Dell = 2.6%
Other = 8.9%

Most Powerful Super Computers (updated this month )
1. NEC's Earth Simulator
2. California Digital's Thunder at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
3. Hewlett-Packard's ASCI Q at Los Alamos National Laboratory
4. IBM's Blue Gene/L DD1 prototype at the Thomas Watson Research Center
5. Dell's Tungsten at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications
6. Two IBM Power4-based clusters at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts' High Performance Computing Facility
7. Fujitsu's Super Combined Cluster at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, also known as Riken
8. IBM's Blue Gene/L DD2 prototype at the Thomas Watson Research Center
9. HP's Itanium-based cluster at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
10. Dawning's 4000A at Shanghai Supercomputer Center

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