ARSC T3E Users' Newsletter 160, January 22, 1999

ARSC Hardware Upgrades

ARSC will soon add 168 PEs to yukon, ARSC's T3E, for a total of 272 PEs (and a full cabinet).

In addition, disk space on both Yukon and Chilkoot will be increased to slightly over 500GB for each system and the configuration optimized.

This work is scheduled for February, making the upgrade available to users by March 1.

Lecture at ARSC: Trends and Challenges In HPC: Bill Buzbee

Trends and Challenges In High Performance Computing 2:00 - 3:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 2, 1999: 109 Butrovich

High performance computing and communication technologies continue to merge and to advance at rapid rates. We will begin with a review of the role simulation plays in the conduct of science and, in particular, the value of "capability" computing, i.e. the ability to solve problems that are otherwise intractable.

Then we will overview some trends and challenges in high performance computer architecture (Is there a cluster in your future?), in data storage requirements (It's just one data migration after another!), and opportunities to enhance scientific collaboration via advances in communication technology.

Subtopics will include performance models of highly parallel systems, selected performance measurement activities, e.g. Linpac and Parkbench, the cost of large clusters and affordable alternatives (if any), the need for long-term high-capacity data storage systems to support observational science, high performance computing, and the information age in general, the potential of low-cost high-bandwidth networks, gigahertz desktop/laptop systems, and visualization technology to help the scientist deal with voluminous and complex datasets. We will also discuss Peter Drucker's four information revolutions in human history and associated impacts on society, e.g. education, health, government, etc.

The Speaker: Bill Buzbee

From 1987 - 1998, Dr. Bill Buzbee was the Director of the Scientific Computing Division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. The Scientific Computing Division provides the atmospheric and oceanic sciences community with a reliable, high-performance, productive supercomputing environment for the development and execution of large numerical simulations, and for the archiving and manipulation of large datasets.

Lectures at ARSC: Technology and Education: Susan Hoban

Emerging Technologies for Remote and Local Education 2 pm Thursday, Jan. 28, 1999: 109 Butrovich

Ongoing advances in networking, computer hardware and applications software are providing new tools for educators and students to explore new avenues for formal and life-long learning. Emerging technologies are offering new flexibility with the potential to diminish traditional barriers of distance, skill level and cultural diversity. Students, teachers and pre-service education are three strategic areas where Internet and educational technologies may be applied. Several pertinent examples will be discussed in each of these areas. To stimulate discussion, the current funding climate will be outlined and a possible strategic approach to educational technology for Alaska will be suggested.

Internet Resources for Teachers and Students 2 pm Friday, Jan 29, 1999: Wood Center Conference Room C

Emerging technologies may be applied to several areas in an educational environment: the infrastructure, student activities and teacher resources. Various options are available for basic communications infrastructure for an educational institution, offering varying levels of connectivity and bandwidth. A few recent advances in networking solutions will be discussed. Several successful examples of Internet-based student activities will be presented. A resource guide for teachers will also be outlined. Finally, a detailed outline of current funding opportunities for the implementation of emerging educational technologies will be discussed.

The Speaker: Susan Hoban

Ms Hoban is Associate Research Scientist at the University of Maryland and Acting Associate Director, USRA Center of Excellence in Space Data and Information Science at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She is a member of the Government Resources Advisory Panel for the 21st Century Teachers Network and liaison to the Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise and the Space Science Enterprise for the NASA Learning Technologies Project.

QSUB over-simplified

An alert reader pointed out an incorrect assertion in the last newsletter (see: "Specifying Number Of Processors"). Our hope was to simplify things for new users, but we may have over-done it.

Here's his comment:

All qsub scripts have two parts: commands for NQS and command for the
shell.  With regard to the number of PEs, first you request them from
NQS and then you request them from mpprun.
> This is not strictly necessary. If all you want to is to run your
> application with the exact same number of PE's as specified with -l
> mpp_p= you can read your setting into the job script with for
> instance:
> NPES=$(limit 
 sed -n 5p)
> and then run with
> mpprun -n $NPES something ...
> assuming a POSIX compatible Bourne shell, which of course everybody
> should use for shell programming.... :-)
> By rereading the PE limit rather than duplicating it you eliminate a
> frequent source of errors, changing one place and forgetting the other. 

Quick-Tip Q & A

A:{{ To SecurID Card veterans:  any advice?  For instance, how do you
   carry your card (without destroying it) so it's not at work when you
   need it at home or vice versa? }}

  Thanks go to two readers:
    Here at NRL-SSC we have to carry an identification badge and these
    are usually placed in a clear plastic sleeve.  I simply got an
    extra plastic sleeve and carry my SecurID card in it along with my


    I keep all three of my secure password cards in my day planner.  It
    goes everywhere I go.  Only problem now is that it looks like I may
    be getting a 4th card and I'm out of space in my day planner.

  Editor's Note:
    Extreme temperatures give SecurID Cards a nasty code.

    We've already had one card failure.  We're not sure of the
    temperature and duration parameters but don't leave your card in
    your car, overnight, outside, in Fairbanks, in January!  (Of
    course, that wouldn't be good security practice, anyway.)

Q: Imagine... You've saved all issues of the T3E Newsletter as separate
   files in a single directory.  You want to generate a list of all
   articles, by issue, in a format similar to this:

        ARSC T3E Users' Newsletter Number 119  05/16/1997
          ** Yukon /tmp Purging Begins Next Week **
          ** T3E Adaptive Routing and 'shmem_fence' **
          ** CUG Spring '97 Report **
        ARSC T3E Users' Newsletter Number 120  05/30/1997
          ** Purging of T3E core/mppcore files **
          ** Handling Premature PE Exits on T3D/E **

        [ ... etc ... ]

  As you know, the basic format of the newsletter doesn't change much.
  Can you give a simple Unix command to produce such a list?

[ Answers, questions, and tips graciously accepted. ]

Current Editors:
Ed Kornkven ARSC HPC Specialist ph: 907-450-8669
Kate Hedstrom ARSC Oceanographic Specialist ph: 907-450-8678
Arctic Region Supercomputing Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756020
Fairbanks AK 99775-6020
E-mail Subscriptions: Archives:
    Back issues of the ASCII e-mail edition of the ARSC T3D/T3E/HPC Users' Newsletter are available by request. Please contact the editors.
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