Researchers at University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering unveiled a new, yet-unnamed prototype computer that brings parallel processing to the desktop, increasing computing speeds up to 100-fold. The prototype, developed by Professor Uzi Vishkin and his team of Maryland Terrapins, utilizes a license-plate-sized circuit board mounted with 64 parallel processors. Further, Vishkin et al. developed the parallel-computer organization that allows the 64 processors to work together and make programming practical and intuitive for software developers. Although parallel processing has long been common in the supercomputing space, its application to desktop systems has been challenging due to programming complexities. However, the Vishkin team has made it possible via its novel single-chip parallel-processing technology. Future devices may include 1,000 processors on a single chip. Vishkin invites the public to name his technology, with a $500 cash prize going to the winner.
The power requirements in today's datacenter have sparked innovations like Server Technology's new Sentry Modular Cabinet Power Distribution Unit (CDU), a family of modular solutions that enable simple, targeted distribution of 3-phase power. Sentry CDUs take a 3-phase feed-in and distribute single-phase power to any point in the cabinet. A single in-feed of 3-phase 208V 30/60A or 400V 32A can provide from 10.8 to 22.2kW of power. For greater densities or for redundancy, dual in-feeds can be provided with two modular units linked together under one IP address, providing anywhere from 21.6 to 44.4kW of power. IP access and security include Web interface, SSL, SSH, Telnet, SNMP, FTP, SNTP, Syslog, LDAP, LDAPS, TACACS+ and serial RS-232 access.
Want to explore your inner Leonardo da Vinci? Then, pick up O'Reilly Media's new book Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think, a compilation of thought-provoking essays that illuminate the artistry involved in crafting software. Edited by Andy Oram and Greg Wilson, Beautiful Code presents wide-ranging contributions from 38 pioneering software designers who aim to “rouse and inspire a new generation of coders” by sharing their most closely held secrets. For example, contributor Ronald Mak expounds on his elegant approach to NASA's Mars Rover, and Arun Mehta focuses on the importance of making technology useful to the disabled. Editors Oram and Wilson call the essays from such gifted inventors “inspiring and even uplifting”. All royalties from Beautiful Code will be donated to Amnesty International.
We at LJ relish the torrent of ports to Linux, and we extend a warm welcome to a new arrival, Paradigma Software's Valentina Community Server 3.1 (VCS). VCS is a free and reportedly “very fast” Linux-based SQL database server whose kernel architecture is built for speed and can be optimized to allow “fewer and much smaller tables compared to other servers”, says Paradigma. In addition to standard features, Valentina offers link refactoring commands, improved binary links (over ObjectPtrs) and object-relational design that “doesn't force one into a particular design pattern”. Support for PHP 4.0 and higher is included, and Ruby support is on its way. Mac OS X and Windows versions also are available.
A preview edition (Version 0.9) of CentricCRM's forthcoming Centric Team Elements suite is now available for public consumption. Centric Team Elements is an open-source, Java-based Enterprise 2.0 application—that is, one that unifies Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs and RSS feeds into one unified, relational database-driven application. For instance, a company department can set up wikis and blogs, track project plans and establish RSS feeds with departmental news—and, all information is indexed and searchable. Centric Team Elements also shares the same architecture as CentricCRM, an open-source CRM application, allowing seamless integration with a company's front-office operations. The 1.0 production release is slated for Q3 2007.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal
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