Current_Issue.tar.gz - Sometimes, Fast Just Isn't Enough
When I first started using computers, “High-Performance Computing” basically meant how fast a person could type. People were considered high performance if they could type faster than the IBM electric typewriter could smack out the letters. In fact, if you haven't seen a race between a person on a manual typewriter versus a person on an IBM Selectric “golfball” typewriter, you haven't lived.
Times quickly changed, however, and now instead of counting characters per second, we use terms like petaflops. Although arguably more funny to verbalize, petaflops don't really measure the same thing as characters per second. In an abstract notion, however, they both measure “how much stuff” a piece of hardware can churn out. This issue is thankfully dedicated to high-performance computing, not high-speed typing. If I pitched an issue focusing on the IBM Selectric typewriter, I have a sneaking suspicion it would be my last issue as Associate Editor.
Our writers came through this month and, indeed, focused on high-performance computing. In fact, James Gray takes us to the headquarters of the Roadrunner supercomputer. It's not exactly the type of system most people can build in their bedrooms, but a fascinating look at some real horsepower. If such setups seem too “pie in the sky” for you, fear not. We have a bunch of other articles that you can dig right into.
You can supercharge your programming by using CUDA and leveraging some of the GPU processor time to bend to your will. Robert Farber explains how. Or, perhaps you'd rather take advantage of your high-performance operating system and replace your hardware RAID setup with a Linux-powered software RAID system. Will Reese shows the advantages of doing such a thing, along with instructions on how to do it.
There's a lot to be said for writing good code, however. Often, if the code is good, even a regular desktop machine can act like a high-performance beast. Reuven Lerner provides a big roundup of books that is sure to help along the way to some high-performance code. A word of warning, however; you may need to buy another bookshelf.
What if you're just a Linux desktop user like me? Well, we didn't leave you out. Marcel Gagné shows you how to streamline your blogging habits by utilizing the new microblogging services out there. Twitter? Identi.ca? Jisko? Yep, plus more. Marcel explains how to make microblogging as efficient and effective as possible, and these days, high-performance blogging is 140 characters or less.
If you hate the whole Twitter concept, fear not. Kyle Rankin shows how to streamline your desktop experience with Compiz. I'm suspicious that Kyle just wanted to prove Compiz was a legitimate addition to a business desktop, when, in fact, he just likes wiggly windows. He, of course, would deny any such thing. Check out his column, and see what you think.
Can a person be a high-performance device in the Open Source world? If so, Cory Doctorow would be a supercomputer when it comes to open standards and free information. This month, we have an interview with a man on the front line fighting against DRM. As you can imagine, he has some kind words to say about Linux. You won't want to miss it.
Just like every other month, we have our regular cast of columns, reviews and tech tips. Whether you're looking for information on installing and securing Samba or you're interested in solving programming tasks with Python, this issue will be one you'll want to read from cover to cover. As for me, I think I'm going to go dig out that old IBM Selectric and see if I can still type faster than it can print. For some reason, I suspect I might not be as awesome as I remember (but I am hot—www.linuxjournal.com/content/extra-shawn-powers-hot).
Shawn Powers is the Associate Editor for Linux Journal. He's also the Gadget Guy for LinuxJournal.com, and he has an interesting collection of vintage Garfield coffee mugs. Don't let his silly hairdo fool you, he's a pretty ordinary guy and can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. Or, swing by the #linuxjournal IRC channel on Freenode.net.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide