2011 January 19

Part of the 365 Days project.

Full moon at precisely 21:21.
Nikon D70 – Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 @ f/6.7 1/250s
Very, very, heavily cropped!

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2011 January 17

Part of the 365 Days project.

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This is a high-performance computer cluster consisting of eight separate computers, or “nodes”. Each computer uses two dual-core CPUs giving 2 x 2 cores x 8 nodes = 32 processors in total. Each node has 4 GB of RAM and shared access to over 1.5TB of hard disk space in a RAID5 configuration giving one-drive fault tolerance.

The backbone of the cluster, and what sets it apart from eight individual computers, is the freely available open-source TORQUE/MAUI scheduling and job management system. Users submit jobs to the job-queue and work gets sent around the different nodes so that processing takes place in parallel.

Each node runs an almost identical copy of Fedora Core 6 Linux which was released in 2006. Since it is very old it’s about time we upgraded it to Fedora 14. Since large amounts of configuration has already been done, we don’t really want to install the OS from scratch. But you can’t upgrade directly from FC6 to F14 – intermediate steps are required. Hopefully I can upgrade one node, and then clone the disk to all the other nodes. This should be fun. It’s probably going to take all week.

2011 January 16

Part of the 365 Days project.

Peanut-butter Jelly Time! Peanut-butter Jelly Time! I’m informed that apparently a peanut-butter and strawberry-jelly sandwich is very nice. I’ve had some proper American strawberry-jelly in the cupboard now for ages but I’ve never got around it trying it … so here goes …

It was okay. Not convinced it was better than just a peanut-butter sandwich on it’s own. I can’t imagine actually having it for lunch … it’s more like dessert.

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2011 January 15

Part of the 365 Days project.

Nothing Great is Easy! Saw this memorial while grabbing geocache GC2JX6G near Telford.

Captain Matthew Webb was born in Dawley, 1848 January 19, in a house which formerly occupied a site a few yards from the memorial. In addition to feats of life saving, he was the first recorded person to swim the English Channel without the use of artificial aids, and finally lost his life in an attempt to swim the Niagara rapids on 1883 July 24.

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2011 January 13

Part of the 365 Days project.

This is real time data from one of our research group’s solar telescopes. This one is in Carnarvon, Western Australia. It’s broken. The red line isn’t supposed to be flat like that. Guess I’d better book some tickets and go fix it …

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2011 January 12

Part of the 365 Days project.

Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology at Warwick University. An entertaining talk at “Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub”!

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