Tag Archives: computers

The Grid is coming

The fine folks at CERN- the European physics research center where the WWW was born- seem to have a sense of humor.  They are calling their new super-duper network the grid.  Seems right out of cyberpunk imagination.  At least its not called the matrix.

Coming soon: superfast internet – Times Online
That network, in effect a parallel internet, is now built, using fibre optic cables that run from Cern to 11 centres in the United States, Canada, the Far East, Europe and around the world.

This strikes me as a fine example  of all the associated and indirect benefits form basic research funding.  Something that private corporate research would never invest in.   According to one FAQ from a British university, the total cost is something like $6 billion.  Total.

Compare that to the $374 million/day for the Iraq war. That is about a billion every three days.  In less than a month in Iraq, we will have spent more than the Europeans are on their new basic research tool.  What madness and folly is this?

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Filed under innovation, Networks, technology

Computer thoughts

So, I get to request a new machine this summer.  This is the first time I am at the front of the line (due to my employment status).  As I have become more of a power user due to necessity of work, I am much more sensitive to the kind of machine I use.

BU will probably get a Latitude D83o 0r D630 according to my inside source.  Looking over the sites, I noticed that there seem to be some concerns about the screen width on the 630.  The 830 may not have an optical drive?

But there are other concerns.

– Is a tablet a good technology for me?  I need to really use it before I can decide and that may be tricky.  (Also, does BU min specs include smae level of graphics for a tablet?)

– Is a mac and then use parallel software (or whatever that is called) to run network analysis software.  I think network stuff is the only PC specific software I need.  Do any network researchers use macs?  Can I ask socnet?

– Do I need extra video graphics for Second Life or future video editing (for students, for qualitative data).  I think I will move more into students doing video or multimedia work.

– Do I need a second Monitor for my office to show things to students and/or for more screen real estate for writing or for larger network mapping.

– What is the best desk configuration for me?  Does that include a docking station? Since I actually don’t type properly, I prefer to have screen and hands nearby so I can glance back and forth easier.  Also, For a tall guy, I find I like to sit high up and right on top of my machine.  Probably terrible, ergonometry.  (word?)

– It looks like I can request software above and beyond standard package.  Oh really…  Should I ask for different network software so I can see what is best for me and for students?   That might include NetMiner, UCINET/Pajek, and InFlowWhat else is out there? Like this high end software: http://www.tomsawyer.com/home/index.php

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Filed under Computer add ins, Networks, Research, Social Networks

Catching up

Just kvetching.  Snow caused two and a half days of lost work over the last week.  But it was fun to be with kids.  On Saturday, after being cooped all day Friday due to awful slushy weather (no good for sledding), the lil’ ones went outside to wait for me and I came out and saw them pulling each other down a muddy, slushy slope laughing their heads off.  The kids are all right.

Then, yesterday, my work computer broke.  That is like the fifth HD and third machine in two years.  Ridiculous.   I have been a VAP at BU [Visiting assistant Prof] which is part of reason I get hand-me-downs.  We’ll see about data recovery.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Super duper duper Tuesday is   tomorrow, and that is just distracting.

Especially since I found this video inspiring:

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Filed under Computer add ins, life, Politics, Power, Activism