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Comment: Automation (Score 1) 80

by EdMcMan (#45558815) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Scientific Computing Workflow For the Cloud?

As others have pointed out, deploying EC2 instances automatically is fairly easy using the well-documented EC2 APIs.

The difficult part about distributed computing is synchronizing the work between available instances. For this, you might want to look at RabbitMQ or other queueing servers. One way to do this would be to have one thread (on your computer) generating problem instances, while you spawn spot instances on EC2 as desired, which consume the work and report the results. I suspect you could accomplish something similar using Hadoop/MapReduce.

Comment: Math for computer science (Score 1) 466

by EdMcMan (#30671392) Attached to: Which Math For Programmers?

The second class will not be very useful to you. I've heard this rumor propagated time and again, and no one can ever give me a convincing argument why such a class would be useful, other than for graphics and numeric computation.

The first class would be much more useful. Algorithms is the more or less the study of the math of programming. If you are seriously considering programming, you should learn this topic in great detail. Judging by the number of topics covered, I am assuming this is a lower-level course. You should definitely take at least one low-level computer science theory course!

One other area you may want to look at is logic -- look for Dijkstra's book "A Discipline of Programming".

Comment: Cool, but not useful (Score 1) 135

by EdMcMan (#28826989) Attached to: Bacterial Computer Solves Hamiltonian Path Problem

First, this is pretty cool. Enough said about that.

Unfortunately, I don't think this will be useful for solving NP-complete problems. For those of you who don't know much about algorithms, NP-complete problems are hard to solve because they become much harder as you make the problem "bigger". It is perfectly possible for problems to be solvable in a reasonable amount of time for small problem sizes, like n=3 that the authors of this article solved.

The paper explains that because bacteria can multiply exponentially, they can multiply until they have enough nodes to solve the problem. Well, there's a problem with that thinking. Bacteria, like computers, need resources. Presumably, if you double the bacteria's food/resources, you will not find an exponential growth in the number of bacteria that can be sustained. If this is true, then there is certainly a problem size that will make using bacteria intractable, which negates the benefits of using bacteria.

FreeBSD 6.1 Released 227

Posted by Zonk
from the get-it-while-its-hot dept.
nbritton writes "FreeBSD 6.1 has been released! This release is the next step in the development of the 6.X branch, delivering several performance improvements, many bugfixes, and a few new features. Of note are the major improvements to the filesystem and SATA code, possibly making FreeBSD the number one choice for SATA RAID implementations. For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the release notes, errata list, Bittorrent Downloads, Mirrors, Hardware Notes, and Installation Guide."

Software Engineers Ranked Best Job in America 471

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the here-comes-the-paycut dept.
fistfullast33l writes "CNNMoney and Salary.com have ranked the title of Software Engineer the best job in America. Computer IT Analyst also ranks 7th on the list, placing both technology positions in the top 10. From the article: "Designing, developing and testing computer programs requires some pretty advanced math skills and creative problem-solving ability. If you've got them, though, you can work and live where you want: Telecommuting is quickly becoming widespread.""

Ifolder Server Review 98

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the know-when-to-ifold-em dept.
liquidat writes "I wanted to have a look at the new Open Source ifolder-server and additionally at ifolder in general. ifolder is mainly supported by Novell, and Novell advertises it's Suse Linux, so I downloaded a Suse-VMware image, installed the vmware player and gave it a try. After I installed the needed software it worked pretty well and gave me a quite good impression of what ifolder is about."
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Journal: Moderation Definitions

Journal by EdMcMan

I am growing increasingly annoyed with people not knowing how to moderate. Likewise, appearently a number of people can't meta-moderate either, because the stupid moderators are still being allowed to moderate. And thus, I present definitions of the "big words" that stupid moderators appearently don't understand.

Flamebait:

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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