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Comment: Re:Throw the book... maybe literally at him. (Score 1) 220

by manicb (#47205577) Attached to: NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin

Hi, I use research supercomputers. There are rarely many idle cores, as they use queue systems to allow many researchers to simultaneously submit multiple jobs with different requirements. Scheduling software attempts to manage the parallel job sizes to minimise unused nodes. When there are idle cores it is usually for a reason (i.e. running down certain queues at certain times to support certain patterns of use) and it wouldn't be possible to easily squeeze in a little bitcoin crunching.

Comment: Re:Throw the book... maybe literally at him. (Score 1) 220

by manicb (#47205251) Attached to: NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin

I don't buy it, but I do use it. The UK academic supercomputer ARCHER has a handy cost calculator:
http://www.archer.ac.uk/access/au-calculator

150,000 USD is about 90,000 GBP; playing with the numbers here that would buy a non-partner research council about 1200 hours of 3072-core jobs; about 3.7 million core hours on 2.7 GHz 12-core Ivy Bridge CPUs with 64GB of RAM per 2-CPU node. A non-trivial amount of computer time!

Given that this is what would be charged to national and European and academic research projects, and is run by a UK research funding council which will have taken some national funds to set up the facility in the first case, I doubt the pricing is wholly unreasonable. It's a shame the article is not clearer on this point, but the most obvious assumption would be that they are talking about $150k at research council rates. In which case the 'fantasy' is in the form of ignored subsidies to capital costs.

Comment: Re:GoG? (Score 1) 373

by manicb (#46269043) Attached to: Report: Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) Scans Your DNS History

PlayOnLinux also makes it pretty easy, and explicitly supports a lot of GOG installers... Currently enjoying Neverwinter Nights from the GOG Insomnia sale on my Linux music production rig. Still, native versions are nice, and I won't buy a game from them if I have reason to suspect a native version is available.

Comment: Re:Unfortunate Card Naming (Score 1) 142

I happen to like being able to choose a video card based on specs. I can find what I want at the price I want.

The difficulty is in understanding what you want. If I sometimes get choppy performance in a game, does that mean I want faster memory or more memory? If I want good rendering performance in Blender using OpenCL, what is the break-even ratio of core clock speed/core number?

Comment: Not great for audio (Score 1) 129

by manicb (#45075279) Attached to: Milestone: The Millionth UK-Made Raspberry Pi

Mine is idling at the moment; I couldn't get an acceptable audio setup. I wanted it to pair up with one of my synths (Novation X-Station) which has an audio interface, so I could use it for playing long samples, backing tracks etc. Wouldn't have minded if it had just turned out to be too slow or unstable, but I think the problem is a mixture of not enough USB power and general poor linux audio. Ah well, back to my netbook for that application, and it was cheap enough that I don't mind having it kicking around for a rainy day project. Home/SSH file server, perhaps?

Real programs don't eat cache.

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