A site devoted mostly to everything related to Information Technology under the sun - among other things.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Business Intelligence Review

Free subscription to Business Intelligence Review @ http://www.bireview.com/subscribe/index.cfm

Free Wiki Tool

There is a free tool from Wetpaint.com Inc. that helps regular users create wikis.

It eases the process of adding Web links, digital images, digital videos and additional text to sites made with Wetpaint.

Likewise, your site can easily be adjusted and enhanced by anyone who views it.

Check it out!

A $600 Super-computer

You can purchase a Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) for $600, install Linux on it, and get yourself a 200+ Gflop (single-precision) Linux supercomputer.

There is an IBM tutorial for installing Linux on PS3 and for building applications @

Under Linux on the PS3, there are six accessible synergistic processing elements (SPEs) for computation. (A seventh runs in a special mode and is dedicated to aspects of the OS and security, and an eighth is disabled to improve production yields.) Each SPE can run a different program, and the internal communications allows programmers to arrange the data flow in different ways using parallel, pipelined or streamed processing data flow models.

A DMA engine moves data on and off the cell. DMA requires the programmer to manually orchestrate data movement and computation. There will be the need for a lot of programming assembly code to get close to peak performance numbers.

One can run "C" on the SPEs but the performance will degrade; tight loops of "C" will generate around 4 Gflop/s per SPE.

PS3 offers limited memory, as each SPE has only 256-KB RAM for both program and data. Thus, only tight loops can run on each SPE. Performance is poor for double-precision (64-bit), relative to single-precision (32-bit) performance.

A PS3 cell processor can produce around 204 Gflop/s single-precision performance but only 15 Gflop/s double-precision

If we compare the PS3 to a 4-way (dual-socket, dual-core) 2.4 Ghz Opteron with 1 GB of DDR2-667 RAM, using 3 measures:

single-precision floating point performance
the ratio of RAM capacity and floating point performance (GB/GFLOP)
the ratio of RAM bandwidth and floating point performance (GB/s/ Gflop)

we get the follwoing figures:

Figure 1: Peak single-precision floating-point rate comparison.

Figure 2: Assumed “good” "C" performance comparison.

One can see that the PS3 is highly unbalanced and favors single-precision floating-point performance. It is clear that the Cell B.E. architecture is highly specialized for certain types of applications but not others.

More information is available below:

Cell Processors for Scientific Computing @ ww.cs.berkeley.edu/~samw/projects/cell/CF06.pdf
Cell Workshop Slides, LANL @ www.cs.utk.edu/~dongarra/cell2006/cell-slides/04-Ken-Koch.pdf
Graph Exploration Algorithms @ hpc.pnl.gov/people/fabrizio/papers/ipdps07-graphs.pdf
LANL Newsletter, Roadrunner News Announcement @ www.lanl.gov/news/newsletter/091106.pdf
Optimizing Sweep3D @ hpc.pnl.gov/people/fabrizio/papers/ipdps07-sweep3d.pdf
Roadrunner Benchmarks @ www.c3.lanl.gov/pal/software/roadrunner.html

MS Excel Services

MS Excel is pervasive, people understand it, is inexpensive, and it is the repository of choice for massive amounts of enterprise data.

There is a need to supply server-based services to all the individual users of MS Excl in order to increase their productive usage of its capabilities.

To wit, Microsoft has introduced Excel Services delivered via SharePoint.
Learn more about it @ http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointserver/HA101054761033.aspx

With this approach, the enterprise could deliver enhanced, targeted services (say analytics, data mining, data cleansing) to MS Excel users - thus enhancing the efficiency of using Excel Workbooks and Worksheets.

Monday, April 23, 2007

IIS 7.0

The new release of the Internet Information Services 7.0 is available now for Vista (and later for Long Horn) versions of Windows.

It will not be available for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 since there have been changes to the OS Kernel in Vista to support new features of this product.

It can be virtualized and there is more information available @ www.joshholmes.com

Monday, April 16, 2007

From New York to London

Takes 60 seconds to do this and I guarantee you will show it to someone else ( it's too funny not to!).

1. go to www.google.com
2. click on "maps"
3. click on "get directions"
4. type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box)
5. type "London" in the second box (the "to" box)
6. click on "get directions"
7. scroll down to step #23

Thursday, April 12, 2007

When to sell a stock?

A study by Arizona State University finance Professor Crocker Liu & New York University finance Professor David Yermack has found that the bigger the CEO's home is, the worse the company's stock fares. They studied the stock performance of Standard & Poor's 500-stock index firms following home purchases by chief executives.

Investors who short shares of companies after the CEO has moved into a palatial home would reap returns of 29% after one year, and 46% after two years, the study estimates. The authors calculated hypothetical gains based on short sales, a trading strategy in which shares are borrowed and sold in hopes of replacing borrowed shares later at a lower price.

The paper is @ http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=970413

(Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on one of the available sites.)

Free Productivity Software

AbiWord - an MS Word alternative but without macro language support @ http://www.abisource.com/

Launchy - a text-based launcher that only needs the first few letters of the program to launch it @ http://www.launchy.net/

Paint.Net - an alternative to Adobe Photoshop @ http://www.getpaint.net/

WiPeer - a file-sharing program that takes advantages of Wi-Fi radios in wireless notebooks @ http://www.iwipeer.com/

WordWeb - A dictionary and thesaurus @ www.wordweb.info/free

Useful JavaScript Site

This site is created by Douglas Crockford - credited with using JavaScript closure to simulate private member variables for JavaScript objects - @ javascript.crockford.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

International Meetings

You ought to watch this …watch it all, there are 3 parts.

I wonder who would have been more proud: Kafka or the Marx Brothers!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hot Free .Net Tools


This tool is designed to work with Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0. Download this tool @


There is also the open-source AJAX Control Toolkit @


Domain Specific Language Tools

If you are doing any code generation and want to have a designer or design-time interaction, then the DSL tools are for you. Download them as part of the Visual Studio 2005 SDK 3.0 @



This utility enables you to merge multiple .NET assemblies into a single .NET assembly. Download this handy utility @


Einstein's Thesis

An MS PowerPoint presentation of Einstein's Thesis @ physicscourses.okstate.edu/ackerson/EinsteinThesis.ppt

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Global Services Location Index Report

Please find the "Global Services Location Index scores for fifty countries" released by A.T. Kearney @ http://www.atkearney.com/shared_res/pdf/GSLI_2007.pdf

The report notes that although the wage advantage of offshoring locations for office services is expected to last for another 20 ears, it is on the decline as offshore wages for IT, business process, and call center services have risen.

Semantic Brokers

Semantic brokers aid the process of building & maintaining the enterprise message model, in particular, the process of adapting each of the application systems to the model.

A semantic broker contains a semantic model that is a core representation of the shared concepts of the enterprise.

And integrator will use a semantic broker tool set to define mappings from various application systems to the enterprise semantic model.

Examples of such products are:

  • Contivo - which is a design time semantic broker which translates the semantic map built by the integrator into a run-time component - based on the middle-ware and architecture in place.
  • Ontoprise - this is primarily an ontology editor for the B2B market place which has a semantic broker capability as well.

There used to be another product from Unicorn which was bought by IBM in 2006 and was disappeared.

Friday, April 6, 2007

100-Dollar Laptop

This is a project to make available to children in developing countries laptop computers priced at US $ 100.00. The details are @ http://spectrum.ieee.org/print/4985.

I think it was a mistake to have its OS based on Linux - a WIN32 API based OS could have enabled the availability of a much larger selection of software.

Top 10 Tech Cars

Top 10 Tech (Electric) Cars @ http://spectrum.ieee.org/apr07/5012

Free .Net to Java Inter-operability Tool

Grasshopper 2.0 is a free Visual Studio plug-in for porting Web and server .NET applications to J2EE servers.

Grasshopper enables .NET developers to cross-compile Microsoft IL to Java bytecode, using the open source Mono Project's class libraries.

Learn Like A Human

Jeff Hawkins explains his approach to AI and the Numenta software tools @ http://spectrum.ieee.org/apr07/4982

Monday, April 2, 2007

Java Native-Code Compiler

GCJ is a portable, optimizing, ahead-of-time compiler that can compile Java source code to Java bytecode (class files) or directly to native machine code, and Java bytecode to native machine code. Find it @ http://gcc.gnu.org/java/

About Me

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I am a senior software developer working for General Motors Corporation.. I am interested in intelligent computing and scientific computing. I am passionate about computers as enablers for human imagination. The contents of this site are not in any way, shape, or form endorsed, approved, or otherwise authorized by HP, its subsidiaries, or its officers and shareholders.

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