Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Settling into the med

Here in the mediterranean things work differently. 1230 means 1245. Cell phone use is tollerated everywhere (classrooms, in the middle of conversations). Lunch lasts 2 hours. The lager is 4 %. Schedules exits, but are flexible.

Television is particularly interesting: Israeli politcs talk shows are a jumble of arguments (which I cant understand). There is no moderator and the panel members interrupt eachother every few seconds. He with the loudest voice and most ferocious tone wins the debate. The stations I get on my little cable box are a mix of turkish soaps, egyptian game shows and expat channels. ESPN shows rodeo. Eurosport airs drag racing. The premiership is viewed as the ultimate in football: English commentators can be heard in the background, behind the russian ones (why dont they just mute the english?) while subtitles in Hebrew line the screen.

Despite being here for all of 4 days, my boss has already enlisted my support in drafting a grant proposal. Although this appears to be a minor task, I'm sure it will actually be quite tough seening as I have no experience in the subject. I still have not aquired a bonafide email address, but that may equally be due to my nostalgia rather than IT incompetance. Although perhaps it is also a reminder that here things work slower. What amazes me is the resourcefullness of the israelis. They have turned a barren wasteland into a fruitful country with little help from the outside world. Since it is harder to obtain high performance computing here, they manage by writing smart algorithms to solve the problems they are interested in. Whereas my lakadasical coding style was acceptable when I had 512 processors to use, here I must be much more efficient. This in itself will be a challenge.


Blogger Mark Norris said...

You mean you won't just be logging into the ICC on the sly like everyone else?

Isreal sounds nice, if a bit unusual. Keep up the posts. With the pictures if you can.

5:56 PM

Blogger Rob said...

A very perceptive comment, Mark. I believe you have busted Noam [click].

Ok, so I think we can let Noam off with 3 cpus, but this evidence (bang up to date too) does demonstrate that 60% of users running on COSMA right now are no longer based in Durham. And that's assuming that the whole 160 cpus assigned to simulate are indeed Craig and not one of the myriad others who have, at some point, had sneaky access to that account.

Not that I'm saying we should kick people off, Lord knows I'll need to do this at some point...

9:55 PM

Blogger CMB said...

I can indeed verify that all of the simulate nodes are me.

Still of the five users on cosma right now, only two of them are actually at Durham (simulate and tt)

11:40 PM

Blogger CMB said...

Just realized that internals do make up 80% of the current usage, so the "outsiders" aren't getting too out of hand :)

11:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:21 AM


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