Cray

Found this in a basement of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder Colorado:

cray1a-small

It’s the first Cray that shipped, just sitting there. Seymour hisself prolly helped wire the thing (and oh my, there are a lot of wires).

[I stand corrected, it’s serial number 3. There’s a page about it here.]

One of the computing center staff was walking by when I took this picture. He said that they have one in a museum in London that is roped off. When he remarked to one of the curators there that “Ours is better” they asked him why.

“You can sit on ours.” And indeed you can.

Of course it’s not plugged in or doing anything; your average cell phone will run rings around the CRAY-1, on less than a millionth of the power (115KW plus I/O systems plus cooling infrastructure, versus 200ma or so).

The NCAR is a nice visit. They have a good visitor center and I recommend the short film they have there on what they do. The view is nice, too.

I have photos of their machine room, but they’re just the usual boring racks and boxes on a raised floor. One thing that Seymour had was a sense of style.

virtual chikken

chicken2

My son is (a) spawning hundreds of chickens, and (b) using a machine made of pistons and some other gadgets to squish them into oblivion. It’s Minecraft, of course. From Alpha to Omega, from squark to squawk, these are Minecraft-mediated virtual particles. Made of chicken.

chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3chicken3

In my own youth it was pulling legs off bugs and charring them with a magnifying glass. Ant hills were targets of opportunity. Today this mayhem is an online multiplayer event.

->poof<-

 “Whahoo! Yay!” chicken3 “I’m a chicken!”

==> [X] chicken3  [X] <==

(squish)

We live in the future.