Computer Humor

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Weekly Global Tech News, November 12, 2018

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

An update on HDD technology roadmaps by Seagate showing the much vaunted HAMR and dual actuator technologies deploying in CY19-20.  These dates seem to continually push out…  Tom Coughlin also adds some color to the Register article here.

Energy assisted recording like MAMR and HAMR better start delivering to their hyped-up expectations before QLC flash starts displacing them in data-centers!   The aforementioned 2019-2020 date for HAMR HDD’s may not be soon enough.


Backblaze discusses an effective to save time and effort by collaboratively developing using the cloud.  I think a lot of folks are doing this now, but some large companies are still clinging to older development models.  The future is cloudy and foggy!


… and to underscore the ongoing demand for cloud compute, check out AMD’s latest 7nm Epyc ‘Rome’ processors with Zen2 cores and TSMC as the foundry.  It looks like Amazon is an early adopter.    AMD also previewed their datacenter GPU roadmap in this article.

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Weekly Global Tech News, November 5, 2018

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

Besides being the #1 NAND and SSD supplier, Samsung also offers their gigafabs for custom foundry work and have diligently moved up to the #2 spot in the foundry biz with their 10nm and upcoming 7 nm production.  Key wins include Xilinx FPGA’s,  Qualcomm’s SnapDragon and others including Apple (now in qualification).


I may have published this previously, but the technology of monatomic PCM is interesting.  I hope it can be harnessed in a manufacturable and scalable approach which might allow for more tiers and more competition in the Storage Class Memory space.  

Source: IBM (from The Memory Guy)


We can expect more development in the area of software defined data centers that allow for fast and rapid adaptation to memory tiers of varying latency.  Combine this with varied workloads, especially for big cloud providers and you can see why rapid optimization is key.  Here is one view from Huawei: 


An amazing step forward in HPC with this upcoming Cray Shasta system.  AMD and Nvidia in one huge box! Their low latency (300ns) multinodal switch is perhaps the most amazing part of this system.


I wonder whether this approach might be adaptable to optical interconnects and optical communication schemes at very low system SNR.   Lau and Clerk found a way to improve the SNR of quantum sensors… for the nitty-gritty, read their full paper.

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Computer Humor

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The Strongest Humans

I wrote in the past about some of the strongest of us… not those who are born strong but those who don’t break under tremendous pressures of misfortune and manage to overcome all obstacles to becoming successful in life.

I wrote about Rebekah Marine, who became a successful model after being born without a forearm, about Scout Bassett, who lost her leg in a fire when she was little but it didn’t stop her from becoming an accomplished runner.

This post is about Viktoria Modesta, who was born with a dislocated hip and leg, which was eventually amputated.  Which didn’t stop Victoria from becoming the first widely-known leg amputee pop star and a true inspiration to many.

This is what Victoria has to say about here experience:

It was really fascinating watching people’s reactions because most of them were speechless. Some had never stood next to a person with a prosthetic limb and the ideas they might have of what an amputee might look or act like is, in most cases, negative.  So when they do clock my appearance and then see the leg, it is very challenging for them.  Most importantly when the limb is attached and I’m walking with it in my full composure it has a power that is beyond something that can be described.

You can watch her first clip below.

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Introduction to Data Transformations

Data preparation is a key task in any Machine Learning workflow, but it’s often one of the most challenging and time-consuming parts. Read below about BigML’s new data transformation capabilities that make work faster and easier than ever before.

The Official Blog of BigML.com

BigML’s upcoming release on Thursday, October 25, 2018, will be presenting our latest resource to the platform: Data Transformations. In this post, we’ll do a quick introduction to Data Transformations before we move on to the remainder of our series of 6 blog posts (including this one) to give you a detailed perspective of what’s behind the new capabilities. Today’s post explains the basic concepts that will be followed by an example use case. Then, there will be three more blog posts focused on how to use Data Transformations through the BigML DashboardAPI, and WhizzML for automation. Finally, we will complete this series of posts with a technical view of how Data Transformations work behind the scenes.

Understanding Data Transformations

Transforming your data is one of the most important, yet time-consuming and difficult tasks in any Machine Learning workflow. Of course, “data transformations” is a loaded…

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Weekly Global Tech News, October 29, 2018

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

Lot of you have seen this already, but Backblaze continues to track HDD field reliability.  This blog shows (to me) that they (Backblaze) are buying on price and reporting associated reliability. This table is their historical summary and a good representation of field reliability in a moderate workload enterprise application.  Based on reli, one would expect HGST to be the products of choice, yet there are many more STX drives in the mix.  I’d welcome alternative interpretations:


Host managed SMR hits the mainstream!  Nice job from WDC on deploying the industry’s first host managed HDD at the highest capacity yet.    Ever since Google’s ‘Disks for Data Centers‘ paper, we knew these products were coming and we can expect all HDD makers to deliver similar products.  I hope these all behave similarly or the industry will be in for further share erosion.   I suspect that a variant of the host managed approach will soon be available for SSDs as well.


good discussion on some of the big things going on in solid state storage by folks who know.  Enjoy!  For regular technology updates, go to Jim Handy’s website.   He also allows you to subscribe to his podcasts.


A peek at Samsung’s TechDay 2018.   These guys continue their scorched earth approach to industry dominance, but they are developing the best and most compelling tech out there, including a 7nm EUV based litho solution.

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