Cloud Architect’s Song

binary singingI was looking for an old post and noticed that HP had taken down all the old TNBT posts.

One that always made me chuckle I’d put together a number of years back was the Cloud Architect’s song. I couldn’t find the exact version I had posted but I did my best to recreate it here.

The Cloud Architect’s Song (sung to the tune of I Will Survive)

At first I was afraid, I was petrified,
Kept thinking I could not instantiate
what you had specified.

But then I’d spent too many nights
re-hosting what you’d just built wrong,
and I grew strong,
I learned how to get along.

And now you’re back, wanting more cloud space,
I just walked in to find you here
With that need for more disk space,

I should have changed that stupid plan,
I should have made you pay that fee,
If I had known for just one second
you’d be back to bother me,

go now go, we don’t use core,
move objects around now,
‘cause you don’t wanna pay for it anymore,
Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with your burst,

you think I’d crumble,
you think I’d lay down and die?
Oh no not I, I will provide….

Long as I know how to shove
I think I’ll use EC2
I’ve got all my script to fire
And all my SaaS to give and I’ll survive
I will survive

What if we could take the heat out of the transistor easier?

For about the last decade efforts in computer design have moved away from higher clock speeds to providing more computing cores. Consumer PC computer speeds have topped out at close to 4 GHz for one reason – heat! The faster they run, and the denser the transistors, the more heat generated to the point where the devices begin to break down.

There may be a new approach being researched that could help address the issue of heat buildup. Researches at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have been experimenting with a form of iridium oxide, Sr3Ir2O7.

The electronic structure of a material is typically rigid, with distinct energy levels or “bands” that fill up as electrons are added. These levels are determined by the atomic structure and chemical composition of the material. In the study, these energy levels were observed to deform drastically, in a fluid way, as more electrons poured in, while the physical structure of the material did not change in any significant way.

“Guided by theoretical calculations led by Arun Bansil, a professor of physics at Northeastern University, researchers found that a gap between different groupings of energy bands in the sample material actually shrank as electrons were added, reducing the material’s stored energy level – like the water level appearing to decline in the cup example.”

The implications are that the real estate on chips could be used differently or computing clock cycles maybe increased. In either case should increase the amount of computing available to generate value.

Anxious for the real release of Windows 10

Windows 10As everyone knows by now, the new version of Windows will ship the end of July. I signed up and placed some earlier beta build (through the insider program) on a machines back in January but then had to move on to other efforts, so I never really got back to look at it closely. Over the weekend, I downloaded the latest prerelease and loaded it on an eight year old tablet I had sitting in a closet (an HP 2710P with 3 GB of RAM). Since this machine only had 3 GB of RAM, I loaded the 32 bit version.

I was shocked at how well it ran on this old hardware. All the features seem to function well: Cortana, OneDrive (in its new and slightly lobotomized form), Spartan … and even an enclosed version of OneNote. In fact, the machine seemed to work better than I ever remember it running under Windows 7! The pen interface worked well and the calibration capabilities were better than under Windows 7.

Overall, I am anxious to get my hands on the real thing. If it will only run on my Steam 7 (since I don’t have the ‘Get Windows 10’ icon on that tablet).

illustration courtesy of Microsoft

New approach to power #IoT

plug in economyOne of the great things about Moore’s law that is sometimes overlooked is that even though computing capabilities have expanded at a tremendous rate, the power consumption for those same transistors that are being packed together have gone down at an even faster rate.

This announcement from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign of the demonstration of a high-performance 3D micro-battery suitable for large-scale, on-chip integration may have long-lasting impact to the Internet of Things.

“Due to the complexity of 3D electrodes, it is generally difficult to realize such batteries, let alone the possibility of on-chip integration and scaling. In this project, we developed an effective method to make high-performance 3D lithium-ion microbatteries using processes that are highly compatible with the fabrication of microelectronics,” – Hailong Ning, a MatSE graduate student

If this technology can be produced reliably, I’d expect it to show up in many ways quickly, since access to a power source is critical to any sensing or distributed computing approach, allowing for greater flexibility in where to place ‘things’. Having the manufacturing process compatible with the chip making process should make for rapid adoption.

$9 Linux computer in the wings

The device is called C.H.I.P. and it is part of a Kickstarter campaign to create a Linux-powered computer “built for work, play, and everything in between!” They have already raised $653K of their $50K goal.

At the heart of the C.H.I.P. is a 1GHz Allwinner A13 compatible SoC, with a built-in Mali400 GPU that is compatible with OpenGLES and OpenVG. Backing that up is 512MB of DDR3 RAM and 4GB of flash storage.

For output, it features a single USB port, a micro USB that supports OTG, a composite video output (with options for VGA + $10 and HDMI + $15 via an adapter), headphones output and microphone input. It has built in composite output as well. C.H.I.P. has built in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to the Internet or wireless devices.

Their site shows that C.H.I.P will be powerful enough to power LibreOffice, the Chromium browser, games…

There are also options for an external battery and even a case to provide a 4.3 inch touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard for a pocket computer experience.

It will be interesting to see how this low cost platform is used.

And not Or

and not or (logic)I was in an exchange the other day with some folks talking about their perspective that all companies need to be using cloud computing. I agree, but my view is slightly different. My perspective is that depending on the company’s size, needs and applications they will likely continue to have in house systems. It’s not a choice between things, but a choice among things and an acceptance of the way things are and one answer doesn’t meet everyone’s needs. You can’t look at it as: clouds the answer, now what’s the question?

Mobile computing is similar. It is the future interface of the enterprise, not really something special anymore. Embracing mobile devices and cloud computing will have a game changing effect, but it is not about the infrastructure but what we do with them and people want to do those things everywhere.

There are a number of other trends taking place like the IoT that are also shifting how organizations think about computing. It is interesting how this term is changing and how various organizations are trying to name it. It used to be ubiquitous computing, some call it ambient computing, but most still use the Internet of Things.

In any case the aggregation of sensors, devices, intelligence, and agents will shift how organizations generate value and shift IT to focus on systems of action.

Internet of Things Units Installed Base by Category (in Millions)

 Category 2013 2014 2015 2020
Automotive 96.0 189.6 372.3 3,511.1
Consumer 1,842.1 2,244.5 2.874.9 13,172.5
Generic Business 395.2 479.4 623.9 5,158.6
Vertical Business 698.7 836.5 1,009.4 3,164.4
Grand Total 3,032.0 3,750.0 4,880.6 25,006.6

Source: Gartner (November 2014)

Many still look at these opportunities primarily from an infrastructure perspective, but I definitely do not. It is about the business and the hardware side is a small (but necessary) part. Organizations that will compete effectively in the coming years are going to shift their thinking to “and” and not “or” foundation. It is not all about IT, but IT has a role in enabling this flexibility.

By the way the output of the And not Or logic circuit illustration is always a one –> true.

Moore’s law turns 50

50thMoore’s law turns 50 on Sunday, after it was first published in the thirty-fifth anniversary issue of Electronics magazine back in 1965.

There have been a few stories out this week about Moore’s law turning 50 and how it may not make it to 60. IEEE put out a number of stories based on different perspectives of Moore’s law’s history and implications.

Few observations have predicted a shift with this level of impact on the world around us.

Even if we can’t continue to shift the size of transistors down at the rate predicted by Moore’s law, the innovations enabled will continue to drive us forward to new ways of tackling the world around us.