Monday, September 26, 2005

APAC '05, Day One

I'm writing this sitting in a lounge area in the Royal Pines Hotel at the Gold Coast. The event is the Australia-Pacific Advanced Computing '05 conference, and the theme is Grid Computing.

I work for the Bureau of Meteorology, and am presenting on the topic of Data Management on Wednesday. Nothing has really kicked off yet, but I have gotten my conference bag (Free Stuff: Wireless mouse, swiss army knife, copy of Windows Server 2003) and chatted to a few other delegates. It promises to be an interesting event, with the opening speech being given by some politician. I will look it up later -- I think they might be the minister in charge, but I don't know if it's federal or state.

Quite an irony given that I'm currently reading the Latham Diaries!

Highlights of the conference so far have been a peek at "Blue Gene", the world's fastest supercomputer. Well, a travel-sized duplicate. The actual fastest one is installed someplace in the U.S., where it is used for nuclear research. That scares me, but at least they are using good computers. If you're going to mess with something that could end life on earth, let's at least make sure it's done right.

Unfortunately, I was too block-headed to bring the digital camera. I will do my best to get a hold of photos from other people and post a few. If anyone has any interest in the area, let me know and I'll try to assemble some answers, but it's a pretty niche crowd.

That said, I do feel somewhat privileged to be presenting! I will have to tailor my presentation a little to please the punters though, as what I work on is to some extent peripheral to what I think are the draw cards for this event. I concentrate on data management and database interaction, but I don't really have any understanding of grid computing. To me, it's still just an abstract concept. Well, not *just* an abstract concept, of course, an abstract concept is still something.

Anyway, I see food, and I haven't eaten anything except Pringles since breakfast.

Cheers,
-MP

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