Religion, Sundry, Technology

Enter, NCSA

Dannyman starts at NCSA, among numerous other cool goings-on.

Yah, well after English today, where we had a good discussion about Quentin’s section in Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” I wandered on over to ACB as scheduled and proceeded to start on my new job. I spliced my first patch cable today – that’s a 10 base-T connector used to hook a computer on to a network. I guess at least for now my workstation is a Macintosh, but with a little time I can make it useable, or hopefully “upgrade” to something better.

After that first lesson, we went over to ACB to lay some network cable for some Supercomputers that are being installed. Didn’t actually hook them up – I think that gets done sometime tomorrow. Those monsters are outrageous – something like 4G of RAM and some hundreds of Gigabytes of drive space. I saw a guy sliding a drive in to one of ’em, he told me it was a 9G Ultra-SCSI. There was a row in that machine of those. The memory, he told me, is installed in 256M SIMMs … and the machines come in pairs of units each with 32 CPUs. Neat! I wondered later what kind of memory cache those CPUs were treated to.

As I was helping place the cable under the floor – 100M fast Ethernet for now, to be augmented by 800M HIPPI cable later, I couldn’t help but flash over to the future sometime when Asao might be telling the grandkids something along the lines of “Back around the turn of the century, your Grandfather actually layed network cable for some of those ‘supercomputers’ they had at NCSA.” Who knows, maybe I’m a little over-psyched about playing a small part in a historical era. Someday though, I know these very same supercomputers that are so exotic today will seem quite quaint by the standards of a future modern day. I however, will be able to remember the old days when a computer with 32 CPUs or hundreds of gigabytes of storage would have been something to babble about.

After dinner, I got up to DCL where SIGNet conducted a tour of “Node 1” with Charley Kline. It’s an exciting place where cable of all kinds run thick. I understood a good deal, a lot of it was kinda mystical to me. Basically Node 1 is a little bunker where a great many of the Campus’ telephone and telecommunications equipment is routed. Basically a significant part of the campus’ “nervous system” … fascinating. Unfortunately though I accidentally hit the hidden button in my camera that causes it to panic and rewind the film, so no pictures, sorry. Chris should have some on the digital, though to be sure it’s not that visually fascinating anyway.

I’m actually pretty excited about my paper for Rhet 143 for a change. I got a C+ on the last one, which I kind of blew off as a pretty gay assignment. This one though I’d hope for an A. It’ll be on the web too don’t worry, so I’ll not bother to talk about it much for now. Just like to say that I enjoyed “Peer Editing” this morning in class. Actually, I should tell the TA that much, I think it’d do much for her in terms of … whatever.

Speaking of spreading the word of knowledge, I got some most excellent and thoughtful words from Matt Malooly. I agree with him most whole-heartedly. Here is a dude who has much the same beliefs as my own, only he can express them in a more coherent manner. All things in equal opposition, I’ve also been talking with Casey about her Religion, and was even questioned most insightfully on my beliefs by roommate Pat, who is part of the Campus Organised Christian scene. I appreciated his questioning, as for the time his intent was not at all to convert me or anything, but to get a genuine perspective on my beliefs. I was heartening.

Well, I could babble on forever about what a wonderful time I’ve been having of late, how I relish the increasingly busy schedule I face. Well, hey an occasionally Nihilistic guy like myself has to keep hisself outta trouble ya know! But anyways you readers gotta like occasional

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Categories: Religion, Sundry, Technology