Summer in the North
If we make a wordcloud for all the things that we said during the training week in Juelich, the biggest word would be “WHERE” I guess. Was that nerdy enough for an introduction for an HPC summer program? “Where are you from?” and “Where will you go after the training week?”. Well for me the answer was that I’m from Greece and I’ll go to Edinburgh so everybody was wondering if I can survive the lack of sun and the rain since I am used to double temperature during the summer.
Well, guys it’s not that bad! Enough with the bad advertising of the Scottish capital. It’s not raining everyday and it’s pretty common to enjoy your
sunny not extremely cloudy days with a cider at the park or the beach! Yes, Portobello Beach is really nice although there is a reason why it’s not crowded with people. You can enjoy your swimming walk there but only if you have your windbreaker with you.
Edinburgh has so many places to discover. Picturesque streets and shops, museums and galleries and so many parks. This city is full of green and beautiful parks and hills. You can simply take the bus and chose a random park that you see on the map and you will feel like you went to the countryside to enjoy nature. If you enjoy more urban life (ok, I admit that for myself) you can think of anything, then check it online -> Edinburgh people will have a festival for it. During the summer this is the city of festivals! Edinburgh Art Festival, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Festival, International Book Festival, International Film Festival, Jazz & Blues Festival, Edinburgh Mela! Street musicians, street bands, bagpipe musicians are everywhere.
Ok, I am talking about my weekends so far, I should admit that.. Well, my visits at the EPCC are more often than the ones at the parks! So far, I met really nice people here. Everyone is friendly and willing to help you with anything you need. During the first week, Marta, Tomislav and I attended some HPC and MPI courses, doing exercises about image processing and “playing” with ARCHER, the latest UK National Supercomputing Service. It was a very good opportunity to find out more about ARCHER software and hardware and get access to the supercomputer to submit some jobs. Everyone at the EPCC is keen on teaching summer students new things so we had the chance to attend a demo of Wee ARCHIE, a suitcase-sized supercomputer. It is designed and built in a way so that students can see the inside parts of it and understand what a supercomputer is. We also found out that we can run our applications on Wee ARCHIE by the end of the summer! So far, I am working on the Smartphone Task Farm application, that visualizes how the master process distributes the tasks and at the end combine the results. The application will be used for outreach events where users can load a page and become a worker node using their smartphone. By the end of August I will maybe have the chance for a real-life testing of the app at one outreach event of EPCC. The view of the beach from the office makes all this summer work easier!