The (short) story of a month at SoHPC

The (short) story of a month at SoHPC

Summer of HPC classroom

As you already know by reading the other SoHPCers posts, this adventure starts in Barcelona, more precisely on the beach, where we all took lessons on MPI, OpenMP, performance measurement tools, visualisation tools, etc. You might have also read all these stories my peers tell about climbing a hill in 1 hour and 20 minutes and the blast we all had that week. Actually, it was a week of excess, since studying under direct sunlight at midday on the beach and then walking for about 3-5 hours every night was kind of exhausting. In any case, it is the kind of exhaustion that people envy, so it is something to be happy about.

Nevertheless, everything’s got an end, and that week passed by very quickly. It was time to move on. Goodbyes dragged on for hours, since we all had been through so many experiences together over these few days, and we knew that it’s very likely we will not see each other ever again. Tragic. Actually it wasn’t that bad; we still keep in touch, and we now have free tourist guides if at some point we go on holidays to the country of one of our peers.

At the end of the week Anthony, Laszlo and I took a flight to Prague, from where we had to then take a train to Ostrava. The complete trip lasted for about 5-6 hours, plus the time we had to wait at the train station, which we used to have lunch and realize how difficult Czech is. For some reason we did get the right train at the right time, and we even managed to take the correct seats. That’s easy, unless everything is written in Czech. We really enjoyed all these hours of deep sleep after such a busy week in Barcelona.

Once there we met our site coordinator, Karina, who was waiting for us, kindly took us to the university dormitories where we are staying, in order to leave our luggage. She also took us to the local shop, in which we bought a survival kit for the weekend. The first days were about introductions and more in-depth explanations of the work we are expected to do. We even had a nice dinner with our mentors and bosses. Because this is a story about my adventures as a Summer of HPC student, I’m not going to bother you with the details of the work I’ve been doing; I will write another post for that. For the moment I will just say that it’s awesome and it involves 3D meshes and Wi-Fi.

Some of you may already know that we were invited to the supposedly biggest music festival in the Czech Republic: Colours of Ostrava. I don’t know how big are the others, but this one was pretty big, so maybe it’s true what they say. Even though there were a lot of different music styles in this festival I only found one band that I actually liked: Swans. However, this is a band you have to listen to whilst wearing earplugs to avoid damaging your ears, and I didn’t have a pair, so eventually I had to leave. Even though I had fun there, I missed listening to music I like, especially after knowing that Fluff Fest was taking place the next week also in the Czech Republic. I still have some hope left to try to go to the Brutal Assault Festival, which takes place somewhere between Prague and Ostrava, but if you go alone it’s just not the same.

Recently we were given a visit around the facilities of IT4Innovations national supercomputing center’s new toy: Salomon. It is a quite powerful supercomputer (#40 of the Top500 list) and it has a large infrastructure to support it, featuring a diesel engine which is noisier than Sunn O))) live, used to produce backup energy in case the main power supply goes down. We also were taught about the cooling of this supercomputer.

Apart from that, we have been to the cinema a couple of times, where we watched Terminator: Genisys, Ant-Man and Inside out. They were all nice movies in general, but for a movie to be really good it’s required to have Arnold Schwarzenegger in it, so Terminator is the only one that deserves to be rated as VERY GOOD (just because of him appearing in the movie).

Hasta la vista, baby

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7 comments on “The (short) story of a month at SoHPC
  1. yue says:

    Supremo :3

  2. K says:

    Schwarzenegger 4 president!??

  3. Cerilla says:

    When talking ’bout Swans, everything else becomes irrelevant

  4. Rumyana Rumenova says:

    Why am I sensing a sarcastic dismissal of our tragic goodbyes? This will not do. 😀

    • Sergio Manuel Afonso Fumero says:

      There’s as much sarcasm on that sentence as you want there to be, that’s the good thing about reading. You can try to re-read it with less sarcasm.

      But you are right, these were tragic goodbyes. The weekly online meetings don’t make up for the loss.

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