• Zenzeleni mesh networking in the Transkei

    While backpacking across the Transkei in South Africa, I stayed at Mdumbi Backpackers close to Coffee Bay, in the Mankosi Administrative Area, a rural traditional community within the Nyandeni Local Municipality in the Province of the Eastern Cape. I had been made aware of an innovative wireless mesh network called Zenzeleni Community Telecoms by a friend in Cape Town, Michael Graaf, and took a look around. Zenzeleni translates to “Do it yourself” in isiXhosa.
  • Apple's iPad - a n00b experience

    Two friends of mine recently purchased iPads - Vernon asked me, as a computer fundi, to help him out on the installation. I always think it is" useful to document first-time experiences - one adapts and forgets so easily. Old timer I have used Linux pretty much exclusively for the last 20 years. I have a pragmatic approach to my friends who use Windows - I have followed Microsoft’s offerings from Windows98 through XP - I have an XP user’s understanding of the later versions of Windows.
  • Centre for High Performance Computing national meeting

    The Centre for High Performance Computing in Cape Town has an annual meeting to showcase flagship projects and listen to other people’s experiences at similarcentres around the world. The 7-9th December 2010 saw the Centre for High Performance Computing’s national meeting held at the Westin Grand hotel in Cape Town, next to the International convention centre, CTICC. I am contracting at CHPC, and have blogged before about it. Dr Happy Sithole is director of the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), an initiative funded by the Departmentof Science and Technology (DST) and managed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR).
  • Using the Centre for High Performance Computing, Cape Town

    I have recently been contracting at the Centre for High Performance Computing. This is just an update on how to map the particular problem I have onto the computing cluster. First steps It is an explanation of how to get to the much easier job of splitting the main task up into bite-sized pieces that can be fed independently via a job submission system called MOAB. Task description Each day satellites MODIS(NASA) and MERIS (ESA) do afew passes of a polar orbit over our region of interest, African coastal andinland waters.
  • Centre for High performance computing in Cape Town

    Last month I started a contracting job with the Marine Remote Sensing Unit - a collaboration between the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and University of Cape Town. I have some history in parallel processing, mostly with Inmos, a British microelectronics company that built the Transputer, a ground-breaking microprocessor of the 1980s. I had been looking for an opportunity to work at the CHPC for a while, and took the chance when an opening arrived via the clug-work mailing list run by the Cape Town Linux Users Group.
  • Arithmetic Processing using Associative memory

    Associative memory is capable of performing highly parallel arithmetic computation on large datasets in constant time. Associative memory is a type of computer memory that is accessed by virtue of its contents, not its location. Rather than saying What is the value at location 42? it says All memory locations with the value 43 please stand up. Why is this useful, and when is it used ? It is used whenever a fast search must be made through a list of candidates- for a CPUcache, or a fast network switch.
  • Computers in schools in Gabon

    I visited Gabon for the last two weeks of May 2009 by invitation of Yoan Anguilet, who has a business and NGO there promoting ICT and Science literacy in schools. We had met previously when setting up AUST, a new university in Nigeria. Yoan had invited me to set up a similar system at two schools in Gabon, as a precursor to a larger effort later in the year. Flight Our flight was delayed for 2 hours, circling over Libreville, as we had the misfortune of arriving at the same time as the body of the recently-deceased First Lady, Edith Lucie Bongo.
  • Communication latency

    Communication has come a long way in a century - not always at the customers convenience. Andy has started a blog. Why blog, when my website is so out of date ? To answer this, I have to do a review of communication technology of the last century, starting with the letter. I guess I could go back further, but the letter was the first convenient communication at a distance.