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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Mudslinging at InsideHPC

Read the open letter to insideHPC readers.

Pure mudslinging about conflicts of interest based on things that don’t seem to be true. I won’t mention the mudslinger, but I can tell you that if I bothered to read that other blog — which I don’t — I would unsubscribe.

Build your brand on merit like InsideHPC did, not on publicity stunts.

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Digipede 2.4

deatle24We recently released the Digipede Network 2.4.  Among other things, this release provides  support for hosting .NET 4 applications, some new features to improve management and control, and enhanced server-side performance. The entire list and downloads are available on the community site.  You can read more about it on the Interwebs:

Those paying close attention might ask "what happened to 2.3?"  The answer is Digipede trivia.

  • Part of a failed experimental branch? No. 
  • Is 2.4 actually numbered 2.3.1 under the covers? No. (A minor dig at Windows 6 R2).

The actual reason dates back to the days when .NET 2 was released.  Back then, we were ready to release Digipede Network 1.1 with .NET 2 support.  To avoid naming confusion with .NET 1.1, we decided to skip the “.1” and went straight to “.2”.  Was it in fact less confusing?  Probably not materialy.

So, why no 2.3?  It is an ever so slight (and obscure) homage to those early days: for .NET 4 we decided to release something that ends in “.4”. 

Like I said: trivia.

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Resolver One on Digipede Sample

As I noted recently, I have been working with Giles Thomas and Glenn Jones at Resolver Systems on a sample mixing distributed IronPython objects with Resolver One spreadsheets. 

I like those guys.  They are smart and do excellent work.

Anyway, they released the sample earlier today.  From their site:

As of version 1.5 (which is currently in beta), the world’s coolest spreadsheet can use Digipede Network grid computing to distribute and execute workbooks in parallel. The example on the Exchange is based on the excellent IronPython sample created by Robert W. Anderson of Digipede. The Digipede Network is a brilliant way to get distributed, parallel computation on Windows. It only took a few minor changes to convert Resolver One to run on the Digipede Network and to get the IronPython sample to execute Resolver One workbooks.

Giles gives some more background to the path that got us here on his recent post, Resolver One and Digipede.

The combination of our two products offers a pretty elegant solution.  Like I said before,

Try doing that with a spreadsheet or grid that isn’t based on .NET . . .

. . . like Excel and Windows HPC Server.  No, don’t. Trust me.  It is really hard, complex, and brittle.

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Digipede Network 2.1 Out the Door

Dan has a write up of some of the enhancements added to this release here.  He said we should have probably called it 3.0, but it is really more of a 2.5.  We’ll be hosting webcasts soon going over the new features.  

Thanks to the team for all the hard work in getting this out the door.

Follow for Digipede announcements.

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LINQ with the Digipede Network

I’ve been playing with LINQ here at Digipede for various reasons, one of which is to put together a sample for using LINQ on top of the Digipede APIs.  I haven’t gotten together any code to post (primarily because I’ve been pushing on our PowerShell SnapIn in my “spare” time).

A pleasant surprise this morning: Matt Davey posted a code sample on his blog: GridLINQ and Digipede.

I knew he was working on something.  Yesterday, Nathan helped Matt with some installation issues (kudos to Nathan and thanks to Matt for the assist).  Anyway, at some point Nathan says to me:

You know, Rob, you should connect with Matt on IM.  He tells me he tried LINQ with the Digipede Network and “it just worked”.  He’s IM’ing me about it and I’ve never even seen a line of LINQ code!

Thanks for the posting, Matt.  Keep up the posts and we’ll put you up for Digipede MVP!

BTW: It looks like Matt’s sample will run on either Digipede Network 1.3 or 2.0 — I want to point out, though, that Digipede Framework collections only started supporting IEnumerable<T> directly in version 2.0; so v2.0 is more LINQ friendly.

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The Linux Religion . . .vs. Windows (yawn)

The Linux-guru crowd continues to discount the complexity of installation, maintenance, use, and actual cost of Linux-based OSes. 

It would be a full time job to debunk these arguments over and over again.  Occasionally, Dan takes the time to do just this:  see him dismantle another one of Joe Landman’s CCS attack pieces in Yet another poof piece.  And Dan doesn’t even mention the developer-productivity story . . .

Personally, I tend to ignore the “I hate Microsoft, Linux is the answer to everything” arguments.   You can build a feasible solution with either platform.  As Dan said in his post (specifically about HPC):

Look, I’m not deriding Linux as an OS, or as an HPC OS. It’s been very successful, and it will continue to have success.

The fact is: if you’re using UNIX or Linux, it probably doesn’t make sense to port to Windows.

But if you’re already using Windows, it certainly doesn’t make sense to port to Linux.

They are different toolboxes full of different (albeit similar and overlapping) tools.  Depending on all sorts of criteria, different organizations will do better with one platform than the other.

There is huge growth potential in the market for both platforms.  Can’t we just get past this? 

Or has this truly become a religion?

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Digipede does MSDN

John and Dan are doing an MSDN Webcast Tuesday at 10:00 AM.  It is titled, Scaling SOA in Financial Services with Grid Computing for .NET.  Described as:

Enterprise architects in financial services are looking to service-oriented architectures (SOA) to address many real-world problems – brittle systems with tight interdependencies, data stuck in single-purpose silos, and applications that don’t scale to meet growing demand, to name a few.  But implementing an SOA can also expose new scalability issues.  New high-performance computing (HPC) offerings from Microsoft and its partners are ideally suited for scaling out compute-intensive components of an SOA.  Using real-world examples from financial services companies, this presentation will describe how to grid-enable compute-intensive analytic services for use in an SOA.  

I’ll bet they talk about Digipede in there somewhere.  😉

Go to the link above to sign up.

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Digipede Sponsoring Microsoft FDC

Digipede is sponsoring the Microsoft Financial Developers Conference in New York City this week.  John and Dan will be there Wednesday and Thursday (April 25th and 26th) attending the conference and presenting on scaling SOA. 

John has more on his blog; Microsoft has registration here (note that last link is broken, but ought to be working soon enough).

BTW: The event is free.

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Digipede on ScobleShow

In early April, John, Dan and I visited the offices of PodTech for an interview by Robert Scoble.  Dan wrote about it at the time (here).  It was fun, and Robert asked good questions.  He put the videos up over the weekend, included here by the magic of the PodTech player.

Editor’s Choice: highlights from Digipede’s interview and demo


Demo of building a grid with Digipede


Talking about Digipede’s grid technology

Robert asked me a question that I didn’t expect: what was challenging for me in desigining the Digipede Network.  In answering, I forgot to mention probably the most challenging part: designing the Digipede Framework API.  This is both the part that I have the most fun with and the most challenging.  Challenging or not, building usable APIs is a key part of any development platform and continues to be an important part of my job.

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Digipede at Building 40 Tonight

If you are in Redmond and want to learn about Digipede (from John):

Digipede Evangelist Kim Greenlee will give a presentation on Concurrent Software Development at the .NET Developers Association meeting on Monday, December 11.  The meeting is on the Microsoft campus – in Building 40, the Steptoe Room (#1450).  She blogs about it here; be sure to bring this meeting announcement with you, or Microsoft security may stop you.

Come early for the free pizza — stay for the demo of the Digipede Network.

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