This column does not compute
By Christian Trejbal
Trejbal is a Roanoke Times editorial writer. He is based in the New River Valley.
Virginia Tech’s new HokieSpeed supercomputer is a lean, green speed machine. It ranks 96th on the list of the world’s 500 fastest computers and 11th for energy efficiency.
Students and researchers will perform complex calculations on the $1.4 million machine. Climate models, engineering designs, biological systems and more will dance through its processors. With its computational and graphics horsepower, it probably also will host a mean game of Modern Warfare 3.
I embraced my inner geek long ago, though friends and family would probably argue it’s the outer geek who’s a problem. When I looked over the specs on Tech’s new baby, a dollop of drool dribbled from the corner of my mouth. My mind drifted into higher platonic realms of algorithms and teraflops, and I couldn’t help but imagine ways to use so much computing power, short of Skynet-style world domination.