Hardware

Software engineers + screwdrivers = ?

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 31 May 2016 | 15:32

Block diagram of a computer

I'm firmly of the opinion that one of the best ways to understand how computers work is to get hands-on with hardware. Many of us will have at some point come across a block diagram of a computer - maybe something like the one on the right.  That's all well and good, but there's something about physically taking something to bits and putting it back together that helps you understand how everything fits together.  

With that in mind, over the last year I've been helping develop a STEM outreach activity based on the idea of building PCs.  We first trialled it at Bang Goes The Borders 2015, and ran a workshop at the Edinburgh International Science Festival earlier this year, and kids as young as 5 have been able to successfully get a PC running from scratch.

What's inside the box? Building computers from scratch

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 28 Sep 2015 | 13:28

Last weekend, a team of us attended Bang Goes The Borders, a regional science festival hosted by St Mary's school in Melrose.

This was the fourth year we've been there, and as usual there were around 1000 school kids and their families keen to get their hands on all kinds of science- and technology-based activities.

Although our "dinoracer" has been a big favourite for the last few years, this time we took along two completely new activities: the Supercomputing App and the Build-a-PC Junkyard Challenge - which I'd like to tell you about...

New SGI system at EPCC: Ultra!

Author: Maciej Olchowik
Posted: 26 Aug 2014 | 17:37

Last month EPCC added a new supercomputer to its portfolio. Working in collaboration with the Digital Health Institute Scotland we have acquired the SGI UV2000 system. Unlike many of our existing HPC resources, Ultra (as it’s known by the DNS name) is not a cluster, there is just one Linux operating system controlling all 512 computing cores and 8TB of memory. This offers many advantages to the researchers and opens up new possibilities - suddenly we can run a large code without complex parallelisation!

Talking HPC with the Omega Tau podcast

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 11 Aug 2014 | 09:36

Omega Tau: science and engineering in your headphones is a STEM-themed podcast produced by Markus Völter and Nora Ludewig which covers a wide range of interesting topics including aerospace, spaceflight, computing and physical sciences in great detail through interviews and discussions with area experts.

ARCHER Phase 2 User Meeting

Author: Adrian Jackson
Posted: 16 Jul 2014 | 18:47

Last week saw EPSRC host a user meeting to discuss the phase 2 upgrade of ARCHER, the UK's national supercomputing service.

MIC check

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 12 Jun 2013 | 13:20

Following on from my recent post on Xeon Phi, thanks to the hard work of our Systems Development Team we now have a fully configured server sporting the two Intel 5110P Many Integrated Core (MIC) co-processor cards installed and ready to go. The imaginately named 'phi' machine is connected to our internal Hydra cluster and is available for staff, students and visitors to port and test their applications.

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