Feeds

Supercomputer geek builds Cray-1 around home PC

More powerful than the original?

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Daryl Brach, known as pfaffen online, has built a scale model of the Cray-1 supercomputer to house a PC.

The Cray-1, (pictured above) the world's first supercomputer, was launched in 1976. It was rated at a peak performance of 250MFLOPS and had "200,000 integrated circuits, 3,400 printed circuit boards, 60 miles of wire, and [was] housed in less than 70 square feet of space". The Cray-1 made a celebrity of its designer, Seymour Cray, and more than 80 systems were sold.

Brach decided to model the Cray-1 because of its iconic C-shaped, hexadecagon (16-sided polygon) design with two and a half sides left out. This design featured a projecting naugahyde-clad base housing Freon refrigeration units surrounding a set of twelve wedge-shaped upright fins holding the pipeline processing elements. The project's course is described in a bit-tech article.

Brach says: "The original Cray-1 was 77in tall and 103.5in across. My one-third scale model turned out to be 25.6in tall and 34.5in across." One problem was that the inner surfaces of the upright wedges revealed blue-covered wiring. Brach used a rough Masonite surface with a base coat of silver spray paint. This was then covered with two coats of a light blue colour and topped off with a reflective paint layer to give the illusion of dense blue wiring.

He put two PCs into the base, each with three SATA hard drives and an optical drive. An irony is that the resulting scale model Cray-1, seen below, is probably more powerful than Cray's original near 40-year-old design.

Brach model of Cray-1

®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.