Feeds

Supercomputer geek builds Cray-1 around home PC

More powerful than the original?

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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

®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.