After a late fall hiatus, Radio Free HPC is back, baby. This is our holiday episode and we start by pledging to be 29% more scintillating in the new year, which is a significant bonus for listeners if we can hit that mark.
The theme of the show is HPC: High Performance Christmas. We left the topic loosely defined in order to see if we could out some interesting stories. Listen to the podcast to hear the details, but in short:
Henry’s holidays for a long period of time were consumed doing customer benchmarks. It worked kind of like this: customer pushes out an RFP just before the holidays in order to get it off their desk and onto the vendors so they could take off for their vacations. This would mean that the vendor architecture and benchmarking crew is in for a lot of long nights over the Christmas holiday, making certain that their systems meet and beat the benchmark standards. Grueling work that couldn’t be outsourced to Santa’s elves.
Shahin had similar experiences as a SE back in the day. He would be helping customers with problems that seemed to inevitably cross over into the holiday period. He logged long hours at customer sites, working to get new systems installed, upgrade existing boxes, or just make them work better. Like the Maytag repairman, he was always at his post, watching for any problems. Unlike the Maytag repairman, there was plenty of trouble to be found.
Jessie changed the pace from “Sad Nerd Christmas” and discussed her all-time favorite gift when she was much younger. What was it? Not what you’d expect. Her aunt bought her a full sized heavy bag for Jessie to beat the hell out of. And beat on it she did. For hours and hours and years and years. In fact, she still uses it whenever she’s back home.
Dan had a few stories to share. One was when his parents gave him a bike speedometer along with front and back light generator kits. This was during the 70’s when bicycle power generation products weren’t very sophisticated. It took a hellish effort to keep both lights lit and the speedometer spinning, making his paper route take that much longer. He also told the story of when his grandparents gave his brother and him a massive slot car set – where the cars were huge and the lights dimmed when you powered it up. Good times!
We’re hoping that all of you have a great holiday season and that you remain steadfast listeners throughout the next year – all 16 of you.