Supercomputers for everyone!

This is exactly what I think of when someone says the word, “supercomputer.” Admittedly, this book is a bit out of date, having been published in 1995. We must have been coming off of a post Star Trek:TNG high and all its totally geeky awesomeness. I would had to wear that helmet, surely it is heavy and surely it would give me a headache. What do the giant four buttons do exactly?

I remember when Apple launched the Power Mac G4 “supercomputer” and Steve Jobs’ use of that term to describe his company’s newest desktop computer.

From the stage, Jobs announced that the machine was “by definition” a supercomputer. Jobs plays off of an apparent warning the company received from the federal government, which cautioned that the G4 was so powerful it could not be imported to “sensitive countries.”

While Jobs’ assertion that the G4 was a supercomputer based on a dated government definition enacted to control technology exports to hostile countries, it was more marketing hype than anything.

According to Jobs, the G4 is a supercomputer because it runs at the “gigaflop” level. A computer running at a speed of 1 gigaflop can perform roughly 1 billion calculations per second. “Flop” is short for “floating-point operations per second.” A gigaflop of power is roughly equal in computing to four 400 Mhz Intel processors.

But that definition of a supercomputer has been long outdated. Quite the kerfuffle back in the day.

4G Speeds

Not bad connection speeds for on the Sprint 4G network. This was using my Sierra Wireless W801 untethered, which means it was operating as a base station. Early in the morning during Defcon when all the drunks were passed out I would get slightly higher speeds. It’s nice to have ISP options, it’s good for the consumer. Oh and there is no transfer cap. Suck on that Comcast.

Wireless is very usable on a 4G connection. Playing a FPS might still suck because the latency but everything is very usable.

Speed Test
Speed Test

Time to change the name servers … sigh

Comcast upgraded their name servers a week ago and they are blazing fast. I have been using OpenDNS ans they do a good job. I also like that they can block malware and fishing sites. The crap getting embedded in legitimates ads is starting to get worrisome. However, speed has too much allure for me thus the change. Checkout namebench to perform your own DNS testing.

Comcast Salt Lake City US is



than your current primary DNS server

Tested DNS Servers

IP Descr. Hostname Avg (ms) Diff Min Max TO NX Notes Vantio Comcast Salt Lake City US 50.76 48.8% 9.0 729.3 0 1 Ultra Recursive UltraDNS-2 74.35 1.6% 37.5 1608.9 0 0 SYS- resolver1.opendns.com5.dfw 75.54 39.3 566.9 0 0
  • The current preferred DNS server.
  • Replica of
  • Replica of SYS- [] SYS- 81.01 -6.8% 21.8 636.3 0 1
  • A backup DNS server for this system. Vantio SYS- 83.58 -9.6% 23.0 717.8 0 1
  • A backup DNS server for this system. SYS- 93.79 -19.5% 22.9 1039.9 0 1
  • A backup DNS server for this system. Vantio Comcast Salt Lake City Opt-Out US 94.08 -19.7% 8.9 750.7 0 1 1.3.4 DynGuide-2 124.80 -39.5% 39.2 769.1 0 0
2001:470:20::2PowerDNS Recursor 3.1.7 $Id: 1200 2008-06-14 21:11:33Z ahu $ Hurricane Electric IPv6 ordns.he.nettserv3 165.57 -54.4% 76.5 3259.0 0 2 Google Public DNS-2 181.74 -58.4% 96.0 3500.0 4 1 Vantio Comcast DNSSEC US 198.04 -61.9% 9.3 914.1 0 1 SYS- resolver2.opendns.com5.dfw 47.49 39.0 0
  • A backup DNS server for this system.
  • Shares-cache with current primary DNS server Vantio SYS- 276.19 2.4 0
  • A backup DNS server for this system.
  • 20 queries to this host failed
  • Slower replica of SYS- []
  • dns.message.TrailingJunk (14 requests)


Mean Response Duration

Mean Duration Graph

Fastest Individual Response Duration

Fastest Response Graph

Response Distribution Chart (First 200ms)

Response Distribution Graph (first 200ms)

Response Distribution Chart (Full)

Response Distribution Graph (full)

Query Details


Name Value
benchmark_thread_count 2
enable_censorship_checks 0
health_thread_count 40
health_timeout 3.75
hide_results 0
input_source firefox
num_servers 11
ping_timeout 0.5
query_count 250
run_count 1
select_mode automatic
template html
timeout 3.5
upload_results 0
version 1.3.1

229 songs and 891 miles

Some of the gang set out on a weekend trip. We headed to Butte Montana on our motorcycles. Our excuse for this ride was Evel Knievel Days. This is a celebration of Evel Knievel and his craziness in his hometown in the middle of nowhere.

We met up on Wasatch Blvd in Salt Lake City. The gang included Lea, Petey, Todd, Q, Rick, Ben, and Tatanka (that became my nickname for the trip). After topping off our gas tanks and sampling some kind of bagel ball from the nearby bagel shop we were on our way. Our first destination would be Evanston, Wyoming. This is only about 75 miles and it took us a little over an hour to get there. We used I-80 and passed through Park City. It was mostly hot and there was one obnoxious driver determined to run me over while he yapped away on his cell phone. We try to limit each stint to under 100 miles and only once did we go above that. We stopped for fuel and a beverage. Gas is a lot cheaper in Wyoming. The Flying J Travel Plaza in Evanston is the ticket to success. More importantly though we were now off the Interstate. This is where the real riding and fun kick in. Driving a motorcycle is fun, it is even more fun when you can do it on back roads.

Once again on the road. We did a good job of forming a nice zig-zag formation in our group. Everyone falls nicely into line except for Todd. He doesn’t seem to like it when I ride next to him. One the road you can barely hear anything because the motorcycles are so loud. Most of us strapped on our iPods and cranked up the tunes. For this trip I got out the Shure SE530’s for maximum quality. I mean I did rip everything in FLAC for heaven’s sake.

About a half hour outside of Evanston we stopped in a small town called Woodruff, UT. The road we are taking (WY-89) winds back and forth across the Utah-Wyoming-Idaho-Montana borders. Once again we stopped for fuel and another drink. Interestingly enough the iPhone was the only device that worked, thank you very much.

Our next stop would be almost an hour north, Cokeville, Wyoming. Once again the iPhone prevailed in all it glory over the inferior Blackberries. For road trips I have a windshield on my motorcycle that Lea helped me put on. It makes riding long distances very nice. The only one who did not have one in our group was Ben. I think he might be reconsidering that decision. Not only does it make riding easier, the windshield also protects you from the zillions of mosquitoes that usually smash into you. The down side being you have to clean off you windshield frequently as there are zillions of mosquitoes smashed into it. My routine quickly became fill with gas, clean windshield. get a drink.

Back on the road again. This part of our trip was filled with valleys of rolling hills with dramatic rock faced mountains in the background. The views were fantastic. This stint ended in Alpine, Wyoming at a hotel called the Flying Saddle where we would spend the night. It sat right on the Snake River and my room overlooked that river. We went to the nearby steakhouse and had a not-so-good steak. Our waiter was Tony. He often managed to disappear for long periods of time and we had to hunt him down a few times. I’m pretty sure he was not only serving us our food but killing it, cooking it as well. The restaurant is called the Flying Saddle Steakhouse. Not very good. Best to be avoided. The best part of our evening was some old lady at a nearby table got mad at us for being too loud. I’m pretty sure of two things. Her husband is miserable, and her husband wanted very much to be at our table having a good time instead of being with her.

The next morning we got up and headed to a nearby Cafe called Yankee Doodles Cafe. It was fun and the breakfast was tasty. Q and R ditched us to meet up with Q’s father-in-law Kyle. This would be a recurring theme on our trip. After getting back on the saddle we continued our northward trek. Cruising along the snake river meant that the area was nice and green. There were large reservoirs and and streams we passed by. By this time we were in Targhee National Forest so the pine trees were thick. The views very some of the best of the trip and the curves were awesome. We tried to use by-way as much as we could to have a more scenic route. It was fun to maneuver the motorcycle along this road.

Our next stop was almost two hours away. Ashton, Idaho. The fun part of this stop was, we got to see the state record setting brown trout in a nearby fishing supply store. They also had huckleberry ice cream.

Again another two hours more north. This time to Ennis, Montana. We ate lunch at the Ennis Cafe for which I am in no way responsible for. L made an “executive decision” to eat here. Man, this placed sucked so bad it was scary. If you are ever in Ennis, don’t eat here. Really, don’t eat here. There were a surprising number of people stopped in this little town.

Another 90 miles and we arrive our destination for the day. Anaconda, Montana and the Fairmont Hot Springs Hotel, just outside of Butte, Montana.

Evel Knievel Days takes place in Butte Montana. Montana is a wondrous place where the citizens still believe that the government should really be a part of their life. This festival takes place on the downtown streets where people openly consume alcohol, and yet no one is out of control. The police don’t really care about speeding and yet chaos has not ensued and everyone seems to be just fine. I wonder when people will wake and realize that more government, let alone government is not the answer. Anyway, there was lots of fun stuff going on like the X-Games, and daredevil stunts.

We had a great time.