HPC Wanted: one mascot, must have own costume

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Diane Lieberman from over at Tabor (the mothership for insideHPC these days) has an interesting post. She observes that although HPC touches the lives of just about everyone these days and although there are many of us watching for that elusive low-end HPC market to coalesce out of the ether, we aren’t making much progress

Why? Because despite our best intentions and the state of the technology, as an industry we have failed thus far to connect the dots. We have not adequately presented a case to the small-medium business community, let alone consumers, about how HPC can be accessible and how it impacts our lives on a daily basis.

Think about it. The average person is touched by HPC dozens of times every day. When we go to the gas pumps. When we take a prescription drug. When we call up the local weather report online. When we drive our more energy-efficient vehicles. When we make an online stock trade. (Hope you’re not doing too much of that these days.)

And why do we care? Recall the million monkeys coding theorem: the more people using HPC, the bigger the odds are that someone will discover something truly transformational.

She suggests a mascot, or at least a “Joe the plumber” conceptual handle for HPC. I agree we need one. Any marketing hobbyists out there? Put on your thinking caps and post your magic phrases in the comments. “Computing for life”? “Creating. Thinking. Building. HPC.”? “From mom’s medicine to junior’s car seat: HPC”? Eh, I’m not an advertising guy.


  1. John Leidel says

    Why not use Doug Eadline’s ClusterMonkey? 🙂

  2. Hey, I kinda like the “Joe the HPC guy” …

  3. John Leidel says

    Well, if we go that route, the logo must feature him riding a [jack] rabbit.

  4. What HPC really needs is a killer app and greater accessibility, sort of like how the spreadsheet and low-cost PCs brought the first wave of mainstream IT adoption (the second wave came from desktop publishing and easy-to-use GUIs). It’s quite likely that the accessibility for HPC will come from either stream processor-based “personal supercomputers” or on-demand (cloud) resources; the killer app, however, has not been released.