A Universal Hierarchical Designer

When I start working on a new project I often start by breaking the system into a few large parts and then incrementally defining the details inside those parts. I do this recursively, working on smaller and smaller levels of granularity until the grain-size matches whatever I’m implementing the system in (code, electronic components, Lego, […]


There were a number of errors in my last post. Error #1 The most egregious was in my interpretation of the high-performance Linpack (hpl) results. I was mystified by the fact that as I added nodes to the cluster performance would improve to a point and then suddenly drop-off. I attributed this to some misconfiguration […]

Back in Bl..ue

Thanks to a gracious gift of gadgetry for Fathers Day, I was able to spend last weekend increasing Mark II’s computing power to maximum capacity! Not only did I have the parts, but I also had the time (again thanks to Jamie & Berty) and had very ambitious plans for pushing Mark II across the […]

FOSS isn’t capitalism

It’s storytime children. Once upon a time there were no personal computers. All the electronic computers (going forward simply “computers”) were big and expensive and as such were owned by corporations, universities or the government. If you wanted to use one, you had to get permission and share. That changed around 1970 with the invention […]

Pump the Brakes

Looks like work on RAIN Mark II will be slowing-down a bit for a couple of reasons: First, the snow has receded which means work that can only be done during the month we call “summer” takes priority over anything that can be done inside (plus there’s just lots of fun things to do outside…). […]

Come Play Between the Lakes

Goodbye ReStore, This week, DONOR-1’s stay at the Beaver Dam Habitat for Humanity ReStore came to a close. We are very thankful of the ReStore for hosting DONOR-1 through the winter months, but now that the snow has finally melted it’s time for a new adventure. Hello Madison! We’ve heard from a lot of people […]


Based on feedback, conversations and thoughts about the short and long-term goals of the RAIN project I’ve decided to make some changes to the naming convention of the series. I’m renaming RAIN Mark II from Personal Supercomputer to Supercomputer Trainer. The term “trainer” refers to education-oriented machines and systems (typical of the 70’s and 80’s) […]