Mount Evans, fastest supercomputer

Happy Monday to everyone. Did you have a good weekend? Is you new week getting off to a positive start? Looks like were in for some cooler weather, still really nice, just not quite as hot. It was 109 degrees yesterday were my sister Marsha lives, in Amarillo, Texas.

Last Friday I took a drive to the top of Mount Evans. I had a nice lunch with my dad, he then graciously helped me fill my gas tank, so I thought it would be a good time to take that drive. There is still quite a bit of snow, but the road is open. I parked my car in the parking lot at the top of the mountain, then took a hike the rest of the way to the official summit. The view is just spectacular. You can see Long’s Peak to the north, Grey’s and Torreys Peaks, South Park, the Collegiate Range, Mount Bierstadt, the Sawtooth Ridge, the plains – just awesome. To view a four minute slide-show of my pictures, click here. I threw a snowball or two just for the fun of it. There were quite a few people up there, the parking lot was full. There were also some bikers, some riding from Echo Lake to the summit. Just a day after I was there, I read a sad news article about a woman in her twenties falling from Sawtooth Ridge. Click here to read the article. I am very blessed to be so close to something as awesome as the Rocky Mountains. Adventure is just a few hours drive away.

Today in the online algorithm class we learned about the quicksort algorithm. This is recursive partitioning. It is generally faster than insertion sort or merge sort. The mathematics part of this class is way over my head, but I am getting the gist of the algorithms and how they work. The math is about how long it takes the algorithm to run, there is a worst case scenario – the longest it would take to run, the average case scenario, and and a best case scenario. Usually in this class, they deal with the worst case. This is to get a ‘guarantee’ on how long the algorithm would take to run. I suppose computer time is a big commodity when dealing with large amounts of data, such as with phone companies, grocery stores, government entities, the electric company and so on.

The other day I read that Japan now has the fastest supercomputer in history, nicknamed K – a play on the Japanese word kei, meaning 10 quadrillion, the number of operations per second it is designed to perform when it is completed next year. It has performed 8.16 quadrillion operations a second, making it 3 times faster than China’s previous record holder.


Biking, Mt Evans

Greg on his mountain bike

Hello on this Tuesday afternoon, the first day of summer. Hope all are doing well and life is treating you good. I just got in from a bike ride and sat down with my ice tea and laptop.

Earlier today I took a drive up to Mt Evans; however, when I got the the turn-off, a sign said that the road was closed. Today was free access day, so I thought I would get in free, but to no avail. I guess the snow the mountains got yesterday was too much to keep the road open. I should have known it would take a while to re-open. I had a nice drive anyway and enjoy those kinds of day drives to locations around our great state of Colorado.

On my bike ride, I conquered the ‘Windsor hill’, a .4 of a mile hill near the town of Windsor. I have tried it 3 times on my mountain bike and have made it 3 times. It is a good warm up for the rest of the ride. After topping out I pedal on towards the Wal-mart distribution center about 4 miles away. So in total, I went about 8 miles today. The other day as I was topping the hill, I looked over to my left and a road biker was also just topping the hill. I said ‘Hi’ and went on. It is more difficult to reach the top on a road bike, the last time I tried this hill with my road bike, I had to get off and walk it to the top.

"Windsor Hill"

That reminds me of the last time I drove the the summit of Mt Evans. There were a group of about 50 -100 bikers all pedaling their way to the summit. None of them had mountain bikes they all were riding road bikes, what we used to call 10 speeds. When I got to the top in my car, I asked one of them where they were from – Boulder. Boulder, Colorado is one of the biking capitals of the United States. These bikers were in such great shape. They were some of the best conditioned athletes in the world. I have a challenging time walking three steps at that altitude, let alone biking for 15 miles, all above timberline. The Mt Evans summit is 14,264 feet in elevation or about 4348 meters.

For my next ride, I will check out the Poudre River Trail to see if it is open. Sections of it may be accessible for riding.