Berkeley NOW News

News on the NOW

This page lists major NOW happenings. For more the more mundane NOW homepage log, click here.

June 15, 1998: NOW Retreat Finale

The final NOW retreat took place June 15, officially ending the NOW Project.

For the full story, check out the retreat page.

Nov 7, 1997: NOW Software Release

NOW Software is available for all to use! Releases of both Active Messages, version 2.0, and Glunix, are available, in source code format, of course. Both require Solaris-based UltraSPARC systems.

For the full story, check out this page.

Oct 21, 1997: The Computer Chronicles

Be sure to watch for some of the NOW faces on this show:

Computer Chronicles, PBS
Week of Oct 28th
KQED Ch. 9 1:30pm Friday
KCSM Ch. 60 9:00pm Friday
KTEH Ch. 54 1:00pm Saturday

May 1, 1997: WebOS in Scientific American

In a recent commentary entitled "CyberView" in the May issue of Scientific American, the WebOS and Smart Clients work was described. In tandem, these projects seek to provide operating system services to wide area applications.

For the full write-up, click here.

April 30, 1997: NOW makes LINPACK Top 500!

Last night, the NOW team managed to squeeze 10.137 GFLOPS for 32K by 32K LINPACK on 100 UltraSPARC-I processors.

The NOW is 190th out of 500 according to the 11/18/96 TOP 500 list. In other words, the NOW is one of the top 200 supercomputers in the known universe!

April 1, 1997: NOW wins fastest sort trophies!

The NOW team was awarded two trophies for having the fastest disk-to-disk sorts this year! The first of these was for the Datamation benchmark, and old industry standard that requires the entrants to sort 1 million 100-byte records as fast as possible. A 32-node NOW cluster was able to sort this amount of data in 2.41 seconds, beating the old record by more than a full second!

The more interesting challenge was MinuteSort; how much data can you sort in one minute of elapsed time? Using the full power of 95 nodes, the NOW team sorted 8.41 GB in just under 1 minute. The last posted record was 1.6 GB.

Click here for more information on NOW-Sort.

January 28, 1997: NOW cracks keys in fastest time

RSA Data Security Inc. is offering a key-cracking challenge. The goal is to find the encryption key for a given algorithm and ciphertext (with some known plaintext).

At 9am on 28 January, the ISAAC Group started using the NOW clusters (and some other machines) to break a 40-bit key. This task was completed in just under 3.5 hours, earning us the $1000 prize.

For some perspective, keep in mind that 40-bit keys are the maximum allowed by export restrictions and therefore the industry default (though this particular algorithm is not currently in wide use). Thus if we can break a random key in just hours, then this is strong argument that the current restrictions are obsolete.

Click here for more information on the ISAAC project.

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