May. 8th, 2017

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Woke up at around 4am and pottered around for a little while waiting for the sun to rise before taking myself out running. I ran a slightly uncertain route to downtown Redmond — my Garmin shows a very wiggly track — before reaching the Sammamish River Trail. I struck out down the trail — a lovely, flat route where I encountered a number of early joggers and few eager cyclists making their way to work. On the way back, I saw a tall, fast, Viking figure powering towards me. Naturally, it was TL out for his morning run; but unlike me, he'd come directly from the Marriott whereas I had an extra couple of kilometres to get back to the Redmond Inn.

Meeting CW for breakfast in our hotel, we walked to the conference and settled in for the morning sessions. Having attended the CLE6 tutorials last year and doubting whether there was likely to be anything new, I instead opted for NERSC's shifter session. The technology was interesting, not least because it solves many of the python performance problems seen on Lustre systems, and there were some interesting tricks to allow the containers to make use of hardware specific libraries on Aries systems.

The afternoon was taken up with a tutorial session on analytics and machine learning. The analytics part involved a series of sessions using Apache Spark on Cori with a range of different language bindings. There was an interesting mention of using conda to manage python installations and a session on R — Cray have added version enhanced to use their tuned versions of the BLAS libraries to their libsci bundle — followed by an overview of Cray Graph Engine which, while no doubt deeply fascinating, was rendered almost entirely incomprehensible by an abrupt attack of jet lag. The rest of the afternoon is so shrouded in exhaustion that I can't remember a thing about the rest of the session.

The evening's event was a version of Redmond's Saturday Market complete with food stands, a band — Acoustic Transitions — and an ice cream stand. As the night wore on, I had reason to regret my decision to wear a t-shirt: the wind grew increasingly cutting and I was eventually forced to cuddled up with one of the patio heaters to avoid freezing.


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