Cray-1 - The home supercomputer

Giovedì 01 Dicembre 2016, 20:50

Cray-1AIt took me almost a year to complete the Cray-1 project during my spare time. When I decided to build a physical copy of the first supercomputer ever, as faithful as possible, I found on the web a lot of inspiring examples (just like this one by Chris Fenton). In 1975 the 80 MHz Cray-1A was announced. Excitement was so high that a bidding war for the first machine broke out between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, the latter eventually winning and receiving serial number 001 in 1976 for a six-month trial. Since then, the Cray-1 supercomputer reigned as the world’s fastest from 1976 to 1982 (source).

My personal 1:8 Cray-1A was made laser cutting some plexiglass sheets after a careful drafting process of the main vertical framework, which originally hosted over 60 miles of wire with no segment longer than 3 inches, to minimize signal delays. Amazing! My Cray-1A is equipped with a Rasperry Pi 2 board (out of 12 possible parallel slots) running a customized Os: a dedicated I2C controller drives a 16x2 characters LCD blue display while wi-fi and bluetooth interfaces guarantee wireless connections.


The weird 3D tourist

Venerdì 26 Agosto 2016, 18:40

Paris from the Arc de Triomphe (S. Garagnani)

As part of my job and research work, I'm always into the digital representation of the built environment, even when off-duty. It's mostly a state-of-mind attitude, I suppose. That's probably why I cannot behave like ordinary visitors especially when I am a tourist on holidays for the first time in Paris!


My Dinky Toys' Space 1999 Eagle restoration project

Domenica 29 Maggio 2016, 22:52

Eagle After some very busy weeks, I managed to apply the decals I ordered last month on eBay to complete my Dinky Toys' Space 1999 eagle. Since I found in UK another Eagle in very bad conditions, I decided to restore it as well, bringing to a new life another Eagle, this time in its Rescue livery. So, after Episode I, Episode II and Episode III, it's time to make the story short, presenting the final results of my efforts. My Eagles are now ready to take off from Moonbase Alpha...
Paul Morrow: Alpha to Eagle One, come in One. Alpha to Eagle One, come in One. 
Cmdr. John Koenig: Eagle One to base, we copy. Paul, we're returning to Alpha. 

Let's go straight to the final Episode!


My Dinky Toys' Space 1999 Eagle restoration project

Domenica 27 Marzo 2016, 18:08

Episode III

Previously, on these pages, I presented some progresses in my Dinky Toys' Eagle restoration, with episode I and episode II. Today I found some spare time to complete the paint job, even if the quality of spray paintings I chose was not so good and the final result does not satisfy me completely.

However, this is how the story went...


My Dinky Toys' Space 1999 Eagle restoration project

Venerdì 25 Marzo 2016, 18:50

Dismantled Eagle!

My restoration project keeps going, dismantling at first the old toy. Since I was a child I wondered why Dinky decided to paint these amazing die-cast models with such an infamous colors, mybe due to some marketing choices or some paint remainings from the Ufo Shado line. In fact in the early 1970's, Dinky Toys produced an Interceptor toy as well, which for some reason was painted green!

Let's dive into the second part of my chronicle...



Dal 2004 questo piccolo angolo di rete raccoglie gli interessi di ricerca e i lavori di sperimentazione digitale di Simone Garagnani in materia di cultura geek, ma soprattutto di Building Information Modeling, rilievi digitali ad alta risoluzione e computer graphics legata al mondo dell'architettura, dell'ingegneria e delle costruzioni. TC Project, è presente anche sul social network Facebook.


Welcome to these pages that host since 2004 Simone Garagnani's personal blog, a collection of nerd notes and geek experiences focused sometimes on Building Information Modeling, terrestrial laser scanning, digital photogrammetry and computer graphics applied to the AEC world. The TC Project is also available on Facebook.

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    Ultimi commenti

    Mike (Cray-1 - The home…): Are the files still available?
    MojaMonkey (SGI VW540 @ TC La…): Hi Simon? This is a long shot but I was wondering if you have a copy of the SGI drivers required to…
    Walter (Cray-1 - The home…): Could I get a copy of the plans (in English)?
    Simone (GreenSpider - Gra…): Hello Renè, GreenSpider is still a prototype and its development has stopped since the last update la…
    René Scarpa (GreenSpider - Gra…): Hi Simone I’m having the same problem. I have checked all of the above, but still getting the same er…
    Simone (GreenSpider - Gra…): Hi Erik, GS Translator accepts only .XYZ files in standard format, so try these checks, as indicated …