The Grommet Computational Facility
The centerpiece of the facility is an eight-processor Silicon Graphics Origin 2000 system named grommet. The system boasts eight 195 MHz MIPS R10000 processors and 4 GB of RAM with a local disk array totalling 99 GB. FibreChannel (100 MB/s transfer rate) drive technology is used for scratch space and other temporary storage purposes for those problems which are large enough to become disk-I/O-bound.
Why is it called "grommet"?
Additional processors can be included in the future, either directly to grommet or by means of distributed processing linkage with a second Origin 2000 (already containing two R10000 processors) owned and operated by the Department of Chemistry.
In the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (where grommet is housed) it has become something of a tradition to give computers "dog" names (bigdog, smalldog, dogmatix, etc.). The Department has a good number of computers, so it has become difficult to find new names which honor famous "dogs". Grommet is named in honor of the British claymation dog, Gromit, of the television show Wallace and Gromit. For those who have not seen the show, Wallace is a human who lives with his faithful and scholarly canine companion, Gromit. From all appearances, Gromit is the more sensible and intelligent of the pair, and endeavors to keep his master out of trouble.
As for the misspelling of the name -- all we can say is check your sources, especially on the Internet! The system was named using the misspelled form "grommet" and went into productive use before the error was uncovered.
page last updated 03/24/2001 | contact the chemistry web-master | page design by J. T. Frey