How cute can you get? If you address Dr Akira Goto with this question
is "Very." Dr Goto is the principal designer of Fujitsu's XP10K, the
world's fastest massively parallel supercomputer, leaving the Earth-Simulator
in the dust by a factor of 3 -- crunching numbers at almost 100 TFlops (Trillion
Floating Point Operations Per Second).
Goto's machine is not only the fastest, but also the cutest. Each
of the 1024 cupboard-sized compartments is painted entirely in pink
and sports a different Hello Kitty-theme. The large, 13' x 30' operator
console is decorated with purple, lilac and pink beads and runs short
Kitty-cartoon movies when idle.
"When honoring the invitation for tenders from the U.S. Department
of Defense, we were competing with IBM, General Electric and HP reports
Dr Goto. "We had to think of something really special and attractive
to be short-listed, so we deployed our uniquely Japanese intellectual
property as a winning selling proposition. It worked out very well,
we scored the lucrative contract."
The $26.5 billion ubermachine will be used by the U.S. Pentagon
for chemical warfare-simulation, assessment of thermonuclear holocaust-scenarios
and virtual prototyping of the new ultra-secret F-47 "flying
"We couldn't resist,", said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, "That
kitty is just so adorable we had to get one, in fact I got one for
my daughter too."
Citing a growing popularity of Hello Kitty merchandise among road
construction workers, Fujitsu has also licensed the Hello Kitty characters
for it's heavy machinery division and plans to unveil a Hello Kitty
road grater and a Badtz Maru asphalt grinder in 2003.
NEC has reportedly entered talks with Nintendo about building an
even faster supercomputer based on the Pokemon Jigglypuff.
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