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Tel Aviv

July 24, 2010

Filed under: travel — Terry Wohlers @ 13:22

It had been some time since I last visited Israel. A recent visit reminded me of how nice Tel Aviv had become. The beach front is especially appealing, with bustling restaurants and activities for beach goers. The walkway along the coast spans as far as one can see to the north and south. I shot this picture from the Renaissance Hotel where I stayed. The ancient city of Jaffa is shown in the distance in the upper left area of the image. Jaffa was inhabited 7,500 years ago and is believed to be one of the oldest ports in the world. A friend and I followed the richly paved walkway from the hotel to Jaffa.

I arrived mid-afternoon on Wednesday of last week. I quickly checked into the hotel, dropped my bags in the room, and headed to the beach. After a short walk across the fine, white sand, I found myself submerged and relaxing in the warm and clear Mediterranean. I could not think of a better way to spend some time after being on planes and in airports for nearly 20 hours.

Israel offers some of the most interesting history anywhere and it is among the most advanced nations in the world. The Israeli people are highly educated and speak English flawlessly, even the taxi cab drivers. What’s more, Israel has more high tech startup companies than any country in the world, except for the U.S. Also, it has the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside of North America, according to Wikipedia.

I was told that Israel recently set a record for the greatest number of tourists visiting the country. I’m not surprised, given what this small but fascinating country has to offer. I did not visit Jerusalem on this trip, but I have a few times in the past and recommend it highly. Plan to spend a minimum of one day there and hire a guide. They are excellent and well worth the investment. If you’re staying near the beach in Tel Aviv, you can be standing in the Old City of Jerusalem in about an hour. And, it’s like stepping back in time thousands of years. Add Israel to your “Bucket List” if you have not done so already.


July 10, 2010

Filed under: review — Terry Wohlers @ 09:01

Tony Lockwood discussed the Cray CX1-iWS computer in his December 17, 2009 Check It Out newsletter from Desktop Engineering magazine. What I found most interesting is that this Windows 7 deskside workstation is available from Dell. Cray and Dell partnered with Intel and Microsoft to offer this incredibly powerful platform.

Cray Inc. has long been considered a premier manufacturer of supercomputers. Who would have thought that we would one day have a Cray running at our desks. The $39,000 price tag may deter the majority of us from buying one, but the point is that it’s available. A few years ago, this kind of power would have cost $390,000, and years before that, $3.9 million. In the future, we can expect to buy this kind of capability for $3,900.

The Cray CX1-iWS illustrates how far computing has come. According to Lockwood, the system is configured with 12 GB of memory (24 GB is optional), 4 TB of storage, and a high-end NVIDIA Quadro graphics. You or I may never own this particular system, but it’s likely that we may one day have a computer with this kind of capacity and power.