SC07, Cluster Challenge and no sleep

Update: visit also my Cluster Challenge page :)

Not much to add to the tagline. I was at SC07 :) . Oh, if you don’t know this conference … it’s one of the biggest in CS. There were about 9000 attendees this year. Actually I was supposed to go there to give my talk , but it turned out to be different. Shortly before the conference, I got suckered into this cluster challenge thing. It promised to be a lot of fun, and it was eventually. But it also costed a lot … beginning from huge time investments before the conference, weekends in the lab over sleepless night during the conference and finally some more problems that shall remain unmentioned. We will see if I will do it again …

My talk was a catastrophe. It was well prepared (in breaks during the cluster challenge preparation) … so a test-presentation went pretty good. But I did not think about a possible risk … technology. My MacBook stopped working properly as soon as I started the presentation (in front of the whole SC audience!!). Ok, so we had a backup-PC and I had my slides on a backup USB stick that Microsoft gave me for free before that. I should not have trusted this thing! So the talk went on .. pretty ok, but suddenly the USB stick (plugged to a MS Windows PC!) stopped working. The fiddling began again and finally we (the chairman and me) made it work again. Oh my god … everything failed! A total nightmare! But the audience was pretty patient (I guess they know about technical problems pretty well ;) ).

Some pictures from my talk:

Yes, there were quite some interested people asking questions afterwards!

Ah, and something else … I lost a bet (as you can see :) ):

Yes, I impersonated Pikachu! I turned into the Stony Magnet ;) . But yeah guys … it did not work … so the real Stony magnet (which worked *amazingly* well!) is here: