In this world we’re living the roles are still poisoned by the world we were before. Adam looks happy with me in his arms, so I relax my grip on him. I certainly hate using Earth roles, but I’m grateful they are there: they’re very useful to treat with unexpected fuckers like this one. Softly, slowly, so that I don’t wake up the beast, I move to his side, keeping my hand over him at all the time. How can I get rid of him, once and for all?

“Let’s go to meet my fans.” I smile, the best way I can, and I simulate again to fall, just to let him grab me. “They are really funny people!”

“Why should we meet them? I thought you wanted to be with me…” I try to evaluate his psychological state, without being noticed. His pupils are extremely dilated. His forehead is covered in pearls of sweat. But he seem to have forces to do whatever he wants, I can feel his muscles tense. He is definitely either intoxicated or ill. Maybe he ate something like I did that reacted wrongly on his body. I decide to ask directly.

“Are you OK, Adam? You seem to be…rigid.” I kiss him on the cheek. One for the play. He’s burning. I release him and walk out, but I keep a close distance, so he could grab me if he wants. “Did you take something before finding me back? I did! Some kind of …cone…”

“I took that cake…it was quite delicious…” I try to walk him direction our small party. “Where are we going now?” He is definitely drugged. I don’t usually commit such a big mistake judging my partners. But the fact he showed that behavior means for me that, deep inside, he’s like that. And I don’t like that.

“To the party, I told you. With my new friends.” I wave in the dark and Ea, that seemed to be showing more than a basic interest in my personna, leaves the group and comes to meet us. Very good.

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“So I found another of your secrets, Maria.” I look around before remembering I told him my birth name. “Do you usually care about your friends the way you cared about me?”

I look into his eyes. They’re reflecting the multiple torches on my back. I can hear Red and Yellow shouting from here, but I’m not really sure how far I am from there. I react.

“Sorry Adam. I really lost you. Where did you go? To pee or something?”

“I did not move. You moved.” Mein Gott, maybe he’s one of them, the stalkers. I decide to try to get control over him again. Carefully, looking as innocent as I can, I come closer and fall on his feet. Now, if he wants, he can kick me on my stomach. Then I mumble…

“Sorry…I got lost. And  then those girls gave me that weird mushroom…” I stand up, hanging from his trousers.”Will you help me, my dear friend?”

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Floating around

As a native, when I’m drunken I tend to forget that some people really come from another place. It is funny to think that all our culture, our slang, our clothes are somehow remnants of that other Earth, the Blue one, the one that was scorched by my grandparents. Here I am, speaking a language that is no more Englosh, or Englash, or whatever it was called, but being able to understand it, the same way they can understand us.

And they keep coming. The Blue Earth inhabitants. It’s true that they don’t come as frequently as before, but they come, and they tend to think the collision just happened. It’s not fair to say that they are wrong, because they probably are not, but it’s hard to put yourself in the same mind frame. How the hell am I supposed to  imagine life on a place like the one described on the books? With internet everywhere, even under your skin! The whole idea of having a company spying what I do on every moment of my day gives me goosebumps! Besides, here we don’t have the companies the books are describing, these corporations with thousands of  workers distributed all around the world. A company for me means a group of companions, that is, a temporary association with people on the search of a common goal, independently of the goal.

But what is really scary is to know that, somehow, the companies are still there, on the other side, in one way or another. We see their products arriving, we see their people coming, and they are OK with the apparent mess in time and space. I call it mess for historical reasons, I’m OK if one day I’m here, and the next one half a planet and 50 years away only because I took the wrong turn. Or because I turned the wrong way. We native know of the particularities, and you also know how to use them. Yes you know. It’s simply natural.

I need to puke. “Sorry” I manage to mumble. Ea lets me go, and I walk to the darkness of the bushes beyond our rendezvous. I throw up, clean my mouth, and look around. Ah, there is Adam.

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Happy three friends

“Let me introduce you to the people: the girls are Lana, Yomick, Bru and Alea, the boys are Pit, Angel, Ber, and Zap. The other one is Ea. Ea is not defined, you can call him or her whatever way you like. We simply call Ea, Ea.”

Fantastic crew! I like them all! I start by kissing the girls, and hugging the boys, then I stop in front of Ea. Ea seems to realize my confusion and he/she first hug me, then kiss me. In the middle of us, over a square, little indented, little twisted piece of masonry of the size of a small table, there’s an open barrel of around 50 liters of something. Hanging around it, a variety of drinking containers lay also: a horn, a glass, a teacup, a mug, a wooden vessel. I’m offered something that looks like out of a souvenir shop, since it’s quite baroque and it depicts the message “Frankfurt” written in gothic letters. Without doubting a second I sink it in the barrel, and I bring it full to my lips. My throat burns. Is it the cone I just ate?

“I propose a toast!” Red takes the mug, and does the same gesture I just did. The others repeat the ceremony, one after the other, in a similar way.  Red speaks when everybody is ready. “For LeBleu, the best challenge rider on Yellow Earth!”

“For LeBleu!” They shout. I quickly look around in the search of public, but the level of noise we’re generating doesn’t go so much above the background. We’re just a tear on a sea of sounds. Voices. Laughs. Other shouts. Clings, clashes. Over all I hear the drums coming from everywhere, their beats mixing up in the way only the drums can do, like in a conversation: one group beats, another answers. Drums in the dark. We’re in the middle of a relatively disperse crowd, but I seem to hear also people having sex close to us. Am I imaging it? I finally gulp the liquid in my glass, it’s first sweet, then sour, then something else. Tasty. Just what I needed after our long walk. Again I remember Adam. Where is he now? I try to speak.

“Tell me, Yellow, where do you watch the movies?” If they watch movies here, maybe they record them also, and I have always an urgent need of attention. The blonde girl looks at me, then to the dark haired Zap, that is now grabbing her waist. “There’s a viewing inside.” Zap says.

“Inside?” I point to the Tower, that shines now in a multitude of points, like in flames. The flames get more scarce the higher you look. Some of the faraway sparks seem to move up slowly, like crawling. Actually from here the Tower waves high above our heads, like a bamboo tree under heavy wind, but there’s no wind. A dimensional effect?

“Inside. Are you going to leave us so early?” Ea speaks. As an androgyne, his/her voice sounds very deep, so probably Ea was born a man. I can’t avoid but look to his (her?) crotch, and Ea seems to realize it. “If you leave, you’ll never know what I have here!” Ea says. It sounds like a challenge. But I don’t know if I will take this one. Besides, is it really a challenge, or is it what I want?

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The twins

“Wow, she’s here!” Two teens come running to me, when we start to get close to the mass of party people. “Can you believe it? LeBleu is here!”

“Who are you girls? Do I know you?” My guide up to now steps backwards. Adam seems to have problems to cope with the obvious intoxication of the twins, that grab me, touch me, and jump around, like if they are on the presence of  a prince, a millionaire, or something like that. Like a fan.

“We watch you when you did the jump on kernel Munich! That was amaaaazing! Did you know they recorded it in celluloid?” Now that explains the man over the wooden tower, pointing me with something like a very small canyon with two wheels on the top. I was concerned but I decided to let it be and jump. The thing was a portable mechanical film camera! So it is true: they’re starting to record old style movies here. I discarded the idea when I saw the film camera because of the well known irregularities and the way the technology fails. Damn, even the electricity is not working over a long distance. But I guess if you’re on the right zone, maybe the photons will manage somehow to imprint the celluloid in an uniform way… and if you have a mechanical generator as the ones described on the books… it is definitely possible. That opens a brand new business for me. Maybe I can become a yellow earth youtuber, after all. I need to watch that tape!

“No I didn’t know I was being recorded! Otherwise I charge them! So tell me, what are your names? And what can one challenge rider do here?”

“I’m Red, and she’s Yellow.” They make a pose in front of me. “We named us after your nick!” they shout. “You are the best of the tapes. Come!” I’m grabbed by both arms, Red to my left, Yellow to my right. We should make a colourful picture for Adam. By the way, where’s him?

“You need to try this mushroom! ” Yellow withdraws some kind of pouch from under her pants. From inside, she takes one round cone, of the size of my thumb, of a yellowish color. Probably dried. Tentatively, I grab it, and smell it. Without asking about, I eat it. What else could I do with it? “Amaaazing! ” Again they speak at the same time. “LeBleu is taking cones with us! What else can happen tonight?”

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Slurm vs torque vs SGE

It looks like slurm is becoming more and more popular. I must say I like it also, but I need to comment on other queuing systems that were there before.
For example, torque ,SGE (Sun Grid Engine) or LL (IBM Load Leveler).
From the user’s point of view, here you have a comparative table that I found around:
TORQUE command SGE command LL command
Job submission qsub [scriptfile] qsub [scriptfile] llsubmit [scriptfile]
Job submission to a node qsub -l nodes=sbnode102 [scriptfile] qsub -l nodes=sbnode102 [scriptfile] # @ node = nr.of.nodes
Job deletion qdel [job_id] qdel [job_id] llcancel job_id
Job status (for user) qstat -u [username] qstat [-j job_id] llq -u [username]
Extended job status qstat -f [job_id] qstat -f [-j job_id] llq -s job_id
Hold a job temporarily qhold [job_id] qhold [job_id] --
Release job hold qrls [job_id] qrls [job_id] --
List of usable queues/classes qstat -Q qconf -sql llclass

Source: here

As you see, the user experience is very similar. I didn’t try LL simply because you need to pay it. I think SGE is no more, and you need to use now something called Univa.
My first choice for a queuing system was torque. I chose torque somehow on a egoistic base: I used it before, therefore I was expecting a shorter learning curve.
The torque installation mechanism is similar to slurm  (you make your rpms, then you copy them on all the nodes) unfortunately, due to its multiple dependencies (like openmpi) it is a little bit more cumbersome and not easy to maintain.

To list the nodes, on the login node type

 pbsnodes -a 

A sample output will show a long list of nodes with information about them. A more readable output can be shown by typing:

 pbsnodes | grep -v status | grep -v ntype | grep -v mom 

The last 50 entries on the cluster server log of a specific day are visible by typing:

 tail -50 /var/spool/torque/server_logs/YYYYMMDD 

The node logs for an specific day can be checked in a similar way:

 tail -50 /var/spool/torque/mom_logs/YYYYMMDD

To show server parameters, like walltime (also as user) type:

 qmgr -c 'p s'

qstat command gives a list of jobs which looks something like this:

Job id            Name      User   Time      Use S Queue
----------------  ---------- -----  -------- - -----
1121.headnode1    jobName1   bob    15:45:05 R  priorityq       
1152.headnode1    jobName2   mary   12:40:56 R  workq       
1226.headnode1    jobName3   steve  0        Q  workq
So far so good. So why slurm and not torque?
Firs you have the job management. The jobs are better handled, they can run independently of the openmpi installation, and if you compile slurm with the right options, you will be able to store the job results on a MySQL database.
Second you have the software dependencies. If you need to use a specific openmpi (and I need to) you need to have torque compiled with it. That is not the case of slurm, that can work with the corresponding module.
So which one is your favorite? Or even better, which one do you think is performing better? I don’t have numbers…but I think slurm is here to stay 🙂
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The Chaos

I’m born here on Yellow Earth. So I heard about things like the internet, mosh pits, mega cities, terrorism and the nuclear holocaust like if they were fairy tales. I know due to the time asynchrony some people just arrived here, to a strange new World with a green moon and no apparent government or currency. I must add, I’ve never considered myself also a believer of the Master Plan, that will make us Humans Master of the Universe.

I think about all those legends of the original Earth, the mosh pits, the megacities, when I see what is going on around the Tower.

The Tower stands on the geometrical center of a square. The square is therefore interrupted by its mass, and everything that hangs from it. It looks more like a gigantic tree, like if it was grown there instead of built. And maybe it was. Two gothic arcs at different heights are predominant on both sides of it,  although not symmetric, they seem to be built on the same style. There are temporary structures hanging of them, filled with candles or gaslights, defying gravity, reminding me of spiderwebs illuminated by fireflies. Under them, the Chaos is unraveling. Under the left spiderweb umbrella, the lower one, loud music plays, drums, guitars, and voices can be heard, mixing in a casual way. The beat coming, even muzzled by the distance, is contagious, and I need to stop myself to run away there. I can distinguish shining naked bodies around big things (painted animals?) jumping in the middle. What are those, oversized kangaroos? To the right, there are towers of barrels, spraying alcohol over the crowd. Some people seem to be taking care the spray is reaching everybody. I know it’s alcohol because of the smell! The smell is so strong that is reaching where we are, still a hundred meters away from them. The multitude seems to be ready to die out of an overdose of whatever they are providing, and probably they are. Oddly enough, from my point of view, everything seems to be manageable: it’s a big party, right, but nothing you can’t cope with, especially if you’re a challenge rider.

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