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September 18, 2003

I just got back from New Mexico last night, and will finally take some time to make a new post. I feel like I've been travelling a lot lately. In the past couple months, I've been to Portland, Seattle, Vancouver (British Columbia), Korea, Taiwan, Japan, New Mexico, and let's not forget Utah :).I was down there for work, installing part of the ASCI Lightning supercomputer, that our company has sold to Los Alamos National Labs (LANL). You can look here at a listing of the world's 5 most powerful computer systems. Note that LANL already has the 2nd fastest computer, and that my company (well, the one I work for) built the 3rd fastest. The one we're installing now will be in between those two, and it's in the same room as ASCI Q. The room is huge too -- 43,500 sq ft. And that's just the room. I've been there a few times now, and I first have to say that I'm always amazed at how barren New Mexico is. I wonder why people set up civilization down there in the first place. From the air, you can see the channel for the Rio Grande river running through Albuquerque, but it's now just a series of mudpuddles. I don't know where they get all their water. Also, the security at LANL can be intense. Besides having to be escorted everywhere (even to the bathroom), there are some other things that are really tight, which I'm not sure if I can mention. This, and the fact that it's a government institution means everything slows way down. My best/worst example of this was yesterday, when we needed to load some crates onto a truck. The truck driver had previously picked up the wrong crates from the loading dock and was going to take those up to Salt Lake, until someone at the external gate thought somethingg was suspicious. They found the problem and sent him back to get the right load. There were 14 crates in all, and the time it took for us to leave to load up the crates and get back to work was about 2 hours. That's two hours to load 14 crates, which easily rolled into the truck, over a distance of about 30 yards. Yes, the distance from where we were working, to the loading dock was only about 30 yards, with just a set of double doors between the computer room and the dock. The actual time to load the 14 crates onto the truck was about 5-10 minutes, with the remaining 110 minutes spent waiting for people, mostly a security guard to come and open the set of double doors. That was annoying. However, the entire experience was nice, and I had some pretty good food in Santa Fe.

Posted by charr at 9:55 AM
Reader Comments

Wow, it sounds like you work for a pretty cool company!
My sister lives in Albuquerque and I thought about moving down there from Denver until I went to see it and saw that there are no trees anywhere - just scraggly little bushes set down here and there throughout a massive flat desert (well, mostly flat, there are mountains and plateaus). It looks like somewhere aliens would like to live, maybe that's why they touched down in Roswell - just kidding.

Posted by Ellen at September 18, 2003 10:40 AM

There is a very good reason that people move down there. However, if I tell you the reason, you must swear not to go around spreading it all over the internet. Well, okay you can tell a few people.
It has something to do with fame. All you need is a good alien sighting or a crop circle and instantly you're in all sorts of news. Where better can you go to find such alien abundance? Next time you get the paper- that is "The Weekly World News", you'll see what I'm saying.

Posted by Mel at September 18, 2003 12:19 PM

I think that New Mexico is a very beautiful state in its own way only people that live here can really apreciate it. I love New Mexico.

Posted by Olivia Gutierrez at October 29, 2003 3:47 PM

New Mexico is the best state ever! I think it is a wild state all in its own. Everyone should respect it. Thank You

Posted by Marissa Knowlton at October 29, 2003 3:54 PM

I'm sure there are parts of NM that are lovely. However, the majority of what I've seen is quite dry and barren and brown. However, might I add that there is some wonderful food there also.

Posted by Cameron at October 29, 2003 4:08 PM

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