|New Computer 2023
(31 Jul at 23:35)
|Boy, it sure is summer! I'm actually enjoying the heatwave, because it makes me feel accomplished for actually getting the A/C fixed before it was too late (even though it took 9 months, mostly anxiety about talking on the phone to strangers) but also because I enjoy running when it's very hot. It increases the self-flagellation factor. The woodsmoke: Not so much. I've done a lot of treadmill running this month because of that, and because it's convenient to fit an intense workout in at or after work if it's a busy day. In addition to the ongoing project to get a 5m00s mile, I've added 5k back to the mix. My best time is 18m32s, a 5m56s/mile. It's a little easier on the treadmill (mostly because of the lack of air resistance, although the automatic pacing does help), but it does seem likely that I could beat my all-time 5k PR at the moment. So if I don't do that before getting out of shape again, please criticize me.|
Earlier this month I nerd-sniped myself with "a little programming problem" and one piece of collateral damage was my computer: This program was a large computer search, and I have a rule that I'm only allowed to shop for new computers when I'm waiting for my computer to finish computing. So I was shopping for a new GPU (this is a CPU/GPU joint task) and eyeing the GeForce RTX 4090, which you can actually get for "normal" retail prices now. The GeForce RTX 4090 is an absurd graphics card, likely the world's biggest (like, physically biggest) and I knew that ordering it might lead to needing to shop for a physically larger motherboard or case or something. But that was just a Risk I'd Be Willing To Take, as another rule is that I'm allowed to buy a physically larger computer box or board to fit already-purchased components onto, if need be. When this chonky boi came, replacing the already-big-but-now-Lilliputian-by-comparison 3080 Ti, I benchmarked my routines one last time and powered down and tried to get Mr. 4090 in the computer, rearranging cable runs and everything in order to squeeze each last cc. As a reminder, this is a GPU so big you have to plug it in four times. I eventually squoze it in there, and then the computer would not boot with error 🇨🇴🇩🇪 ⊒ᕈ 🇩🇪🇹🇪🇨🇹 🇲🇪🇲. This was somewhat expected. So I put the old tiny board back in, and booted the computer to another 🇨🇴🇩🇪 ⊒ᕈ 🇩🇪🇹🇪🇨🇹 🇲🇪🇲. I manually detected the RAM (was where I left it) and reseated it. Still no love. Only ⊒ᕈ. So it seems the komputer was now kaput. Since I was doing some serious crunching prior to that I like to say that I computed too hard, but the truth is that I probably just broke the motherboard with the squeezing.
I'm glad this didn't happen during the acute phase of the chip shortage, because at least this month it was straightforward to find parts at retail prices. I went with the Threadripper again. It has its problems but I've just gotten spoiled by all the cores and I could imagine having "only" 8 or 16 cores. I got the 5975, which is also 32-core, but benchmarks about twice as fast as my previous computer. This computer is not, like, a good deal. But I really spend a lot of time on the computer so it seems like a reasonable thing to splurge on. 256 GB of RAM for the big ML models (slow) and/or storing five uncompressed copies of Wikipedia in memory. Heck yeah.
I had to upgrade the case to fit the Extreme ATX motherboard. Now I can't put my feet up on my computer tower under my desk any more, which means that I can't sit back and relax with my hands behind my head while my computer crunches. So this weekend I was also making a bit of foot furniture for under the desk; I made this out of trash as usual. I will show you next time, but it's currently waiting to be glued in the basement so it's not quite ready to be documented.
On this programming problem: I keep going back and forth about whether I'm likely in unexplored territory or else it's totally obvious and I'm making some rookie mistake. That can be exciting, though as of last night I'm mostly feeling like the latter. Somehow it's hard to give up on, though. I hope I can survive the sniper wound at least, since I've got several other projects in the works that I was also enjoying.
I have a few more stories, but I will save them for next time. Back to the glue!
|256GB is INSANE!
With all of that I hope you can race through this problem and finish the project!