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Re to Arvind's reply



This is in response to Arvind's response to some points I had raised
earlier.

<<Unfortunately, what many of us do not know is that what CDAC has
done is not to produce a supercomputer by assemble a massive parallel
processor using SUNs microprocessors. To really develop a
supercomputer, we should encourage the semiconductor industry.>>

I think its difficult to shake off conventional thinking. We should
not get unduly caught up in existing definitions. In this case the end
functions can be achieved by different routes. The use of the multi
processor architecture ( This embraced the concept of Open Frame
Supercomputing. Supercomputing had anyway migrated from traditional
architectures to multi-processing architectures and was spearheading
the growth of high-performance computers and mainframes )was because
of easy access to available, reasonably priced technology. The end
solution was a system far cheaper than what CRAY for example had on
offer. I had designed most of the specialised print material for CDAC.

<<We recently missed the bus when TI scrapped its plan to set up a
silicon wafer unit thanks to many hurdles. Had this come in, we could
have expected spin-off companies owned by Indians.>>

We should also not get stuck with this tendency to look for a Western
or other shoulder to lean on. Lets not rely on the likes of TI to
initiate a semiconductor industry. Im not sure if you are aware of a
indigenous dedicated chip technology centre in Punjab, which
mysteriously got burnt down. Would anyone have specific details as to
why some Indian initiatives die a quiet death ?

If we have a vision and the keeness to initiate, things can happen. We
need self reliance on all counts. The environment to attract and
sustain the best minds has to be created here.

<<One professor who was watching the thermometer suddenly got up and
pulled out the magicians hand when the reading was the melting point
of wax (74 degrees?) and asked in Tamil, Ennapa idhu? (what is
this?). Petrol flowed out from his hollow stirrer! Yet, he was given
one more chance the next day. He never turned up. It was not that the
profs at IIT were jealous. They were informed about him by one
Mr.Bajaj(?) of some other institute (private institute?) that there
was lead content in his fuel during one experiment and no lead content
after petrol pumping stations started selling unleaded petrol. Please,
let us not believe in miracles. We need to develop scientific temper.
Hats off to the scientists who discarded his idea at first based on
the theoretical content of carbon required for energy to be produced.>>

You missed my point. Instead of looking for loopholes, the attempt
should have been to maximize and build on this attempt as an
alternative fuel. Somebody mentioned the story of the crabs. This is
typical of our people.

<<Leaf burns. Some of them have some oil content. Systematic research
*is* going on. A few months back there was an article about oil from
some seed which could be used as fuel (but not very efficient)>>

Petrol as we know didnt happen in a day. Any new technology or
solution involves the dedicated investment of time and money. There is
no instant karma.

Rajeev Manikoth

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