Thinking Parallel

A Blog on Parallel Programming and Concurrency by Michael Suess

BlogsWell, if thats true, I am a mixture between a blog and a book. A blok maybe. Or a boog :smile:. Last week I have been writing about books. This week, it’s blogging week and I am going to tell you about the blogs I read related to parallel programming. All of them are really worth subscribing to in my humble opinion and maybe you will think so as well after you have taken a look at them. (more…)

Today I would like to talk about a really good book. I have had it laying on my desk for some time and have not gotten around to reading it fully (only skimmed through it), mostly because Java was not at the very top of my priorities. But now that I have read it, I must say it is a really enlightening book not only for people wanting to educate themselves about Java threads, but for everyone who wants to mix object orientation and threads – which can be quite a challenge. I am talking about the book JAVA Concurrency in Practice by Brian Goetz and others. (more…)

AngryMy regular readers know that I am doing a lot of parallel programming for work. I am writing my PhD-thesis on it. I am maintaining this blog on the very topic and have even stated in the past that I love parallel programming and why. Yet, there are still a few days when I wish things would just go a little smother. And on even fewer of these days, I hate parallel programming. This post lists and explains the top five reasons why this is the case sometimes. It is also my submission for Darren Rowses (problogger) new group writing project. (more…)

The LoopThere was a very interesting discussion on the OpenMP Mailing List last week about a for loop and how to parallelize / optimize it. I will comment on the problems and solutions presented there and also have an interesting observation to add at the end of this article. Although the examples are in OpenMP, the problem and solutions are applicable to any threads-based parallel programming system. (more…)

WelcomeMy series of interviews with the parallel programming idols has brought in a whole bunch of new readers, especially regular ones that have subscribed to my newsfeed. I would like to take this opportunity to say Welcome to all of you, it’s nice to have you here! I will also share some thoughts for the future in this post. (more…)

Joe DuffyThis is the fifth and last post in my Interviewing the Parallel Programming Idols-Series. A lot of other potential interview partners have been suggested by some of my readers and I may get back to doing another round of this series after a while. My interview partner today is Joe Duffy, who used to be the concurrency program manager on the Common Language Runtime team from Microsoft. He is now back to being a developer and works on parallel libraries, infrastructure, and programming models in Microsoft’s Developer Division. This puts him into a unique position to talk about threading and .NET, especially since he also has a widely-know blog about the topic and has authored a book on .NET: Professional .NET Framework 2.0. I am therefore very grateful that he agreed to answer my questions! (more…)

David ButenhofThis is the fourth post in my Interviewing the Parallel Programming Idols-Series. I don’t think I need to introduce my interview-partner today to anyone who has done threads-programming (except maybe to the Windows-folks). His name is David Butenhof, and he has left a big footprint in the POSIX Threads standard. David presently works for Hewlett Packard and can frequently be found on comp.programming.threads (the newsgroup on everything threads-related). And let’s not forget he wrote a great book on POSIX threads: Programming with POSIX Threads. I have called this book the bible of POSIX Threads in the past, and I will repeat it here. (more…)

Sanjiv ShahThis is the third post in my Interviewing the Parallel Programming Idols-Series. My interview partner today is Sanjiv Shah, who I was lucky enough to meet at various OpenMP-workshops. I have come to know him as the most knowledgeable person about OpenMP and parallel programming ever :P. Let me add a little bit about his background. Sanjiv Shah is a Senior Principal Engineer in the Software and Solutions Group specializing in multi-threaded computing and the Director of the Performance, Analysis and Threading Lab at Intel. During his career, Sanjiv has worked on and managed many aspects of performance and correctness analysis tools, compilers and runtimes for parallel applications and systems. He has been extensively involved in the creation of the OpenMP specifications and of the industry standards organization known as the OpenMP Architecture Review Board. He is a former CEO of the OpenMP ARB and continues to serve on its Board of Directors. What a long list of titles :D. Besides that, he is also a really nice guy and a joy to talk to. (more…)

William GroppThis is the second post in my Interviewing the Parallel Programming Idols-Series. Today I am talking with William Gropp (who I am allowed to call Bill :P). Bill had a major role in the creation of the MPI standard and is co-author of one of the most influential MPI-implementations to date (MPICH). He presently works at the Argonne National Laboratory as a Senior Computer Scientist. Bill has also been named an ACM Fellow in 2006. And let’s not forget he also writes books, among them the definite reference for MPI: MPI: The Complete Reference. Never program an MPI-program without that book on your desk :P. All this makes him the perfect candidate for a Parallel Programming Idol! (more…)

Folding RuleJeff Atwood at Coding Horror is not the first, but maybe the most popular blog yet to comment on the recent inroads the Playstation 3 has made into the Folding@Home-world. Although the console has only been released for a few month, it has already contributed 72 percent of the computing power in the entire Folding@Home project. Not to mention that it was only released in all of Europe the day before yesterday. And has not exactly taken the world by storm, either, if you look at the sales figures (the Wii, the PS2 and the Xbox360 are all selling better in the recent months in the US). Still, the PS3 has shown all other contestants where they stand with regards to Folding@Home. Therefore I have asked myself the question: is it time yet to throw away the traditional supercomputers and start again from scratch with Cell? (more…)