Computer Science Journal

3 Lessons from My First Semester at Georgia Tech

Posted on | January 8, 2012 | No Comments

Tomorrow I begin my second semester at Georgia Tech. Here is some aggregated wisdom from my first semester of college:

1. Find your study spot: though it may seem easier to just stay in your dorm and study, the dorm poses many distractions: your neighbors knocking on your door to hang out, temptations of watching episodes of Glee on Hulu, etc. Also, according to the psychological principle of “stimulus control”, if you create a strong association between a stimulus (your study place, for example, the library) and an activity (studying), every time you are presented with the stimulus, you will automatically be prompted to preform the activity. Thus if you eat, sleep and watch tv in your dorm, your brain doesn’t “know” to prepare itself for studying. However, if all you do at the library is study, the minute you enter the library, you will find yourself in a studying mode. Trust me, this will come in handy on finals week.

2. Combine study and social: At Georgia Tech there’s a saying: “you can only have two of the three: sleep, study, or social”. My first semester, however, has proven that you can indeed have all three. Sometimes it just takes some combining, sometimes you can find some help with engineering papers on writing service like essay writing place. Finding a good study group for a class can be very important and helpful. Often collaboration leads to better understanding of the material, and is beneficial for all the involved. An important part of group studying, however, requires honesty. Don’t try to sound smart by pretending to understand things you don’t. Remember, it is okay to ask other for help.

3. Find your routine: this may seem obvious, but time management is key to your success. Before you know it, you will have a research paper due the next day, piled on top of the four tests that week, and a group project the day after. To ease yourself into such weeks of pure hell, establish a strong routine. Just because your workload has increased, doesn’t mean you have to skip the gym and gain the dreaded Freshman Fifteen. Set aside some time in advance for working out, or hanging out with friends, and dedicate the rest to studying, and you will see the all of the above can be done.

High Performance Computing Financial Markets Show & Conference 2011, New York City, Sept 19, 2011

Posted on | August 31, 2011 | No Comments

The 2011 8th Annual High Performance Computing Financial Markets Show and Conference will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC on September 19th, 2011.
Scope of topics will cover:

  • High Performance Computing
  • Data systems
  • Network systems
  • Low latency
  • Cloud computing
  • Virutalization and optimization
  • Linux

Interview with Kirk W. Cameron, Miserware CEO

Posted on | August 29, 2011 | No Comments

On July 19th, 2011, MiserWare, developer of the power management Granola Enterprise software, announced its partnership agreement with In-Q-Tel, an independent non-profit organization connecting the US Intelligence Community with private technology startups. In this exclusive interview, Miserware CEO, Kirk W. Cameron elaborates on the advantages of the software and what it means for customers, from federal agencies to average PC users.

Q:How does MiserWare technology work?
A:Computers are built to handle lots of varied tasks. Each component is
designed to provide maximum performance at any given moment. This
means some components are typically “always on” and “at the ready” for
any given task. Unfortunately, these devices consume lots of power
whether they are utilized fully or not. Our Granola software runs
invisibly in the background on your system and adjusts the power
consumption of your system components to the task at hand. So, when
you’re playing World of Warcraft, our software ensures the system
operates at its maximum performance levels, but for example when you
switch and start writing a document in MS Word, our software
automatically reacts and reduces the power consumption of the
processor which is not typically stressed by just running Word. This
might be how you would use Granola on a PC to reduce your operational
costs or on a laptop to increase battery life.

Our technology goes one step further in the Granola DataCenter
version. In this version, we allow further control over our
patent-pending performance guarantee technology. In a typical data
center server, power management is typically disabled since the
operators do not know what impact (usually negative) the power
management defaults in Linux/Windows will have on availability and
performance. With our patent-pending technologies, the end user can
set an SLA or service level agreement with our software which enables
the user to use power management features while guaranteeing a set
level of performance or availability. With our software, a typical
server can save more than $100 per year in electricity bills which
adds up quickly in common data centers with thousands of machines.

Q: What competing technology currently exists to solve this problem, and in what sense is this product an improvement over the existing technology?

A:On the PC/laptop side, we compete with the default power management in
Windows and Linux. Most people are fairly dissatisfied with the impact
these default operating system power management tools have on their
system. They report the power management interferes with system usage,
performance, and availability including placing the system in lower
power modes at the most inopportune times (e.g. putting the system to
sleep during a presentation). As potential proof of their
dissatisfaction, since launch a little over one year ago our freeware
Granola product has been downloaded over 300,000 times. People seem
fed up with their power management; they want to be green and reduce
energy waste and energy bills or increase the battery life of their

On the server side, since most power management is disabled, there is
little direct competition. People disable all sorts of products from
power management in the BIOS by companies like HP to proprietary power
capping technologies such as those offered by IBM and Intel that let
you cap the power of a server by decreasing the performance.

Our technology saves you energy while you are still using the system.
We developed our software because we felt we could do a better job
with power management than these default methods that were being
mostly disabled by users. The challenge now is educating people that
with Granola software you can enable power management and reap
significant benefits without loss of availability under guaranteed
performance SLAs.

Other technologies, such as those from companies like Verdiem, 1E,
PowerAssure, and VMWare, save you energy when you are no longer using
the system. For example, the thousands of desktop PCs at a Fortune 500
company may not be used from 6pm until 5am for the most part.
Companies like Verdiem and 1E provide solutions that allow you to
remotely schedule when systems are on and available versus off. These
result in good energy savings with the associated loss of
availability. Similarly, in the data center, if the load on each
system is only 10% across 100 systems, one way to save energy is to
move all the load to just 50 systems and shut the other 50 systems
off. Tools from PowerAssure, VMWare, and others allow users to
remotely control load management and which systems are on and off.
Again, this can result in good energy savings with unknown
consequences for availability and performance.

Our software is complementary to these approaches since we focus on
saving you energy when the system is in use. Additionally, our
software can actually improve upon these approaches by combining
ON/OFF control with our patent-pending performance guarantee

Q:What is the the MiserWare’s competitive advantage?

A: As mentioned, the key advantage we have is in our patent-pending
performance guarantee technology. The biggest risk for users of power
management is the danger that power management will reduce
availability or performance. Our software is designed to mitigate this
risk by enabling the user to set performance SLAs when enabling power
management. Additionally, the complementary nature of our technology
that focuses on saving energy when the system is in use provides an
orthogonal approach to most of the competition.

Q: Will this advantage hold in the long run?

A:We believe so. The performance guarantee technology is unique and
patent-able. The technology is system agnostic. In principal, assuming
a system or component has variable power modes and a way to measure
the usage on the system, our technology can control the impact of
power management on availability and performance. This means that
under these conditions, it will work on any computer system ensuring
the user experience is as expected. This includes PCs, laptops, and
servers as mentioned, but the ideas can be extended to cell phones,
tablets, smart phones, etc. We can also adapt the technology to the
myriad of devices within a computer system to save even more energy
that we save today. For these reasons, we believe the technology will
be around and relevant for some time to come.

Q:What does this technology serve best – desktops, servers, data centers?

We reduce energy waste. The more energy waste that exists, the more we
save you. Since servers in the data center tend to consume lots of
power, we get a big bang for the buck in this arena. Though the
savings on the desktop are only about half the typical data center
server, the savings are also compelling since many organizations have
more desktop PCs than servers (i.e. tens of thousands of desktops). Of
course, hundreds of thousands of Granola freeware users can’t be wrong
either — the vast majority of them use Granola to increase the
battery life of their laptop. So, I guess what I’m saying is Granola
is used in lots of different ways by many different people…so who’s
to say which is best. We like to think the planet wins in any case.

Q: Did MiserWare raise venture capital?

A:Yes. Valhalla Partners and InQTel are both venture capital firms
invested in MiserWare.

Q: What new products are in development?

A:We will release Granola DataCenter commercially for the first time
this Fall. We’re also interested in actually designing a version of
the software for laptops — Granola is data center software ported to
laptops. We’d like to develop a consumer product that will further
improve battery life in laptops. Overall, we are always looking for
ways to reduce energy waste in computer devices. In 5 years, we want
to see Granola on every computer device possible.

Q: Is the current business model (combination of free and enterprise licenses) sustainable?

A: Sure. The Granola freeware was an experiment actually. We were using
the original data center software in-house on our own laptops for both
testing and to improve battery life. We shared it with a few friends
who told us they loved it and the only thing missing was a cool GUI.
So, we created a GUI for Windows and Linux and launched Granola
( on Earth Day (April 22) 2010. We had 100,000
downloads in 100 days. Then, people started asking for an Enterprise
version for business use which we launched about 6 months later and
have been selling ever since. We’ve spent the last six months creating
Granola DataCenter (the product we first envisioned when we first
formed the company).

Q: What does agreement with In-Q-Tel mean for MiserWare? More business from Federal Government?

A:InQTel, and our end-user client the National Geospatial Agency (NGA),
wanted the Granola DataCenter product to support virtualization.
Specifically, NGA was looking for a VMWare version of our software to
provide performance guarantees and energy savings in the data center.
We worked with InQTel and NGA on a combination of investment capital
and development agreement to deliver a VMWare version by the end of
2011. In preliminary tests, our software shows server savings of $100
per system per year. We have it on good authority that NGA is not
alone within the federal government when facing the power problem in
the data center. Thus, we do believe that the software we are creating
for NGA will provide an equally compelling ROI argument for additional
agencies within the federal space as well as other FOrtune 500
companies that have virtualized.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Computing Job Fair at Georgia Tech

Posted on | August 23, 2011 | No Comments

Georgia Tech Computing Research Job FairGeorgia Tech, recently proclaimed as providing best salaries for students upon graduation by, hosted a research opportunities job fair for its students on Aug 23rd. A Georgia Tech recent graduate’s reported median salary is $57,000 (compare to national median $46,000). Georgia Tech grads’ high salaries are driven by Georgia Tech’s emphasis, and ability to provide opportunities in research and job experience. Georgia Tech hosts two computing research job fairs a year, recruiting students to participate in the development of newest software and technology. Common research themes of this fair included:

  • parallel computing
  • advancement of network security
  • mobile and ubiquitous computing
  • broadband management tools
  • web applications
  • and mobile cloud computing

Wikimania 2011: Computer Science Contributors Wanted

Posted on | August 5, 2011 | No Comments

wikimaniaWikimania 2011, the annual international conference of Wikipedia contributors, is taking place this week in Haifa, Israel. Wikipedia has turned into knowledge depository for many fields, computer science among them. Contributors in computer science related topics are among 650 conference attenders. In a coffee break they are discussing what areas of computer science need to be covered in the greater extent in Wikipedia. The following areas are potential candidates for better coverage, waiting for enthusiastic collaboration:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer architecture and engineering
  • Computer graphics and visualization
  • Computer security and cryptography
  • Computational science
  • Information science
  • Software engineering
keep looking »