Chapter 1. The Tuesday Code
Doctor Abhubu drank the coffee from his cup, a concession to the western style, he necessarily brewed it with a paper filter with a splash of almond-milk.
The screen that illuminated his features, boron nanotube, capable of using photon packets instead of electrons for operations. The new circuitry would build a new system orders of magnitude more powerful than the current supercomputers in the world — and it would fit inside a desk, much like the one he was sitting at.
Beowulf Operational Berth, lovingly called ‟Bob” by Yng Gibson Pak, the engineer and designer of the system. Running Linux-based system on laptops computers stripped of their power using and heat-producing screens, the system scaled its power consumption as the need arose.
Only one laptop needed? The operating system allowed for that and shut the other sections down, using only a few dozen watts of power.
Alternately, a required increase in power would also increase the energy consumption. Bob could consume hundreds of kilowatts. Doctor Abhubu used his own scant funds in his effort, but proud that Gibson was able to construct this computer system for less money than it cost for a large laptop.
Out of scraps, Gibson had built a teraflop system that fit comfortably in the budget that the Doctor had set. With the added advantage and control, the power could be dialed back and the system could, in fact of use, be all but shut down, saving power, only using one node of the cluster for operations.
Late into the afternoon, the head of the robotics company with his employee and friend as the total of his staff.
As a result, they wore many hats, including janitorial service, food preparation and cleanup and coffee supplies.
Especially coffee! The biggest crime in the company was Ahmad not having a cup of coffee in his hand.
This entertained Gibson a great deal, who’s favorite drink was a green tea.
Among the different chores, Gibson got a note from the Doctor to program an algorithm for a learning, writing in a line of code that altered the fuzzy-logic program that Ahmad used while he programmed a personal electronic butler— which Ahmad called ‟Pebbles”.
The designs went hand in hand, they designed boron nanotubes in place of carbon nanotube technology with the projected superconducting material at room temperature.
Weeks dragged into months, living on Chinese noodles and expired foods from a store that sold such items after their “Sell by” date at a steep discount.
The Doctor felt the weight of abject failure, he had mortgaged his house, along with the money that Gibson had brought in with selling his own car and living in the flat behind the office.
The office, a joke that made Ahmad laugh darkly to himself as he looked around. It was a hole in the wall that was once a sandwich store that failed.
Late Tuesday afternoon had come up on them like a tsunami, unstoppable and unwanted.
‟Gibs, input my design code for the hardware and use the last iteration of software into the compiler with a ten-thousand random code modification and testing? I need to go and call my wife to tell her we will come home early tonight.” Ahmad took a deep breath. He was gambling on a software program to help. The random generator produced unworkable code ninety-percent of the time.
But that last ten-percent?
They had moved robotic programming ahead by ten-fold.
The same designs had exceeded Moore’s Law in hardware. The software designed by the supercomputer was designing hardware that would accelerate again the designs.
This! This is what the company the good Doctor wanted. But no one believed him when he tried to bring forth the contracts.
He was nearly ready to give up, the year before the company’s income, the total that Cheerio Robotics, Inc brought in was not quite half of what they needed to break even.
They would have to close doors in three more months if they did not get a contract to license or sell robot control systems, his wife informed him.
And if they did close, they had no recourse, no reserve, nothing left and would lose the house and declare bankruptcy.
Gibson walked out of the computer room after a few minutes. The Doctor had been lost in thought, staring at the setting sun of the early autumn, daylight standard time had passed a week before, the walk home would be in the dark, alone with his thoughts, again.
He no longer drove his ten-year-old Toyota, its cost was too high.
‟Good night, Gibs. I have a few things to think about.”
‟Ahmad, please, can I give you a ride home?”
‟No, thank you. I need to think. We have a winning design, but no one wants it. Unless it can walk up and down stairs, or serve a drink at a snail’s pace, no one wants to talk.”
‟Good night worry-wart, see you in the morning.”
The Doctor nodded and walked out.
‟Don’t forget to lock up the store.”
‟No worries. It’s my home and all.” Gibs winked. ‟The computer will be done in an hour or so, then shut down.”
‟Good. Can you estimate the power used for tonight?” Ahmad asked.
‟Well, for an hour, I don’t see that being much over fifty-dollars at the worst. We won’t be taxing the system very much.”
Gibson was wrong to the extreme.
In the computer room, where Gibs had sat, one node, then three, then nine of the super-cluster’s nodes woke up and booted into full power mode.
Yng Gibson Pak’s design, never fully tested due to budget restraints, worked perfectly.
In the moments while Gibs locked doors, he never looked again at the read out, he turned power off from the screen to save money, not knowing that the petaflop-capable machine had exceeded the rated speed easily.
Gib’s errored in seeking a random change in code and testing for operation. Not ten-thousand compile and testing cycles, a minor typo and the instruction code called for Ten-BILLION cycles.
Ninety-eight percent of the codes processed with changes by the random generator, failed during processing to a workable code— failing the compile process.
This left two-hundred million cycles of a workable program that ran from start to finish.
One in one-hundred thousand of the remaining code returned with an alert flag for the Doctor to check.
All through the night, Bob the Beowulf worked at peak capacity, developing and refining through the test phase, code that the human requested by accident.
Finding one series of commands, now called ‟Recommended Code Review” and saved for review by the humans.
When morning came, the humans would be shocked how warm it was in the office.
Every one of B.O.B.’s nodes worked at full power, all night, and produced a code and hardware combination that would change the world.
What the two businessmen would call the “Tuesday Code” became legend.