A project log for RAIN Mark II Supercomputer Trainer

High-Performance Computing for Everyone

jason.gullicksonjason.gullickson 04/28/2018 at 15:030 Comments

Based on feedback, conversations and thoughts about the short and long-term goals of the RAIN project I’ve decided to make some changes to the naming convention of the series. I’m renaming RAIN Mark II from Personal Supercomputer to Supercomputer Trainer.


The term “trainer” refers to education-oriented machines and systems (typical of the 70’s and 80’s) which I think suits both the form and function of the current iteration of the Mark II machine well. While the overall goal of the RAIN project is to produce an open-source supercomputer, there is a lot of dispute as to exactly what defines a supercomputer and using the term in an unqualified way to refer to Mark II machines appears to be controversial.

So, instead of wasting time arguing semantics I think renaming the machine puts an end to that discussion while at the same time making the objectives of the machine more clear. This also helps me focus on the objective of this stage of the project and might help the machine connect with the most appropriate audience as well.

In addition to renaming the current project, I’m also going to begin using the term “Type” to refer to a specific incarnation of each machine in the series. For example, the Supercomputer Trainer will now be referred to as “Type 1”.  I if another machine is designed as part of the Mark II series it will e refereed to as “Type 2”. This makes it more clear where each machine belongs in the overall evolution of the RAIN project (now that I’m producing custom hardware and electronics I need a simpler way to relate parts to the machines they belong to).

I’ve begun this renaming process which has resulted in some changes in the source repository. Updates to specific components (the front panel, for example) will be applied as new versions of the component designs are produced.