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2014-04 SKA Spin Off for New Zealand Point A Print
April 2014

This article is a continuation of another article on the background of the Compucon plan of spinning SKA Efforts off for New Zealand.  This article prescribes the state of the starting position (point A) from a Compucon perspective.

Iceberg Computing Analogy (Culture)

• The iceberg is a good analogy for raising our awareness.  An iceberg consists of the tip above water and the base below water.  The tip is visible and the base is not quite. Sailors who do not pay attention to the base will get wrecked by the base leading to disasters such as the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic in 1910 in its maiden voyage.  Physical wreckage is immediate, but cultural wreckage takes place slowly and comfortably like the warming of water in a flask for the little frog.  The little frog is doomed.

Frog in Glass Scenario (Industry)

• We can visualise New Zealand as the little frog in computing.  New Zealand is a small economy on the global scale.  New Zealand is primarily a primary industry producer with a handful of successful secondary and tertiary industry producers.   In the area of computing or high performance computing (HPC), New Zealand is a little frog with no incentive to break free.  Most if not all major computing technology companies in New Zealand promote and import foreign computing products into New Zealand.  New Zealand will stay as a consumer and a follower forever. 

Small New Zealand Economy (Universities)

• An article in the University of Auckland Business Review Volume 2 Number 2 Year 2000 remarked that being a small economy, New Zealand industry cannot be engaged in deep hi-tech research profitably as if we are sowing seeds on a windy day.  The author prescribed technology transfer as the best endeavours by and for New Zealand.  His remark is extremely applicable in our current circumstances.  Fortunately we have found at least 6 universities to have expertise in high performance computing. They are capable enough to “transfer technology” and they will obviously provide the seeds of any eco-system we can expect to develop.

HPC Eco-System (Compucon New Zealand)

• Eco-systems in nature take forever to develop.  Compucon attempts to work with universities to make a start to develop a super-mini one over 3 years.  In the meantime, Compucon would like to raise the awareness of the learned people of the situation (iceberg and frog in a flask) and to be the advocate for the actions being planned by Compucon (support the seed sowing process).