DreamHack Gets a CRS-1

11:25 AM -- A pet peeve of mine is the PR of big numbers. If a factory builds 200 million widgets a month, it becomes "enough to reach to the moon and back 8,888 times!"* It's gratuitous, meaningless math.

It's one thing when a PR firm or TV newscast does it. But a respected geek organization?

DreamHack, the enormous LAN party held in Sweden twice a year, is running this week on an OC768 contributed by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Telia . Powering the network is, of course, a CRS-1.

And DreamHack's Website is crowing about the kinds of numbers that have been Cisco's hobby ever since the CRS-1 first came out. Proudly, Dreamhack explains the CRS-1's 92 Tbit/s -- er, make that 46 Tbit/s -- can feed 15 million HD streams! Or connect 1 billion online game sessions!

Why don't we just do that with all numbers in life? Look! If I drink a large coffee in one minute, that's 71,000 microliters per second! If I walk nine miles every day, I could be in New York after a year!

Or to paraphrase Steven Wright: If you took all the veins, arteries, and capillaries out of a man's body and laid them end to end... that man would die.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

* I think this comes out to 10-mile-long widgets, but you get the idea.

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 2:57:59 PM
re: DreamHack Gets a CRS-1 Reminds me of this S. Wright beauty: "Anywhere is walking distance, if you've got the time."
wilson craig 12/5/2012 | 2:57:56 PM
re: DreamHack Gets a CRS-1 Don't make me get my PR-culator out and tell you how many Halo Missle Pods can go through the CRS-1! And simultaneous Guitar Heroes, just forget it:)
Fotons 12/5/2012 | 2:57:56 PM
re: DreamHack Gets a CRS-1 Yeah I got the idea about the size of the widgets, but as a numbers geek, I have to point out that even your note understated the size of them:

Mean orbital distance to Moon: 240,000 miles
Round-trip to Moon and back: 480,000 miles
8,888 such trips: 4,266,240,000 miles
Given 200,000,000 widgets, the length of each widget is therefore 21 miles or so.

Big widgets.. nearly the size of a CRS-1... very impressive.

jepovic 12/5/2012 | 2:57:55 PM
re: DreamHack Gets a CRS-1 Yes, very witty indeed.

The whole point of Dreamhack is that these kids are all crowded into a hockey stadium on one massive LAN, at walking distance, so what's the big deal with the 40G Internet link? I bet the CRS-1 isn't used for the LAN anyway.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 2:57:54 PM
re: DreamHack Gets a CRS-1 Fotons -- You know, I wasn't calculating round trips. My mistake - it's *always* "number of trips to the moon and back," isn't it?

Speaking of which, Gabriel Brown quotes a "moon and back" figure in the latest Mo Content blog:


Gabe does really impressive work for Unstrung, but here he's quoting something about the number of SMS messages to get to the moon and back, and I'm not sure I understand what that means. Is there a standard physical 'size' for an SMS? What if you SMS'd someone all of Moby Dick?
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 2:57:54 PM
re: DreamHack Gets a CRS-1 lol! thanks for the comment wilson -- and yeah, the guitar hero sessions possible in 92 Tbit/s would be a pretty awesome number!
Fotons 12/5/2012 | 2:57:44 PM
re: DreamHack Gets a CRS-1 Fabulous! Since Gabriel pointed out that the 1.662 trillion SMS messages could *easily* reach the moon and back (might go farther), we can only come up with the minimum size for an average SMS, and the answer is...

...just under half a millimeter. That really IS a short Message Service!

Now, without knowing the number of bytes in an average SMS, we cannot know for sure what the minimum size would be of, say, "War and Peace" sent via SMS. I will not, however, let an absence of facts prevent me from calculating the answer: I am going to guess. Does 50 characters sound good to you? Good.

Since Mr. Tolstoy managed to write three million characters in his magnum opus prior to expiring from acute carpal tunnel syndrome, we can estimate that the minimum size of "War and Peace" sent via SMS is around 28 meters. I know I'll sleep better for the knowledge of it.

Of course, the sender too would have expired from Acute Blackberry Thumbs by this point, and just in time, for AT&T would have sent along a $2,812.50 bill for the messages!

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