Nukes, Spooks, Genes and Greens

After a previous post about hi-tech buzzwords I thought I would share a couple of others.

Many new technologies in the computer world have their earliest applications in the most demanding of environments, often grouped together under the term High-Performance Computing. Examples of these include the big systems that crunch numbers on Wall Street, or for the meteorologists or astrophysicists, or for the geneticists or oil-seeking geologists. I recently heard a great catchphrase for all these... Nukes, Spooks, Genes and Greens. A Google search suggests this was coined (or at least quoted) in an IEEE paper in 1992.

Another great buzzphrase is tin wrapped software. This refers to software which is packaged as an appliance (a physical box that you plug in). A great example is an appliance that helps companies manage their computers. One of our portfolio companies, called Kace, sells such a box. The intellectual property is all really software, but customers find it more friendly and easier to use if they don't have to install it from a CD onto one of their own computers. Instead they just buy a "box" and plug it in (to the power and to the network). It is tin-wrapped because it really is delivered as a metal box, but it is software because the box itself is just a regular computer in a standard configuration and without a screen or keyboard.

Putting the two together: tin wrapped software for nukes, spooks, genes and greens would have to be something like the high speed storage solution from Terrascale (now part of Rackable, and not related to Sigma in any way).

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