I've been busy getting things wound up so that I can take some vacation time. But I thought I'd share these quotes that a colleague recently reminded me about. The first is attributed to Seymour Cray.
"If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use: two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?"
Obviously, Cray wasn't a fan of building parallel clusters from commodity processors. He didn't think too highly of parallel computing, either, since the Cray T3D was built after he left Cray Research to start up Cray Computer Corporation .
My friend reports that he saw this clever rejoinder to Cray's question online.
"If you were building an anthill, which would you rather use: 1024 ants or a bulldozer?"
While looking for sources online, I ran into this quote, attributed to Enrico Clementi, in support of Cray.
"I know how to get four horses to pull a cart, but I don't know how to make 1024 chickens do it."
There was another comment, buried in a forum archive, about the original Cray quote that talked about how losing a few chickens wouldn't impede progress by all that much, whereas losing one of the oxen would cut the plowing power in half.