Alternatives to central air conditioners

The most commonly used method of cooling during the summer months still seems to be using central air conditioner systems. They are very convenient but require a large investment upfront to install so not everyone can afford them. Central air conditioning is a big modification to the house’s original design so they also cannot be used when renting – and the percentage of renters rises each year. Lastly, some also consider them a health hazard because the AC unit can have a buildup of dust and bacteria in it that you later inhale. Too cold temperatures are also linked to a weaker immune system and dry air.

So what alternatives can you use in place of central air conditioning? As it turns out, there are plenty of choices.

Portable air conditioners

Portable air conditioners only need electricity and a connection to the outside to work properly. A portable air conditioner is a standalone AC unit that can be placed anywhere in the house. So you are not limited in its placement and can carry it from one room to another if you need to.

There are two types of portable air conditioners – single hose and dual hose. Single hose units use the hose to expel the hot air outside through a window or a special hole in the wall. They are fine for basic cooling needs but aren’t efficient in the long run. Dual hose conditioners have one hose for expelling hot air and another hose for bringing in air from outside (that air is first cooled inside the unit before being released in the room). This way, the amount of air in the room stays the same. Dual hose portable air conditioner is the most efficient type.

Evaporative coolers

Evaporative coolers are also known as swamp coolers and they are an eco-friendly alternative. The standalone units use moisturized cooling pads to turn warm air into cool one while adding moisture to it – so they also take care of the dry air problem. Evaporative coolers are a much more cost-friendly option than air conditioners because they use a simple fan to only draw in the warm air rather than also cooling it. They can be used outside as well as inside (provided you live in a dry and hot climate, such as the West Coast. Read evaporative cooler reviews to see all the different models.

Electric fans

These fans are powered solely by electricity and cool the air with their fans rotating at high-speed. There are many shapes and designs available and most of them (with the exception of the ceiling and wall-mounted fans) don’t require you to modify the room in any way so they are perfect for renters. Standard pedestal and tower fans just need to be plugged in to provide you with the well-deserved relief. They can often be set up to run at different speeds according to what you need at the moment. If you need a permanent alternative to central air conditioning then a ceiling fan is the best choice. It doesn’t take up any space and cools the whole room evenly.


How to get the full spa experience at home

Not being able to go to the spa and relax after a long week at work is just one of the many unfortunate side effects of the pandemic. How are you supposed to relax at home if you already spend all your time there? This is no easy task. But because many of us struggle with being cooped up at home all the time, it is important to find time and the right method to take that stress away. Having no outlet for stress is severely detrimental both to our physical and mental health. Fortunately, people’s ingenuity is boundless. There are plenty of ways you can transform your home into a full-blown spa and in this article, we will introduce some of them.

Spa bath

If you have a bathtub at home then it is easy to make the experience of taking a bath a very special one. Take your time to draw water at just the right temperature, warm but not scalding hot. Make it a bubble bath or use your favorite scent of bath salts – or do both of these for a full-blown spa bath. Get some essential oils and put a few drops in your bath to make it smell amazing. The oils also have the added benefit of moisturizing your skin. You can also dim the lights and light some scented candles to make your bathroom seem like a completely different place. Grab a book or simply close your eyes and let yourself get lost in the newly-found relaxation space. Maybe even get a glass of wine with you.

If you have other people living with you, make sure that they know not to disturb you during your ‘me’ time – there is nothing worse than having to pause your bath to put out random fires at home that could have been easily handled by someone else.

Spa appliances

Many makers are racing one another to come up with new ideas to make people’s life at home more spa-like. The result is we have many new home appliances to choose from!

Facial steamer

Steaming your face feels amazing and it also has great benefits for your skin. A facial steamer is an indispensable part of many skincare routines. The steam opens up your pores, making congestions easier to clean out, and any skincare products you put on your skin after are more easily absorbed.

Foot massager

Foot massagers are an amazing invention that shouldn’t get overlooked. You simply fill it with water, put your feet inside and turn the machine on to enjoy having rollers knead the bottom of your feet with bubble water swirling around. Foot massagers simulate real massagers in a surprisingly good way and they can be used anywhere, even under your desk as you work.

Inflatable hot tub

Inflatable hot tubs are a relatively cheap way of getting that jacuzzi experience in the comfort of your own home. As long as you have enough space on your veranda or in your yard to place it, consider getting the best inflatable hot tub possible. It’s guaranteed you will completely lose yourself in the bubbles.


How to choose a bidet toilet seat

Bidets are literally dividing the world. Some countries love them and cannot imagine going to the toilet without one. These include countries from Southern Europe, the Middle East, and some Asian ones, predominantly Japan. Other nationalities often find them peculiar and unnecessary. However, lately, even people from North America have started to warm up to the idea of installing a bidet in their toilets.

A bidet can come either as a standalone plumbing fixture usually found next to the toilet or as an attachment in the form of a toilet seat that you put on top of the regular toilet. If you want to start using a bidet, finding space to install a standalone bidet might not be easy. Most people choose the attachment type if they are installing the bidet in an already built bathroom. They are easy to install and don’t need any additional plumbing.

Due to their surging popularity, bidet toilet seats can now be found in most home improvement stores. For example, a Home Depot bidet toilet seat will have everything you need to enjoy the benefits of a bidet at home without costing you a fortune.

But what to look for when buying a bidet toilet seat?


The bidet toilet seat has to fit your existing toilet to be able to use it comfortably. Make sure to measure your toilet bowl and get a bidet toilet seat that will sit properly. The shape is also important. Some bidets will be round, others will be more elongated. Get the one that matches the shape of your toilet.

Power source

Bidet toilet seats can be mechanical or electrical. If all you want is just the basic cleaning function, then a non-electrical bidet will be enough. It runs on your bathroom’s water pressure and is cheaper.

Electric bidet toilet seats, however, have many additional features that will make the visits to the bathroom much more comfortable. For example, almost every electric bidet has a heated water setting so you won’t be shocked when you get sprayed with water from behind. You can also adjust the water pressure which is helpful if it takes you a lot of time to feel clean. Some models even have heated seats that are great during colder seasons. However, the biggest advantage of electric bidet toilet seats is probably the option to change the position of the water-spraying nozzle. Standard bidets only clean the rear area but the modern ones can have the nozzle adjusted so that it also aids feminine hygiene. Electric bidet toilet seats need to be connected to a power outlet to run.

To sum up, non-electric models will do a fine job but if there are women living in the house, or maybe an elderly person that would benefit from having an easy to use control panel, then consider getting an electric bidet toilet seat.

A bidet is a great way to improve your personal hygiene. Buying a bidet toilet seat will also save you money in the long run because you won’t be spending as much on toilet paper. This also makes them a more ecological way of using the toilet.


The Conference of High-Performance Computing and Networking

DENVER, CO, – Registration is now open for SC2001, the annual conference of high performance networking, computing and website design ireland. This year’s conference, Beyond Boundaries, will be held in Denver, Colorado for seven days of technical programs, technological demonstrations and exhibits, and educational outreach. The conference convenes Nov. 10-16 in the Denver Convention Center.

The event starts with a supercomputer center that rivals the best anywhere. It will be set up, de-bugged, demonstrated to the world, torn down, and packed home, ALL IN ONE WEEK–using somebody else’s facility.

Attendees who register in advance benefit from lower fees and may pick up their conference materials at the Denver Convention Center beginning Saturday. On-line registration information resides. For questions regarding registration, please contact This is the year 2001. Come to Denver in November and find out what HAL is REALLY like!

SC2001 is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society and by the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture.


Awards Highlight

Most Successful SC Conference Ever SC2001 will build on SC2000 momentum

DALLAS, Texas – SC2000, the conference of high performance networking and computing, capped one of the most successful programs in the history of the conference by recognizing outstanding achievements and contributions in the field.

The awards were presented Thursday, Nov. 9, honoring a wide range of people and their accomplishments. The conference drew 5,065 registered attendees and 153 exhibitors for a week of demonstrations, technical presentations, informal discussions and an extensive educational program.

“Whether we judge the conference by attendance, passing comments in the aisles or the overflowing audiences for presentations, this has been one heck of a successful week,” said Louis Turcotte, general chair of the SC2000 conference. “SC2000 added to the very successful foundation of the conference as the SC2001 team starts planning for next year’s program in Denver.”

The IEEE Computer Society, a cosponsor of the conference, presented two special awards.

The first, the Sidney Fernbach Award, was presented to Stephen W. Attaway of Sandia National Laboratories. The award is given for an outstanding contribution in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches. Attaway is an engineer who works in the field of computational mechanics for crash and impacts. He has worked at Sandia National Laboratories since 1987 and is currently a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the Computational Solid Mechanics and Structural Dynamics Department. Attaway was named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in March 2000.

The second award, the second annual IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award, presented in recognition of innovative contributions to high performance computing systems that best exemplify Seymour Cray’s creative spirit, was given to Glen J. Culler. In 1961, he and physicist Burton Fried developed the first interactive, mathematically based graphical system – allowing scientists visualize computational solutions in real-time. During his career, Culler developed the array processor, digital speech processing and the personal supercomputer. This award includes a $10,000 honorarium and is funded from an endowment provided by SGI.

Each year at SC, the Gordon Bell Prize is awarded for the best peak computer performance, the best performance-price ratio and in a special category.

Competitors for this year’s prize for best performance tied, each achieving 1.34 teraflops. Tetsu Narumi, Ryutaro Susukita, Takahiro Koishi, Kenji Yasuoka, Hideaki Furusawa, Atsushi Kawai and Thoshikazu Ebisuzaki recorded 1.34 Tflops with their Molecular Dynamic Simulation for NaCl for a Special Purpose Computer: MDM. The team of Junichiro Makino, Toshiyuki Fukushige and Masaki Koga achieved1.349 Tflops with their Simulation of Black Holes in a Galactic Center on GRAPE-6.

The winners of the Price/Performance Category were Douglas Aberdeen, Jonathan Baxter and Robert Edwards for their 92 cents/Mflops Ultra-Large Scale Neural Network Training on a PIII Cluster.

Honorable Mention in the Price/Performance Category went to Thomas Hauser, Timothy I. Mattox, Raymond P. LeBeau, Henry G. Dietz and P. George Huang of the University of Kentucky for their “High-Cost CFD on a Low-Cost Cluster.”

In the Gordon Bell Prize special category, Alan Calder, B.C. Curtis, Jonathan Dursi, Bruce Fryxell, G. Henry, P. MacNeice, Kevin Olson, Paul Ricker, Robert Rosner, Frank Timmes, Henry Tufo, James Truran and Michael Zingale were cited for their High-Peformance Reactive Fluid Flow Simulations Using Adaptive Mesh Refinement on Thousands of Processors.

Here is a list of other awards presented at the conference:

  • Best Paper: “Is Data Distribution Necessary in OpenMPI?,” Constantine Polychronopoulos, Dimitrios Nikolopoulos, Eduard Ayguade, Jesus Labarta and Theodore Papatheodorou.
  • Best Student Paper: “A Comparison of Three Programming Models for Adaptive Applications on the Origin 2000,” Hongzhang Shan, Princeton University.
  • Best Research Gem: “Automatic TCP Window Tuning Implemented in an FTP Application,” Jim Ferguson and Jian Liu.
  • HPC Games Most Leading Edge Technology Prize: Jeff Moe, Jim Waggett, Kai Staats and Roy Jenevein for Black Lab Linux.
  • HPC Games Most Innovative Hardware Prize: Bill Dieter, Hank Dietz, Jim Lumpp, Thomas Hauser, Tim Mattox and Todd Willey for The Aggregrate.
  • HPC Games Grand Prize: James Hanna, Peter Hsieh, Robert Hillman, Walter Koziarz, Wilmar Sifre and Zen Pryk for The Red Team.
  • HPC Games Most Innovative Software Prize: James Hanna, Peter Hsieh, Robert Hillman, Walter Koziarz, Wilmar Sifre and Zen Pryk for The Red Team.

A new competition sponsored by Qwest Communications International and called the SC2000 Network Challenge for Bandwidth-Intensive Applications pushed the limits of the conference’s SCinet network as two teams posted peak performance figures of more than a gigabit of data per second.


Research Exhibits

SC2001 offers an exceptional opportunity to learn about the latest research results in high-performance computing and communications. This year’s research exhibits include a larger and more varied collection of universities, labs, and centers than at any previous event. The major research centers will present demonstrations and provide opportunities for in-depth discussions with research staff. In keeping with the Beyond Boundaries theme, the research exhibits include both a European Research Village and an Asian Research Village, providing a focus on international research activities.

Jim Pool, Research Exhibits Coordinator
California Institute of Technology

SC2001 Research Exhibit Hours

Monday, November 12, 7 – 9:00pm GALA OPENING
Tuesday, November 13, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday, November 14, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday, November 15, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Click each title for details or click here to view the entire Research Exhibitors list.

Exhibit Institution
Exhibit Title
Adventure Project (Graduate School of Frontier Sci)
Albuquerque High Performance Computing Center
Ames Laboratory, Scalable Computing Lab (DOE)
Arctic Region Supercomputing Center
Argonne National Laboratory
ASCI DOE Tri-Lab Exhibit
Asia Pacific Grid (ApGrid) / Electrotechnical Labo
Boston University
Brigham Young University
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Caltech Center for Advanced Computing Research
CCSE of Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute
Center for Computational Physics, U of Tsukuba
Center for Supercomputing Research and Development
CLRC Daresbury Laboratory
Cornell Theory Center (CTC)
Cybermedia Center, Osaka University, JAPAN
Department of Defense HPC Modernization
Digital Worlds Institute – University of Florida
Embedded High Performance Computing Project
EPCC: Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre
European Center For Parallelism Of Barcelona
George Washington University
High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS)
Indiana University – Purdue University – Universit
INRIA: Institut National de Recherche en Information
Institute of Statistical Mathematics
John von Neumann Institute for Computing
Krell Institute
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Leibniz Computing Center (Leibniz-Rechenzentrum, L)
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Maui Supercomputing Center
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Nat’l Center for Data Mining/Nat’l Scalable Cluster Proj.
Nat’l Center for High Performance Computing, Taiwan
National Computational Science Alliance (Alliance)
National Coordination Office for Information Tech.
Nat’l Partnership for Adv. Computational Infrastructure
NCAR Scientific Computing Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Ohio Supercomputer Center
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Paradyn Project – University of Wisconsin and Univ
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
Real World Computing Partnership
Research Org. for Information Science & Technology
RIKEN (The Inst. of Physical and Chemical Research)
Saitama University
Standard Peformance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC)
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and Fermi Nat’l
The Aggregate
The MITRE Corporation
Universidade de Sao Paulo
University of Houston
University of Manchester, Manchester Computing
University of Tennessee
University of Utah, CHPC

Will Digital Actors Replace Human Ones?

“Colleagues have for years claimed that they will. I analyze the problem with everything I know and come to perhaps surprising conclusions. The key conclusion is that the appearance of actors is under (circumscribed) threat, but the acting of actors is secure, I believe, for now. That being said, I present an analysis of just how hard it is to replace even the appearance of actors. I strive mightily to separate religion from science in this presentation. The computation for all predictions is estimated and it is large.”


Dr. Alvy Ray Smith co-founded four centers of computer graphics excellence before joining Microsoft as its first Graphics Fellow: Altamira, Pixar, Lucasfilm, New York Tech. Received two technical Academy Awards for alpha channel concept and for digital paint systems. Invented, directed, originated, or otherwise instrumental in the following developments: first full-color paint program, HSV color model, alpha channel and image sprites, Genesis Demo in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, first Academy-Award winning computer-generated short Tin Toy, first computer-generated film Toy Story, Academy-Award winning Disney animation production system CAPS, and the Visible Human Project. Was a star witness in a trial that successfully invalidated five patents that had been plaguing the digital imaging business; writes and speaks extensively; served on the Microsoft Art Committee; holds a PhD from Stanford University and an honorary doctorate from New Mexico State University, and has recently retired to devote time to the emerging artform of digital photography. See for more information.


J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.
Tuesday, November 13
8:30-10:00 am

Keynote Address
Ballroom 1/2/3/4J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.
President and Chief Scientific Officer, Celera Genomics
Accelerating Discovery through Supercomputing
Jim Gray

Wednesday, November 14
8:30-9:15 am
Ballroom 2/3/4

Jim Gray
Microsoft Research
The World Wide Telescope: Mining the Sky

Fran Berman

Wednesday, November 14
9:15-10:30 am

Ballroom 2/3/4

Fran Berman
Director of SDSC and NPACI, Professor of CSE, UCSD
Grid Computing in the Terascale Age

Chris Johnson

Thursday, November 15
8:30-9:15 am

Ballroom 2/3/4

Chris Johnson
University of Utah
Scientific Visualization: Bridging the Complexity Threshold

Alvy Ray Smith

Thursday, November 15
9:15-10:30 am
Ballroom 2/3/4

Alvy Ray Smith
Digital Photography Artist
Will Digital Actors Replace Human Ones?


Overview of the Technical Program

The Origin

For nearly 2 years, the SC2001 technical program team has contributed time for planning behind the scenes, enlisting our industry’s leaders, brainstorming ideas, and soliciting technical content. It has certainly been a busy time, but it has also been rewarding —even fun sometimes!

The Results

We believe we have crafted a stimulating, engaging program which is in concert with the timely challenges of our industry. By leveraging the strengths of past SC programs, we offer a stable foundation of technical content. But we also offer some experiments to add to the excitement and controversy! We hope you will always find something of particular interest throughout our program.

A Quick Summary

• At the core, 60 strongly refereed Papers chosen from 240 submissions
by an exceptional committee of diverse, well-known professionals
throughout our industry.

• For your education, 28 informative Tutorials from which to choose
—each offered by leaders in their topic areas. These are high-quality
tutorials selected from 52 submissions.

• Stellar Plenary Sessions featuring well-known leaders who will offer
visions of the state of their fields of expertise. Don’t miss these

• For your active engagement, 6 hand-crafted Panels that will offer
information and stimulate discussion and, quite likely, a bit of

• The return of MasterWorks, with 20 invited speakers who will star in the   second annual performance of this speaking series. These sessions   showcase novel, innovative practices in solving challenging, real-world   problems in areas of interest from the biosciences to Hollywood.

• For your participation, 3 timely Workshops held in conjunction with
SC2001 (2 full-day and 1 half-day). These are quality productions, and
we will be   interested in knowing if you want this type of venue to
continue and grow within the SC series.

• And much more—award winners, birds-of-a-feather sessions, video   proceedings, global participation…

More Details

For the important details within each of the program components listed in this overview, please click on the specific items on the sidebar to see topics, speakers, and times.


I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all members of the SC2001 Program Committee for their exceptional dedication to quality and excellence in creating this program. Clearly, my most significant contribution to the program was enlisting these professionals to be on our team.

The Judgment

This would be you! Come to Denver and see for yourself. Please be vocal about what works for you and what does not. We promise to listen and pass along your input to improve the SC conference series.


SC2001 Netcast Complete Schedule

Tuesday, 13 November
Keynote Address
Craig Venter, President and CEO Celera Genomics
Accelerating Discovery Through Supercomputing
(Netcast Archive)
Exhibitor Showcase
Grid Applications
Dr. James Pool
Center for Advanced Computing Research, California Institute of Technology
Booth R0340
Exhibitor Showcase
Digital Worlds Institute (Courtesy SUN Microsystems)
Dr. James Oliverio
Digital Worlds Institute
Booth 645
Wednesday, 14 November
Plenary Session
Jim Gray, Microsoft Research
The World Wide Telescope: Mining the Sky

(Netcast Archive)
Gray talk begins at 3 minutes
Plenary Session
Fran Berman, Director of SDSC and NPACI, Professor of CSE, UCSD
Grid Computing in the Terascale Age
(Netcast Archive)
Berman talk begins at 45 minutes
Exhibitor Showcase
Ted Hanss and Ben Teitelbaum
Booth R0849
Exhibitor Showcase
Dancing Beyond Boundaries
University of Florida
Booth R1070
Thursday, 15 November
Plenary Session
Chris Johnson, University of Utah
Scientific Visualization: Bridging the Complexity Threshold
(Netcast Archive)
Plenary Session
Alvy Ray Smith, Digital Photography Artist
Will Digital Actors Replace Human Ones?
(Netcast Archive)
Exhibitor Showcase
Booth 655
Exhibitor Showcase


Multicast With help from Cisco Systems and the University of Oregon, the SC2001 netcast will be available in three multicast streams: H.261, MPEG-1, and MPEG-2. For additional program and client infomation, see:


For the latest RealPlayer client, see:



We will be providing information and assistance for viewing the netcast throughout SC2001. All viewers are encouraged to provide feedback on the quality, scope and effectiveness of the SC2001 netcast. Contact: