WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Blu-ray function is disabled, so no, you won’t find Defense Department engineers on the job watching “Avatar” in high def while running classified satellite images through their new supercomputer that harnesses banks of Sony PlayStation video gaming consoles.
Also, the Defense engineers didn’t go to Toys R Us or Sears to buy those 1,760 PlayStations. They worked directly with Sony and one of its distributors.
“It wasn’t something as simple as going to Best Buy or Wal-Mart,” said Mark Barnell, the high-performance computing director at the Air Force Research Lab’s operation in Rome, N.Y.
Barnell answered these as well as more technical questions this morning in a phone interview with The Plain Dealer, which in today’s editions described how Defense Department engineers and scientists developed the biggest, fastest interactive computer the Pentagon has.