"A visit to any high performance computing centre opens one's
eyes to the versatility of the operating system and the extent to
which it is used to crunch data for scientific and other work.
"The Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing is located
close to the heart of Melbourne. It was established by the
Victorian universities, with funding from the Victorian state
government and the Australian federal government as a state high
performance computing centre.
"Says chief executive Bill Appleby: "It was basically intended
to support scientific research at universities. It is run on a
subscription model with the universities each paying an amount that
is proportional to their research output. It has grown from one or
two people to about 60 or 70 people. Some of our funding comes from
academic work, a lot of it comes from industry collaboration and
research projects. We do a lot of contracted work in high
performance computing in engineering and health informatics and