Scientists continue to feel aftershocks from the surprise shutdown in April of ETA Systems Inc., the Minneapolis-based supercomputer manufacturer (The Scientist, May 15, 1989, page 1). The latest victim is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory, the world's leading atmospheric modeling facility. The Princeton, N.J., lab had hoped that an upgrade of its current pair of aging CYBER 205 supercomputers would meet its increasing need for global warming simulations. An ETA-10 offered the most bang for the buck, says lab director Jerry Mahiman, and was a natural step up from the CYBER machines, which, like the ETAs, are manufactured by a Control Data Corp. branch. But Mahlman wasn't counting on two problems that have arisen. First, White House officials reviewing the agency's proposed 1990 budget took out $1.4 million from his request for $6.6 million over two years for the upgrade. Then, ETA's sudden...
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