[Beowulf] FW: $2500 cluster. What it's good for?
alex at dsrlab.com
Sat Dec 18 12:04:26 EST 2004
The SETI at home group could use some extra cycles, and I understand that the
AIDS research people have a similar approach. The question now becomes: "How
do I run a Win screen saver on my cluster?
Speaking of "value clusters" my 8-node Compaq DeskPro 386 cluster cost me
just under $2000 back in 1995. It runs Linux Red Hat 4.2 because nothing
more recent would fit on a 30 MB hard drive!
I am looking into a project for it. Running MOSIX might be fun and I would
love to parallelize the SETI code - any thoughts? The only math reference I
could find is
Papagiannis, "The Search for Extraterrestrial Life: Recent
Developments," Int'l Astro Union, Symp #112.
Dr. Alex in Phoenix
> -----Original Message-----
> From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org
> [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Jim Lux
> Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2004 8:53 AM
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: [SPAM] [Beowulf] $2500 cluster. What it's good for?
> I think it would be interesting to contemplate potential uses
> of a $2500 cluster. Once you've had the thrill of putting it
> together and rendering something with POVray, what next?
> You want to avoid the "gosh, I can run 8 times as many
> Seti at Home units as I could before" or "Look, I can calculate
> Pi" kind of not-particularly-value-laden-to-the-casual-observer tasks.
> Sure, there's some value in learning how to build and manage
> a cluster, but I think the real value is in doing something
> useful with that $2500. So, what sort of "useful" could one
> do? Say you were to negotiate with your spouse to get $2500
> to play with (or you were able to get a "mini-grant" at a
> high school). Is there something that is useful to the
> "general consumer public" that could be done better with a
> cluster than with a $2500 desktop machine?
> One computationally intensive task that might be applicable
> is making panoramas from multiple digital photos. It's
> incredibly tedious and time consuming to stitch together 30
> or 40 digital photos into one seamless panorama (google for
> PanoTools and PTGui for ideas).
> What about kids in school? Is there some simulation that, if
> clusterized, would be more interactive and useful?
> What about interactive rendering from one of NASA's world
> view databases:
> layering the terrain models and imagery to do "fly bys"?
> Are there consumer type iterative optimization problems that
> could profit from a cluster? In my own fooling around, I do
> lots of antenna simulations, which are essentially
> embarassingly parallel. The ham radio community likes
> "scrounged and homebuilt" solutions to problems, so the $2500
> cluster is a potential winner there.
> What about outreach to poverty stricken branches of academe
> who don't use computers much? literary analysis searching
> texts for common phrases?
> figuring out how to fit potsherds together?
> Jim Lux
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