cluster using handhelds

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at
Wed Sep 10 17:49:29 EDT 2003

At 02:22 PM 9/10/2003 -0700, Joel Jaeggli wrote:
>I could trivially do it with both my zauruses right now... the real
>question is why...

Which model of Zaurus, and what sort of wireless network interface (CF or 

I'm looking at a distributed measurement application where each processor 
needs to be able to talk to some local hardware and to share measurements 
with other processors. I also need to distribute some computing across the 
processors.  I'd rather not have to rewrite all the computing as platforms 
change, so a standardized interface like MPI is attractive.

Obviously, an alternative is a battery powered single board PC with a 
suitable display and user interface, but, in the case of the handhelds, 
someone else has already dealt with the hardware integration issues, and 
the purchase price is generally lower than one would spend on all the 
pieces.  I don't want to be in the PC design business, if I can avoid it.

I note that the various variants of Linux at (formerly, and 
possibly still, supported by Compaq) don't support the current versions of 
iPaqs being sold by HP. This, in itself, is kind of a worrying trend, 
because I've already got enough orphan hardware and software sitting 
around. (I've got ISA bus machines running win95 down in the lab, because 
that's what's needed to run the incircuit emulators for the "no longer sold 
in the commercial market but still sold for spaceflight" DSPs)

>On Wed, 10 Sep 2003, Jim Lux wrote:
> > Has anyone tried building a cluster using handheld computers (i.e. iPaq or
> > Palm type) that use wireless LAN (802.11) or IR for the interconnect?  Is
> > there an implementation of MPI that will work in that environment (WinCE,
> > PalmOS) (perhaps MPICH in some form?)
> >
> > Yes, I know the performance will be hideous.
> >
> >
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Joel Jaeggli           Unix Consulting         joelja at
>GPG Key Fingerprint:     5C6E 0104 BAF0 40B0 5BD3 C38B F000 35AB B67F 56B2

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Telecommunications Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875

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