cluster using handhelds

Steffen Persvold sp at
Thu Sep 11 00:34:05 EDT 2003

Jim Lux wrote:
> 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 PCMCIA)?
> 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)


Beeing the Linux fan I am, I recently tried to load Linux on my HP iPAQ 5450 (a 
relatively new one with bluetooth, 802.11b, irda and.. fingerprint scanner..). 
It worked ! I reached the commandline prompt with the "Familiar" development 
distribution. However, I did not try it out much since I needed the PDA for 
more productive things. It was fun though :)

If you take a look at the page 
you'll see the progress of the project. I've been thinking of contributing, but 
I haven't got the time at the moment...

Steffen Persvold
Senior Software Engineer
mob. +47 92 48 45 11
tel. +47 22 62 89 50
fax. +47 22 62 89 51

Scali -
High Performance Clustering

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