My roommate and I are both nerds. My nerdy nature is probably already widely known to people online (due in part to this blog), and to associates in The Real World (due to my attire, language, topics of conversation, and general social awkwardness). However, I felt it necessary to establish that my roommate is with me on this.
So, what did we do with part of our extended, three day weekend? No, I can truthfully say that it had absolutely nothing to do with the dixie-cups. No! We were constructive! We built a Beowulf cluster!
Behold: Project FragMano.
While, in the past, a project to get a permanent gaming server running for my dorm floor was titled this, the majority of gamers are gone, and it’s much too cool a name to waste.
What you see here (aside from my back and amazing Hootenuity t-shirt) is our (poor) estimate of about 3.5Ghz of combined processing power. They’ll be running Ubuntu Linux (server install) with OpenMosix. We’ll use them for rendering Blender stuff, possibly a little folding@home, and (of course) seeing if we can program games that utilize the cluster effectively.
Right now, the task is getting the stupid things running, much less talking to each other. Two of them are missing vital organs such as hard disks, ram and cables. One of them is missing a processor. A few are under the mistaken belief that they have no physical storage media implanted within them.We’re working on it. Andy is a hybrid hardware/software guy, and I’m mostly software, so it works out quite nicely. My priority is installing Linux, recompiling the kernel, and getting the cluster software on as many of them as possible, while he figures out the happy hardware and network configuration. Or something. In theory.
We would like to note that there are now no less than eleven x86 based machines in the room. There are even more computers than that if you count our calculators, the hacked routers, and Andy’s game console. Isn’t being a computer science major just amazing?
Check out our Flickr stream for more photos of our progress as it develops.