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Old 08-01-2009, 02:49 AM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2009
Distribution: Slackware, Arch
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PowerMac G4 YellowDog Linux Cluster

I recently received four free powermac G4 boxes that each have two 1.0 GHz chips in them. Somehow I got the idea in my head to start building a cluster (I figured 8 cpus would be good enough for a start) out of them. The machines currently lack ram (I'm waiting on a few sticks of DDR pc2700 to arrive for them) and the only type of switch I have available right now is a Dynex Enhanced Wireless G Router, but I am far from disheartened, discouraged, or disingenuous about the idea.

I have been looking into the theory of cluster computing, the use of clusters at my college (which is the benefactor of this endeavor if only because the CS department was throwing out the old machines), and various how-to sites. The best find so far has been even though it is a bit dated (11-Apr-2003 15:32). So, while I wait for the ram needed to make this work, I have to ask...

Does anyone know if this switch be a reasonable starter or (as I suppose) should I upgrade?

Has anyone set any clusters up in linux? Any pitfalls I should be wary about?

Does anyone have any comments on Yellow Dog Linux, any setup woes, etc?

and most importantly

Any idea what to do with a cluster? I've thought about running calculations to determine pi as accurately as possible on it, as well as whatever calculations were first run on Oberon or Titania, but in all honesty I have nothing else to do with it (I could try blob recognition using a webcam, ray tracing, or brute forcing a few passwords). I might work on reconfiguring the loadsharing to allow heterogeneous node attachments without the standard problems of bottlenecking due to slower nodes (thus allowing future expansion), and I figure the worst case scenario (if it works) will be that I have a cluster sitting there if I ever need it (electricity is flat rate in my apartment, so no worries there).

So, any ideas? comments? questions?

Last edited by jonpettimore; 08-01-2009 at 02:15 PM. Reason: Clarity


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