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Beowulf High

I've been spending a couple of hours in a very cold room with 5 Sun SPARC (Ultra 5 Workstations) machines and the fact that it runs on a 350 Mhz 64-bit RISC processor (and feels much like a 1Ghz 32-bit Athlon/Pentium) boggles my mind and enlightens my soul.

Just when I thought that I've had so much fun with Linux on 32-bit machines, the feel of Linux on a 64-bit machine is just awesome. The 350Mhz 64-bit UltraSPARC-IIi breezes through the things I make it do, and seems to beg me for more.

Now I'm installing Debian Woody from the internet, and I hope the download finishes before 7 so that I don't have any more reasons to stay here in ICS after 7. It's not that I mind staying here with the SPARC machines, and I might change my mind a little later, but I do also want to take a break once in a while.

Now hopefully, when I get the master node running with X and a couple more of the goodies I need (OpenOffice, web browsers, and a guest user account) then setting up the slaves would be a breeze. I might encounter some network problems (with the workstations having just one NIC, I can't delegate a master gateway to isolate the cluster from the ICS network) both logistic and logical -- but surely these will be documented.

A couple more days should bring me a class 2 64-bit Beowulf right here in UPLB. I hope this gets not only the students, but also the instructors to take a peek into the possibilities with a Beowulf cluster around.

Chilling... (literally and figuratively)


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