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Re: Super-computer project

> I am a Malagasy student in Mathematics and I will earn my Bacchelor this
> scholar year but I am a computer programer too (I like burn the cpu
> with huge maths computation). Before you continue to read, I want to note
> you that this mail wouldn' t be there but I don' t know where to start
> then you are so kind to help me. Any suggestions and advices are welcome.
Ok, I'll tell you what I know. Don't be fooled into thinking I actually
know alot about any of this, however: I'm mostly clueless :)

> We know that lowest configuration we can find on the market is now the
> Pentium II 233 Mhz and everyone want to upgrade to at least Pentium II
> running at 350 Mhz or better, a Pentium III. Then I wonder what people
> does with their old Pcs? the 486 dx2-66, pentium 100 and co?
They end up as being used exclusively for simple stuff like
word-processing (which they can do just fine) or they get put in some
corner and everybody forgets about them -or- they just get thrown out.

More computer knowledgeable persons migth find other, more creative uses
for their old PCs, but the above is what usually happens (I believe :).

You shouldn't have any problems getting your hands on old 486 computers,
and I'm sure you should be able to get pentiums aswell, perhaps even
some P-II's.

> This is my
> project: I want to build a powerfull server to give free account and to
> run net games like dungeon for example (under Linux of course),
What you want to do is to create a Beowulf cluster (I might be totally
off, but don't say I didn't warn ya'!)

A Beowulf cluster is good for making alot of smaller computers run in
parallel and thereby create what looks like a single,
many-many-many-processor computer.

Well, kind of. There are some problems:

A) You'll have to get decent network cards for these computers to
cummunicate properly.

B) You'll have to buy some cable to connect these computers.

C) You have to have enough bandwidth on this network to make sure that
all computers are doing something all the time. Ie, they should be
recieving new jobs all the time, and be able to cummunicate their
results back to the main computer. This can be a problem if you have too
many slow computers with not enough ram (or so I've read).

> but I
> don' t have resources to do that. I think that a parallel computer with
> these unused Pcs will be the solution, according to my budget, if their
> holders would donate them. With 10 or 20 nodes I think I will obtain an
> alpha-processor server performance (Maybe better).
> I hope hearing you soon.
I'm not sure a Beowulf cluster is so appropiate for what you propose,
but its the only solution I know about, and, to my knowledge, the only
solution there is to what you propose (don't forget: My knowledge is
quite limited in this regard).

I don't know about the alpha-processor performance thing. If it really
worked that way, I think we would see big corporations buying old
computers, fixing them up like you want to do, and selling them for a
little less than similar alpha processors. That should give a pretty
good profit.