Beowulf Trivia Question.

KL Davis info at
Sun Apr 1 08:47:43 PDT 2001

The story (legend) of Beowulf is one of the oldest English works... a
translation can be found here

The name Beowulf was given to the cluster computer built by Donald Becker
and Thomas Sterling in 1994 and has became the de facto title of this
"class" of computer... Why did they name it Beowulf? I have no idea...

I have always assumed that it relates to the original tale of Beowulf the
warrior and how he organized a group of otherwise individual groups and
people to fight the... well hell, read the legend yourself -- Or, if you are
not that into old English lit, check out the book (or movie) "The Thirteenth
Warrior" -- the movie is really very good, even though Antonio Banderas is
in it :)

----- Original Message -----
From: Georgia Southern Beowulf Cluster Project <gscluster at>
To: <beowulf at>
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2001 7:46 PM
Subject: Beowulf Trivia Question.

> Hello all,
> I'm part of a team completing the first Beowulf-style cluster available in
> our area and I've a question that everyone asks?  "Where does the name
> Beowulf originate?"  Essentially why did the NASA and Scyld guys call
> clustering technique/philosophy "Beowulf"?  Is it just a fancy,
> cool-sounding name, or is there a deeper meaning, possibly metaphor?  Hope
> someone knows because I get asked this about every 5 minutes on some
> occassions and I don't have much of an answer.
> Thanks,
> Wes Wells
> Georgia Southern Beowulf cluster
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