[Beowulf] Supercomputers - iPad versus Cray

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Fri Mar 9 11:26:16 PST 2012

On Thu, 8 Mar 2012, Mark Hahn wrote:

> > Any more bizarre than a cluster of Furbies? Or PS/2s, or any other weird hardware.
> well, playstations had cell chips, which were, in their day, pretty
> respectable.  to me, that's pure beowulf, in the classic sense.
> clustering very light-weight machines is sort of amusing, but it's hard 
> to imagine a less appropriate substrate than an iPad.  completely mundane
> hardware, extremely expensive display and touch panel, slow, small memory,
> no ethernet.

I remember, some (ten?) years ago on this list, there was an article about 
making a cluster of Compaq Ipaqs PDAs. Those particular models only had 
serial port and IR, so the author(s) went infrared. The performance of 
them was dog ugly, AFAIR, compared to what I could do with one iPaq with 
Linux and Python program doing similar stuff (prime sieve).

I remember iPaqs were at that time touted as would be student's digital 
assistants, were to be introduced into US schools etc etc. Strange, seems 
like history repeats itself. Am I a digital prophet? Is Apple going to be 
bought by HP?


> OK, I did think of a way that would be pretty cool in a demo/kluge,
> almost performance-art way: have the iPads communicate 
> by modulating their LCD, and receiving via the screen-side camera.
> I didn't say it was practical ;)
> it would be hillarious to see a ring of ipads flashing QR codes at each other
> while running linpack.  well, to me at least!
> anyone want to donate a pile of iPads?  actually, a pile of android tabs
> would be even better, since you can put a decent/open dev env on them.

Extremely cool idea. How about stacking them all against a huge mirror?

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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