Building a render cluster doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money, even if you’re buying brand new hardware. [Janne] built this 6 unit cluster inside of a 6 drawer IKEA Helmer cabinet. He wanted the cluster to be low power and low cost. After finding a good price on 6 65nm Intel Core 2 CPUs, he found 6 cheap Gigabyte motherboards. The memory on each board was maxed at 8GB. With 24 2.4GHz cores consuming 400W, the power consumption and cost isn’t much more than a high end PC. Each board is running Fedora 8 and mounts an NFS share. Dr Queue is used to manage the render farm’s processes. [Janne] says jobs that previously took all night now only require about 10-12 minutes. The estimated capacity is 186Gflops, but plans are already in motion for a12Tflop version.
His site also has plans for an underwater camera housing like our recent post. If you want to see more IKEA abuse, check out IKEA Hacker, even if it’s not very technical.
[UPDATE: yep, we duped ourselves]
Haptic feedback (sometimes referred to as tactile or force feedback) offers what some might call a brave new world
of interaction and immersion. The 1932 book of the same name was probably the first introduction many people got to the idea of computer generated touch sensations. In the book, movies are replaced with what are called “feelies”; patrons sit in chairs that provide feedback throughout the screening.
While we don’t see this coming to your local megaplex any time soon, we are starting to see the technology creep into our lives. After the break lets take a look at some examples, talk about projects we’ve covered before, and how you can get started developing your own.
Continue reading “Haptic feedback roundup”
[Peter Nyboer] has written an extensive post about his experience with AudioCubes
. Aside from their unique glowing exterior, these cubes are an innovative way to control and even produce audio tracks. Four faces of each cube are equipped with IR sensors to detect distance and communicate with other cubes. The cubes also have USB, a rechargeable battery, and audio in/out. Moving your hands around the sensors changes the MIDI output of the cube. Changing the cubes’ orientation and distance from each other also changes the signal. Max/MSP
are both supported out of the box, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to get started. [Peter] makes an important point: unlike traditional instruments, there’s no obvious way to get started. At 400euro for 2 cubes and 650euro for 4 cubes, these devices aren’t exactly being given away, but it’s great to see new interfaces being imagined. A video of [Peter]’s first experiments with the cubes is embedded below; read his full post
to see more footage of the cubes in action… and naturally we’d love to see any DIY versions of this you can come up with.
Continue reading “AudioCubes by Percussa”
users often have trouble explaining just exactly what the service is for. The site specifically asks “What are you doing right now?” A simple interface and multiple ways to update means people have started hooking it to different real world objects… objects that aren’t reporting what they had for lunch
. After the break, we’ll cover a couple devices that have interfaced Twitter to the real world and how you can update from your command line.
Continue reading “Twittering from the command line”