Humidor Cluster

This mini-itx mod is pretty slick. It looks great, but inside you’ll find no less than five mobos, an ethernet switch complete with five hard drives. The controller is a Via PD1000 and the four slave machines are Via V8000As.

[yeah, I forgot to publish it earlier. Four words: Two Week Old Baby.]

16 thoughts on “Humidor Cluster

  1. You need a fail-safe.
    If you fail, you’re also safe.
    At 11:00PM if there is no hack the members of team hack-a-day are automaticaly alerted, that alert is not lifted until a hack is posted.
    If a hack is not posted before 11:55 creating power goes to the team hack-a-day admin and moderators.

  2. Get your prorities straight man, one screaming kid verses 10’s of pissed of geeks who are hovering by their PC’s waiting to type “first post”.

    And really you pick your kid??
    Right on.

    I too look forward to the baby toy hacks, my favorite was seen on a standup show in Cambridge, the guy had a machine that spoke the pictures on the buttons, but pressing a new button halted the previous so he could make up words or sentances that were not designed for children, he managed to make a 15 minute show from two such toys. Genius

  3. IIRC, there are ways to run clusters using Win XP but I haven’t the foggiest idea why you would want to. The massive overhead from running a full OS on your clients would seriously degrade your efficiency. No in this kind of situtation you want to be running ultra-trimmed down OSes to increase your overall speed. It just seems like wasted effort otherwise. Unless, of course, you are developing something to utilize wasted cycles like SETI or something like that.

    No clusters are the domain of unix and its children, thank god! (Though there are a few NT clusters out there as well.)

    Anyway good hack! At first I thought it would be JAECM (Just-Another-Epia based-Case Mod) but the amount of careful thought and planning that went into this is really impressive. I’d like to see benchmarks on it as well because if it turns in decent numbers, that is a LOT of processing power in a small space/low power.

    Also, now that he has built the thing… what is he going to do with it?

  4. Interesting comments.

    First…..thanks for the linkage.

    Your readers don’t seem to be very familiar with “high-performance” clustering. Neither was I. That is what motivated me to build this.

    What I learned was that I didn’t need a cluster. I didn’t run any benchmarks because performance was not a goal. I knew it would be comparatively slow because it doesn’t have giga-bit Ethernet. This machine’s real claim to fame is the fact that it completely self-contained within one enclosure. That had never been done before. Clusters are more commonly a group of computers setup next to each other.

    People who render computer generated animation are one of the primary groups of cluster users. It is a math machine. A cluster takes a math problem, breaks it into parts and assigns each part to a “node”. Parallel computing is another term used for the process.

    No…it won’t give you higher frame rates in Half-Life.

    The Humidor Cluster was destroyed in a shipping accident coming back from CES last year. RIP.

  5. two thingys

    1) I can’t stand why those mofos that make the mobos can’t publish a spec on each and every motherboard regarding how much power the thing takes. Even better would be some rough efficency standard like watt-hours pre protein folder work unit or something like that.Although I imagine the manufacture would try to game something like that.

    2) The project is cool, but I don’t know, the moment I’d get the electronics part together I’d want to do some benchmarks. AFAIK none were published in the write-up. Still, it looks cool.

    Bonus comment: What the heck are “stars” beside each hack a day comment, and why are they not skulls or wrenches instead?

  6. Good, but I would really like some benchmarks. Is there any software that spoofs Linux (Windoze?) into thinking that the seperate motherboards and drives, etc. are all in one system. Kind of like a RAID 0 array for the motherboard?

    BTW, what are those star things on the comments?

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