Warping it up!

Fini Alring's Glossy Tech Zine

Harvesting and reusing idle compute cycles

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

Excerpt from source: More on the University of Texas grid project’s mission to integrate numerous, diverse resources into a comprehensive campus cyber-infrastructure for research and education. In this article, the authors examine the idea of harvesting unused cycles from compute resources to provide this aggregate power for compute-intensive work. They will also place this concept in context by offering an overview of a popular commercial software package designed to help achieve this task: the United Devices Grid MP platform.

Several early grid computing projects were focused on the idea of harvesting unused cycles from compute resources and providing this aggregated computing power for work that comprised lots of tasks — from hundreds to millions — that could be executed individually.

Today, there are several commercial and open source grid computing software packages that support this form of distributed computing on the desktop or other nondedicated computing resources. In this article, we will take a look at a popular commercial software package designed to help execute this function: the United Devices Grid MP platform.

Grid MP has several interesting and unique features, including:

* Support for heterogeneous desktops/nodes
* Nonintrusive client execution
* Tolerance to failures of desktop resources

We will provide an overview of the Grid MP features designed for harvesting idle cycles from nondedicated resources, and we’ll describe the types of applications that can effectively use the type of “desktop grid” we’re discussing.

Read the full article:
* Grid in action: Harvesting and reusing idle compute cycles

Also see:
* BOINC (SETI@Home, Einstein@Home, ClimatePrediction.net, LHC@Home, Predictor@Home, Cell Computing (JP))
* Team GiGA Productions Computing Group

Open Source Molecules

Monday, June 20th, 2005

* PubChem – Public Chemical Database

* Slashdot | Open Source Molecules

The Personal Fabrication Age

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

/. Cory R writes Neil Gershenfeld is an MIT professor and the director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms where he teaches a course called “How to Make (almost) Anything.” In his book FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop — From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication, Gershenfeld describes the current state of personal fabrication tools and the surprising impact that these tools have when made available to everybody from MIT students to villagers in India in the form of Fab Labs. Lots of fabrication techniques and some technologies are discussed including those that are still only in development today. The pace of development seems to be accelerating and as the capabilities of the tools advance, Gershenfeld predicts one day he will be able to drop the word “almost” from the title of his course.” Read on for the rest of Cory R’s review.

Slashdot | Fab

Open source Digital Bacteria

Monday, June 6th, 2005

/. FiReaNGeL writes “Scientists have constructed a software capable of simulating organisms at the molecular, single-cell and population levels. The program, called AgentCell, will soon be available, open sourced under a BSD license. “With AgentCell we can simulate the behavior of entire populations of cells as they sense their environment, respond to stimuli and move in a three-dimensional world”. The researchers have designed their digital bacterial system in modules, so that additional components may be added later – “The hope is that people will modify the code or add some new capabilities”. AgentCell has possible applications in cancer research, drug development and combating bioterrorism. Lots of movies and pictures are available, along with a detailed press release describing the program.”

You might want to check out my own project “Droids API“, which was actually called Bacteria API in the beginning, but I changed it to Droids to sound less like a vira :)

* Bytefarmers Droids API

* Slashdot | Open source Digital Bacteria

Water to provide unlimited energy?

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

Dan writes “Wired has a great article about a guy who thinks we can provide unlimited energy, accelerate crop growth, desalinize and purify drinking water, obtain health benefits and provide air conditioning, all by pumping up water from the depths of the ocean.”

Slashdot | Water Now More Awesome Than Previously Thought