Groovy Linux Geek Gizmos

Is that a supercomputer on your desktop or are you just happy to see me?

A Supercomputer Under Every Desk

Win the desktop hardware wars hands down with a new product from Orion Multisystems (http://www.orionmultisystems.com/). The company recently announced the DS-96 (pictured at right) a 96-node workstation that offers 230 gigaflops peak performance in a case just slightly larger than that of a traditional desktop.

The Linux- based DS-96 uses eight boards, each with 12 Transmeta processors, and can hold up to 192 GB of RAM and nearly 10 TB of disk space. Amazingly, all of this number crunching madness uses a standard 15-amp wall outlet and weighs only 150 pounds.

The DS-96, which can be clustered in groups of four, is designed for scientific and engineering applications. It’s ideal for an organization that cannot afford the space, staff, or requirements of a traditional cluster.

Starting at $100k, the DS-96 will surely make you king of the geek jungle. Or any jungle.

A Trip to the Zoo

O’Reilly Media (http://www.oreilly.com/) and SpikeSource (http://www.spikesource.com/) have teamed up to launch a great site for the open source community, CodeZoo (http://www.codezoo.com/). Described as a “fast forward button for your compiler”, CodeZoo aims to help programmers find and make use of the wealth of open source software available.

CodeZoo focuses on code that’s been designed for reuse so you can quickly get to work. When you search for relevant code, you’ll also find links to O’Reilly books, articles, and blogs that might help your project. Additionally, each result contains component ratings and tips.

The initial site has Java components, but plans to expand to other languages. As with most open source projects, the community can make this a very valuable repository. The faster we create directories and add projects, the faster the site will grow. Take a trip to the zoo today.

One of Tiger’s New Stripes

Apple recently released a new version of their FreeBSD- based Mac OS X operating system, named Tiger (http://www.apple.com/macosx/). As you probably know, Mac OS X has been an attractive option for Unix and Linux lovers since it includes so many open source components and runs Mac and X11 applications. And that slick Apple hardware doesn’t hurt either.

While there are several Mac-only enhancements to Tiger and updates to many of its underlying open source-derived services, one change has caught the eye of traditionalists: Apple replaced the old Unix standby cron with something new called launchd. Developed at Apple, Launchd addresses shortcomings of cron. For instance, launchd incorporates a messaging protocol, something that cron lacked. Even better, the launchd project is open source, so you can check it out for yourself and contribute.

CHAOS Reigns

An Australian computer security company recently released a Linux distribution for clustering called CHAOS (http://www.purehacking.com.au/chaos/). What’s unique about CHAOS, which is based on the openMosix standard, is the fact that it can boot a remote machine without disturbing the contents of the local hard drive. Even more amazing, the CHAOS software is a mere 6 MB.

Each PC running CHAOS essentially becomes a node in a larger cluster. Since the software is so small and makes no changes to the local drives, PC’s can be added for easy scalability. CHAOS is ideal for some quick pet projects or someone looking to utilize the office computing power after hours, without setting up a full blown cluster.

Looks like you have a new reason to stay late at the office and “work.”

Send your own product picks and suggestions to Matt Tanase at class="emailaddress">tanase@qaddisin.com.

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