A garage dwelling "super-computer"

So lately, as school winds down, I'm doing my "What am I going to do with myself this summer?" thing. I'm always really ambitious slaving away all year long on projects and stuff. This year of course isn't really any different. The exception is that I've got some really cool ideas for projects that I'd like to complete, and I think I should have enough time to get them (both) done. One is the MythTV (Tivo-esque) box for my living room. The other is building a Beowulf cluster and running some gnarly project on it. As it stands right now, the computing power I'd have have at my disposal around the beginning of summer totals around 7Ghz. Of course, because I'm a poor college student, none of the machines really close to another in performance; they range from 600 MHz to 2.2 GHz. So benchmarking will be a must (I suppose to do this I'll have to run the program on each machine individually first and average out the single machine run time before trying anything in parallel.) Since I was also hoping to revisit my DNA B-Tree project from my data structures class, I might combine that into this project and do a parallelized version of it. Of course that means converting all the Java code to C first, and then coming up with a way to handle the b-tree across all the nodes. So I might go with something easier. If any of you faithful readers out there come across something wild new and fun for parallel computing, let me know!



It was brought to my attention I may have made some inferences in my above blathering about the "7 GHz" value. This really doesn't translate into any real number value for this type of computing, a lot of it will depend on other factors (such as network through put and the efficiency of the program and type of problem being run). To make this whole thing simpler though I'm looking at trying to procur a handful of  1GHz machines for this usage, all with the same hardware. Likely this will be more towards the middle of the summer. 

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