Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Parallel computer to make use of old hardware

Parallelize old hardware to create non-old processing abilities
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

I bought a few "few gig" hard drives at a garage sale the other day for 25 cents each. I know modern hard drives are 100 GB or more, but that would still be a useful amount of space, if you could magically add it to your existing storage. Why can't we build machines with tons of cables coming out with adaptors of all sizes, and just plug in every old hard drive we can dig out of the garbage? The system would automatically take care of compatibility, combining them into one virtual drive, RAID-type redundancy to take care of drive failures, etc. It would save money for the user and prevent a lot of hardware from being thrown out and the raw materials wasted. The idea could be extended to any type of hardware. Huge banks of 286s working in parallel to achieve the functionality of a web server or something. Each one running constant checks of their own hard drives to watch for failure while the other hard drives are being accessed.

I don't know. This is probably completely unrealistic. I just want to spend $6.25 at garage sales for 25 4 GB laptop hard drives and be able to use them all in one desktop.

omegatron, May 27 2004

(?) Beowulf http://www.beowulf....owulf/projects.html
A project that uses cheap computers and networks them together to make a supercomputer using linux. [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004]

(?) Floppy Disk Raid http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm
If this is possible, then perhaps a generic x-usb converter would allow your idea to get baked. [zen_tom, Nov 28 2004]

NAS http://en.wikipedia...rk-attached_storage
Network Attached Storage [BunsenHoneydew, Dec 19 2006]

NAS Linux distros http://en.wikipedia...ms_for_consumer_PCs
Direct link to subsection of above [BunsenHoneydew, Dec 19 2006]


       Well, an old 6MHz 286 could run at 0.9MIPs and the better Core 2 Duos run up at 20,000, so you would need 22.2k old 286 processors and a lot of wire and electricity to do anyhthing useful.
bs0u0155, Dec 18 2006

       On the other hand, a cheap/free 486 tower with a network card, a floppy linux distro and a few IDE cards could make a cheap NAS. [link] The motherboard IDE would support 2 to 4 drives, and each IDE/ATA card another 2 or 4. And you can throw in a SCSI card (7 drives per) or two, and set them all up as one or more RAID volumes.   

       You'll spend more on power and burn more carbon though.
BunsenHoneydew, Dec 19 2006


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