Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I never imagined it would be edible.

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supercomputing

Massive parallel processing for the masses
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After tripping over a box of old 386 motherboards in the storeroom, I have come to believe that there is a untapped resource in the universe...

I think that the entire world should bring there old 386's to a central location (Northern Canada would be better, for cooling), where the motherboards could be screwed to sheets of plywood, arranged into long isles,setup to net boot Linux, and run as a Beowulf Cluster.

The whole thing also needs to have one of those big throw switches from the Frankenstein movies.

As far as application software... maybe somekinda predictive model algorithm that would try and predict which of it's own cpu's was going to die next....

rohar, Apr 20 2000

Atari's ABAQ ATW800 (Late '80's?) http://www.atarimus...its/transputer.html
Baked, and bined :( Sad, cause I wanted one [Dub, Aug 24 2005]

[link]






       Sequent used to (prolly still does) make a redundantly parallel machine that was self-diagnosing, and had a net link back to the company. You only knew something was wrong when a replacement board showed up in the express mail. Redundant boards handled the processing load until you could hot-swap the new one in.
rmutt, Apr 20 2000
  

       Only if I can use it to play Pong.
phoenix, Aug 11 2001
  

       I want to make it clear that my croissant is conditional on the Frankenstein throw switch. No switch, no pastry.
-alx, Aug 11 2001
  

       Ditto on the throw switch. That's the deal breaker.   

       rmutt: that's great... a computer that orders its own replacement parts. You'd know it had acheived self-awareness when pizzas start showing up.
PotatoStew, Aug 12 2001
  

       And lots a relays which do nothing except make a *clackety-clack* sound. All output which doesn't get sent to paper tape comes out on 3x5 cards (and that assembly makes a *ding!* sound when ejecting the card - a la Batman's Bat Computer)
phoenix, Aug 12 2001
  

       have it controlling a big laser deathray taken from a sci-fi b movie... even beter - make the whole casing and cooling system from old sci-fi shows...the keyboard should obviusley be a converted type writer (but with a non standard layout - leavemealone as oposed to qwerty perhapse)... It would still need a monitor (well actualy just an old TV set plugged in using a spectrum as a sort of adapter...) so that we can get error messages and phoenix can play pong...
RobertKidney, Aug 12 2001
  

       Ideally there should be extremely low visibility, due to dry ice (or evaporating liquid nitrogen or something) being used as coolant.
-alx, Aug 12 2001
  

       And of course loss of coolant causes a cool explosion.   

       All technicians wear lab coats. Goggles are optional, but pocket protectors, slide rules and pipes are not.
phoenix, Aug 13 2001
  

       Something else that sounds like it'd be a really cool public art project...Leave the exploding out, though...
StarChaser, Aug 14 2001
  

       the overload meter is a brilliant idea - it should be inversley proportional to free system resources... when they start to run out the dial moves into the red area and an alarm goes off - sort of like the star trek red alert...   

       as for explosion have the star trek computer voice warning of coolant loss and iminant explosion and dry ice spraying everywhere to give the technitions time to shut it down/evacuate...
RobertKidney, Aug 14 2001
  

       Oooo, and the 'overload' condition wouldn't just effect the computer system itself. The ground and walls would shake and crumble. Pipes and cabling would fall from the ceiling. Of course, as [RobertKidney] states, nothing would actually explode. Technicians would always solve the problem just in the nick of time.
phoenix, Aug 16 2001
  

       dont forget the exploding consoles from trek that kills an expendable technition from time to time...
RobertKidney, Aug 16 2001
  

       I added a link without reading it all, I'm afraid. But I think it would have interested you.
Dub, Aug 24 2005
  

       Nuh uh - bad idea for environment: Northern canada may be good for cooling the pcs, but bad for heating the earth. Put it in south namibia. Use solar cells for the electricity, and put the cpu's in small underground caves so they stay cool.
pashute, Oct 31 2008
  

       well, it wouldn't really be supercomputing, but it might look kind of cool. 386s are just too old technology to do anything much. Your computing power per watt would be appalling.
conskeptical, Oct 31 2008
  

       I want to play tic tac toe on it.[+]
kamathln, Oct 31 2008
  
      
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