Jurassic Computer Park
Editor's Note: See the upcoming July issue of LJ for Robin's article on the Industrial Light & Magic studios, the effects studio for the Star Wars series, and their conversion to a Linux renderfarm.
What is happening to the old computers being replaced by new Linux systems at Industrial Light & Magic? They're being recycled at ACCRC (Alameda County Computer Resource Center), the world's largest non-profit electronics recycling center. Located in Oakland, California, ACCRC is a self-sustaining, self-funded organization that trains unemployed, unskilled volunteer workers how to build and maintain Linux computers.
ACCRC processes more than 200 tons of discarded electronic equipment per month and provides refurbished computers to schools, scientists, governments, non-profits, the underprivileged and the handicapped. A Microsoft-free organization, ACCRC donated more than 5,000 computers last year at no cost to recipients. Thanks to a donation from SuSE, every computer that ACCRC distributes runs a full copy of SuSE Linux.
"We recently turned down donations of an aircraft carrier and a 727", says executive director James Burgett. "But we are ready to handle a 727 the next time one is offered." The ACCRC 38,000 square foot complex, a converted ice cream factory, is home to a Linux cluster and a radio station, and they are building a TV studio and a computer museum. The radio station is KOOX 93.7 FM. The Linux cluster is 30 Athlon 850MHz PCs and up to 350 recently refurbished PCs that are Pentium 166 or better. Rather than throwing away cycles on test diagnostics, the cluster performs useful work as a POVRAY-based renderfarm while the units are undergoing burn-in. The cluster uses MOSIX (see MOSIX: A Cluster Load-Balancing Solution for Linux") to transform racks of cast-off PCs into a single supercomputer.
ACCRC-provided computers find many uses. In Antarctica, the Chilean expedition is using them to study ozone depletion. The Russian Space Agency used them to keep Mir in space far longer than it was designed. Cambodia is writing its new constitution on them. And every public school in the Oakland area uses ACCRC computers on a daily basis. In addition, using the Linux cluster as an encryption testbed and as a honeypot is under consideration.
Robin Rowe is is a partner in motion picture technology company MovieEditor.com. He has led video R&D at a Fortune 500 IT company, taught C++ at two universities and was an NBC-TV technical director. He leads two users groups: LinuxMovies.org and OpenSourceProgrammers.org.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide