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Old Nov 1, 2007, 12:17 PM   #1
orlandosanz
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What to do with 8 G4s

The Cisco Lab at the college at I go to, and work for, has 8 PowerMac G4s. What would be a good use for them in the environment that they are in. It should be networking related.

The specs are:
Dual 450MHz G4
30GB HDD
DVD-RAM
ZIP 100
1GB SDRAM (256MBx4)
16MB Video Card (VGA & ADC)
Gigabit Ethernet
2 USB
2 Firewire
SCSI interface
No Airport card
Mac OS 10.3.9

And they have no access to the Internet, for security reasons the Cisco lab has no access the school's network. There are 3 PCs with internet access though. Most of the other computers are Dells.

I have 2 weeks to come up with a use for them before they go to another department or warehouse.

Maybe I can show the Professor networking through Firewire?

Last edited by orlandosanz; Nov 1, 2007 at 11:32 PM. Reason: update specs
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 12:18 PM   #2
Markleshark
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Supercompuer anyone?

Ok, so it won't be so 'super' but it'll be fun.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 12:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Markleshark View Post
Supercompuer anyone?

Ok, so it won't be so 'super' but it'll be fun.
It'll ... what... consume about three or four kilowatts of power and be about half as fast as a Mac Mini? No, wait, they're duals, so okay, as fast as a Mac Mini.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 12:23 PM   #4
gerrynjr
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You could setup an XGrid cluster.
There are a few rendering tools that will use this cluster (blender, visualhub come to mind)

If you hold programming classes, this could be used by a multithreaded programming class as well...
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 01:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mkrishnan View Post
It'll ... what... consume about three or four kilowatts of power and be about half as fast as a Mac Mini? No, wait, they're duals, so okay, as fast as a Mac Mini.
Fair point, well made.

It'll still be fun though.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 04:31 PM   #6
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Well, out of curiosity, I decided to look some numbers up...

The Primate Labs benchmark score for this Mac is 421. I don't know how linear the scale is, but over-stepping, and supposing that if a grid were 100% efficient on all processors, you'd get 4210, and if it were 85% efficient on all processors (since the aforementioned really isn't reasonable), perhaps in the region of 3500-3600. Which is probably still somewhat an overrepresentation of its capabilities.

For reference, the fastest Mac Mini comes in at 2574, and this would put this grid more in the range of the C2E iMac (3740).

So, okay, okay, a little bit better than I gave it credit for. The C2E astonishingly still has more hard drive space, though!
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 05:44 PM   #7
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Small scale distributed computing project. Really small.
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 05:51 PM   #8
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Nas?
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markleshark View Post
Supercompuer anyone?

Ok, so it won't be so 'super' but it'll be fun.


How would the FW network on 8 computers work ??


If there's external links on the info please lead me to the links..
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Old Nov 1, 2007, 11:32 PM   #10
orlandosanz
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions.
After posting the question, I went and checked if I was actually able to configure IP addresses on the Firewire ports and it wasn't possible. On my Macbook C2D I am able to configure an IP address and network it with my Sony PC, which also supports the TCP/IP protocol through Firewire.

As far as making a "Super Computer" or Distribute Computing I don't think it would be appropriate in a networking class focussed mostly around Cisco equipment.

I told the head of the our department about Folding@Home and he was interested, but I'm not sure how much.

I also found out that all equipment that goes to warehouse goes on sale at the end of the school year. I will post again if they end up going to warehouse for anyone interested in purchasing.
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Old Nov 2, 2007, 02:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrishnan View Post


Well, out of curiosity, I decided to look some numbers up...

The Primate Labs benchmark score for this Mac is 421. I don't know how linear the scale is, but over-stepping, and supposing that if a grid were 100% efficient on all processors, you'd get 4210, and if it were 85% efficient on all processors (since the aforementioned really isn't reasonable), perhaps in the region of 3500-3600. Which is probably still somewhat an overrepresentation of its capabilities.

For reference, the fastest Mac Mini comes in at 2574, and this would put this grid more in the range of the C2E iMac (3740).

So, okay, okay, a little bit better than I gave it credit for. The C2E astonishingly still has more hard drive space, though!
Not a bad effort, shows up how far things have came though, when one computer is now as fast as 8 not really that old ones. Amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhil View Post
How would the FW network on 8 computers work ??


If there's external links on the info please lead me to the links..
TBH, I actually have no idea about the workings of firewire networking. It's actually something I've never used. However, I'm guessing (From looking at the Firewire networking settings in Leopard) thats it's much the same as an ethernet network, just more personal and not as long range.
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