XGrid- What's all the buzz about?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jbouklas, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. jbouklas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    Remember when XGrid was announced a year and a half ago? There was tons of buzz about linking up all the Macs in your house to render something in Final Cut Pro or working with Photoshop at lightning speeds. Then, everybody got real quiet about it.

    Well, Tiger shipped, and according to Jobs, they shipped over 2 million copies of the damned thing, each one including an XGrid client. Now, with the mass distribution of this "spectacular piece of technology," what good is it? I've Googled XGrid plugins and whatnot every couple of weeks for the past few months, and there's nothing new. No plugins for any apps, except for a few specific number-crunching research programs.

    Everybody was talking about this new revolution in computing and now that the technology is widely distributed, can anybody find a single use for it? I've been dying to set up a cluster of Macs in my house to convert large MPEG files over to Divx, but haven't found anybody even working on anything close to this.

    So, if anybody has any info on this, please post here.
     
  2. killuminati macrumors 68020

    killuminati

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    #2
    I'm sorry, I have nothing to add to this thread, I just want to subscribe to it to find out what answer you get. I am also really interested in this.
     
  3. live4ever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, ON
    #3
    Apple took this out of Tiger client, Tiger server is needed to set up the grid I believe.

    Distributed computing is built into DVD SP 4 though for encoding video.
     
  4. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #4
    My friend and I tried the demo. Couldn't figure out anything to supercompute, though.
     
  5. Soulstorm macrumors 68000

    Soulstorm

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    #5
    Here is what I found in looking my Tiger's help server:
    and somewhere in the end it says:
     
  6. Darwin macrumors 65816

    Darwin

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    round the corner
    #6
    I'm also interested in seeing what happens to Xgrid, a lot of people have more then one machine in their houses now so it would be nice to see that resource used, especially for things like media encoding

    Supercomputing for the rest of us :p
     
  7. jbouklas thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    NY
    #7
    Cool

    Wow. Looks like a lot people are in the same boat. Lots of questions so far, but no answers.
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    xgrid still exists in the Tiger client:

    Code:
    [null:~] yellow% sw_vers
    ProductName:    Mac OS X
    ProductVersion: 10.4.1
    BuildVersion:   8B15
    [null:~] yellow% locate xgrid
    /Developer/Examples/Xgrid/GridSample/MPI/xgridmpiboot
    /Library/Preferences/com.apple.xgrid.agent.plist
    /Library/Preferences/com.apple.xgrid.controller.plist
    /private/etc/xgrid
    /private/etc/xgrid/agent
    /private/etc/xgrid/agent/com.apple.xgrid.agent.plist.default
    /private/etc/xgrid/controller
    /private/etc/xgrid/controller/com.apple.xgrid.controller.plist.default
    /private/var/xgrid
    /private/var/xgrid/agent
    /private/var/xgrid/agent/cookies
    /private/var/xgrid/controller
    /private/var/xgrid/controller/blobs
    /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.xgridagentd.plist
    /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.xgridcontrollerd.plist
    /usr/bin/xgrid
    /usr/libexec/xgrid
    /usr/libexec/xgrid/DatasetTool
    /usr/libexec/xgrid/execuid
    /usr/libexec/xgrid/IdleTool
    /usr/libexec/xgrid/xgridagentd
    /usr/libexec/xgrid/xgridagenthelper
    /usr/libexec/xgrid/xgridcontrollerd
    /usr/sbin/xgridctl
    /usr/share/man/man1/xgrid.1
    /usr/share/man/man8/xgridctl.8
    
    I think most of it is, if you don't have anything super-processor-intensive (something that takes multiple days to compile/render/whatever), you wouldn't have any need for xgrid. Install the Dev tools, look at the examples, read the man pages..
     
  9. jbouklas thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    NY
    #9
    So, now what?

    Okay, it looks like the support is in Tiger, there are tutorials or whatnot in XCode, and there's a large user base. Now what? We are mostly laypeople here who want to download a binary of an application and run it with an XGrid plug-in as part of it. Is it really possible that nobody has been developing this at all?

    Take Divx movie encoding. A big bottleneck is CPU usage. Most new Macs have Gigabit networking (10/100/1000), allowing for very high file transfer speeds, meaning that even file-intensive tasks would benefit from XGrid. As an example, you have an MPEG stream of roughly 1.5 gigabytes. On my computer, it takes over an hour and a half to convert to good quality XVid. If I could split this file into 300 MB chunks and have it distrubted across my 5 workstations in my house, I could conceivably cut this time dramatically. The only limitation would be file transfer speed, and I don't perceive this as a problem. So, while you pointed out that this can be done, etc, is there any work actually being done on it?
     
  10. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Who knows. Sounds like you should get started soon though, it's a good idea.

    Maybe you could also subscribe to the Apple Xgrid users mailing list, as well.
     
  11. jbouklas thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    NY
    #11
    ...

    As software developing isn't my forte, I doubt that "getting started" would help much. As consumers, we say what we want, and developers make it. Then, to keep the whole process nice and good, we pay them for the product.

    It looks like there isn't much of a community pull to get this technology in applications. If there was, I suppose we'd have software titles that actually used the full technology of the OS. "Supercomputing for the rest of us" was used to help sell us Tiger and now Apple and other developers have to start utilizing this framework if they want to follow through on their marketing. Honesty is always a good policy when it comes to delivering a good product.
     
  12. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    I'm not so sure about that. If you Google, you will find some XGrid plug-ins. I think what you're missing is that most people don't have multiple Macs, and have no need for XGrid. Those that need it recognize this and either find the plug-ins they need, create them if they don't exist, or contract someone to do it for them.

    Hell, most Mac users don't know anything about the CLI, and don't want to.
     
  13. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    BXL
    #13
    ah, I know the feeling.
    However, there is a solution!

    Click 'thread tools' in the blue ruler on top of the thread. You'll conveniently find a 'Subscribe to this thread' link.

    Cheers
     
  14. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #14
    I have a very similar need. I've been wanting to share iDVD encoding across multiple Macs ever since I've heard about Xgrid. Now DVD Studio Pro has this feature (distributed encoding). I'm waiting for some brilliant developer to release Xgrid plugins for iMovie and iDVD. I'd love to cut my DVD encoding time down.

    And it looks like we don't even need OS X Server, check out:
    http://www.edbaskerville.com/software/xgridlite/
     
  15. jbouklas thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    NY
    #15
    I disagree with the point that most people only have one computer at home. There is a very big user base that has multiple computers in the house that are networked. Otherwise wireless routers and the like wouldn't be so popular...

    Besides that, I have scoured Google looking for XGrid plug-ins and have found little more than proof of concept. Where is everything? Is there at least one program, other than DVD SP, that has XGrid support? Just one?
     
  16. killuminati macrumors 68020

    killuminati

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    #16
    Ahh, I never knew that.

    Thank you :)
     
  17. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #17
    sounds pretty cool, except i would have no use for it, or any idea of how to do so :eek:
    what's next though, iGrid--supercomputing for the rest of us?
     
  18. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #18
    I see you want to stick to your guns. Well, good luck with it.
     

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