Is it possible to use a second computer as expansion (slave) for another computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xoggyux, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    Here is my question:
    A while ago I read an article about a company that remasterizes and retouches famous movies, and they were using a "supercomputer" that was made up of a "grid" of several mac-pro interconected (later I read about a university that made a similar thing, and got what at the moment was one of the fastest supercomputers in the world for like a hundred's of the price it would otherwise cost to make one from scratch,) I have also seen many programs that let a remote "university" (or any other non-proffit organization [usually]) to use your computer's iddle time for processing very complex stuff (like NASA calculations, human genome project, DNA analysis, climate change analysis, and all that stuff)
    So my question is, is it possible I can use my (MUCH more powerfull desktop computer) as a kind of aid for processing for my laptop (maybe conected trough gigabit ehternet, firewire etc) however I am more concerned with the ability of my laptop to access my dekstop hardware (e.g. optic drive, card reader, TV tuner?, HDDs etc)

    Is there any way to do "ANY" or all what I just described?
  2. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    No. The closest thing you can do is to put the desktop in target disk mode, which will at least let you use the optical drive and the hard disks.

    Of course, I'm not sure what the point of that would be. You could just buy external cd drives and hard drives.
  3. scuzy macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2006
    those are most likely distributed computing which needs specialize software for. I really don't know of anyway of doing what you're asking.
  4. xoggyux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    the point is I got a "old" (though still got a dual core processor, 4gb ram and a couple of TB of HDD) computer sitting there doing nothing and I thought I could give it some use. So far I use it for downloads and torrents etc (I add the stuff from my MBP) wanted to give it more use (I think I can make the optic drives/hdds/and memories to work. anyway was just an idea.:D
  5. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Turn it into a server for some use.
  6. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    You won't be able to get any sort of XGRID service from your laptop unless you find and invest into a Fibre-channel add-on via the Expresscard 34 slot, even those are hard to find, nevermind getting one that's Mac compatible. Since most Mac based super computer make uses of a 10Gb Fibre-channel to handle hi-speed data transfers.. I doubt the 1Gb LAN will do much...
  7. Belly-laughs macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2003
    you wish
    i don´t think xgrid would require fibre channel. it requires mac os x server, though.
  8. xoggyux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    i did not meant super computer :confused: I am aware that any input/ouput of my laptop is way to slow to send/receive info at high speed (memory/processor speeds anyway) since if I am not mistaken the fastest in/out are gigabit ethernet and mini pci which are limited to 1~2Gb/s

    more precisely what I wanted is one way to let my desktop do some work while the laptop does another, kind of like "sending" a video file to the desktop, and then the desktop "automatically" compress it into a "predetermined" format (and quality) whitout any user input (similar for music, though I'd rarely would be using it) and well it would rock to have in my laptop's desktop to show my dekstop's drives (again I know I would not read off them lightning fast, but for CD/DVD and card reader it would be enough)
    No big deal tough, it was kind of an experiment (I really was not very hopeful since is a windows desktop atm, though i might make it a hackintosh eventually)
  9. McKnight macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2009
    This is known in IT as a cluster or server cluster.

    Such a setup requires specialist network, software and hardware equipment which is neither cheap or easy to setup.

    In all honesty I'd recommend you either use a KVM switch (to control 2 computers with 1 screen, keyboard & mouse) or simply have two laptops on your desk.

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