Rob is this you?
Tue, 3 Feb 1998 17:38:06 -0800
> there's some people doing research with virutal parallel
> machines....they hook up a bunch of computers, running linux, with fast
> ethernet, and use software to emulate a multi-processor machine. there
> are a few technical issues, especially compiler issues, but they have a
> 16 processor virtual machine running that compares equally in terms of
> power and speed with real supercomputers. their setup costs about
> $50k. a machine that can solve the same problem in the same time costs
> a lot more -- they gave an example of a complex rendering, which thier
> computer performed 15% to 20% faster (faster!) than an ibm supercomputer
> (i don't recall which one) that costs *20* (twenty!) times more. they
> also did some sort of complex scientific modeling thing i didn't follow
> real well, and got equivalent performance to some supercomputer or
> other, at a similar or better price. (they talked about i think dollars
> per gigaflop (i think it was that, i may be wildly wrong -- some unit of
> computation)), and it came up roughly the same...
> fascinating stuff. see this month's linux journal for details.