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Combine Two Computers To Work As One

Experts, this is more of a hobby I would like to start, so with that, I'm not sure if this would even be the right section. I typically stay in the programming section of EE so this is uncharted territory for me.

I have always wanted to ticker around with chaining computers together to boost performance. As a complete and utter beginner, I would like if it some experts out there can point me in the direction of a few books, resources, and anthing else that may help me out as well as any expert tips.

I was Windows born and have treaded water in Linux. I know that with Windows I'll probably be forking out some cash for software, so perhaps I best stick with Linux - although at this point I don't even know if it is software that does the trick or merely hardware configuration - but I am assuming it is a marriage of both...

I don't have a real project to use this for, yet, but I would like to play around with it and see what happens. Thanks much to all...
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clickclickbang
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clickclickbang
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5 Solutions
 
kamichieCommented:
If you are trying to do number crunching then the above posts should help, also just try googling "beowulf cluster". But if you are trying to get two machines to act as one, to say play video games or anything of that nature you are out of luck. Cluster computers are good for analysing large amounts of data, or cruching a whole bunch of numbers (ie encryption breaking) that kind of stuff. Putting two computers together will give you a good test system to play with to see how it all links together, but for real power you need like 5, 10, or 1000. Whatever, the sky is the limit as long as your pocket book is big enough.
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clickclickbangAuthor Commented:
Awesome, Yeh, I play games, but not that much of a gamer!!! My wife uses Lightwave, I think that this may help her render some of her 3D animations. Do either of you know of a good book on the subject?
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kamichieCommented:
I-Hacked.com has a really good article on clustering MSN TV boxes together. The guy in the article paid a $1 plus 10 for shipping each. However since the realeas of his article they are going for about 30 on ebay now. But thats still cheap enough to make it worthwile. Anyway I think there like 733MHZ boxes, but if you could get like 10 of them you have a pretty decent cluster just for toying around with. Alos, I think the same webpage has an article on doing the same thing to XBOX's, which should be getting pretty cheap since the XBOX360 launched.
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kamichieCommented:
A render farm thats a perfect idea, I set one of these up a long time ago. I posted a link to a good article on it, plus some other free articles on genral clustering. I wouldn't recomend buying a book, just use google and read up on what you want to do, almost everbodys got a tutorial on something.

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1815797,00.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_cluster - Follow some of the links and learn learn learn
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dougstubbsCommented:
Any linux distribution with an openmosix kernel is able to do this fairly easily, however if you are not comfortable installing a new kernel try out clusterKnoppix http://bofh.be/clusterknoppix/

I've used it in quite a few cases and it's always "just worked".

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wylie_ukCommented:
lightwave has builtin functions for rendering across more than one PC in a network
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gonzal13RetiredCommented:
http://www.devx.com/Intel/Article/27399
Understanding Dual Processors, Hyper-Threading Technology, and Multi Core Systems
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clickclickbangAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all, I am about to get started and am very excited!
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gonzal13RetiredCommented:
What you need is to get at least 1 gig of memory if your wife has xp. If she has win98 then the max is 512 and it actually sees 407 megs.

If I had the money, I would buy say a supermicro motherboard and install two Pentium dual core CPUs. I have not investigated the performance aspect nor if there are programs can use the computing power. Essentially a dual core is two CPUs in one, thus they share the work, but are worthless unless you have the memory. Two GIGS would be fantastic.

Thanks for the points.

gonzal13(joe)
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gonzal13RetiredCommented:
Oh, somehow and for some reason I mentioned your wife in the above note.

Also goto google.com and enter 'How to Build Computers'. You will find a vast amount of information.

gonzal13(joe)
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