Home | News Archive | February 2004

The "Mini-Cluster"
February 25, 2004

Early supercomputers used parallel processing and distributed computing and to link processors together in a single machine. Using freely available tools, it is possible to do the same today using inexpensive PCs - a cluster. Glen Gardner liked the idea, so he built himself a massively parallel Mini-ITX cluster using 12 x 800Mhz nodes. This picture shows just one half of it.

The machine runs FreeBSD 4.8, and MPICH After working with his machine and running some basic tests, Glen's cluster looks to be equivalent to at least 4 (maybe 6) 2.4Ghz Pentium IV boxes in parallel on a similar network - achieving a performance of around 3.6 GFLP. With the exception of the metalwork, power wiring, and power/reset switching, everything is off the shelf. Rather impressive we'd say - though he *is* root on a 1.1 TFLP 528 CPU monster, the 106th fastest computer in the world...

Glen Gardner's "Mini-Cluster"

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3 EPIA CL Reviews
February 23, 2004

Shamed by our own lack of EPIA CL review (we built ours into a firewall and never looked back - over 150 days uptime and still counting), we've gathered together 3 fairly recent EPIA CL10000 reviews you might find interesting, here, here and here...

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SilentPCReview the Mappit A4F
February 19, 2004

Silent Mike has been busy reviewing interesting things recently, amongst them is Mappit's rather quiet A4F EPIA M10000-powered Mini-ITX System. The A4F has an all-aluminium enclosure, is competely fanless and unvented and has an internal universal 65W PSU, all in a 315 x 200 x 60mm package.

SilentPCReview the Mappit A4F

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TeePods make Tournament debut
February 18, 2004

The TeePod is an interesting EPIA VE5000-powered device from 4everSports aimed at the deep-pocketed golfing fraternity. Essentially a weather-protected solar-powered PC with touch screen display and wireless networking, the TeePod brings the internet to the fairway. Easy to use browser-based software allows players to order 19th hole refreshments, request assistance, view hole information, and of course keep score - and keep tabs on other player's scores. Course operators have a wealth of administration tools available to them to ensure things are running smoothly. TeePods run Linux, so tournament hacking is unlikely and golfers won't be seeing any blue screens. Although TeePods have been around for a while, the 4everSports Pro-Pro event at Dobson Ranch Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona on March 8th will be their first PGA-certified tournament debut.

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VIA's Eden CPUs reach 1Ghz
February 13, 2004

VIA have announced the availability in volume of their fanless Eden CPUs at new faster speeds of 800Mhz and 1Ghz. The Nehemiah based Eden ESP8000 and ESP10000 CPUs consume as little as 7W and include VIA's second generation Padlock security, which includes high-speed hardware based AES encryption and two Random Number Generators. The 733Mhz ESP7000 CPU has been available to manufacturers for a while, as utilised in early versions of Nimble's V5 communications device for instance. New EPIA Mini-ITX boards that take advantage of these chips haven't been announced - though we would be surprised if we didn't see something at CeBIT at the end of next month, with boards appearing on the market some time after that.

VIA's Press Release

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The "Humidor CL Server"
February 04, 2004

Jeffrey L Stephenson took a leaf out of his own book and rolled his own elegant firewall in an art deco Cigar Humidor case - strictly for after dinner use only of course. The Humidor CL Server features an EPIA CL10000 with an integrated wireless router, LCD display and DSL modem. Once again, Jeffrey's raised the bar. We still Havana clue what's he's smoking.

Jeffrey L Stephenson's "Humidor CL Server"

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