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Little-Fe - The portable cluster for computational science education

Little-Fe is a portable 8 node cluster designed to make it easier to teach computational science in a variety of settings. Little-Fe is a joint project of Earlham's Cluster Computing Group, Tom Murphy's HPC project at Contra Costa College, and Paul Gray's Bootable Cluster CD project at the University of Northern Iowa.

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The first version; take it out, put it together, start it up, debug all the problems caused by disassembly. This is at SIAM's Computational Science and Engineering conference in February, 2005.

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The second version. Much lighter and simpler but we're still working on cooling. Just after these pictures were taken one of the on-board power supply chips zorched with a small amount of flame and smoke. These were taken at the NCSI Parallel Programming workshop held at OU's Supercomputer Center for Education and Research during August, 2005.



An abstract from a recent HPC Wire article on Little-Fe:

One of the principle challenges to computational science and high performance computing (HPC) education is that many institutions do not have access to HPC platforms for demonstrations and laboratories. Paul Gray's Bootable Cluster CD (BCCD) project (http://bccd.cs.uni.edu) has made great strides in this area by making it possible to non-destructively, and with little effort, convert a computer lab of Windows or Macintosh computers into an ad-hoc cluster for educational use. Little-Fe takes that concept one step further by merging the BCCD with an inexpensive design for an 8 node portable computational cluster. The result is a machine that weighs less than 50 pounds, easily and safely travels via checked baggage on the airlines, and sets-up in 10 minutes wherever there is a 110V outlet and a wall to project an image on. The BCCD's list-packages feature supports curriculum modules in a variety of natural science disciplines, making the combination of Little-Fe and the BCCD a ready-to-run solution for computational science and HPC education.

Links:

Where's Little-Fe now?

LittleFe x86: This Little-Fe can't be found right now - it must be offline.
Script last run at 06:40, January 6, 2007

LittleFe PPC: This Little-Fe can't be found right now - it must be offline.
Script last run at 06:40, January 6, 2007


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