Sony PS3: A multipurpose supercomputer?  

Posted by Anirudh Acharya in , , , ,


What does the PS3 mean to you? Just a gaming console? Think again! The power under the hood is immense. The PPU and the SPEs together make it a very powerful computing device. Stack up about 8 of them and voila! you get a supercomputer!

Haf a look at this screenshot:
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(Thats our PS3 Cluster on which almost all the time I SSH to. Ah ha! Now I know where all the PS3s from our Library haf vanished! :P)

One of our labs at NCSU runs a cluster of 8 PS3s. How powerful is it? Well.. quite powerful for hundreds of NCSU students to remotely login and complete their assignments and projects on it, simultaneously! The cluster is connected to the main University network and hence sharing is a piece of cake. Its faaaast.. responsive and absolutely apt in such a scenario. The cluster runs 64-bit Fedora Core 5 over a hypervisor layer custom-developed by Sony. Fedora was an obvious choice considering the fact that Red Hat's Head Office is inside our University Campus! :P [OK, I know NCSU gets RHEL at very discounted prices :D] How much does the PS3 cluster cost? Hmmm.. not even a fraction of the cost of a normal supercomputer!

The fact that they are so powerful highlights that its architecture and design is simply miles ahead of today's processors. They are used everywhere - University computer clusters, scientific computing like Folding@Home and almost everywhere where "cheap" supercomputing is a requirement.

Interested in reading more about the PS3 and its architecture? Read this. This website tells more about NCSU's PS3 Cluster. The weird looking man in the pics there is Dr.Frank Mueller, our Operating Systems Instructor.

Two Cents of Hope...  

Posted by Anirudh Acharya in , ,


What is the value of a cent? Well.. actually nothing in the US, but certainly something in India. Just like drops fill up a bucket, cents collectively mean a lot.

In their own words: The Power of Cents - "Little drops of water, little grains of sand, make the mighty ocean, and the pleasant land."

Two Cents of Hope (TCH) is all about creating a responsible and self-sustaining society. A society like this can be created by imparting education to the aspiring children and youth. TCH focuses on providing educational opportunities to deserving children and youth who crave to learn but cannot because of financial constraints and other such factors. The organization supports such deserving students against the harsh realities of life and makes an effort to help make their dreams come true.

Committed volunteers across the globe work closely in order to ensure that resources reach deserving students and monitor the progress of the student ensuring fairness and proper utilization of funds. It intends to involve more people in the organization and spread enthusiasm. Two Cents of Hope is a registered non-profit organization in the US [ 501(c)(3) ] and India.

The story of how TCH came into existence is interesting. Usually people in the US throw away cents as its mostly currency-less transactions here and cents are almost of no value. However, when you convert it into Indian Rupees it certainly has some value. Few students of NCSU back in 2001 were sipping coffee and were discussing something. They noticed that the cents were just being throw away, discarded. They thought.. What is the power of cents? And then realized that all those "discarded" cents had the power to fund a child's primary education in India and thus began Two Cents of Hope.

We put up coin boxes wherever we can and ask people to put the cents in these boxes instead of just throwing them away. At the end of a specific period we collect all the cents and convert them into currency of higher denomination. Projects from all over India are scrutinized and we fund educational costs for deserving but poor children. I'm very proud to be a part of this organization. TCH has chapters in many parts of the world, Bangalore being the HQ in India and Raleigh being the same in the US.

We also organize cultural events in the US which showcase our rich culture and heritage. Trishna '08 was the latest which was held last Saturday. The funds/donations received from these events go straight back to India to fund someone's education. The event photos and videos will be up soon.

Interested in helping us? Head to Two Cents of Hope's website

Mac4Lin ver.1.0 Release Candidate  

Posted by Anirudh Acharya in


Mac4Lin is back!

This is the version 1.0 Release Candidate. Some components are still under development. Currently the shell script is not able to set the GDM theme, cursor theme, sounds, emerald theme. They need to be manually set.

Also components like Firefox3, Thunderbird theme, awn theme/plugins etc. are still under development. The Mozilla themes may not be stable. Hence use the non-core components of Mac4Lin at your own risk. Documentation is still in the pipeline. I decided to release the RC anyway so that patrons can start using it and update to the stable version when development is complete.

Whats new: Mac4Lin v1.0 RC - 9th September, 2008

New! Automated Installer in the form of a shell script
New GDM theme
Supports the newest version of GNOME and Xfce
New Mozilla themes specifically built for Mac4Lin
Adium style AWN status icons for Pidgin
Mac style scrollbars, menus
Other tweaks in GTK theme
Adium sounds for Pidgin
New usplash

Keeping up the tradition I'm including the download stats. SF.net alone has served about 10.4TB as on today! I'm also happy to announce that Mac4Lin was one of the winners of FOSS Awards 2008.

Instructions:

Download the Mac4Lin_v1.0_RC.tar.gz archive to any folder. Extract the archive and run Mac4Lin_Install_v1.0_RC.sh file.

For any suggestions/comments/complaints/feedback/bug tracking please drop by my blog or send a mail:

My E-Mail id: infra_red_dude [A.T] users [D.O.T] sourceforge.net
Project Website: http://sourceforge.net/projects/mac4lin

Edit: Mac4Lin v1.0 RC2 now available via SVN. The GTK Splash hasn't been left out this time! Head to this post.