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Red Hat Software Businesses Science

"Nightlife" Harnesses Idle Fedora Nodes For Research 171

Posted by timothy
from the deserves-an-award-for-the-name-alone dept.
A. B. VerHausen writes "If you've given up on SETI, now you can let your idle computer help with other kinds of scientific research. Red Hat employee Bryan Che started a project called Nightlife. He wants people to 'donate idle capacity from their own computers to an open, general-purpose Fedora-run grid for processing socially beneficial work and scientific research that requires access to large amounts of computing power.'" Che hopes to have more than a million Fedora nodes running as part of this project.
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"Nightlife" Harnesses Idle Fedora Nodes For Research

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  • SETI (Score:5, Informative)

    by pryoplasm (809342) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @08:42AM (#23584793)
    There is also folding at home http://folding.stanford.edu/ [stanford.edu] that might help someones life more than software ever will.

    I am all for open source, but there are some better places to donate some spare cpu cycles
  • by Hairy Heron (1296923) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @08:52AM (#23584899)
    In my experience it's around 5 dollars a month more to run my computer all the time rather than shutting it down or putting it into hibernation at night.
  • by pwilli (1102893) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @09:09AM (#23585075)
    BOINC [berkeley.edu]

    is a client that allows you to choose out of many projects like Folding@home or SETI. The client also runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS without problems.
    There are many configuration options available to control the amount of CPU-power, cores, hard-disk space, RAM, the times it runs, how it should behave is someone else is using the system, etc. and the best is, anybody could set up a project that uses the client (although you'll probably have ahard time getting people to choose your project if it isn't something very interesting).

    Check it out!
  • by nweaver (113078) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @09:09AM (#23585081) Homepage
    The Seti-at-home crowd, long ago, realized that it was more than Seti@home, thus created BOINC [berkeley.edu]. So whats new here?
  • by Bazman (4849) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @09:11AM (#23585101) Journal
    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ [berkeley.edu]

      "Use the idle time on your computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) to cure diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research. It's safe, secure, and easy"

      And you can do it NOW. With almost ANY computer.

    He's either not done his research or he's an idiot.

  • Re:SETI (Score:4, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Thursday May 29, 2008 @09:15AM (#23585143) Homepage Journal
    Not to mention climate change prediction at home via climateprediction.net [climateprediction.net].
  • World Community Grid (Score:5, Informative)

    by Luyseyal (3154) <swaters&luy,info> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @09:16AM (#23585165) Homepage

    Personally, I prefer World Community Grid [worldcommunitygrid.org]. I've been a member of the Slashdot team there since 2005 sometime.

    -l

  • by analog_line (465182) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @09:22AM (#23585231)
    A power strip with a switch does the job just as well as a switch on a socket. In fact, that's what I thought he meant until I read your post.
  • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @09:24AM (#23585247)
    Err, blackle is nonsense in the modern world, IMHO.

    LCD/TFT screens don't work that way. There is a bright light that's always on, and the colours and darkness come about by blocking portions of said light, not by generating more of it.

    Of course, once OLED comes in that'll change again.
  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @09:48AM (#23585525)

    What's the actual difference in energy costs, though?

    I just hooked a Killawatt to my Athlon 64 X2 4800+ system. Idle, it uses 67 watts at the wall outlet. Simultaneously transcoding two videos with mencoder reads 130 watts.

    If this runs 24x7, the extra 63 watts would use 1.5 KwH per day, which would cost me $71 per year with my incremental electricity cost of about 13 cents per KwH. That costs almost as much as a subscription to Netflix.

    Another consideration is that when idle, the system is almost silent. Under load, both the power supply fan and CPU fan crank up and get rather loud.

  • Real numbers (Score:3, Informative)

    by BLKMGK (34057) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (em4knujerom)> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @10:00AM (#23585691) Homepage Journal
    I use the newer 80+ rated PSUs and I don't oversize them like so many others do. My desktop machine AND a server that also has an 80+ PSU in it (and 10HDDs) together use just about 300Watts as measured by my Kill-a-Watt device. That's not an insignificant amount but that was also with all of my drives spun up - normally drives not in use goto sleep (unRAID).

    The PSU ratings of those two machines together are probably somewhere right around a kilowatt and yet I use a fraction of that at full chat. My desktop has a 45nm C2D (E8400) clocked to 3.8Ghz, an 8800GTS (die shrunk too), a single HDD, multiple cooling fans.

    My point is that just because a PSU is rated for something doesn't mean it's going to be using that even when you have fairly thirsty components onboard - using the rating is a bit misleading as it's a maximum output. The fact that I use highly efficient supplies helps a great deal, they don't cost much more. My power bill isn't insignificant mind you but these aren't the only two computers I run either :-)
  • Re:SETI (Score:3, Informative)

    by Danathar (267989) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @10:37AM (#23586161) Journal
    If you don't know what the guy is talking about, then don't comment.

    Condor is WAY different than BOINC or Folding@home.

    BOINC is middleware but NOT general purpose grid computing. Condor is a distributed batch oriented system that allows people to submitt jobs and get them done. You can configure BOINC to run as backfill to Condor when Condor is not being used.
  • Re:SETI (Score:4, Informative)

    by deroby (568773) <deroby@yucom.be> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:05AM (#23586575)
    Errr, yes they are !

    When Folding@Home runs in the background my cpu is 100% all of the time (well, one core is in each case). When it's not running, I average around 10% I guess.
    The difference is that in the latter case the cpu runs pretty much idle for 90% of the time and needs some electricity to keep going, while the former situation has it working at full throttle all the time, consuming so much more energy that the generated heat needs to be actively removed from the portable. I'm not saying it draws 10 times the amount of power, but it's going to be considerably more !

    All that said, I often wonder what would be more efficient : 10.000 specialized cpu's in some server-farm / data-center churning away on a given problem, being mostly limited to that single problem and costing heaps of money and energy, or 10.000.000 versatile grid-clients that more or less produce the same output, probably eating just as much energy, if not more.

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