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Flash Mob Computing
Jamais Cascio, 23 Feb 04

FlashMobComputing -- two great memes that taste great together. Flash mobs, as world-changers out there should know, are wireless/web-driven insta-gatherings-cum-performance art. Grid computing -- aka swarm computing or, by extension, mob computing -- combines the computational power of dozens or hundreds or thousands of small, personal computing devices into a single supercomputer. FlashMobComputing is, therefore, a random, web-driven gathering of people bringing computing devices to be used to create an ad-hoc supercomputer.


You are invited to join us in Koret Gym at USF in San Francisco from 10pm - 4pm. Bring as many computers as you can and we'll give you everything you need to jack-in and add your computers' firepower to FlashMob I, and hopefully make history. The more people that come the bigger a supercomputer we can create. Everyone who participates will receive a T-Shirt, immortality on this site, a certificate and a badge to put on your computer in recognition of having created one of the fastest supercomputers on earth. Plus they'll be prizes, contests, special guests, and lots of fun throughout the day.

PCs only, though, so my Aluminum Powerbook can't help it along...

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Would be nice to see what actual software were used to make instantaneous clustering happen, at least a description (or maybe download link?) Also, which platforms - Windows-only, or Linux as well?

Posted by: Michael Bravo on 24 Feb 04

The site doesn't seem to detail the actual apps used (although I may have just missed it), but does specify that you need a 1.3GHz or better PC. Everything runs off the boot CD, so it doesn't matter which OS you have resident on your hard drive.

Posted by: Jamais Cascio on 24 Feb 04

Ah, it's just as I thought - they are running off a Knoppix boot CD, probably an instance of OpenMosix installed there. That's cool, I have read about it before, but this would seem to be a novel application of the idea. We'll see what such a MobCluster can do in reality, what kind of useful things :)

Thanks for the references.

Posted by: Michael Bravo on 24 Feb 04

I'm one of the creators of the University of San Francisco FLashMob event. You can download the software now. And we'll give you a CD with all the source code if you can make the event.

Posted by: John Witchel on 25 Mar 04



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