I was hospitalized and then recuperating, and then playing catch-up after all the lost time. I am almost there, so I am restarting the Backyard Super Computer.
Since the last post I was donated 2 P2's (yay) bringing the total to 38.
The biggest obstacle I can see is gigabit ethernet cards (they still cost $$) and gigabit switches. (big bucks)
Mental Note: Break out an IC cookbook and see if they can be built without being overcome by solder smoke.
The second biggest is multiple KVM's
I picked up an 8 port for 30 bucks on ebay- but there has to be a better way. The cables are easy to make up and I've got plenty of 24 and 36 conductor wire left over after last summer's project which was to build a midi keyboard using tactile dome switches on a flexible circuit board that could be attached to the back of my double neck strat and played with my thumb while chords and notes are played with my fingers.
For that project I scoured the flea market (we live right around the corner from one of the biggest in New England) for old printer cables etc. Most people were glad to get rid of the stuff and usually my polite request as to the price of one cable would elicit a response like "take the whole box for a buck"
But I digress.
Last, the boxes are big and take up more room then their processors justify, so the idea is to make up one powersupply that could run a half dozen boards and strip them down to the bare minimum. Cooling gets easier too. This is not going to be pretty though.