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Re: IDL and Beowolf ?

On 31 Jul 2001 12:53:47 -0700, David Bruhwiler <bruhwile@txcorp.com> wrote:
>dmarshall@ivory.trentu.ca wrote in message news:
>> I just finished reading The Do-It-Yourself Supercomputer by William W. 
>> Hargrove, Forrest M. Hoffman and Thomas Sterling in this months Scientific 
>> American
>> http://www.sciam.com/2001/0801issue/0801hargrove.html
>> And wondered if anyone had any thoughts/experience with running IDL 
>> applications on such a cluster.
>> Dave.
>Hi Dave,
>At Tech-X Corporation, we have prototyped the use of MPI (message
>passing interface) with IDL and have succesfully tested this simple
>prototype on a Beowolf style linux cluster.  Tech-X will soon receive
>funding from the US Department of Energy for further proof-of-principle
>development of this idea.  This next round of development will occur
>over a six month period, beginning in September.
>Tech-X just issued a press release on this subject, and I just posted
>that press release to this news group.

Wow!	Things have certainly developed in the past year or so. I might have 
missed this, but somebody mentioned the licensing issue, how is that dealt 
with? I once had a huge data-set which required me to do a large number of 
iterative deconvolution calculations. I ended-up using a batch file which
would run a subset of the data and then do a save and exit before the 7-min
demo mode would expire, then a shell script would fire-up idl again, run 
the batch file (which in turn read another file to figure out where I left
off) and so on ad infinitum.  This sounds like cheating, I know, but actually
I had an IDL license on my desktop, but wanted to use a new Linux cluster 
we had put together, and couldn't see installing IDL on each machine (the
cost of the IDL licenses exceeds the cost of the hardware!). So that was 
my solution. I never did get the clustering to work with IDL, though. I didn't 
try too hard, one because of the licensing issue, and two because I couldn't
figure out how to get IDL to use MPI. I thought IDL was kind of like the old
BASIC, you type it in and run it, that's my interpretation of the term "inter-
pretive". Yet, to use MPI with my C programs, I compiled in certain MPI libs,
so how can that be done in IDL? Maybe you could "re-enlighten" me and 
re-post your press release?

Steve S.

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