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What to do with A LOT of computers?
August 8, 2007 12:04 PM   Subscribe

What could one use 40 brand new laptops\desktops, 160 six month to one year old computers, and some older ones for?

Hi everyone! I've been a reader for a long time. Finally made an account a few months ago and have a question I feel like asking now.

I have a lot of computers. Most of them are laptops but I have a lot of desktops too. What can I do with all of these?

Rules, Information:
They cannot be given away or sold.
I have room to turn them on all at the same time.
They are all fully functional.
posted by zephyr_words to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Set up a lab and use it to teach useful skills to people who wouldn't otherwise be able to access a computer?
posted by chrisfromthelc at 12:09 PM on August 8, 2007


1) Cybercafe/Gaming business... network 'em all together and let people come play.
2) Can you lease them? If so, wipe 'em and lease them as a cybercafe computer-for-rent deal for coffee shops. You provide everything from connectivity, hardware, tech support and on, and the coffee shop gets a portion of the take.
3) Super duper beowulf cluster. PWN everyone else a Folding@Home.
posted by SpecialK at 12:11 PM on August 8, 2007


Open an internet cafe.
posted by bolognius maximus at 12:11 PM on August 8, 2007


Linux Parallel Supercomputer?
posted by DarkForest at 12:18 PM on August 8, 2007


Massive Seti farm?
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:20 PM on August 8, 2007


Heat your home ?
posted by iamabot at 12:22 PM on August 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


You could do something like what artist John Simon does. He takes them apart and turns the screen around. Then runs programs that he writes to make cool art.
So learn a programming language and make your own art!
posted by nimsey lou at 1:08 PM on August 8, 2007


Based on what Nimsey Lou said, you could turn 40 laptops into an interesting large-screen display. Have you ever played with Salvation?
posted by gaby at 1:17 PM on August 8, 2007


Beowulf cluster

Also, I dare you to turn on 40 laptops, 160 towers and 160 CRT's. If you can actually run them w/o shutting off power to your house, I dare you to leave them on for a week before shutting them off...and look @ your power bill.

Also, I *really* hope this is a rhetorical question, as I can't imagine anyone having that much crud and not being willing to give it to people and organizations who actually *need* it.

Unless, of course, it's some kind of a Brewster's Millions kind of thing.
posted by TomMelee at 2:35 PM on August 8, 2007


Internet cafe PLUS teaching people valuable computer skills.
posted by saturnine at 2:53 PM on August 8, 2007


200+ CPUs, presumably most with monitors added to the mix? I hope this is theoretical. Because "room to turn them on" is the least of your concerns.
Running 1,100 computers in a 3,000-square-foot (280-sq-metres) area sends the air temperature well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius).

The heat is so intense that ordinary air conditioning units would have resulted in 60-mph (95 km/h) winds. Specialised heat exchange cooling units were built that pipe chilled water into the facility.

"There are two chillers for this project," explained Kevin Shinpaugh, Director of Cluster Computing.

"They're rated 125 tonnes each in cooling capacity, and they pump 750 gallons per minute each. The water is at about 45 degrees Fahrenheit."

The power supply was another huge challenge. The supercomputer uses the same amount of electricity as 3,000 average sized homes.
Heck, even in labs of only a dozen or so computers, a smallish room gets uncomfortably hot without good a/c.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 3:06 PM on August 8, 2007


Everyone keeps talking like s/he said s/he was going to turn them on at home. It just says, "I have room to turn them all on at the same time".
posted by nimsey lou at 7:08 PM on August 8, 2007


Why on earth would you have computers that you can't give away? I can't fathom.

I'd run Folding@Home over SETI. Folding does protein folding in hopes of helping to find a cure for cancer.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:23 PM on August 8, 2007


Thanks for all the negativity from some of you. =\ I love people who think charity is a mandatory thing - have fun on your high horse.
They just cannot be given away or sold. If they could, I probably would.

I like the Folding@Home idea the best until I have a better idea.

Thanks everyone!
posted by zephyr_words at 5:27 AM on August 9, 2007


It's not so much that charity is mandatory, it's that greed is at the root of all human suffering. So, you know, whatever floats your boat. I think everyone's snarkiness was due to your overly cryptic notes of "cannot be sold or given away" w/o actually saying WHY you have them. I mean, it could be a Brewster's Millions sort of thing, you could have hijacked a semi.

Now, with that said, if you want to turn 200 computers into something worthwhile, creating a cluster would likely pop you way up in the folding@home ratings. Let's think.

200 computers, let's say an average of 2ghz each. That's 400Ghz, at say 80% efficiency = 320GHz of raw power. 320,000,000,000 calculations per second.
posted by TomMelee at 4:05 PM on August 9, 2007


I certainly didn't mean to insult you, if I did... I just can't imagine a situation in which you acquire 200 computers, you're free to use them any way you like as long as you don't give them away or sell them. I was just wondering aloud. No biggie.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:56 PM on August 9, 2007


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