Eighteen years ago today, NCSA Senior Research Scientist Craig Steffen and other NCSA researchers were featured in The New York Times for using the Playstation 2 to build a high performance computing cluster. From the NCSA website:
Researchers at NCSA theorized that because of the unique processor of the PS2—with its two powerful vector units designed to manipulate polygons for game displays—a cluster of the consoles could potentially be used for scientific computation.
The Sony Linux Kit enables such a dramatic repurposing. The kit gives programmers direct access to the processor’s vector units and provides a working and development environment that contains the tools found on more traditional Linux systems. This allows the units to be used for nongraphic, computationally intensive tasks.
Also…2003 was 18 years ago??
Top photo from Twitter.