[RC5] Rack stuffed full of motherboards ?

Jim C. Nasby nasby at enteract.com
Sat Apr 25 14:29:16 EDT 1998

AFAIK, it is the BIOS that controlls whether or not a machine will run
without a video card. If you load the machines with Linux, you probalby
wouldn't need the video card, once each machine was up and running.

BTW, there is a hardware mailling list for distributed.net. Unfortunaly, not
much has been happening lately, but the idea is to slap some cheap CPUs on a
board and get it cracking keys... :) To subscribe, mail
majordomo at lists.distributed.net and put the line 'subscribe hardware' in the


NP wrote:

> I have a strange idea (I won't be the first) to get a 6 foot rack and
> stuff if full with something like:
> 1 large PSU.
> 2 fans.
> As many as possible units comprising:
>     Motherboard
>     CPU +fan
>     Small amount of RAM.
>     Network card ?
>     Video card ?
> There'll have to be a balance between performance and price of course.
> I don't know how many I will be able to cram in until I get my hands on
> the rack, but obviously 30 x 286's wouldn't be worth it, on the other
> hand I'm not going to fork out for 30 P-II-333's.  It'll have to be
> somewhere in the middle, maybe P75/586/low-end-686's or something.
> Why would I do this ?  To run a new bloated office package at a
> reasonable speed ?  Er, NO;  rc5des of course, what else ?!    And for
> fun.
> My preferred o/s is Linux but I might consider DOS.
> I'm not a hardware expert, so to you who are :
> 1.  Is this I silly idea (er, no please don't answer that)
> 2.  Is using 1 big PSU viable ?  Any complications ?
> 3.  Do all motherboards need a video card to boot up ?
> It'd be nice not to have network cards (and video cards) in order to
> cram more units in but I'm guessing that I'll definately need network
> cards with boot PROMs to avoid hard drives, right ?
> Any show-stoppers I've overlooked ?
> I'm sure some of you must have thought about something similar and I'd
> really appreciate your views.
> I appologise if this is considered more hardware related than
> 'distributed' but I thought there might be people here interested.
> Perhaps it might be more appropriate if people responded by email to me,
> rather than the list ?
> Perhaps the moderator would like to append a comment regarding that ?
> Many thanks.
> - Nick.
> --
> np at cableinet.co.uk
> --
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Jim C. Nasby (aka Decibel!)                                  /^\
nasbjim at charlie.cns.iit.edu                                 /___\
Freelance lighting designer and database developer         /  |  \
Member: Triangle Fraternity, Sports Car Club of America   /___|___\

Give your computer some brain-candy! http://www.distributed.net Team #1828

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