Frankenbot rebirth. The cass farm of DOOM.

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Frankenbot rebirth. The cass farm of DOOM.

Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:05 am

This thread is mainly so myself, cass, idchafee and drfish can all collaborate on a new diskless farm spearheaded by cass, but anyone may feel free to chime in.

The story so far: cass PM's
I would love to start TR a Diskless folding Monstrosity..
and we throw part ideas back and forth.

Sayeth cass:
OK, parts list that I have now are:

the 1600 complete with MB and fan. and PSU (well the MB is yet to arrive.)
I will commit to 512M of ram to run the server too.
I have managed nics for pxe boot and plenty of cable.

after that all that is needed is:

a switch 16-24 port preferable. 10mbit works fine.
1 kbd, 1 mouse,
some HDDs currently my farm is only using 2.1GB (from du -h -c)
more diskless nodes.

I have some PSU's that is not a problem.

I will go ahead and get the server and rack started as soon as the MB hits my hands. I can get that online quick. Really all that is needed after that is a diskless node or two and the switch so I can build the "case" and get server/client coexisting peacefully.

My idea is to try and get a case that will house Server Switch, and clients with one power cord and Cat 5 connection. With maybe connections for 9 total diskless nodes. I can probably get that under 3 feet long and 18in sq.

I do not have any designs of hosting the thing permanently, but will host it while building/debugging. It should be easy to get someone to host it, just require them to run the server and 4 diskless units for Fbot and let them use 4 or 5 diskless slots for them self.


Now, I wouldn't mind hosting this, as i have room, power and network uptime in abundance, as well as the means to swap out any parts that might go awry. However, I have 3 of the 4 bots right now, and other people have asked to host (fish, I need your list of potential hosts here), though I'm not sure the interested hosts are interested in a big-ass diskless node. That's something we should work out.

Now I have a BEAUTIFUL 24pt managed 10/100 IBM switch, it's an awesome piece of hardware.... that's sitting in the car hole doing nothing but looking pretty. I'm shipping that to cass in the next day or two, as well as some tiny hard drives, a couple of video cards, etc so he has some pieces to build. What we need mostly is core components, boards, CPUs and precious RAM.

My goal is for the FB to be a top 10 contender eventually. So I'm here pleading like Sally Struthers... "Please, won't you do it for the children? for the small cost of an old piece of hardware, you too can help stave off the looming threat of Alzheimer's, and the more immediate threat of the Goons and Mac team..."
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Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:17 pm

My donator list is pretty small, yourself, idchafee, leor, Gandolf, and Tamale. We could ship off the bots you have to these guys maybe?

I think a diskless monster is exactly what the Frankenbot project needs, it has appeal on so many levels... We should be able to get away from the thread per bot thing and basically say "ship everything you have that's at least [min specs go here] to emkubed, cass, idchafee, or drfish" and be done with it. The reciever can then put systems together (and stress test them) whenever they get enough parts, and be responsible for asking for parts they need to complete systems as well as shipping to the host of the beast, much simpler...

And we definitely need front page notice that the Frankenbot project in undergoing reorganiztion and should be easier to help in the near future...
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Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:25 pm

The idea behind multiple drives is to have a backup. Probably use cron to copy the entire /data every hour or so. That way if something happens you don't lose but an hour at the most. I will probably keep an image of the system on dvd and send one with it just in case.
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Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:31 pm

drfish wrote:My donator list is pretty small, yourself, idchafee, leor, Gandolf, and Tamale. We could ship off the bots you have to these guys maybe?
...


Gandolf has his, and just needs to turn it on.

Leor has one shipping out to him by the end of the week.

The two others I have are finicky, hardware-wise, so I'd rather keep them close for fixing, but Tamale can have the next one, then we'll solidify the host for the node. We should give it a name, like "Cass Latency" or something similarly Geeky.
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Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:31 pm

Em, did you get the 2 sticks of RAM is sent? Have they already been used or could they apply to this project?
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Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:34 pm

PRIME1 wrote:Em, did you get the 2 sticks of RAM is sent? Have they already been used or could they apply to this project?


Was yours the PC2100, or the big SD stick(s)?
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Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:40 pm

Here is a little more background info for the gerbils. This sort of give the goal for the add node operation. This is from a PM between me and emkubed.


I plan on it taking less than 10 mins to add a node. I will try to get all the kernels we could need compiled and loaded. All you would have to do is mount the motherboard, plug up cat5, plug in atx power, and add the MAC address to the dhcpd.conf file in the server and restart dhcpd.

You have to either bench configure the boards bios to the date, lan boot, no floppy, FSB, etc or connect a kb and monitor to it the 1st time it boots. After that, if the power goes down or something the thing should come back to life on its own and go right back to work.

I could probably get space for 16-20 diskless nodes.. just depends on how ambitious you think everyone will be.

I laughed to myself when I looked at the HDD running my server.. 2.1GB total... and I have 11 diskless nodes and the server all running. Plus gnome, Natted Firewall, and 2 desktops one for server and one for diskless nodes.
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Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:26 pm

emkubed wrote:
PRIME1 wrote:Em, did you get the 2 sticks of RAM is sent? Have they already been used or could they apply to this project?


Was yours the PC2100, or the big SD stick(s)?


I sent PC2100-256MB X 2
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Postposted on Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:29 pm

PRIME1 wrote:
emkubed wrote:
PRIME1 wrote:Em, did you get the 2 sticks of RAM is sent? Have they already been used or could they apply to this project?


Was yours the PC2100, or the big SD stick(s)?


I sent PC2100-256MB X 2


Ah, yes they're both in bots. Thank you.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:43 pm

I got a Fedex with our FBot server board. I will get it running diskless under TRFbot as soon as possible. Then I can get points while I build the "case". I found I have 5-6 old drives I don't think all are bad, maybe I can start with the system loading.

If there are any BSD specialists around, I wonder If I would be better to use 5.2 or 4.8... I read some preliminary stuff that said 4.x BSD was the fastest. I guess if I load FBot with 5.2 and I feel it is slower than my current system, I can image from my system.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:56 pm

I'll get a frankenbot folding update for the front page done up this weekend. What sort of parts should I be asking for to go into this diskless monster? CPU's, mobo's I assume. PSU's? A nailgun?? :lol:
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Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:42 pm

cass wrote:I got a Fedex with our FBot server board. I will get it running diskless under TRFbot as soon as possible. Then I can get points while I build the "case". I found I have 5-6 old drives I don't think all are bad, maybe I can start with the system loading.

If there are any BSD specialists around, I wonder If I would be better to use 5.2 or 4.8... I read some preliminary stuff that said 4.x BSD was the fastest. I guess if I load FBot with 5.2 and I feel it is slower than my current system, I can image from my system.


Make sure that username is TRFrankenbot, instead of TRFbot
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Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:46 pm

I've run across some possible node material. Compgeeks has some Soyo SY-K7VM333 mATX motherboard and AXP combos. I checked the Soyo website but still don't know if they will boot from the onboard lan. The motherboards and the Spire (looks similar to AMD stock) HSFs are new, but the cpus are used. One year warranty on everything.

Sorry guys .. All gone .. wow, that was quick!

I wish I could afford to donate one to the cass/FBot farm. I purchased one of the 2200s, a phone modem and a "Geek U" can koozie for a F@H garden patch I'm putting together. Ground shipping to IN was $9. After that purchase plus a kvm and a memory stick from newegg I had to put the credit card in the freezer for a while. :o

edit: adjusted inventory qty .. All gone :( .. but a good site to check regularly. ComputerGeeks.com
Last edited by farmpuma on Fri Oct 08, 2004 7:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:02 pm

emkubed wrote:Make sure that username is TRFrankenbot, instead of TRFbot


LOL .. I got it, I just say Fbot to avoid typing

idchafee wrote:What sort of parts should I be asking for to go into this diskless monster? CPU's, mobo's I assume. PSU's? A nailgun?? icon_lol.gif


Any MB with socket 462 supporting Athlon or greater any cheap ddr1600 2100 2700, any processor of xp1600 up. I would say. I don't know how tbirds fold, but they probably fine. I don't think we need to turn down any parts that are offered, and PSU's and cheap vid cards will be used sooner or later. Heck a MB supporting pc 100 folds good with a xp 1600-2400. MSI 6378 are sweet. I am a Intel idiot (know nothing about them) but whatever anybody comes up with I will try and integrate. Atx or mATX. 4hdd's will be sweet for the 1st build that gives 1 system drive with backup and one data drive with backup.

We might want to consider a 2 or 4 port KVM so as whoever gets this critter can integrate a monitor/KB without unplugging.

I personally refuse to spend more than $40 on a folding MB and won't give over $50 for a cpu. I buy eumax HSF's for under $10. they are all copper and ball bearing IOcombo.com. I am seeing some older athlons cheap on ebay, and have a kt133 MB picked out on instant buy.

Newegg refurb is a good source for stuff, and TR people should be encouraged at least offer their old stuff to Fbot before they ebay/BB.

Ram is going to be the hardest thing to find. 128 sticks are OK for diskless nodes, they will fold on one and fold better with 2 and will do Big WU when paired with 256M.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:20 pm

Nailgun? LOL, I am contemplating the case design still. I like the airflow though my bookcase, but don't like the cable jungle in the front. It works well for me because I am changing something every other night. I will probably end up putting a cable tray on top, with PSU in top back exhausting ail out and have hinged lid and drop down front. I want the thing to be able so support some weight and be able to be stacked and not be so heavy/huge that it is impossible for a geek to move.

One Thing though... Who ultimately owns this stuf? Not like I am wanting any of it back or anything, but should TR be considered the owner, or the host?

I will check energy draw and give some numbers, and even though I do have a BS in EE and CPE dont give me no crap about Real power or PFC or imaginary power. To me real power does work, it is not just about phase. :-) (Reference the TR power supply shootout if you don't get the sarcasm in that last line)
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Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:50 pm

Would it be possible to find some old plastic expasion card rails to hold the MBs in? A la 80's mainframe stuff? Not that it would have great benefits besides ease of install/removal, but it would be neat to see a frame that treated full-sized boards like blade servers...
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Postposted on Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:10 pm

That is how my current farm works, and how I will build Fbot to work, however it will be necessary to connect the PSU, KB, Mouse, and Lan after the board is slid in place.

I tried and thought of a bunch of things, but the 5/8 chip board with nylon standoffs ended up being dirt cheap and sturdy.

I am still open to suggestions, but being as this thing needs to accept a wide range of MB's, I will have to build it big enough for a full size ATX with full height pci card.

That was the mistake I made with my farm, the shelves only work for mAtx boards. I have to mount the ATX stuff on the sides. I want this thing completely enclosed ecxept for filter ports on one side and fan grilles on the other.

*edit -- construction cost and time need to me minimized as well
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 8:12 am

UPDATE: Apparently the "bent pin master" is also the "idiot who dumped the chip in the trash when clearing out the packing peanuts".

I owe the FB project one Athlon 64 3200. It will be ordered Monday.

One word, people. Derp

Edit: idchafee says he was going to throw the chip out since the pins were quite damaged, but I still owe the project. I'm running a A64 3000, I might order a 3400 or something for my system and use my A64 3000 in the bot. I'm still an idiot though.
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:35 am

OUCH !! Talk about haste making waste! Are you sure you didn't put the mangled cpu some place for safe keeping? I lose stuff like that all the time.

If it does come down to ordering another A64, you might want to wait until you have a motherboard and memory for it. A little patience might save some bucks if the price drop rumors pan out.
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 11:25 am

farmpuma wrote:OUCH !! Talk about haste making waste! Are you sure you didn't put the mangled cpu some place for safe keeping? I lose stuff like that all the time.

If it does come down to ordering another A64, you might want to wait until you have a motherboard and memory for it. A little patience might save some bucks if the price drop rumors pan out.


Thing is, I wasn't in a hurry. I slowly shook out the packing peanuts, listening for something to drop, but didn't hear or see anything. I guess I'm getting blind in my old age.
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 12:55 pm

that's kind of crazy, how many peanuts were there?
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 12:58 pm

leor wrote:that's kind of crazy, how many peanuts were there?


Not that many, it was a mobo box.

Ah well, mistakes happen
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:31 pm

Hotdamn, the trash was taken out, but it lies in the dumpster (I never paid attention to the pick up schedules) in see through bags. I'm going dumpster-diving!
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:51 pm

Good luck good buddy. Look If you don't find it, why not get a sempron 3100 to replace it. $99 at monarch and I bet it will be nearly as good a folder.

I checked the energy draw of my diskless farm this morning. It draws about 11.0 amps of 119v goodness. That is 13 processors with fans. 12 power supplies, 10mbit 24 port hub, 100mbit 16 port switch, 3 4port KVMs 1active 2dumb., 1 Maxtor 40 gig HDD, 1 Maxtor 4 gig Hdd, Wireless kb/mouse. Most of the procs are xp1900 .18 up through xp2400 .13. there is one xp2700 333. It looks like we can expect a little less than 1 amp/board.

My highest electric rate is 7.6574c /Kwh. Accordingly, 11*120 = 1320w

OK, 1320 wh = 1.320 Kw x 24h/day = 31.68kwh * 7.6574 = 242.586432c/day My farm is costing me $2.43/day in electricity. Of course I am assuming nothing for the Cable internet and other 2 computers I have folding at the house.

so, It looks like the host of the TR diskless bot will be forking over $2.50/day in power use. 2.5*365.25. $913/yr or 76$/mo
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:21 pm

Hey, I have thought about the motherboards that would be acceptable thing too, and it occured to me that BSD and Linux communicate with the MB Hardware on a different level than winblows.

Most of the motherboards in my farm right now are not supposed to support Procs of Tbred type, but I am running only Tbreds in them. The bios thinks a 2400xp is a 2000 duron, but when I fold SSE is enabled and the speed is good.

I need a k7T to try, and see if they will support anything 462 socketed, because I have a suspicion they will run fine. There are a lot of Cheap MBs out there right now based on kt133.

I don't really want to do to site linking and ebay linking here, maybe I should pm any interested parties, Is there anyone interested in the type things I have spied?

[/url]
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:00 pm

Hot damn, I found it in the trash! I think I can do something about those pins too.

w00t!
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:03 pm

We have a MB for it?

If not there are some nice refurbs at newegg for $40. shipped. If we can get someone to pony up.
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Postposted on Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:31 pm

emkubed wrote:Hot damn, I found it in the trash! I think I can do something about those pins too.

w00t!


maybe there is forgiveness for those with clumsy hands ;)
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Postposted on Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:06 am

Back on topic, we're adding loads o' parts thanks to the Convert garage sale, so that'll help quite a bit.
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Postposted on Sun Oct 10, 2004 3:12 am

I wanted to bring up something that has been touched on in the past.

idchafee, cass and drfish have all donated or have talked about donating to help with purchases. idchafee has split a few boards with me, and cass is still welcome to help offset the Convert purchases ( ;) ) , but I believe the fish has asked in the past, what should we do about an actual fund, like a Paypal address that can be donated to. So far, since I've been central point for assembly, testing and shipping, we've just handled things through PM and my business Paypal account. Now, we could keep doing just that, and I could publically post the balance of donated funds as a keep-me-honest.

I think I've demonstrated enough of an interest in the project, and I know have hundreds of dollars of my own hardware folding for it. Not under me mind you, but for the team under TRFrankenbot. So for choosing a treasurer of sorts, I think I'd be trustworth enough. As it is, I get this hardware at the office for the project anyway, if I wanted to manipulate the system, I'd pull a Howard and keep it for myself or something.

Wow, this is long winded and smells of a 3AM post. I'll cut it short. Keep thngs the way they are, which is approach by PM with no real public accounting, or keep a tally of donated funds in a thread and choose a central person for collection?
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