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Trygve.Com: Furbeowulf Cluster Computing

Sep 28, 2001, 16:00 (12 Talkback[s])
"When Linux was first ported to the Furby platform, it suffered from significant stability and performance problems, which gave the Furby an unfortunate reputation as being unsuitable for enterprise-level computing. The conversion of the IRS and NASA computing facilities to Furby-based platforms towards the end of 1999 was seen by many as premature and may have contributed to the problems experienced by those departments during 2000 which did nothing to improve the Furby's image in corporate America. To be fair, however, it should be noted that Furbys placed in IRS telephone support positions received no more complaints than their human counterparts and studies showed that they provided a comparable level of accuracy in their answers to taxpayer questions.

Subsequent releases of Furby Linux have largely addressed these problems and, though the flexibility of the user interface and the support for third-party add-on hardware remains limited, this is primarily a handicap for standard desktop applications like spreadsheets or graphic design, and does not pose a problem for the back-end CPU-intensive parallel processing applications typical of cluster computing.

One unfortunate design flaw that did pose a problem is that the Furby's networking interface operates exclusively in broadcast mode with no provision for collision detection and arbitration, routing, or other control features necessary to network more than two or three Furbys together effectively."

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