LinuxMall.com: Linux on the Brain

[ Thanks to LinuxNews.com for this link.

Linux is surfing the curls of the human brain. In a project
designed to study cerebral cortex topography as part of the Human
Brain Project being carried out at the Massachusetts General
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Research Center,
Linux is being used to assimilate massive amounts of data–and
bring the project in under budget.”

“NMR’s role in the cooperative and multi-faceted Human Brain
Project is a continuing effort to develop automated tools for
constructing geometrically accurate and topologically correct
models of the human cerebral cortex. Development of procedures to
map an individual brain onto an atlas are also within the scope of
the project….”

“There is Open-Source software for many of the problems that we
face on a daily basis,” Harris maintains, allowing “programmers to
simply install and go, whereas purchasing software for proprietary
machines usually involves budget issues and delays while purchase
orders are processed. These factors brought about a decision to
introduce Linux.”

“Linux is now the dominant operating system (OS) in the center
for development, processing and archiving,” says Harris. “The poor
performance of the Linux [network file system] NFS server, however,
has retarded the change-over. After lengthy experiments in tuning,
we now have a stable set of Linux NFS servers. Another problem has
been the difficulty in getting drivers for high-end graphics cards
and storage devices. We have drivers now, but this was another
example of Linux immaturity which [has] kept us from deprecating
our proprietary hardware.”