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Cool/Weird Stuff To Do On a Cluster? 608

Gori writes "I'm a researcher at a university. Our group mainly does Agent Based Modeling of interdisciplinary problems (think massive simulations where technology, policy, and economics meet). Recently, we managed to get a bunch of money for a High Performance Cluster to run our stuff on. The code is mostly written in Java. Our IT support people are very capable of setting up a stable cluster that will run Java perfectly. But where's the fun in that? What I'm trying to figure out are other, more far-out and interesting things to do with this machine — think 500+ Opteron cores, 2 GB RAM per core, a gigabit interconnect with some badass switches, a massive storage array, plus a bunch of UltraSPARC boxes. So at times when there's no stuff to crunch, I'd like to boot the thing up with a 'weird' system image and geek around in the name of science. Try fancy ways of building models, dynamically adding all sorts of hardware to it, etc. Have different schedulers compete for resources. Imagine a Matlab vs. Boinc vs. ProActive shootout. Maybe run plan9 on it? Most of us are not CE/CS people, but we are geeky enough. So, what would be the coolest and most far out thing you would do with this kind of hardware ?"

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?