I've just been having an interesting time with the last few bits of the cluster setup. We are almost done with the system administration part of it though. I've written a small application for testing the cluster and the MPI libraries (Message Passing Interface) behind it.
MPI is a set of libraries that give a standard way for nodes on a cluster to send data between each other. It makes cluster programming a little easier b/c you don't have worry about the details of how they communicate, you can focus on What gets communicated. I wrote a program yesterday to find the factorials of all the numbers between 1 and 200000 this way. It is actually a very bad program in that in that I just had each node do the same thing, not really what you want in a real world situation. I'm working on the next part of that today, having the master node assign each rank a number to work on and then having the node return the number to the master. Still a pretty simple project but the goal is to expand it to do two simple series expansions, 'e' the base of the natural logarithm and 'pi' the ratio of the circumfrance of a cirle to it's radius. Both of those would make decent cluster tests. 'e' directly depends on factorials so the stuff I'm doing now is my base for getting that working. I'm worried about the GMP libries that I also use though, I'm not sure they are safe for using in this kind of work. We'll see though.