CS332--Hardware/Software Concepts--Spring 2009
Tuesday, Thursday, Period P (12:35-1:50 PM)






The Textbook


Course Description


Course Objectives


Course Policies


Grading System


Course Schedule
        

Prof. Thomas A. Easton


Photo of Professor Easton
        
OFFICE: Rm. 120A

OFFICE HOURS: 9:30-10:30 AM TTh, 1-4 PM W

OFFICE PHONE: 859-1331

HOME PHONE: 338-1074

CANCELLATION PHONE NUMBER: 859-1140

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TEXTBOOKS AND EQUIPMENT


High Performance LINUX Clusters,  
Joseph D. Sloan,
O'Reilly, 2005 (ISBN: 0-596-00570-9).

A laptop compatible with the Thomas College network and able to burn CDs or DVDs.



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COURSE DESCRIPTION


In this course, students learn microcomputer hardware and software concepts, basic maintenance, and troubleshooting, by attempting to construct a Beowulf cluster. 

See "Course policies" below for details on testing and grading.


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COURSE OBJECTIVES


Upon completion of this course, students will: 
  1. Understand basic microcomputer components.
  2. Be able to install operating systems and application software.
  3. Understand the characteristics and functions of computer clusters, particularly Beowulf clusters.
  4. Be able to diagnose and repair (troubleshoot) the most common failures of cluster construction.
Grades will be based upon degree of constructive participation in the Beowulf construction project.


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COURSE POLICIES


Students should always come to class prepared to work on the project. Each student may be absent twice without penalty. Each additional two absences without a medical excuse (no others are acceptable) will cost the student three points on the course grade.

See the Course Schedule for details.

Students with a disability who are requesting academic accommodations should contact both the Center for Academic Support (CAS) and the instructor as soon as possible.


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GRADING SYSTEM

A (94 - 100)      A- (90 - 93)
B+ (87 - 89)     B (83 - 86)    B- (80 - 82)
C+ (77 - 79)     C (73 - 76)     C- (70 - 72)
D+ (67 - 69)     D (63 - 66)    D- (60 - 62)
F (below 60)



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COURSE SCHEDULE

CAUTION: COURSE SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT WARNING!


DATETOPIC ASSIGNMENT
  
Tues 1/13 Intro to Clusters Read Sloan, Ch. 1
  http://www.jncasr.ac.in/parallel/rakesh/sld001.htm
    
Thurs 1/15 Cluster Planning Read Sloan, Ch. 2
 
Tues 1/20 Cluster HardwareRead Sloan, Ch. 3
 
Thurs 1/22 Linux for Clusters Read Sloan, Ch. 4
 Install Fedora 8 on two machines  
 
Tues 1/27 Cluster Kits--openMosix (BCCD, Quantian, etc.), OSCAR, RocksRead Sloan, Chh. 5, 6, 7
 Class will form 3 teams, one for each kit Paper #1: How suitable is your kit for building a small cluster in class, without access to the Internet?   Where appropriate, look up available distros.
 
Thurs 1/29 Work on Paper #1  
 
Tues 2/3 Present Paper #1 to the class. The class as a whole will choose a kit to use to build a cluster.  Each team will then proceed to build its own head node.  Cluster sizes will depend on how many machines we have available.
 
Thurs 2/5 Download distros and other necessary materials.
Create ISOs as needed.
Burn CD/DVDs.
You will need to bring laptops to class.  The College will not permit the cluster machines to be connected to the network.
 
Tues 2/10 Download distros and other necessary materials.
Create ISOs as needed.
Burn CD/DVDs.
 
 
Thurs 2/12 Install software  
2/16 - 2/20 WINTER BREAK
 
Tues 2/24 Install software 
 
Thurs 2/26 Configure clusters Read Sloan, Ch. 8
 
Tues 3/3 Configure clusters 
 
Thurs 3/5 Configure clusters  
 
Tues 3/10 Programming Software Read Sloan, Ch. 9
 
Thurs 3/12 Management Software Read Sloan, Ch. 10
 
Tues 3/17 Scheduling Software Read Sloan, Ch. 11
 
Thurs 3/19 Parallel FilesystemsRead Sloan, Ch. 12
 
Tues 3/24 Benchmarking See Sloan, Ch. 2, pp. 28-30
 
Thurs 3/26 Obtain, Install, and Run Benchmarking Software 
 
3/30 - 4/3 SPRING BREAK
 
Tues 4/7 Obtain, Install, and Run Benchmarking Software  
 
Thurs 4/9 Obtain, Install, and Run Benchmarking Software  
 
Tues 4/14 Try another distro, such as an (or an additional) OpenMosix live CD.  
 
Thurs 4/16 Configure and test second distro.  
 
Tues 4/21 Configure and test second distro.  
 
Thurs 4/23 Configure and test second distro.
 
Tues 4/28Paper #2: Use benchmarking results to report on the performance of your clusters  
    
Thurs 4/30Finish Paper #2  
    
M 5/4 FINAL EXAMS BEGIN
 
EXAM DAY FINAL EXAM
 




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Syllabus last modified October 28, 2008.