Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Students Power Supercomputer with Bicycles

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the those-crazy-college-kids dept.

Supercomputing 148

inkslinger77 writes "A team of ten MIT students powered a supercomputer for twenty minutes by pedaling bicycles. They duly claimed the world record for human-powered computing (HPC). They powered a SiCortex SC648 supercomputer with a Linux cluster of 648 CPUs and almost 1TB of main memory in a single cabinet. The system is low-powered and draws 1,200 watts without needing special power supplies or cooling..."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Question (4, Funny)

Misanthrope (49269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762204)

One MIT student is how many foot pounds per second?

Re:Question (5, Funny)

glomph (2644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762228)

MIT measures its resident nerds using the International Smoot scale.

Re:Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762254)

Can you strap that computer to the back of a bike while your riding it? Or do you need to use a bike trailer so you can pull it behind you while you ride? [dwarfurl.com]

Re:Question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762324)

Dude, here's a link to an old slashdot article an old slashdot article [ripway.com] where they did something like that

Re:Question (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762330)

Not suprisingly, the AC's link leads to myminicity.com. Unless you want to move, don't click it.

Re:Question (0, Offtopic)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762624)

Can someone please explain why all these dorks are spamming links to minicity on slashdot recently ? What is it ? And why do they need our clicks ? Do they get free 'houses' to build or something in exchange for ad-eyeballs ?

Re:Question (1)

Kyojin (672334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762690)

I don't quite see the amusement value, but the following occurs:

Each person can click once per day to increase a particular aspect of a person's city. The more clicks, the more increases.

There are two reasons to link spam:

1.) Get your city some growth. This increases the rank of your city.
2.) Link to somebody else's city linking to a particular aspect like industry, which if enough people click will screw the balance of their city, e.g. high industry increases crime. This lowers the rank of their city.

Re:Question (1)

Frnknstn (663642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762946)

A guy I know recently started spamming these links all over the place. Turns out it is now the new 4chan fashion to play this game.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762582)

This game is gay as hell. Why do people play it?

Re:Question (4, Funny)

proudfoot (1096177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762346)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these! ...i hope they wear deodorant.

Re:Question (4, Funny)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762546)

Well, assuming a lack of friction or air resistance and perfectly spherical MIT students...

Re:Question (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763612)

perfectly spherical MIT students

That's probably not very far off from real observed values

Re:Question (2, Interesting)

nopain-nogain (1205768) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762806)

10 guys, 1200watts... looool 20 minutes? even more lol... at my last performance diagnostics i had 320watts at the lactacid threshold, wich means this can be done for HOURS! ;)

Re:Question (2, Informative)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763296)

You must be superhuman. Best cyclists can endure 200 wats for few hours. I could make 200w for 5 minutes (tested on ergometer [wikipedia.org] ).

Re:Question (1)

Fian (136351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763516)

I can sustain about 270-300W for an hour and about 210W for 3 hours - measured using a PowerTap. On average I ride about 200kms/wk but I'm no serious (racing) cyclist, just a "get fit" kinda guy. So no I don't think superhuman is required.

Re:Question (2, Interesting)

nopain-nogain (1205768) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763602)

no i'm no superman, i'm only a seriouse mtb racing dude. the 300watts thresshold is my average marathon level (120km).
i have 4,1watts per kilo gramm body mass. tour de france dudes have about 5 w/kg.
so the 120w they are pedaling is (unless they wheight about 30kilos or so) really onle recreation ;) and schould be done for hours.
for those who wonder what i am doin here... yes i do studi informatik in germany ;p
black forrest 4 the win!

Re:Question (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763640)

Or they just aren't fit. I'm cycling only about 100km/month and would have about 1.5w/kg. It's not like a normal person not doing excercise could do 200w for hours.

Re:Question (1)

nerdyalien (1182659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762868)

where was the BEAVERS ??? they would've done much greater job.... perhaps they were trouble-shooting the cluster...

Heh... (5, Funny)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762208)

So, the students don't run Linux... they bicycle it instead!

Re:Heh... (5, Funny)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762234)

Well, at least they are getting good at "power cycling the server" :P

Re:Heh... (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762242)

In soviet russia linux runs you!

Re:Heh... (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762820)

In soviet russia linux runs you!
I AM Soviet Russia, and I run my electric bicycle from my MacBook's FW port!

Re:Heh... (2, Funny)

Xiph1980 (944189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762252)

so.... is this now superhumancomputing? I would've imagined something different. ___ / \ \ S / \ /

Re:Heh... (1)

Xiph1980 (944189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762266)

That didn't come out correctly.... :P

I would've thought the tt tag would add returns by itself.. anyway. here goes again:
___
/ \
\ S /
\ /


Re:Heh... (1)

Xiph1980 (944189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762284)

ahh crap.

Well, it should've been a superman ascii art thingy. :/

Re:Heh... (1)

Ankur Dave (929048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762452)

Hehe, that's the pre tag, which the lameness filter doesn't allow.

Re:Heh... (1)

It'sYerMam (762418) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763442)

Still not heard of the preview button, then?

Re:Heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762420)

Ride the Penguin!

So, what's that in kilowaddles?

Solution to clean energy crisis (0, Redundant)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762236)

A Beowulf cluster of bicycle-laden MIT students.

I feel suddenly dirty.

Re:Solution to clean energy crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762340)

A Beowulf cluster of bicycle-laden MIT students.
Wait, African or Eur... oh, fuck it. We all know they're Asian these days.
 

But these are MIT students... (4, Funny)

CookieOfFortune (955407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762244)

imagine how long the students of any other university would be able to power them!

Re:But these are MIT students... (3, Funny)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762640)

Free beer for every kilowatt-hour, Energy crisis solved.

"Screw ethanol, we're green the hops way! Take that corn industry!"

Re:But these are MIT students... (3, Funny)

irtza (893217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762884)

Free beer for every kilowatt-hour, Energy crisis solved.

"Screw ethanol, we're green the hops way! Take that corn industry!"

Well, your solution apparently still requires ethanol to be burned. Just that the powerplant is in human form.

Re:But these are MIT students... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763178)

Free beer for every kilowatt-hour, Energy crisis solved.
"Screw ethanol, we're green the hops way! Take that corn industry!"


Maybe you could have they wash tortias down with their beer.
Of course the real issue with the "corn industry" is it isn't necessary to make fuel ethanol from perfectly good food. Far more sensible would be to either use a a waste product or a plant which grows as a weed on non agricultural land.

In the future.... (1, Funny)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762250)

In the future, which I imagine shall be very much like "Mad Max", this is what shall be required to run SP3 of Windows Vista....

Re:In the future.... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763022)

I would rather be able to run my bicycle with a supercomputer.

Matrix? (3, Funny)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762272)

Oh great, next they'll invent SkyNet.

If one of those guys goes by the nick 'Neo', I'm gonna get worried.

Re:Matrix? (2, Funny)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762408)

Actually, since this runs without special cooling needs, I'd be worried about a certain ZeroCool getting in on it.

Re:Matrix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21763104)

I'd be worried about a certain ZeroCool getting in on it.
Don't worry, Crash doesn't use that name anymore...

Re:Matrix? (1)

Mythrix (779875) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762698)

But what threat would SkyNet be if the robots power down whenever we stop bicycling?

Wasted Their Breath (5, Insightful)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762306)

They should have just gone over to the nearest administrative offices and unplugged all of the CRTs running "screen savers". This would have freed power to run the computer even longer and wouldn't have been as tiring.

How about kicking? (3, Funny)

CrackPipePls (1205568) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762356)

Not really that useful and interesting How about taking a look into "powered by kicking" technology, make it available to the average joe, millions of kWh of power will be saved across the globe on a daily basis from frustrated computer users

Re:How about kicking? (2, Funny)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762492)

must...resist...making...Chuck...Norris...reference...

Re:How about kicking? (1)

lekhak (874006) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762648)

For "Powered by kicking" technology you need to run on Windows 98 - Not sure a whole lot of people want to go back to Windows 98. Vista seems promising on that front with the improved CPU / memory hogging technologies.

YAWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762360)

This is just a rehash of the washing machine powered by hamsters story [dwarfurl.com] [bbc.co.uk]

Re:YAWN (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762392)

Thanks for degrading Slashdot. Jerk.

Re:YAWN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762442)

suX0r

Oh dear. (4, Funny)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762378)

It used to be research.

Then little errands. Get the professor a coke, pick up his stuff.

Then acting as tech support.

Then doing all the prof's work for him.

And now... running the system by the sweat of your brow.

We must draw the line somewhere, folks. Free labor has its limits!

This cannot bode well for graduate students... well... maybe for the chunky among us... but let's hope this doesn't catch on. I can already see profs carried about on the shoulders to and from meetings...

Re:Oh dear. (1)

coldcell (714061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762666)

This cannot bode well for graduate students... well... maybe for the chunky among us... but let's hope this doesn't catch on. I can already see profs carried about on the shoulders to and from meetings...
Clearly you haven't been to Cambridge...

Re:Oh dear. (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762762)

Isn't the system entitled to the sweat of your brow?

typical laptop=100 watts? (1)

danwat1234 (942579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762418)

An Excerpt from the article:: "An SC648 chip, with six processors on it, draws around 8 watts of power, which compares to a typical notebook computer CPU needing 100 watts, according to SiCortex CEO John Mucci." Yea, my sister's p4-HT 3GHZ laptop CPU only takes 88 watts max. I guess they meant the average power consumption of the whole laptop, averaging across all models on the market? Well, obviously the statement in the article is bogus. http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SL7DT [intel.com]

What I find impressive... (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762556)

What I find impressive is the fact that apparently, the average power output of each cyclist was at least 120 W. I remember seeing someone use a bike generator to make a 40 W bulb dimly flicker when I was a kid. Either generators have gotten a heck of a lot more efficient or these people are serious athletes.

Re:What I find impressive... (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762776)

What I find impressive is the fact that apparently, the average power output of each cyclist was at least 120 W

A quick google suggests that 400 W is about right for a rider in good condition for a short time.

Re:What I find impressive... (1)

nopain-nogain (1205768) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763786)

400W is a quiet good one ;) i can hold 320 for several hours and i'm not that untrained;) but i have to aggre 120watt is nothing ;)

Re:What I find impressive... (1)

SlashV (1069110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762780)

In fact 120W is rather poor. A reasonably fit person will easily produce 200W, while professional cyclists will output 500W or more...

Re:What I find impressive... (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763026)

My 10 and 12yo daughters managed to brightly light and then burn out a 12V 100W halogen bulb entirely by pedal power. The older one was peddling, while the younger daughter held an old DC motor against the wheel to act as a generator.

I was quite impressed.

Re:What I find impressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21763410)

Not really.

The typical output for a normal person is much more than that; for example, riding for 20 km, at an average of 26 km/h and with a combined weight (8 kg bike + 75 kg biker) of 83 kg gives an average of 226 W (and that is not for a professional: at 43 km/h you get nearly 500W and for the current hour-recordman, with a 49.7 km/h and 90 + 8 kg it's 621W).
Considering the efficiency of the alternator should be somewhere between 70 and 85% you could between 158 W and 192 W for a normal person: 4 or 5 times your figure.

Regards,
Alberto

Re:typical laptop=100 watts? (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762816)

How can you claim something is bogus by stating one single example? You haven't even taken an average of a few chips like you seem to presume they have!

Manufacturing uses energy too (1, Interesting)

TurboStar (712836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762436)

"A spokesperson said that the human-powered session produced more computations than took place in the first 3,000 years of civilization." Except that they didn't pedal enough cover the development and manufacturing costs.

Re:Manufacturing uses energy too (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763108)

interesting ? Rubbish! Just because a spokesperson says it doesn't make it true. Ask Scot McLellan :)
The first 3,000 years of civilization ?? When hardly anybody was literate and counting was like 1,2, many ?
Come off it, of all the nonsense comparisons this one really is far out. Is a year of ancient civilization now a performance benchmark ?

Re:Manufacturing uses energy too (1)

stevie.f (1106777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763250)

Microsoft would love if it was!

Welcome to the ENIAC demo competition! (2, Funny)

newsdee (629448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762444)

Oh man, I had written the below ages ago, and now there's a relevant story on /. !
(yes I could claim prior art but I'm not SCO ;-D )

!!! welcome to the ENIAC democompo!!!

We are happy to announce the opening of the first demoparty dedicated to the ENIAC.
If you wish to participate, please agree to observe the following party rules:

1) Bring your own ENIACs. We do not want to see viruses on our system.

2) If you plug your ENIAC to the wall power plug, the PC, Amiga and Atari ST demomakers will saw your head off. At your own risk.

3) To give electrical power to your machine, we provide a bicycle room with attached generators. Please let us know a week in advance of the size of your group, so that we can get enough bicycles for everyone.

4) You are responsible of finding your own spot in the party room. Our ENIAC is already taking half of the available space.

5) It is forbidden to step on the wires.

6) "Flame" demo effects are forbidden. When we tried to achieve one, the vacuum tubes caught fire and we had to call 911. They were not very happy about it.

7) It is forbidden to spray paint graffiti on our ENIAC.

8) Domestic animals are forbidden. We will not pay for any damage caused by the stench of burned fur coming out of relay boxes.

9) You are responsible looking after your ENIAC. Dishonest persons may want to steal it at night.

10) It is STRICTLY forbidden to sleep on top of the ENIAC units.

11) Bring your own spare vacuum tubes and resistors. If you forget them you can buy them at the party but we will set the price... don't say we didn't tell you...

12) Musical creations are forbidden. Our musician tried to compose something and provoked the death of five dogs while trying to complete "Woof Woof ZAPPP !!", played with his newly created Music Tracker "LiveWireDogeeh".

13) Graphical creations are forbidden. Our graphist found a horrible death after making a vacuum tube box explode in an attempt to automatically create a drawing of Pamela Anderson on the floor with the glass shards. The result was not so great anyways.

14) The Bicycle Room has an excellent drink vending machine [rubs hands].

15) The coders are not allowed to access the ENIAC switches while the demo is running.

16) Any vacuum tube that fries during the demo cannot be replaced.

17) The "Plasma", "Shadebobs" or "Lens" demo effects are forbidden. Our coder placed some pot in the relay box so that we were stoned by the smoke and saw all kind of weird stuff.

18) If somebody does not respect these rules, people may be pissed off and quit the ENIAC scene !

The competition prices are as follows:

1. A brand new ENIAC
2. A Z80 building kit for every member of the group.
3. A box of General Electric vacuum tubes.

Good luck !

OSPC project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762482)

If the children walk in and become cyborgs, they won't be hungry!

or more usefully, (1)

supernova87a (532540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762484)

maybe the students could save more energy by spending that time on optimizing their code....

Re:or more usefully, (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762590)

Absolutely, it is indeed frightening to see students from the top american technology college show pride in doing grunt physical work instead of using their brain, and even worse to see that on /. instead of Sport Illustrated.

As a Human Powered Vehicle enthusiast... (1)

AnarchyDuck (1202741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762488)

...I really like the idea of low-powered computing. In the last week we already saw a SSD 'disk' with SATA interface presented here that only uses .3Watts. We may not call our PDA's supercomputers these days, but one day in the past, the Big Iron systems used as supercomputing stations were slower than our PDA's can emulate them.

Re:As a Human Powered Vehicle enthusiast... (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763016)

Eh...

I've done some research into it, and I figure you're probably better off buying one of the 12W foldable solar panels (or the rollable ones, but they're even more expensive, and give even worse W/area), and tying it down over your Panniers than to use some kind of generator system on a bike. On the upside, depending on the rest of system, next years ultra mobile parts based on Intel's Silverthorne ought to be pretty awesome for this kind of thing, and hopefully offer performance in the range of 500Mhz Pentium 3's.

Sounds like a good way (1)

G-News.ch (793321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762494)

to solve two prominent US problems: Too much CO2 output due to excessive energy consumption and a lot of overweight people. Solution: have them power something by pedaling for a little longer than 20 minutes, though.

Re:Sounds like a good way (1)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762548)

For the second problem, powering your computer for 30 minutes daily [surgeongeneral.gov] should be enough for most people...

New record? (4, Interesting)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762520)

OK, so they broke the record for human-powered computing. But what was the previous record? Was there even such a thing as a previous record? How is this new record actually measured? You know that more people will now try to break the MIT mark, and TFA is rather scant on details...

Re:New record? (1)

DMoylan (65079) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763150)

what was the most difficult sum calculated on an abacus?

weren't the original adding machines hand cranked?

at least a starting point.

Most... Pathetic... Story... Ever (4, Insightful)

ishmaelflood (643277) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762528)

Well fuck me dead, somebody has figured out how to convert mechanical work into electrical energy. Trust those whacky kids at MIT to pull it off.

Re:Most... Pathetic... Story... Ever (1)

KingofSpades (874684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762604)

Moderate parent up, please. This is not news for nerds. And it doesn't matter the least.

Re:Most... Pathetic... Story... Ever (1)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762710)

"Well fuck me dead"...given the rest of your post, this brings up unpleasant images of your orifices being outfitted with devices to turn friction into electricity.

Re:Most... Pathetic... Story... Ever (1)

innerweb (721995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763542)

Now, that is funny! Thanks for the morning laugh, it is the best way to start off the day.

Next thing, maybe they will create a device to store some of the *mechanical work* to be used later to convert into electrical energy.

InnerWeb

Inconsistancy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762558)

"...without needing special power supplies..."

Someone must have missed something.

Just wait.... (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762560)

And they thought finals time was exhausting before.

Students Power Supercomputer with Bicycles (1)

davro (539320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762568)

From the title i thought that the MIT dudes where actually recycling bicycles to power the super computer. Using the back to the future, rubbish reactor.

A laptop CPU needs 100Watts? (2, Informative)

AnarchyDuck (1202741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762574)

a typical notebook computer CPU needing 100 watts, according to SiCortex CEO John Mucci
My laptop draws about 20Watts max when running on battery power, even with the CPU running full-throttle. Much of those watts is for the backlight and drive. A 'typical laptop CPU', an Intel Pentium Mobile, uses maximal 24W, according to the datasheet [intel.com] provided by Intel. Saying a laptop would typically use 100W is a bit overstated.

Am I the only one that thinks (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762672)

This will become a requirement for grad students now?

So... how many instructions "per cycle" is that? (4, Funny)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762676)

Ahem. Sorry...

Amazing! (1)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762714)

This is amazing! Just imagine what they could accomplish if they tried to do something useful, innovative, or even - technologically challenging.

Beowulf cluster of XO OLPCs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21762750)

Beowulf cluster of XO OLPCs anyone? ;-)

10 MIT students are nothing special (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762754)

A team of ten MIT students powered a supercomputer [...] The system is low-powered and draws 1,200 watts without needing special power supplies or cooling.

Indeed, what's so special about a power-supply consisting of 10 MIT students? Nothing really...

Re:10 MIT students are nothing special (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21763430)

Then submit a story, this is the only thing on the front page since I went to sleep last night. You don't see me compla.. oh.

That's the Way To Do It (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762758)

Now that's the way to do it. Not just the environmentally friendly power generation, but the performance per Watt of the computer, too. According to an article at The Register [theregister.co.uk] , the SC648 is built from MIPS (the type of CPU) cores that run at 500 MHz and execute two intructions per cycle. That should work out to about 1000 MIPS (the performance unit) per core, which, according to el Reg, the SC648 has 2916 of. In other words, these students got 2.9 million MIPS for 1200 Watts. That's some 2400 MIPS per Watt! How does a typical home PC compare to that?

Note: I might have gotten the number of cores wrong, in which case the results are also wrong. Supposing there were 648 cores (which the Slashdot summary may imply), it would work out to 648 thousand MIPS for 1200 Watts, or 540 MIPS per Watt. I don't think my (still low power at 20W) PC can come close to that (assuming the VIA C7 at 1.2 GHz does 1200 MIPS, it would be 60 MIPS per Watt...).

Re:That's the Way To Do It (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762962)

Apparently [behardware.com] my Core 2 Duo can, in ideal circumstances, run 2 + 8 (two 128-bit SSE floating point ops equal 8 single precision 32-bit ops) = 10 instructions per clock (I think). 2 Cores at 1.6 GHz would then process 32000 MIPS and use up about 10 watts (in a Lenovo X61t with some power-saving settings (e.g. no Bluetooth or WiFi, low display brightness) fully usable. If I didn't mess up something, that'd be 3200 MIPS/W.
During actual processor load and WiFi, usage of the chipset's 3D capabilities and high display brightness power use typically rises to some 17 watts, can't recall it reaching 20. Either this is pretty damn awesome or I got the numbers wrong.

(Yeah, a notebook with a power-efficient processor might not really be what most people call a typical home PC, but differently from a C7 or the SC648, it's something (some) end-users can and actually do have.)

pedal power overview (2, Interesting)

morphovar (1205804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762922)

Here you find a good overview of the possibilities of wind up power and bicycle machines [lowtechmagazine.com]

Proposed New Measurement (3, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21762934)

Please allow me to offer the Geekaflop, which will be defined as the number of gigaflops per bag of Chitos, as determined by the weight loss of 10 MIT students pedaling flat-out for 10 minutes to keep the supercomputer powered up.

The new term would be abbreviated "HaM"(Hamster Megacycles), thereby incorporating the longstanding scientific truism "We stand on the shoulders of giants".

Next week... (1)

Fobos (1205820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763054)

Next week it will be: Hamster Powers (Super)notebook with Hamster Wheel

Re:Next week... (1)

tacet (1142479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763336)

they estimate a hamster to generate about 200 miliamps at 2 volts

http://www.otherpower.com/hamster.html [otherpower.com]

Aha! My Ravings Vindicated! (1)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763084)

This is a particularly satisfying story to me. When I was writing my pulp scifi novella The Bikes of New York [cheeseburgerbrown.com] (in which the poor pedal generator bicycles for spare change) I was told by many snotty self-proclaimed debunkers that human beings could never generate a meaningful amount of power using their bodies, and some of them had all sorts of intimidating mathematics to prove their points.

This story seems to show that their rigour was limp, and their points pointless.

Hooray for a legitimate basis for my surreal vision! Nerd on, MIT.

SiCortex (1)

EdA (105889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763136)

Well congrats, Tony and Wilson and Peter and all my other SiCortex buddies I hope you sell a ton of them. Wilson recently gave an interesting talk about verifying the SiCortex system and ASICs http://www.veripool.com/papers.html [veripool.com] . He's also a huge open source contributor.

/Ed - not affiliated with SiCortex

If you have to ask ... (1)

ja (14684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763452)

As the saying goes: If you have to ask, you probably can't afford it.

Anyway, could you ask your buddies to put up some suggested retail prices on their web?

As an OLPC? (2, Funny)

qrwe (625937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763240)

Maybe this would be a good way to powersupply future OLPC:s?

If human powered computing = hpc.. (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763294)

Then this exercise should be (HPC)^2, right?

Conversion efficiency needs improvement (2, Interesting)

plzdontspamme (1055052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763334)

I once took part in a nutrition study that required each participant to ride a stationary bicycle for 20 min or so. I asked the lead researcher how much power a typical college student could produce. He said a healthy college student could produce about 180W for the duration of a test session.

The test itself was uncomfortable. There was no breeze to keep you cool (and, since the human body is only about 25% efficient, that meant you were dissipating > 500 W as heat), and you had to wear a mouthpiece to measure your oxygen uptake.

For that reason, I'm a little surprised that 10 cyclists without mouthpieces could only produce 1.2 kW for 20 min. Either their generators, drive mechanisms, and converters are not very efficient (most likely) or the MIT students need to do more exercise to get in better shape.

OTOH, The students... (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763538)

The system is low-powered and draws 1,200 watts without needing special power supplies or cooling..."

The students' special power supply and cooling, OTOH, came from beer! (Free, of course!)

Or... (1)

rsantmann (1101565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763638)

We could put the MIT students in a blender and turn them into biofuel. Anyone?

Ugggh, Thanks a lot.... (1)

jnadke (907188) | more than 6 years ago | (#21763664)

Ugggh, Thanks a lot.

Now when machines take over the world we're going to have to peddle our fat asses off instead of sitting in a tank of goo eating food all day.

I mean... I for one welcome our new bicycle-toting machine overlords. Please bring the goo-tanks.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?