Globe & Mail: St. Francis Xavier University is using open source software and grid technology to transform ordinary PCs into mega computing power -- at virtually no extra cost.
The students who use the computer lab at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., probably aren't aware that at night the lab transforms into the equivalent of a supercomputer.
All day long, St. Francis Xavier University students sit at the lab's rows of PCs to surf the Internet, write papers, arrange dates or listen to podcasts. During the day, the machines run Microsoft's Windows operating system. But at night that all changes. At 11 p.m, the students are gone, the doors are locked and the lights are out. It's time to close Windows until morning.