Now here’s something that seems interesting and useful. The two times I want to cluster are when I’m rendering video (ick) or compiling something massive like KDE or Mozilla (quadruple ick).
Enter distcc, which lets you spread your C/C++ compiling out over a network.
The most obvious use for this would be source-based Linux distros like Gentoo, since those compiles take forever and most people who are interested in compiling Gentoo already have an army of existing Linux boxes.
If they succeed in getting distcc and Gentoo working together, I’ll give Gentoo a serious look. None of my machines are quick enough to build everything I’d want in a reasonable length of time, especially considering GCC 3.1’s slower speed. And what’s the point of using Gentoo if you’re not the first on the block with the compiler that generates the fastest code? But if I can distribute the load across my Duron-700, my dual Celeron-500, and whatever else I can scrounge up (which ranges from my work-owned P3-700 laptop down to a 66 MHz 486–I’ll probably keep the 486 on the bench), I’m willing to look at it.