The RAPi Project

My initial setback in running Rapid Analytics on a Raspberry Pi might end up being just a small stumbling block in the end. The only thing that’s preventing Rapid Analytics from running on a Pi is hardware, a single pi is not quite there to run both X Windows and Rapid Analytics effectively.

Yes, I could put Rapid Analytics on a bigger and more powerful machine, but that defeats my minimalistic approach to this project. I want to run Rapid Analytics on the most cheapest and minimalistic set of hardware out there, and using a Pi is a great way to do it (cheap and damn minimal).

After a conversation with my IT director, he suggested clustering the Pi’s together. There is a great article out there about a student, Josuha Kiepert, that built a 32 node  Pi cluster. That cluster runs at 10 Gigaflops/sec. That’s INSANE!

I started pulling together information on hardware and software to do this.  I think I can pull this off with 4 Pi’s clustered together using the Tomcat software. Tomcat is a system to run Java in a distributed fashion across several bits of hardware, in this case, 4 Pi’s.

I put in another order for 2 more Pis with power and ethernet cabling, an ethernet switch, and some more SD cards.  Total cost is $140 shipped, plus the other 2 Pi’s @$35 each + cables and SD cards.  I’m looking at potentially having a capable Rapid Analytics Pi cluster for under $400.

I’m calling this the RAPi project!

For more Raspberry Pi projects, check out this post.

Bitcoin Mining

I started bitcoin mining with my Raspberry Pi and an ASIC miner, just for fun because I like to tinker.  I doubt that I’ll get rich off this, but I just wanted to try out this real” digital currency.

I’m not 100% sold on it yet, it does have some great advantages (i.e. decentralized, low transaction fees), and some disadvantages (i.e. governments might not like it), so it remains to be seen if it will be viable.

In the meantime, I’m mining 24/7 with a goal to get to 1 BTC by the time I’m 90.