Skip to main content

Einstein@Home Art Computer




How nerdy am I? I'll give you a hint - I do physics in my sleep. Specifically, I built a custom computer that runs the distributed computing project Einstein@Home 24 hours a day. You can see the project's ultra cool screensaver running in this photo.

The computer hangs on the wall behind my desk. I like to think of it as a kind of art installation. I call it "AMD Outside."

Here's a picture of it in the dark.



It has the following stylish bits: an AMD Athlon 64-bit 3700+ processor, a dedicated Linux drive, a dedicated Windows Drive, a shared Linux/Windows drive, a DVD-RW drive with the cover taken off so you can see the DVD spin (my son did that while I was at work), a persistence of vision display on the CPU cooling fan that constantly shows the temperature, a dual core processor capable mother board so I'll be able to upgrade when I have the cash, a power supply with a transparent cover so you can see the power transistors and monster sized capacitors, 1 Gigabyte of RAM with integrated LEDs that show how hard it's working on Einstein@Home, a TV card, a web cam so that I can check in on Shiner (my Australian Shepherd who suffers from epilepsy) while I'm at work, fluorescent cabling and custom phosphorescent paint along with 2 black lights to make it all glow in the dark, and a flexible neon light to decorate the otherwise boring drives.

I built this with the pieces left over after I fried my previous CPU by overclocking it WAY too much to get extra credits on Einstein@Home.

One advantage is that it is frees up valuable floor space in my tiny town house. It is also quiet - I used to run the overclocked machine in a case with seven fans in addition to the CPU fan and the two power supply fans. It sounded like a Cessna landing in the living room. Now it's almost totally silent and cooled by natural convection in the room.

Comments

  1. You have the coolest home computer ever. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL. Thanks Jen. It's a sure sign of a sick mind. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. No, it's a sign of a mind that's expanding into its surrounding, and will outlive its embodied corporeal existence....

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know:
"What's going on in this video? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream.

(We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux)

Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?