Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
|Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:42 am Post subject: Video: Mac Minis power Urban Challenge...
|Video: Mac Minis power Urban Challenge underdog Ben Franklin Racing
The trunk of the car stands out because it has more than half-a-dozen Macintosh Mini computers that are networked together with plain-vanilla Netgear switches. A Netgear firewall blocks UDP packets from reaching the sensors because Bohren told us, “Those packets can disable some devices.” Money and time played a big part in choosing regular off-the-shelf components and Bohren said it was easy to replace broken equipment by going to the local computer store.
The Mac Minis run the “Feisty Fawn” version of Ubuntu Linux and a failover unit is in the rack to take over, just in case one of the Macs dies. The whole setup eats up less than a kilowatt of electricity and of course you need to dissipate all that heat coming in from the sun. Bohren said the team found two simple and very inexpensive solutions from the local hardware store. One was to put space blankets on the inside of the back windows to block out the sun's rays and the other was to aim two regular house fans at the computer rack. “It worked surprisingly well,” Bohren added.