Reporter 450, 3 April 2000

Chemistry concocts a computing coup

Lecturer Stuart Green believes the School of Chemistry can now boast the fastest computer on campus - as powerful as some machines on the market priced in millions.

But the Schoolís supercomputer, built up from commodity components and using the free Linux operating system, cost a mere £25,000.

"I have been championing Linux for years," said Dr Green. "It is ideally suited to the kind of computationally-demanding tasks that chemistry throws at you and because itís a non-proprietary product, it cuts out the margin built into the cost of branded systems. We had used it on several experimental systems and it proved its worth."

He said the Linux-equipped computers were supporting the work of a number of research groups within the School, and larger systems were included in several interdisciplinary bids for joint infrastructure funds.

Dr Green ( is willing to discuss the Linux system with colleagues in other departments.

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