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Getting Started With Parallella (with Gotchas)

Intro to parallel programming with the Parallella, an 18-core computer the size of a credit card or Raspberry Pi.
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Last updated 8/2016
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  • 36 mins on-demand video
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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In this course, you'll learn how to program the Parallella-16 board, gain a basic understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of parallel programming, and take a look at a common parallel programming model used by Google for data analytics. You'll start by learning how to connect to the Parallella via the command line and SSH, before running some of the example programs that come preinstalled. We'll show you how the examples work and why they are well-suited for the Parallella, and then start writing our own programs in Python and C. All the code snippets, commands, and guides used in the lectures are available, making it easy to debug your programs or poke through the code to see how it works. The course will probably take about three hours (plus time to burn the SD card,) and by the end you'll be able to write simple programs on the Parallella and understand the tradeoffs that come with parallel programming. 

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for people who have a Parallella board but aren't sure how to start using it. If you're already familiar with the Parallella and are looking to create advanced programs written in parallel, this course probably isn't for you.
  • Instructions in this course are geared toward computers running OSX or Linus, so if you have a Windows computer you may want to install Linux before beginning the course
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What Will I Learn?
Learn to set up and start using a Parallella computer
Run example programs already loaded on the Parallella
Write and run programs for the Parallella in Epython
Write and run programs for the Parallella in C
Rewrite an existing program to run on the Parallella
View Curriculum
  • You'll be more comfortable with this course if you are already familiar with the Unix command line and have some experience with Python and/or C
  • Before starting this course, make sure that you have a Parallella-16 board, a computer running Linux or OSX with an SD card reader, a 16 or 32 GB MicroSD card, a network switch, at least 3 ethernet cables, and access to high-speed internet
  • You should have LanScan and Wget (or substitutes) installed on your computer
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 7 Lectures Collapse All 7 Lectures 35:46
Getting Started with Parallella
4 Lectures 14:31

An introduction to parallelism and the Parallella

Preview 04:40

How to connect to the Parallella so that you can start using it

Accessing the Parallella

How to run the "Hello World" and "Eprime" example programs available on the Parallella

Preview 02:09

How to run the "Mandelbrot" and "Blobuska" example programs available on the Parallella

Preview 03:39
Programming with Parallella
3 Lectures 21:15

How to download Epython and write programs for the Parallella

Programming with Epython

How to create example programs in C for the Parallella

Programming with C

How to determine if your program should be parallelized

Making Your Program Parallel
About the Instructor
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3 Students
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Software developer. Tech company founder. IoT enthusiast.

Ray Hightower is a software developer, tech company founder, organizer of ChicagoRuby, and creator of WindyCityRails. He is currently exploring parallelism and the Internet of Things.

Hightower founded WisdomGroup in 1994 and sold the company to 8th Light in 2016.

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Ally Huske is an intern at WisdomGroup, a Chicago-based software company. During her internship she has focused on parallelism and artificial life. She is currently working on an artificial life program in Python simulating simple evolution. Ally is also an undergraduate student at MIT interested in studying biology and computer science.

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Thomas Malthouse is a physics major at Reed College in Portland, Oregon; an intern at WisdomGroup; and a C developer with a focus on scientific computing. He's currently working on an n-body gravitational simulator that predicts the trajectories of spacecraft, and investigating the feasibility of using Golang for scientific computing.

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