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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  • Lectures 7
  • Length 36 mins
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 8/2016 English

Course Description

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. 

What are the requirements?

  • 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

What am I going to get from this course?

  • 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

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

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Getting Started with Parallella

An introduction to parallelism and the Parallella


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


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


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

Section 2: Programming with Parallella

How to download Epython and write programs for the Parallella


How to create example programs in C for the Parallella


How to determine if your program should be parallelized

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Instructor Biography

Ray Hightower, Software developer. Tech company founder. IoT enthusiast.

Ray Hightower is a software developer, founder of WisdomGroup, organizer of ChicagoRuby, and producer of WindyCityRails, WindyCityThings, & RubyCaribe. He is currently exploring parallelism and the Internet of Things.

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

Instructor Biography

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.

Instructor Biography

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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