I've just heard about an exciting use of commodity grade PCs, the Beowulf cluster.

Frankly, I'm not sure what all they can be used for; but the thought of all that power under my command excites me and I want to learn more. Can some of you fill me in on the uses of such a device and its limitations. Also, what software will I need to run it. I've heard of Cluster Knoppix, but what is the best?

Can a Beowulf Cluster be used for encryption and decryption? Also, how about telecommunications switching? My dream is to build a small volunteer run telecommunications system that can't be hacked, or very nearly so. I believe we all have a right to our electronic privacy and anonymity and wish to devote myself to that goal.

Anyway, I don't even know if such a device would be appropriate for this task; but I find it intriguing.

Thanks Hannibal