There are several small Linux/Android devices on the market with 1 GHz ARM processor, 512 MByte RAM and cca. 4 Gbyte storage for $35-$40. If I buy 5 pcs, it's only around $200.
Let's say, we have 5-10 pcs of them, and we've solved basic things, e.g. they run some not too rare kind of Linux distribution (Debian, say), we have root access, and they are connected on local network, with IP. So, everything is ready for make a cluster (I think).
We have a desktop computer or notebook (cca. 2 GHz x86 processor, 1-2 GByte of RAM, several GBytes of HDD/SSD space), which also runs a standard Linux distro. It has keyboard, mouse, monitor, we want to use it as the "frontend" of the cluster.
So, the question is: what's the easiest way to utilize the horsepower of a couple of small computers with a desktop computer?
Desktop programs are not designed to work in that environment, so I don't want to set up a real cluster, the project is about just to push some jobs from the desktop/netbook computer and share it as optimally as possible amongst the small ones.
Say, I should start the browser on a small computer, using X11, it will not eat up my desktop machine's memory. If I have many pages open, I can start another one on another small machine.
I can also start my text editor on a small computer, I need just share the folder I'm working to it. It has a small problem: I'm using Geany, and I start the compiler by pressing F8, so the small machine should launch the compiler on the desktop machine. I don't mind, if I have to write a small script for it.
What's your advice, would it fly?