Well something similar to that.

Got an ancient desktop running a ubuntu-based distro and an equally ancient macbook.

Would like to connect and utilize both their computing capability for day-to-day tasks, you know like browsing, gaming, coding, movies, etc.

Have heard of cluster computers, which look good but most of them suggest a similar hardware. And also read that they can actually get counter-useful because of the way the master node would task the sub-nodes, so lot of wasteful energy consumption of the sub-nodes if the master dont delegate.
But I only have a vague idea.

Question is, a desktop and a laptop, with different hardware, can it be made to work in tandem, elegantly and for normal tasks? And how?

Desktop specs (Elementary OS, 32-bit)
1. Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU E2180 @ 2.00GHz
2. 1GB RAM SDRAM (yeah, its that old!)
3. 160GB SATA Disk
4. Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ Integrated Graphics Controller

Laptop specs (Snow Leopard, 32-bit?)
1. Intel Core 2 Duo CPU @ 2.16GHz
2. 2GB 667MHz DDR2 RAM
3. 250GB SSD
4. Intel GMA 950 64MB

PS - Of course, will put in Ubuntu-based distro in both.
PPS - There should be a solution, right?
PPPS - A step-by-step would be cool.

EDIT - Have read many threads, and they all state the accessing the RAM of a different machine is too costly. So there can be a scenario where the RAM is shared as one and only the CPU is "clustered" as such. OR maybe putting a big RAM in one of the machine, whichever is easier.

  • Wrong. And I know about beowulf cluster. Duh! All those answers and many threads simply state the accessing the diff-RAM is too much overhead. So question is if the RAM can be combined to run in some manner. I would update the ques as well. @Matthew Seek details first before judging. – arjun Aug 21 '16 at 12:28
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    There is no way you can combine two computers for day-to-day tasks. – Matthew Aug 21 '16 at 12:35
  • Challenges? Limitations? – arjun Aug 21 '16 at 12:39
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    You're asking the same question as the duplicate Matthew pointed to, if you don't like the answers please earn a bit of rep post a bounty requesting new/different answers to the existing question. PS using "wrong" and then "duh" like that is not a good way to get help. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 21 '16 at 14:45
  • Computing clusters are used to perform very specific, distributed tasks. Unless you want to design and program your own distributed computing platform, what you are trying to do is not possible. – Mark Riddell Aug 21 '16 at 16:02

What you want is a Beowulf Cluster. It generally isn't easy, unless you are using software that was coded for this. And that doesn't mean normal tasks. Almost impossible if the hardware is not alike. You can effectively fork only repetitive predefined tasks on multiple systems without similar hardware.

  • Please see question edit. – arjun Aug 21 '16 at 12:31
  • Still not great, since the other CPU still has to access the other system's RAM. Even if you use gigabit Ethernet to connect the two systems, bandwidth is too low – pulsejet Aug 21 '16 at 16:28

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