Last night I had a bit of a stroll along the Amazon EC2 alley. Started up a Lucid instance and checked out orfeo toolbox into it for build testing. Nice and easy, except for bits with private key setup and such. But I have gone through password-less SSH with beowulf setups and even more recently using a Launchpad account, went through that completely unfazed.
Hadoop nodes and running a scripted word counter using Pig. I left the nodes running and racked up 80 equivalent hours, now to wait for the bill. Once the I figure all this out I will attempt run more parallel tasks using Java native features like JAI and the Orfeo Java bindings. Twitter seems to use Hadoop with native libraries performing compression - LZOP. Interesting point about parallel tasks being data bound, parallel image processing tasks given sufficient CPU resources should then work faster on block based compressed formats such as JPEG2000. Just need sufficient resources to test this out. Perfect use for EC2.
Then I went small and looked at the awsome work Mathworks is doing in leveraging open-source to add value to their product which is heavily ingrained in the engineering world. In the process they have made a fair few Eclipse enhancements which all of us can enjoy - Target Support Packages. With all this work developing a quadcopter control using the beagleboard might just become a join the dots project.