David posts a question about how to solve this knapsack problem using the R statistical computing and analysis platform. My reply in the comments seems to have disappeared for a while so here is my proposed solution:

I like the "multicore" library for a particular task. I can easily write a combination of if(require("multicore",...)) that means that my function will automatically use the parallel mclapply() instead of lapply() where it is available. Which is grand 99% of the time, except when my function is called from mclapply() (or one of the lower level functions)...

Somebody on the R-help mailing list asked how to get Rmpi working on his Fedora Linux machine so he could do high-performance computing on a cluster of machines (or a single multicore machine) using the R statistical computing and analysis platform. Since it is unusually painful to get working, I might as well copy the instructions...

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