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"The computers that brought Gollum, the Balrog and Middle Earth to life are now available to work for hire.

The computers used to create special effects for the Lord of the Rings films are becoming an on-demand processing centre.

The cluster of 1,008 computers in New Zealand can now be hired on a per hour, per processor basis."

"It can crunch through more than 2.8 trillion calculations per second - which means it is the 104th most powerful supercomputer on the planet.

Currently the New Zealand centre runs on Redhat 9 but Scott Houston, former technology chief at digital effects house Weta who runs the supercomputer facility, said it was working on tools that will mean it can run almost any operating system."

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