First, What is This Thing Called?
mindhive is the name of a shared computing and data storage facility at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. It is often referred to as the "mindhive cluster." Sometimes people refer to it as "the BA's" - each individual server in the system is named after a Broadmann Area; for example, ba1.mit.edu is one of the individual servers that makes up the mindhive cluster.
If you'd like to know what is under the hood of the cluster, read this. If you'd like to learn how to log in and start using the cluster, this page is just for you.
Web Site != ClusterThis web site is not part of the cluster, per se. Some people have gotten confused in the past, thinking that it was necessary to log into the web site itself, somehow, in order to do computation. This is not the case - this web site, even though it is named mindhive.mit.edu, is a read-only web site designed to document the actual compute cluster.
How Do I Get Started?Unfortunately, mindhive is not available to everyone at the McGovern Institute. In fact, it is just for use by a handful of labs who originally contributed financially to the hardware and salary for a system admin: Gabrieli and Kanwisher being the two primary financial contributors, as well as the Saxe and DiCarlo labs. Unless you're in one of those labs, sorry - regrettably, your lab will need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to IT resources.
Before you apply for an account on mindhive, you should make sure you've gotten an MIT Athena account first. Although an MIT account is not strictly necessary - mindhive has its own authentication system that is independent from MIT - we use your User ID number from Athena in your account here. This prevents certain sorts of issues that can happen later down the line. You can learn more about getting an Athena account at http://ist.mit.edu/support/accounts/information .
Once that's out of the way, you need to find out which research groups' data you will need to be able to access. Ask your supervisor or lab admin, or another RA/TA/PostDoc/Student. You might already have an account if you've arrived at this page from our introductory email message!
Finally, send email to the following email address:
Be sure to include your MIT Athena username (not your MIT ID number, which you should not reveal to anyone...), your supervisor's name, and the research groups that you'll need data access for.
Once that all happens, your account will be created, and you'll be ready to read the next section in this ostentatious manual...