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When the prestige Wimbledon tennis tournament kicks off next Monday, IBM will be providing the technology for the fifteenth consecutive year.

Big Blue will be depending on a grid computer of Linux machines to keep the tournament website up and running. It will also deploy a Wi-Fi network to keep assorted hacks and photographers in touch.

The grid structure means IBM can offer more resources to its website during peak times. In quieter periods the machine will carry out life science research and a credit analysis project.

The internal network is running Linux for the first time this year. The official website is also running the open source operating system. Linux was first piloted at Wimbledon in 1999 but is now of central importance.

The website offers details on all matches, a souvenir shop, an improved broadband version with video and audio and a real-time scoreboard.

IBM collects a lot of statistics about every shot of every game. These include; who served, where the serve landed, how it was returned and any errors made. These statistics are used by TV commentators to help them track developments during games and to create graphics for their shows.

The wireless network was introduced last year to allow photographers to upload their pictures to a content server from where media agencies could access the snaps. This year the wireless network will give access to video streams via handheld computers. ®

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