[lit-ideas] Re: This is actually the link I intended to send first...

  • From: "Andreas Ramos" <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2006 22:38:45 -0700

From: <JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx>

_Click here: Researcher looks to PCs for medical cures - Yahoo! News_

Yes, that works. It's possible to take a task, break it up into smaller tasks, and then use tens of thousands of volunteer computers to solve the task. The computers do this when they're not doing anything else. For example, when a screensaver comes up, the computer switches in the background to the task and works on it.

This is called distributed computering.

I've been participating in the SETI project since 1999. It was the first distributed computering project.

Often at various dotcoms, I set all of the computers to the SETI project, so at night, when everyone went home, the entire dotcom's computers were working on the problem.

I just checked my account; it shows 23,286 hours of computer time.

Google is sponsoring a project to process the gene folding problem. Various universities are sponsoring distributed computering projects. See http://folding.stanford.edu/ There's a very good FAQ there.


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