Posts Tagged ‘distributed computing’
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 by Nick
Maybe you’ve heard about distributed computing. No? Well, distributed computing allows many participants with standard PCs to each pool a fraction of their processing power in order to collectively tackle enormous computing tasks.
SETI@Home is one popular (popular with the geeks) example of distributed computing. SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) developed the program to help researchers comb vast areas of the universe, looking for signs of alien intelligence.
But if ET isn’t your thing, you have the opportunity to contribute to another good cause: cutting-edge disease research. Scientists at Stanford University (do cool stuff) have created Folding@Home that allows folks like you and me to contribute in the battle against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer. By downloading and running the Folding@Home program, your computer will help crunch small packets of data that will further research to combat these devastating diseases.
It may be a drop in the bucket, but what are you saving your drops for anyway? Besides, the beauty of distributed computing is that collectively we can do enormous, supercomputer-esque things. Oh, and one more thing: you can form your own team and compete with other teams around the world to see who can process the most information. This might be as close as you can get to the frontlines against cancer without a degree in biochemistry.