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September 13, 2011 / ryanbtaylor

Distributed Computing – The Answer to all of Sciences Problems?

Donate to Science…

I haven’t posted in over a month so thought I’d better get posting.  Ever thought about donating to Science?  Maybe you carry a doner card to help save lives or offer up your organs for Scienctific research after death.  We now you don’t have to wait until we die to contribute to science, and the way we do this is distributed computing.

What is distributed computing?

Distributed computing is a field of computer science that studies distributed systems. A distributed system consists of multiple autonomous computers that communicate through a computer network. The computers interact with each other in order to achieve a common goal. A computer program that runs in a distributed system is called a distributed program, and distributed programming is the process of writing such programs.

Distributed computing also refers to the use of distributed systems to solve computational problems. In distributed computing, a problem is divided into many tasks, each of which is solved by one or more computers.

(Source: Wikipedia)

In laymans terms it allows people to pool resources of many computers to crunch data.

How Do I Paricipate? 

First you have to find a project you want to donate your computing resources to below are some currenly active distributed computer projects:

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/– Distributed Computing project for the Search for Extraterrestial Intelligence.

http://folding.stanford.edu/– Distributed Computing project which studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases.

theSkyLab – Distributed Computing project for the study of the Universe.

Once you have signed up to one of these websites you’ll be given the chance to download a disributed program, this program sits in the background of your computer and whenever it’s idling the program springs into life and computes data.  When you return to use the computer the distributed program stops computing leaving you to use the computer for your own purposes.

I thoughly recommend donating to one or more of these projects, there are many projects out there, a quick Google should do the trick at locating them.

Give it a go today and feel good knowing your donating to science.

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