Everyone should donate some processing power
In this post, it’s not my intention to talk about the technology behind the grid computing as there are already a high number of sources where you can raise some awareness on this topic.
My main goal is instead to raise some awareness and promote the projects, relying on grid computing, with the aim to improve the human life such as discovering treatments for diseases such as HIV, Ebola, Cancer and so on so forth.
Just to give a minimum of context, it is enough the following minimalistic definition of Grid computing taken from wikipedia
Grids are composed of many computers acting together to perform large tasks.
In other terms, when there is a very complex computational problem to resolve, putting together hundred thousand of PC working together is in most cases the only feasible way to go.
The examples of uses cases requiring high computational power range from art, cryptographic, finance, games, maths, molecular science and so on.
For this reason, it was born the need to create a platform for the distributed computing to be used by the demanding projects.
One of the platform for the distributed computing that is becoming more and more popular is the one developed by the Berkeley University known as BOINC
Today there are a number of research projects that leverage BOINC and distributed computing to beat the cancer and many other global issues.
The key message is that all those projects need our support and we should all contribute as it is for a good cause.
All you have to do is to download a piece of software and let it run. It will receive some work and it will do it when your PC, laptop, phone is idle (not using any resource) and eventually it will return the results to the researchers who will analyse them.
I think that it makes no sense to write here any tutorial on how to proceed as the below links contain enough information on what to do but should you encounter any problem or have question on this topic, I’ll be delight to help you as this is my active contribution to this cause.
I write here the actions that I took to contribute to this cause. You can do the same or adapt to your possibilities.
Download the BOINC software
The first step is to download the software from BOINC
I installed it on
- my Android phone
- dedicated VM running on my VMWARE ESXi host(24×7)
Although you can configure the program to run when your device is not doing anything else, you need to be aware that there will be a slight higher power consumption as an intensive CPU work is not for free. This is all about donations.
In my case, the power consumption of a VM running 24×7 (limited CPU) is only few Watts
Join a Project
You can either join single projects or decide to use an Account Manager like BAM (as I did) where you manage centrally the projects that you wish to contribute to.
At current time, I’ve joined
- World Community Grid that it is an umbrella project from where you can select a number of sub-projects
My contributions are visible here
Spread the word
I wrote this article 🙂