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When the computer is just standing there

Many people, including us, have the habit to turn on the computer in the morning, checking the e-mail and maybe the news and weather and the leave the computer on without using it for hours. Well, why not let it do what it’s doing best; heavy calculations.

BOINC

BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) is a small computer program we have installed on our computer. All future communication between our computer and the research computer is handled by BOINC.

First of all it will never take the computer power away from us. When we need the computer it will hand over the power to us and only take it back again when we are finished.

Secondly we are a part of a huge computer network which is virtually forming one big super computer.

We have been participating in the projects described below for more than a year with this software.

You can read much more about the BOINC software on the following links:

SETI

Do you believe we are the only living creatures in the universe? We don’t think so, but we just haven’t found the way to communicate with them, yet! Or maybe they are already trying to communicate with us? This is what this project is all about – listening.

SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) was one of the first projects to hit the Internet and combine to power of all those computers standing around doing nothing. Basically this project is collecting a huge amount of audio data from space - most of it just noise. In order to process all this data and analyze it for a real radio signal you would need a giant computer. Since something like that is not available all the data is cutter into small fragments and send to our computer. Here all the data will be processed and analyzed and the result sent back.

You can read more here:

Climate prediction

You are probably quite used to know what the weather will be like in 3 or 5 days ahead. This project is going the same direction, but just a little further into the future.

For a long time, by now, we have all heard about the climate changes, ice melting in Greenland and waters are rising. No one really knows what will happen, but this project will try to predict it. Our computer is predicting the weather from early 20th century into the 21st century given different parameters like sun radiation, volcanic activity, human made pollution, etc.

Our computer is calculating on all this stuff for months and then sent the result back again. The team behind this project will collect all results and put them together to see a trend. That trend would then be how our weather will be in the future, unless we change our lifestyle, of course.

You much more here:

World Community Grid

This project is a little different. The main goal is the help scientists all over the world to do some heavy calculations.

At the moment two projects are ongoing; fighting AIDS and Human Proteome Folding. The first one is quite obvious; try to find a cure for AIDS. The second one is a little trickier. All humans contain protein which keeps us alive and more or less determine our lives and sicknesses. In order to fight against all sorts of horrible diseases scientists needs to understand how those proteins are affecting us and how we can affect to protein to cure us. This is what this project is all about.

Read more about it here: