A year in the grid

Just a quick post to celebrate a mini-milestone. I’ve just realised that my World Community Grid clients have clocked up over a year of run time towards helping research projects in areas such as muscular dystrophy and looking for potential AIDS cures.
I started running the software on my Windows Server box two years ago, but that sat dormant while I was on my placement. Now, thanks to the fact I’ve installed it on my more powerful main PC too, yesterday’s statistics say I’ve contributed 1 year, 8 days, 4 hours, 41 minutes and 30 seconds of computing power. For this large effort (or so I thought), I’m currently sat in 17,044th place on their leaderboard. This means that a minimum of 17,000 years of computing power has been freely given by those in the grid. A fantastic achievement in anyone’s book.
I know that the PS3 is trying to help a folding project now, so grid computing has become newsworthy again. But I urge you, if you have machines that sit on all day, get them to do something useful with their spare cycles. You can set the software to run only when the screensaver is on if you don’t want it in the background all the time. But any non-critical hardware you have just keeping the room warm, stick the client software on and give researchers the largest supercomputer ever assembled.
As a side note, I prefer this project to the SETI effort. All very well listening out for aliens, but if we can help suffering on Earth first, that gets my vote.

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