I’m sure many of you are familiar with distributed computing (or grid computing as it’s called in this case). Projects like seti@home use it. It essentially uses the processing power of personal computers to crunch data. You download the software and then it uses idle processing power (CPU resources that are not being used) to work on data. There’s no effect on performance since it only uses your free resources and will back off when other applications need it.

It also requires almost no use of your internet connection since it only needs to send and receive data between new work units. To give an example, it typically takes me several hours to process a molecule in the cancer research project and only seconds to download a new unit and upload my results. It is very unobtrusive.

It costs you nothing and if you are one of those people who leave your computer on all day, even when not in use by you, then why not have it’s resources used for a good purpose?

Anyway, I don’t usually like bothering people with things like this but I thought it was a good cause and it doesn’t require that you sacrifice anything, as the software runs in the background and does not effect performance at all. It only sends info about the project so no worries about personal data being stolen.

Check it out at Grid.org.

There are currently 2 projects to choose from – cancer research and Human proteome folding (which is working on finding the functions of proteins encoded in the human genome). You can opt for one or both projects and the software will alternate between work units sent from each project.

First, go download the small United Devices applet here (and read the FAQS)


After you have installed this, just merely start it up and will be in your
task bar. You can set this to simply run it as a screen saver or you can
let it merely sit in your task bar for an hour or to run it all day like I do.

Sometime I put it into snooze (an option where it simply goes in “sleep
mode”) when I do my backups or performing flash images (partition backups).

So, even a small amount of time every day is so easy to do.

After you install the device, go here:

Join Team Andrax! http://www.grid.org/services/teams/team.htm?id=CE75E150-9BAF-4C4D-A77E-72C6210EF507

We currently have 53 active members and would love to have a few more. If you have any questions about joining don’t hesitate to drop me an email or give me a call.