Discussions

News: In beta: GridRepublic, donating your unused CPU cycles

  1. A reader sent in a note about GridRepublic, which donates unused CPU cycles to a series of nonprofit organizations, such as SETI@home, SIMAP, Rosetta@Home, and others. This isn't really a Java post so much as a fundamentally interesting technology with a good cause. SETI@home is a project that's been around for a long time, and may have pioneered the shared grid concept. Basically, when it's installed as a screensaver, SETI@home grabs data from the SETI grid, and searches for repeated signal patterns in a search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. GridRepublic uses the BOINC network developed by SETI@home (see BOINC's history for more detail) in similar fashion, except you can choose what projects to donate cycles to, including the original SETI@home project, or quantum theory, or SIMAP, which builds a biomedical database. If you're not married to your screensaver and leave your computer on, it's worth considering installing and using GridRepublic. It could make the world a better place.
  2. I always wonder how much additional electricity is needed for this kind of stuff. I am not entirely convinced the world will become a better place when we are all blowing tons of CO2 in the air to churn on some SETI signals. Perhaps the balance is a bit better on the other projects.
  3. I always wonder how much additional electricity is needed for this kind of stuff. I am not entirely convinced the world will become a better place when we are all blowing tons of CO2 in the air to churn on some SETI signals. Perhaps the balance is a bit better on the other projects.
    Valid question. That's why I said "If you're not married to your screensaver and leave your computer on" - Wikipedia's entry on SETI@home has an unsubstantiated claim that leaving your computer on can cost $1 to $1.50 (I assume USD) per day of electricity, which is a cost indeed. It all depends on your priorities, I guess. I leave my servers on because I have processes that run all the time - and the screensaver runs during my downtimes. I'm going to spend the money on the computer being up anyway - why not use whatever spare cycles I have to something worthwhile?
  4. I leave my servers on because I have processes that run all the time - and the screensaver runs during my downtimes. I'm going to spend the money on the computer being up anyway - why not use whatever spare cycles I have to something worthwhile?
    You are missing that the energy consumption is very dependent on CPU usage. An idle computer uses way less energy then an active one. See also the link posted above.
  5. Eirk is true. So i guess we should not use this "volunteer computing" amazing technology for toy-like projects like SETI@home, but for more interesting and necessary ones like Help Conquer the Cancer: http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/projects_showcase/hcc1/viewHcc1Main.do I suggest all of my friends to go to gridrepublic.org and donate CPU to all of the projects under "Biology/Medicine". Regards.
  6. Eirk is true. So i guess we should not use this "volunteer computing" amazing technology for toy-like projects like SETI@home, but for more interesting and necessary ones like Help Conquer the Cancer: http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/projects_showcase/hcc1/viewHcc1Main.do

    I suggest all of my friends to go to gridrepublic.org and donate CPU to all of the projects under "Biology/Medicine".
    Indeed - good suggestion. That's actually my preference, too - SIMAP has much of the same intent.
  7. http://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/EnergyUsage One clarification: the boinc client is running not only when the screen saver is launched. It runs *constantly* (with a lower priority of course, in linux, for example, priority=minimum=19) I guess that the most appropriate way of using BOINC is: have it automatically start with your machine boot. And turn off your machine as you would do if you didn't install BOINC, i.e., never let your machine on if you do it only because of BOINC.