Due to my interest in SciFi and all that stuff, long time ago I come across the seti@home project. At that time you could get a free screensaver that downloaded their (seti's) data for processing at the idle time of your personal computer, making use of processor power that would otherwise be unused.
Today this has developed to a worldwide community with lots of projects (see below) that use the BOINC software to process data that needs a lot of calculation power (e.g. projects that do a lot of model calculations, or need to analyse huge amounts of data), i.e. it's a kind of grid computing of volunteers to support different scientific projects.
Einstein@Home: searches for gravitational waves from spinning neutron stars (pulsars) using data from the LIGO gravitational wave detector. On 12 August, 2010, the first discovery by Einstein@Home of a previously undetected radio pulsar J2007+2722, found in data from the Arecibo Observatory, was published in Science.
SETI@home: SETI is an acronym for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Its purpose is to analyse radio signals, searching for signs of extra terrestrial intelligence.
ClimatePrediction (CPDN): attempts to reduce the uncertainty ranges of climate models.
Docking@Home: models protein-ligand docking.
Malaria Control: performs stochastic modelling of the clinical epidemiology and natural history of malaria.
Rosetta@home: tests the assembly of specific proteins, using appropriate fragments of better-known proteins.
SIMAP: compiles a database of protein similarities using the FASTA algorithm, and protein domains using InterPro.
FightAIDS@Home: identifies candidate drugs that have the right shape and chemical characteristics to block HIV protease.
Help Conquer Cancer: improves the results of protein X-ray crystallography in order to increase understanding of cancer and its treatment.
...and many more. Have a look here and here
And it's really easy to join and to help with some of your computer power (remember that most of the time your computer is actually idle and just waits for your input ):
go to BOINC
1. Choose projects
2. Download and run BOINC software
3. Enter an email address and password.
Edited by hobglobin, 31 August 2010 - 10:31 AM.