Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Geekily speaking, a good cause for all those spare machine cycles.

Remember SETI@Home? Well, if you have some CPU cycles to spare, here's another good cause:

PCs Get with the AIDS Program

In a major initiative, companies and scientists are harnessing thousands of volunteers' computers to speed the search for a cure

When tech mavens first set out to harness the power of thousands of linked computers for a grassroots community project, their target was a strange one: ET. That 1999 effort, the Search for Extra-Terrestrials@Home, roped together a so-called grid of home computers scattered around the world to analyze radio signals from outer space, looking for evidence of life. Now comes a new grid project with a much more down-to-earth goal: fighting AIDS.

FightAIDS@Home taps an already-existing organization, the World Community Grid, to help scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., discover new treatments for AIDS. The project, announced Nov. 21, puts more than 100,000 computers at Scripps' command. Community grids take massive number-crunching jobs that would normally be done on a frightfully expensive supercomputer and parcel them out to volunteers so the work can practically be done for free.

The only reservation I have is that it's not clear if it runs on Linux. In any event, a big hug to my old friend Mary Lou for passing this on.

UPDATE: Just been informed that this works on Winders and Linux, but not Macs.

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