Distributed Charity

I know a lot of you run SETI@home on your machines but did you know you can use the same technique to support a wide variety of charitable causes, too?
Distributed computing is currently used by groups like the SETI Institute and the National Foundation for Cancer Research to do massive number crunching that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive.

Participants install a small program that runs in the background. The program downloads data from the Internet, crunches the numbers when your machine is idle, then uploads the results when it’s done.

For a list of worthwhile distributed computing projects visit Entropia or United Devices. I use the United Devices to support leukemia drug research.

Take a look at these pages and see if there’s a project you want to support. It’s a great and painless way to make a big difference.

12 Replies to “Distributed Charity”

  1. I went to the cancer link, thinking it was a great idea and something more practical to do than the SETI@Home project. I was very dissapointed to find that there is no Macintosh client. I realize that the project is sponsored by Intel, but it seems like something as important as trying to find a cure for cancer would transcend the politics of platform.
    Too bad, Intel — you could have taken the high road here.
    Anyone know of any less discrimintaing philanthrophic efforts that would like to make use of the gigaflop processing power in my Mac? 😉

  2. EB, is that a good or a bad thing?
    As for VCD/DVD, I’m not completely sure its a laser only thing. My APEX plays VCDs on CDRs just fine…but a friend’s Panasonic won’t, and it cost about $200 more than the APEX…as paranoid as this sounds, I think its content/copyright protection a la hardware…to protect the poor RIAA and MPAA from us “pirates”.
    Arrr Matey, Arrr….

  3. I run the Folding@Home program which analyzes proteins. It is supposed to help find cures for diseases. I am a part of the Speedguide.net Team.

  4. ted-
    there is a product from i think it is hotfiles.com called photo flip album. if it is not there try looking back through the TSS archives. Leo jsut talked about it within the last 2 weeks. i think it is shareware. that should do some of what you want to do. as for playing in the dvd player it may i’m not sure, but your dvd player has to support the vcd tech. there is the start of something for you to track down.

  5. Leo I had heard a report that this could leave you vulnerable to attack if you lower your security setting/firewall…. Is that true?

  6. Dear Observer, Why are you so cryptic? You seem to be someone who works with Leo or at least someone who knows a lot about Tech Tv. You remind me of “The Watcher” from a Doctor Who episode called “Logopolis.”
    As for playing homemade vcd’s or cd’s I think I read that your home DVD player has to have a dual laser to play those back. My dvd won’t play them, but I think the newer ones will.

  7. Leo.. I am going to use the program to help lekuima. My sister had it a few years ago and she is fine now.. And I allways try to help the research of lekuima cure by donating money, well now I will also donate computer time.. Thanks for letting me know about this leo..

  8. I read that if you read the EULA/Terms of Use for the philantropy software (as described in the header) that the company providing the service (forgot the name) has the right to use your machine for whatever it wants…including selling process time on it to other companies.
    Watch yer back, Jack!

  9. Anything will leave you vulnerable to attack if you lower your firewall…
    …that’s a given.

  10. Photo Album VCD
    I have heard about projects such as SETI which make use of home computers. I think it is a worthwhile cause and once it takes off I think everyone will donate to the cause of their choice. I don’t know what the issues are involved with it. That’s why I watch your station. I just mentioned it to a neighbor lady today after reading your blog and I hope you do a show on it.
    After getting yet another letter from my brother with pictures attached, I started to wonder if the VCD format could be used for JPGs. I don’t know if such a program exists, but if not it needs to be written.
    My brother is constantly sending me pictures of his family. I guess I should have saved them to a file and kept it up, but I didn’t and they are scattered all over the hard drive and back up CDs throughout various email programs. I’ve been watching the emerging vcd format with interest for videos that I’d like to save to a stable medium and I wonder if there’s a way photos could be viewed from a DVD player as well. If not I think it’s past due. Also over the years I have had many email programs with various organize files, mail folders, etc. If there was a program which I could plug them all into so I could sort through them all without having to keep switching it would be well worth the investment. On the bright side I finally found out what peeps are. Not that it matters I never really liked them. What was Stacee thinking?

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