How to bring distributed computing to masses?

. Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Have you heard about world fastest super computer ? Who made it? Cray(CRAY), IBM (IBM), HP (HPQ) ??? NO


By itself, it barely play latest video game or maybe play High Definition video - not nearly enough to run DNA mapping for example.


Bring 1000, 100000 or a million of them together and what you get? A world fastest Super-Computer and for FREE !!!
For example enthusiasts supported Folding-at-Home project currently have almost 280,000 active CPUs bringing it's power equal to 1452 TFlop/s, almost THREE Times faster than the worlds fastest Super-Computer - IBM BlueGene/L installed at DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) with a Linpack performance of now 478.2 TFlop/s

I think one of the questions we ought to ask ourselves, how come so little people contributed their "wasted cpu cycles" for such important project?
There has to be way to significantly boost those numbers!


While project founders say the client uses only the "Idle" cycles - which is true, however there is a price for this "Free" computing power and it's name is Electricity consumption.
The fact is really simple - while your PC's CPU idling because you prefer to leave your office/pc always on, its power consumption, lets say on average is 150-180W or whole system (unless you running crazy raid setups and quad video cards), but under 100% load at all times this number could easily double or triple, especially if Folding@Home Client running on Video Card.


As I can see it, contributing to such (not-profit) project should be considered a charity, and the fact your are donating thru your electrical company bill in end of each month, and thus as any charity contribution should be considered TAX Deductible (of course with limits set in law regulation amount of such deductions).
Not to hard to take average national electrical charge per kWatt, CPU/VGA Full usage overhead and you get a number in end of year, lets say in my VERY rough approximation about $300-400. Now, to be able to write off this amount from taxes should be plenty of motivation for MUCH more people to join and help.
Cost to project - $0, some costs to government, but then again , utility companies pay faxes too :)

Nothing more will motivate people than software on you pc will show a number of dollars you contributed this year so far.

* Or PlayStation 3