Not a day goes by without seeing scientific breakthroughs, sometimes quite amazing, in many areas and frequently having a positive impact in our daily lives. These breakthroughs are often the culmination of years long, punishing, extremely resource-intensive research. Research centers and universities usually use supercomputers for their studies which prove to be very expensive and difficult to have, especially for small organizations with limited financial means.
Therefore, some scientists have naturally turned to a much more profitable and equally effective method: distributed computing. With this method, the work is divided into a multitude of units sent and retrieved via Internet and collected by a software with the gracious help of thousands of volunteer computers with available computing power. Once made, the work is always returned by Internet to then be studied and analyzed by the researchers.
BOINC is one of those apps that will allow you to perform such calculations very easily and participate in one of the greatest technological adventures of our time.
Once the application installed, you are asked, to begin with, to choose the projects that will regularly send work units directly to your computer. A brief description is associated with each of these projects, with among other things: the research area, the name of the organization and compatible systems. For people who are still unsure, there are a number of sites ( including the one from UC Berkeley who designed the app) explaining in depth the different features of these projects and how to integrate them to the software.
Once you selected the projects, you just have to click on "Update" to receive your first units of calculation that will now be visible in the "Tasks" tab. Very useful information (percentage of completion, elapsed time, remaining time, closing date) allow you to manage these units daily. New units will be downloaded automatically from the oldest transferred.
It is also possible in the software preferences to control precisely how the app handles different CPU and GPU depending on the project (use resources when the computer is in use, while in standby, at certain hours of the day or certain days of the week, when the CPU utilization is below a certain percentage...). You can also customize your network usage options (maximum download/upload speed, limit the work you want to take on, connection options...) and your preferences of your disk space and memory usages. You can even specify the apps which, when they are active, automatically stop the current calculations.
The total number of credits reported by calculating your units is available in the form of curves showing your daily progress in the "Statistics" tab. The "Disc" tab, meanwhile, shows you the amount of space occupied by the different projects on your hard drive.
BOINC Manager can even integrate an account manager such as BOINCstatsBAM! or GridRepublic, allowing you to manage from the Web the application behavior, view live your own statistics or incorporate a new team.
Other options to fine-tune the software are available for the more fussy among you.
Like hundreds of thousands of number crunchers worldwide, join the big family of science through BOINC Manager and distributed computing and help researchers in many countries to achieve significant breakthroughs in many different areas.
(for more information, please go to: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/index.php).
BOINC is a program that lets you donate your idle computer time to science projects like SETI@home, Climateprediction.net, Rosetta@home, World Community Grid, and many others.
After installing BOINC on your computer, you can connect it to as many of these projects as you like. Some are based at universities and research labs, others are run by companies and individuals.
You may run this software on a computer only if you own the computer or have the permission of its owner. Projects have different requirements such as memory size. If your computer is equipped with a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), you may be able to use it to compute faster.