The World Community Grid has brought hundreds of thousands of people and millions of computers together from across the globe to create the largest non-profit computing grid benefiting humanity. It does this by pooling surplus computer processing power from users’ PCs. Although the PC will be the minority participant in the networked world compared to tablets and smartphones, there are millions of PCs out there and most of them are utilized a very small percentage of the time. Instead of throwing old PC’s away, you can connect them to the World Community Grid, and let your spare computational capacity be deployed toward finding a cure for cancer and other diseases such as Ebola and Zika.
Grid computing has been around longer than cloud computing. It joins together many individual computers using the Internet, creating a large system with massive computational power that far surpasses the power of a handful of supercomputers. Because the work is split into small pieces that can be processed simultaneously, research time is reduced from decades to months. It is very easy to get involved in this–its very similar to installing a screensaver. Just visit worldcommunitygrid.org and in a few minutes you will be helping the world.
In January, I built a PC, something I have wanted to do for a long time. (I will post a separate story about the project). The PC is on a table in a closet in my Florida home. It is 100% dedicated to the World Community Grid. I first joined the grid on November 17, 2004. Since that time, my various PCs I connected to the Grid have contributed 14 years, 31 days, and 16 hours of computing power to the Grid, working on supporting various projects of scientists around the world. Presently, the new dedicated PC is part of the OpenZika project. Dr. Carolina Horta Andrade, the principal investigator for the new OpenZika project, is heading an international team of researchers, using the World Community Grid to accelerate the search for an effective anti-Zika treatment. Hopefully, the enormous amount of computing power of the Grid will bring results soon.