Folding at home

So I’ve been in and out of folding at home for about three years now. I really love the idea of this project and the potential it has. At the moment I don’t fold because my current computer is a bit unstable and it dies sometimes when it is stressed. But I still visit the website sometimes to watch the statistics, or read their forums.

I really feel that distributed computing is the future. There are many problems which can be partially solved with the help of computers, and if everyone would supply their computers to distributed computing projects they would be solved alot quicker than they are today. And we would find solutions to problems which would otherwise be impossible.

We humans have access to LOADS of calculational horsepowers. But most of this is just standing on idle, doing nothing. This folding at home project got 429,225 active CPUs at the moment according to this stats page. That is a pretty amazing amount in my opinion, but what is even more impressing (and important) is the amount of FLOPS this project has access to. The project is as we speak working at a speed of 8549 TFLOPS, or 8.5 Peta FLOPS (!!).

Now this is alot of computational power. But it is still a really small cut of what is available around the world. I do not have access to any numbers, but I would imagine there is well over 100 million computers in use around the world. If half of them would join this project and have the same average power the project would end up having about 1000 Peta FLOPS or 1 Exa FLOPS in computational power. And I think this estimate is pretty low in regard to the actual numbers.

So well yeah, distributed computing is something we humans need to organize and use to its fullest potential, to our advantage. If you havn’t tried out folding at home yet, you should!

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~ by husthust on April 26, 2009.

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