I have been involved with distributed computing since college, and have always seen it as a great way to help aid in the solving of some of mankind’s complex problems. At Cyber-Safari, all of our computers ran SETI@Home as screensavers — I know this was not exactly the best use of all that computing power, but at least I was contributing to something. At the cafe, I also had our servers running the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS).
I continue to run GIMPS whenever I can on home computers and servers, and have been contributing (search for my name) now for quite some time. Something hit me this year, and I am not sure why, but I decided I wanted my distributed computing to work towards more humane problems — cancer and other diseases, for example. As a result, I have recently begun running Rosetta@home on a few computers. I think this project has the potential to actually do some good for all of us who have a disease, or know of someone who does.
To this end, I ask anyone who reads this to consider running Rosetta@Home on your own computer, or at the very least, run some sort of distributed program and donate your computer’s idle time. When enough of us join together in causes like this, we certainly can make a difference.