This is possibly the most incredible thing I've read all week! It's like having the biggest, fastest Beowulf cluster ever - and it's made up of hundreds of thousands of computers all over the world!
This wouldn't be possible without the Internet. I am completely stunned by this and what it could accomplish.
And yes I'm signing up!
From their forums:
To all members,
Today we crossed a significant milestone. Our virtual community of World Community Grid volunteers has racked up a whopping 20,000 years of computer time!
We have reached 20,000 years of run time in just under 1 year. This incredible achievement has brought the Human Proteome Folding project almost to its completion. It would have taken the Institute for Systems Biology, the project's sponsor, nearly 100 years to accomplish this with their existing supercomputers -- or one processor 20,000 years! Think about what humanity was doing that long ago and how far we have come. Simply amazing.
Congratulations and thank you for your contributions. We look forward to even greater accomplishments.
Ok, I took a look at my work machine and as far as I know, there's little point in adding it to the grid. It couldn't handle running it in the background and I use it constantly so there's no time for a screensaver to run apart from on my lunch. And I have to switch it off every night so it doesn't run when I'm not there.
As far as security goes, both my home computers are as protected as possible - firewalled, good anti-virus, and I run Spybot and Ad-Aware once a week. The grid doesn't seem any more risky than any other program that uses the net, to be honest.
The company I work for is pretty paranoid about security, and they'd be ok with me running the grid. It's just that there's no time for it to run.
Thanks muchly Jazz, I'll take note of everything ^^
I buy AMD chips and nothing else - my current PC has an Athlon XP and I love it to bits. I had to travel 60 miles to get to a computer store that sold laptops with AMD chips - literally every shop in my home city had Intel and nothing else (and I swore never to buy from a few places after they said "What kind of Pentium is that?" Morons...)
I got a 250GB hard drive at the moment. I may have to buy another if my fiancee doesn't stop downloading cartoons.
My favourite video cards have always been NVidia GeForce - I usually look for the newest one and then buy the one a step or two steps down from that.
When I buy cases I go for SIZE... ease of access and all that. (Size does matter!)
Now, I've heard some good stuff about Alienware computers - and yes, I have drooled over them, because a local internet cafe has a bunch and they look like the ultimate gaming machines on the planet... I'm wondering if it's possible to build a computer with the same specs and fine tuning of an Alienware? I don't have a few grand to throw away on one, otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion - but I'm wondering if I can make myself something close to one without going completely broke.