[email protected] is when you a client give up some of your CPU time to do calculations and stuff for seti which stands for search for extraterestrial intelligence.
I know I got alot of this wrong as I think seti is a waste of cpu time but alot of people like this.
the reason for this I think is leasing super computer time etc.. is very expensive they can achieve the same goal by having 1,000's of home pc owners running the commands and uploading them I think though I may be way off.
DC programs help universities do research on projects which take major calculating power. Basically the work load is tossed off to any1 willing to help out. The programs utilize left-over cpu cycles to work in the background. For overclockers, they are useful since they keep a cpu under 100% load and are a good way to test stability. [email protected] crunches numbers for the search for extra-terrestrial life- run out of Berkley, while [email protected] figures out proteins and is useful for disease and cancer research-run out of Stanford. Either of these distrubuted computing programs are fun because there are teams and competitions to see who can do the most WU's (work units) the fastest.
I fold, so I'll suggest checking out [email protected] home if DC sounds interesting to you. Our team is falling behind and we could use some help.
While it is true that Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is where SETI gets it's name from, there is more to the program than just listening for ET to make a phone call. Many people forget that SETI was and still is the groundbreaker in the field of Distributed Computing Technology. They were the ones to show the world that it was possible to draw 3.5 million people together and work on a project successfully. The data being analyzed has other information to giveup to the scientific community. The data frequencies currently being analyzed reside in and around the natural frequency of Hydrogen, and the analysis can in the future pointout anomolies occurring in this frequency range that may help astronomers better understand processes taking place in the universe.
Any of the many Distributed Computing Projects is a worthwhile use of idle cpu cycles, it needs to be a matter of what interests you as an individual as to what project you get involved in. I have my preference, but that is me, you need to decide what is right for you, but no matter what your choice, putting your idle cpu cycles to some use is definately a "GOOD THING"!