BOINC, as many may know is a grid/distributed computing client, which in some ways sprang out of the Seti@Home project. Indeed, the ‘Seti Classic’ client, as of last month no longer functions, and in a process which started over a year ago, users of Seti@Home have been asked to migrate their work over to the BOINC client.
Since about July 2000 (according to my Seti@Home profile anyway), I’ve tried, whenever I remembered, to set up a client on machines when I built them, but I’d sometimes forget. I started on Seti, then got a bit bored of it, and moved onto United Devices, with their cancer and anthrax research, and then the Folding@Home project, which I find quite interesting, even if my brain can’t quite handle the whole concept. I’m doing that via WorldCommunityGrid.Org.
Nowadays, there are a few general purpose clients, with United Devices and BOINC being the main ‘multi-project’ ones, so organisations like WorldCommunityGrid.org will accept work units from both on most platforms.
Which client then? I’ve used BOINC, Seti@Home Classic, and the United Devices clients previously, though I prefer BOINC purely because it’s open source and happens to work on all the platforms I have – United Devices is Windows only. Also, BOINC supports all the projects I want too. Therefore, on my Windows box I have BOINC working on the Proteome Folding@Home project, and on my Mac, Seti@Home, mainly because Folding@Home via WorldCommunity.org wont accept Mac analysed units via BOINC for a couple of months.
So, I get to continue supporting both efforts on all my home machines, whilst they’d be doing nothing but running a screen saver. It’ll also be my first Seti units in almost a year, and the one person left in the old team from 2000 who has been keeping an old machine chugging along is now very far ahead of me. Time to get those CPUs cranking.
The Seti team is called “Tokyo Coffee Support“. Since a lot of this is from such a long time ago, here’s a five year old page from the Brightblack site on it. Time to bring it out of retirement!