Grid Computing

I’m back! The week or two off was good for me. Hopefully, it’ll help me focus and write more effectively. Please be patient with me; it’s likely you’ll see these mysterious, unexplained absences from time to time. I think in spurts.

Grid computing is the buzzword quickly circulating throughout the technology industry and the media. Basically, grid computing is the process of setting up a lot of small computers in a way that they can calculate a big problem by dividing it in smaller parts. This way, you can build a powerful supercomputer with inexpensive components. You can even use existing company computers or enlist the public for help, lowering the cost even more.

The possibilities are profound. The first public grid, SETI@home, was designed to search for radio signals that might be indicative for extraterrestrial life. I had participated in this a few weeks, until I stumbled on this convincing article from Even so, the technology itself was fascinating. Because you could potentially get thousands of computers to donate their unused clock cycles, the potential for total processing power is astonishing. It could easily surpass my local supercomputer, the Maui High Performance Computing Center.

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