What’s your computer doing when you’re not working on it, and that even means in your mental pauses? Using electricity and waiting for you.
How would you like to help with solving some interesting scientific questions when you’re not crafting how to make your business huge?
Well, you can and it’s as easy as getting connected with a “distributed computing” project. What that means is a small application is installed and it sense when your system isn’t being actively used and it cranks out some calculations and ships them off to the researchers. Great way to make those times when you answer the phone or door, or run down to the grocery store have some greater meaning, doesn’t it?
Wikipedia has a monster list of such projects that you can help out with. The first one was named SETI@Home, where interstellar radio signals collected were sent out to computers to help run the analysis to look for intelligent siganls from space. You can still do that one, but my machine has been folding proteins (Foldng@Home – the largest project currently running), a part of cancer research, for several years.
Not only can your CPU be involved, one of the interesting thing that has come about as a result of higer powered graphics cards is those GPUs are even faster in crunching the numbers. For you gamers (or who have gamers in the household), yuo can get science ahead faster! Better news: Even PlayStation 3s can be used.
So, consider finding one of the distributed programs and put your system to work for science!
My recommendation: Home Page for Folding@Home.