Did you know that your computer sits idle for most of the time that it is on? Did you know that you can harness this excess idle time and have it doing something useful, like helping understand the causes of diseases like Alzheimer's, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's and even some cancers? Yes, you can, and though the project is not new and has been working actively for the last few years, I have finally joined in the effort and donated the idle time of my computers toward the goals of the Folding@Home project.
The Folding@Home project is a "distributed computing project," which means that they use many computers throughout the Internet who elect to participate in the project and give each computer a piece of a very difficult problem to solve. Its like having supercomputers solve the problems, but without a single supercomputer - its actually the conglomeration of everyone's systems! Its actually a very noble goal and can potentially help hundreds to thousands of individuals afflicted with diseases caused by malformed proteins.
Its easy to join and is very unobtrusive. All you do is visit the Folding@Home project homepage, download the client, and install it onto your system. There may be some additional configuration, but that's optional for the most part. While the program is running, it sits in the background, waiting for your computer to be idle, at which point it kicks in and starts its computations. Its actually pretty neat! You can even create a username and/or a team, which I've done and joined my computers to. If you want to help, you can join the team I've created and we can help solve diseases together!
Team: Infinitum Software (# 175748)
Note: the image above may not appear due to high loads on the Folding@Home stats server.