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Rant2: Your CPU time

So, here you are, sitting in front of a computer. It's probably a PC, or a Mac. I am sitting in front of one too.

Now, the computer you are in front of is undoubtedly pretty powerful. I mean it may not be state-of-the-art, but compared to a computer that is ten years old, it's very fast.

How much of your computer's power do you think is being used, most of the time? It's almost certainly nearly none. Technically speaking, your CPU is idle most of the time. It can perform millions of operations every second, but actually spends most of its time idle.

You can, like me, make use of 100% if your CPU power with little effort. And in doing so, you can help a number of projects around the world.

You just have to download and install a small application, run it - and that's it! The application gets a chunk of stuff to process using the Internet, then sets about processing it.

At the moment, I am running a United Devices client. It is using some of my CPU idle time to perform medical research calculations. I can win cash from United Devices for donating some CPU time to them.

I am also running a client. It is using some of my CPU idle time to test the strength of cryptographic security algorithms and perform maths research. I could win a prize from

The programs do not affect the performance of my computers. All I need to do is connect to the Internet occasionally.

Let your computer do something useful - donate your idle CPU time to one of these projects:

Remember - wasted CPU time can never be regained.

If you get one of these applications going, then let me know (unless you're someone I don't know).

Last updated: 30th March 2001
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001 Jonathan Stevens
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