What is Distributed Computing?
Distributed Computing is a way of combining the processing power of thousands of small computers (ie: PCs) to solve very complex problems that are too large for traditional supercomputers, which are very expensive to build and run. DC projects are based on the donation of CPU cycles by users in return for points. The DC projects that CD Freaks currently supports are mainly focused on curing diseases.
How does DC work?
Participants in the DC project install a small program called a client on their computers which automatically receives Work Units (WUs) processes the WUs, then sends the results back to the project.
Will DC slow down my computer?
No. The clients are designed to run in the background at lowest priority, meaning the client will only use free CPU cycles and will never â€œstealâ€ CPU cycles from other programs.
What are Work Units?
A Work Unit, or WU for short, is a small chunk of the problem being worked on by the DC project, each user receives and processes WUs, then when the results are sent back, the researchers analyze and reassemble the chunks.
Which DC project should I join?
That is up to your personal preference and which diseases you would like to donate CPU time for.
The current diseases being researched on Folding@Home are:
* Alzheimer's Disease
* Huntington's Disease
* Osteogenesis Imperfecta
* Parkinson's Disease
* Ribosome & antibiotics
More info on F@H projects can be found here:
The current research projects on World Community Grid are:
* Help Cure Muscular Dystrophy
* Fiocruz Genome Comparison
* Help Defeat Cancer
* Human Proteome Folding - Phase 2
More info on the WCG projects can be found here:
Can I join both WCG and F@H?
Yes, if you install both the BOINC client for WCG and either the text only console or the graphical client for F@H, your free CPU cycles will be split evenly between F@H and WCG.
I have dial-up internet, can I still join?
Yes, the clients only need to connect to receive new work and send finished work, and the files are not too large to transfer over dialup.
How does the points system work?
Points are awarded for completed WUs and are roughly based on the amount of science done and the amount of system resources used. Points allow users and teams to see how much work they have contributed, and also allows them to compare their output to that of other users and teams.
Feel free to post other questions or suggestions for additions/changes/etc, but please keep them general DC related as there are a few more FAQs on the way