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What was the first voluntary project for distributed computing?



  Eraser artwork by Marin Mersenne
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Answer: GIMPS

Although SETI @ home – the project of the University of California, Berkeley, which has used tens of thousands of computers worldwide to analyze data from the Internet Arecibo Observatory Radio Telescope and the Green Bank Telescope ̵

1; for most geeks, the idea of ​​distributed computing was undoubtedly the premier address of its kind.

Three years before the start of SETI @ home project was the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) project , Founded in 1996, GIMPS focuses on the use of distributed computing power to find Mersenne primes – prime numbers that are one less than two – and named after the French priest and polymath Marin Mersenne (pictured here)). By the end of 2018, the project had a sustained overall throughput of about 324 TeraFLOPS and discovered 17 Mersenne primes (the known total was increased to 51).

Since the GIMPS project, distributed computing is being used in all areas These include SETI @ home (analysis of extraterrestrial signals), Folding @ home (simulated protein folding, computer-aided drug design and other types of molecular dynamics), Bitcoin (decentralized currency) and even Electric Sheep (to stimulate and develop fractal flames that are distributed and displayed as screensavers).


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