I try to be a little bit energy-consumption aware. Squeeze out the most mpg as possible, switch off appliances on standby, etc. Still, computer stuff being my profession, lappy runs most of the day and evening. And yes, I do switch it off when I go to bed and slam the lid (=standby) when I expect to be away for a while. But still, the thing is working it’s butt off when I am actually doing things on it, but it’s idling most of the time still. The cpu usage shown is what the task manager was recording while I was actually typing this blog post: about 1% is time the chip is actually working for me.


So, I installed BOINC again (what used to be seti@home for those who remember) and dedicate all that idle time to the world. The only issue left was what project to donate it to. I decided not to go for SETI (the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, even if I wholeheartedly support their cause, but instead join the World Community Grid, together with a small 400.000 others. This is a sort of meta-project, doing the selection and infrastructure for causes that benefit directly to humanity.

World Community Grid supports research that is:

  • Focused on solving problems to benefit humanity;
  • Conducted by public or nonprofit organizations;
  • Contributed to the public domain; and
  • Accelerated by grid computing technology.

Research projects that benefit from grid technology are those that perform computations that require millions of computer processing units (CPUs) and that can be divided into smaller independent computations.

Examples of potential fields of study include:

  • New and existing infectious disease research – development of treatments for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), etc.
  • Genomics and disease – functions of proteins that are coded by human genes and how they might relate to cures for common diseases
  • Environmental research – meteorology and severe weather warning, pollution, remediation, climate modeling, and others
  • Natural disasters and hunger – earthquake warning, information on improving crop yields and livestock production, and evaluation of the supply of critical natural resources such as water

Go there to join, put that wasted electricity to work. And if you like, you can join the small team I am inĀ  “Lotus Notes and Domino Support”. Here’s how my cpu usage looks now. I’ll probably write more about sharing, and less about political outrage, but who knows what happens.


ps: Yes, I do know lappy now even uses a tad more energy as the cpu uses less when idling, but that tiny offset more than compensates in my opinion the gift of 99% of my cpu cycles.