What Is BOINC: How To Donate Computer Time To Goodwill

Have you ever heard about different projects where you can donate your computer time when you are not using it to help cure diseases? It is much simpler than you think to get started. This is the first part of a series of posts that will explain what, how and when of the BOINC project. This part of the series, I will go over what the BOINC project is and briefly explain some of the definitions of the project.

What is BOINC? BOINC stands for Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing – which is long for turning a group of computers into one big supercomputer. The point of the BOINC project is to network computers together to make them all work for a purpose. There are many different projects that you can donate your computer time towards (which will be in a later post in the series).

What are BOINC projects? Boinc projects are various projects that you can donate your unused computer time towards. They range from finding extra-terrestrial, to finding a cure for Zika and cancer, to calculating if asteroids are going to hit Earth. You can choose each project you want to donate to and how much time your computer donates to each project.

Who runs the projects? Various groups run the different projects. It depends on what the project is targeted to solve, but usually, they are backed by a college or university. Take for example the SETI@home project, it is backed by the University of California, or Universe@Home is backed by the Univeristy of Warsaw.

What do I get for running the BOINC project? There are a couple things you “get” for running the project, which pretty much just all points to bragging rights. You know that your computer is running for the goodwill of others. You also get credits if you join an account manager and can be on leaderboards and competitions. You can create or join groups and create competition with your friends.

What is a project manager? A project manager is a system that is free to use that allows you to manage multiple computers from one central website. The Boinc install will connect to the manager and take commands such as running set projects, computing times, etc.

There will be more posts to follow explaining projects you can run, how to install, how to use project managers, etc.

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