Is distributed computing dying, or just fading into the backdrop?

News Summary

  • SETI@home was a prime candidate for distributed computing: Each individual work unit was a unique moment in time and space as seen by a radio telescope.Twenty-one years later, SETI@home shut down, having found nothing.
  • We have no way of knowing all the reasons people quit (feel free to tell us in the comments section), but having nothing to show for it is a pretty good reason.SETI@home’s history is emblematic of the churn that typifies the distributed computing world.
  • Each piece of the project is independent of the others; a distributed computing project wouldn't work if a process needed the results of a prior process to continue.
  • A UHN spokesperson declined to comment for this story.With the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, there was a new darling in the distributed world: Folding@home, a simulator trying to understand how proteins adopt functional structures.
  • So many people launched it on their computers that it broke the exaFLOP barrier long before supercomputers did.But as the pandemic waned, so did interest in the project.
  • Folding@home had been around for more than 20 years simulating protein folding to understand how diseases were formed.
Enlarge/ This image has a warm, nostalgic feel for many of us.17 with Distributed computing erupted onto the scene in 1999 with the release of SETI@home, a nifty program and screensaver (back whe [+3205 chars]