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Donate your unused computer time for cancer research!

NomadicMike's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Feb 2013

Help find a cure! 

I've been a member of World Community Grid for about 8 years.  I've never had a problem with the software and don't even notice when it's running and it's free.

The World Community Grid is a public computing grid that is run by IBM with agent software from The University of California Berkeley.  There are currently over 600,000 members with more than 2.2 million comptuers all over the world constantly crunching numbers for a variety of research projects. 

There is a team called 'A Cure For Cancer' you can join or you can create your own team or you can just run on your own.  You can download and install the software and join the 'A Cure For Cancer' team from here:


Here is the main page for The World Community Grid: http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org

Read on below for more details on how it basically works and some configuration settings I have used myself.

The agent software running on your computer downloads work units from a central server, does the calculations (mine usually run for a couple of hours at a time), then uploads the results back to the server and gets more work to do.  It does this in batches, so there's always work for your comptuer to do.  If your internet connection goes out, it will try again later and when your internet connection comes back it will upload your results and download new work again - all automatically without any user interaction.

You can install the agent software on as many machines as you want and you can decide what research projects you want to donate your comptuer time to.

The only settings I have ever changed were for the agent running on my laptop.  You can control how much cpu utilization it uses - one of the earlier agent settings set it to 100%.  This made my laptop become hot and the fan would turn on.  I lowered it to about 60% and my laptop now runs much cooler.  I have a new desktop machine that does not generate as much heat - even when running at 100%, so I left it running full speed on that machine.

todd121's picture
Posts: 1105
Joined: Dec 2012

Perhaps you didn't know that Mike just had half of his kidney removed 2 weeks ago because of clear cell RCC?


NomadicMike's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Feb 2013

I think some people may feel like they are helpless against this disease - maybe it's a friend or wife or child or maybe even someone that has cancer.  This is one way they can do something and feel like they're doing something good - for all of us.

I don't gain anything from anyone donating their computer time.  Not sure why you would think that is bad, but I don't really care either so no response is necessary.

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

It's a great initiative Mike - many thanks for posting the information, the link and the re-assuring explanation!

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