Distributed computing in the service of COVID research

Information

The active status displays are shown also in the extended view of the BOINC manager. This window is also structured by tabs. You will find a News tab with a very simple feed reader showing you the latest information on the individual projects, along with their keywords. Links take you to websites with the full details.

The Projects tab lists the projects you have selected in tabular form, and Tasks shows you the tasks within the active projects. Each of these tasks has a status indicator; using the progress bars, you can see the progress of the compute work in each task. The software updates this information in near real time (Figure 4).

Figure 4: The detailed view shows you which tasks the software will complete, along with a time scale.

You can access graphics settings in the Transfer, Statistics, and Disk tabs; some of these settings let you customize to suit individual performance criteria.

Conclusions

The World Community Grid is an innovative option for consigning idle computer capacities to the service of science. The BOINC software does not pose any problems for newcomers and is simple enough to virtually rule out any issues due to incorrect use.

The project launched by the Forli Lab and Scripps Research to explore therapeutic options against COVID-19 provides an excellent opportunity to put your surplus resources to good use. But do keep in mind that computing power costs electricity.

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