So it goes without saying that average Joes can’t just get themselves a supercomputer. But many scientific researchers also don’t have access to them, even if they work at a university that owns one.
Particularly in the health, meteorology and astrophysics fields, scientists need immense processing to perform complex calculations in a reasonable amount of time. It might take a decade to run a set of modeling experiments on a standard personal computer.
But if you link millions of ordinary PCs together and split the calculations across them, you get a virtual supercomputer. That’s exactly what some people are doing. [Read more...]