WorldChanging writes about AlmereGrid, “a city-wide distributed computing grid. Taking advantage of the fiber-optic network installed in the town of Almere, in the Netherlands, AlmereGrid will be the first “heterogeneous city computer Grid” in the world, and will initially be used for medical and scientific research.”
AlmereGrid aims to select a number of essential and appealing applications with researchers “from the neighbourhood”. The advantage is that computing time donors can establish a relationship with the ongoing research. The computing time donors will receive a programme that has to be installed on their computer. AlmereGrid will only use the processors of the connected systems whenever the owner is not using the computer.
WorldChanging: “As fiber optic networks get installed in more communities, projects like this will become easier and easier to do. The motivations for joining in on projects will vary — some places will do so out of altruism, others will seek to rent “supercomputer” time to the highest bidder, and others will be driven to compete with neighboring towns for bragging rights over total calculations per month. And what happens when communities realize that the various computers around town (in everything from traffic light controllers to parking meters to, eventually, local information hubs) are actually “idle” for most of the time? The BOINC folks better start working on a version for embedded processors…”