The Coronavirus menace has been spreading like wildfire across the world, and has resulted in a majority of countries turning to isolation and social distancing. These solutions, though primitive, are the only known fighting tactic against the deadly virus, and research is still on towards developing a concrete cure to end this menace once and for all.
In the past, researching a cure took months if not years to concoct, simply because there was no digital infrastructure that could help in the research effort, but this time, the situation is a little different. Recently, the news was circulated from ORNL, that the Summit Supercomputer had joined the fight against coronavirus and with the help of its 220,800 CPU cores, 188,416,000 CUDA cores, 9.2PB of memory, and 250PB of mixed NVRAM/storage, it had shortlisted 77 potential compounds that could kill the virus. This is the beauty of high-speed computing. A task that would have taken ages to complete, was completed in merely hours, thanks to advancements in processing technology and the robust infrastructure that we have started to develop.
Today, we are going to talk about another group who have now got the computing power that is greater than the seven best supercomputers combined, and we will also tell you how you can add to their strength and do your bit in helping accelerate the cure research for the Corona Virus.
The group in question is [email protected], and the technology we are talking about is shared computing. This is an initiative that was started by a group of enthusiasts worldwide, and thanks to the stupendous response of users across the globe, [email protected] is now churning out 470 PetaFLOPS of raw compute power. This is faster than not only the Summit Supercomputer, but also faster than 7 of the world’s best supercomputers combined.
How does it work?
The [email protected] works on the principle of shared computing. This is where multiple computers around the world form a single shared network in order to process tasks. Each computer donates a part fo the processing power and all of it combined is then used to accomplish tasks in superior fast times.
[email protected] has been using this concept in the past, for normal pursuits, like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s research. However, they have reported that since the advent of the coronavirus, they have received a 1,200% increase in contributors, and over 400,000 new volunteers over the last two weeks.
[email protected] has said that while they have the computing power at their disposal, they are falling short of work units, but that was being taken care of as we speak. They have also declared a call-to-arms across the world, to come and join this amazing network, and further accelerate the research that could potentially give us the cure we are so desperately waiting for.
How to join the fight?
If you have a PC at home, irrespective of the specifications, and you want to join this shared computing network and offer processing power to the cause, this is what you have to do.
If you have a Windows PC/Laptop
- The first step is to download the [email protected] application. Click here to do it. Once you have downloaded the application, double click on it to start the installation process.
- If you see a warning, do not worry. Just click on Yes and resume the installation process. You will now see the Welcome screen of the installer.
- In the welcome screen, click on next, and then go through the license agreement and if everything is in order, click on I Agree.
- Next, you will be given two options to install the [email protected] software. Here, choose the Express Install option and then click on Next.
- Now, the installer will detect the hardware on your PC and install the required FAHClients. If there are multiple cores available, the installer will adapt accordingly, and in a few moments, the software will be installed on your Windows PC/Laptop.
- Finally, on the last window, make sure you have checked the Start [email protected] option. Click on Finish.
- Now, in most cases, the Firewall will give you a prompt, and here, you have to click on the Allow Access option so that the application can access the internet.
- The web control manager window will open automatically and now, you have to set things up.
- Here, if you wish to use the application anonymously, check the Fold as Anonymous option. Else, check the Set up an Identity option and click on the Start Folding button.
- If you chose to set up an identity, in the window that follows, set a username, enter the team number, and also set a passkey. This will give you an extra layer of security.
- You will now see your personal dashboard, where you can tweak how much processing power you want to make available at any given point of time.