Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Volunteer Distributed Computing Project?

Folding@home
SETI@home
GIMPS
BitCoin
Etched artwork of Marin Mersenne.
Public Domain/Wikimedia

Answer: GIMPS

Although SETI@home—the University of California, Berkeley project that has enlisted tens of thousands of computers across the world to analyze data from the Arecibo Observatory Radio Telescope and the Green Bank Telescope—most certainly put the idea of distributed computing on the map for most geeks, it wasn’t the first project of its kind.

Three years prior to the start of the SETI@home project was the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) project. Started in 1996, GIMPS was (and remains) focused on using distributed computing power to find Mersenne prime numbers—prime numbers that are one less than a power of two, and named after the French priest and polymath Marin Mersenne (seen in the artwork here). As of May 2020, the project has a sustained average aggregate throughput of approximately 1.17 PetaFLOPS (or PFLOPS) and has discovered 17 Mersenne prime numbers (bringing the known total to 51).

Since the GIMPS project, distributed computing has been used for all manner of projects including SETI@home (analysis of extraterrestrial signals), Folding@home (simulated protein folding, computational drug design, and other types of molecular dynamics), Bitcoin (decentralized currency), and even Electric Sheep (for animating and evolving fractal flames, which are distributed and displayed as screensavers).

Trivia

Hard

“Dragon King” Is An Actual Title, And The King Rules Over?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Pigments Is Also A Life Saving Medicine?

Trivia

Hard

Which Cologne Do Scientists Use To Attract Wild Cats?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Brands Is Named After A Real Person?

Trivia

Easy

The First Large Mammals Sent To Space That Survived Were?

Trivia

Hard

Who Was The First To Use Radar To Detect Distant Objects?

Trivia

Very Hard

Up To One Fifth Of The Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks In England Were Linked To?

Trivia

Very Hard

Stars That Cannibalize Other Stars Are Known As?

Trivia

Hard

TIME Magazine’s “Man Of The Year” Cover Was Created After They Failed To Honor?

Trivia

Easy

Which Of These Categories Is Officially Banned By The Guinness Book Of World Records?