November 3, 2003

The Grid, Linux as a Grid, April 2005, Intel, Intolerable Cruelty

About a year or so ago I spent a little time using Kazaa to see what the phenomenon was. I was a late-comer to the party by any reasonable definition
and I didn't stay long, because I found Kazaa irritating to use with its pop-up ads and tendency to fail to complete a download. But I got an
appreciation of the peer-to-peer phenomenon, which was what interested me.

Technically, and in line with their public posturing, Kazaa doesn't steal music (or films or whatever) it just points you at files that can be copied
publicly and organizes the download. (It's a directory really). It is not, in my opinion, good at what it does, but by any reasonable definition it
constitutes a loosely connected grid and, as such, it stands as a model for what could be done.

PCs still sell in droves - about 120 million each year. They are underutilized to an amazing degree. Even when they are actively used - say on a daily
basis - it is doubtful whether 5 percent utilization is ever achieved.



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