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CNET News.com: Companies working on standard for distributed computing

Nov 09, 2000, 17:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen Shankland)

"Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer and SGI have joined with distributed computing software seller Platform Computing and a host of other companies to standardize the way computers are harnessed into distributed computing collections. ... The concept of distributed computing is what underlies the power of the SETI@home project, which uses idle PC time to collectively search for alien communication signals--but there are more profitable applications as well."

"Numerous start-ups are trying to take advantage of interest in the area, while Turbolinux and Sun Microsystems each have their own products for distributed computing. But distributed computing suffers from a problem: For a calculation to run on 1,200 different computers, someone has to write software for all those computers. It's not hard if it's 1,200 identical Windows PCs, but it gets more difficult when Unix servers, Linux workstations, Mac graphics stations or even intelligent refrigerators get thrown into the mix."

"The new consortium, called the New Productivity Initiative, hopes its standard will make it easier to take advantage of distributed computing. The group plans to seek the endorsement of an independent standards organization."

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