Now, I know you’re on your computer quite a bit. Trust me. I know. But there are times when your machine is just sitting there. Idle. Still on. But idle. What if—instead of sitting there all lonely—it could be doing good?
That’s the idea behind CPUsage, a young Portland startup that’s looking to put your machine’s idle time to good use. And maybe gives you a little something in return.
CirrusGrid harnesses the idle time on personal computers worldwide by offering computer owners valuable rewards in exchange for their “down time.” This enormous grid of unused computer power is the infrastructure CPUsage offers to their customers. To participate, computer owners simply sign up for an account and download CPUsage Cirrus software at CPUsage.com. Then, when a computer is left on but unused, CPUsage will securely harness the machines processing power and reward computer owners with redeemable points. Computer owners may then save up points and redeem them for rewards that include gift cards to popular retailers, electronics or even video game system credits.
It’s an interesting concept. And it always has me harkening back to last century when we had that screensaver for dedicating our idle computer time to the search for extra terrestrial intelligence (SETI). Remember that thing? I mean, yes, SETI@home is still around. So you can still search for E.T.
CPUsage works on basically the same principle. Much like that buzzword du jour “the cloud.” But they’ll be harnessing a distributed network of personal and business computers instead of a server farm. And they’ll be supporting a different group of people.