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SETI @Cell

Start writing peer to peer computing problems for cell os
  (+5, -6)
(+5, -6)
  [vote for,

theircompetitor, Jan 03 2004

Picture of BlueBerry phone http://www.blackber...ID=ILC-CK6249565755
[theircompetitor, Oct 17 2004]

Prime95 http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm
"You need a Pentium-class computer with Windows 3.1, Windows 95/98/Me, Windows NT/2000/XP, OS/2, Linux, or FreeBSD. You must also agree to abide by the prize distribution rules." [Klaatu, Oct 17 2004]

Thread discussing experimentation in this area http://setiathome.b...thread.php?id=48239
[theircompetitor, Mar 02 2009]

Conveneer raises money to use cell phones as web servers http://www.techcrun...hones-into-servers/
[theircompetitor, Mar 04 2009]

(?) Using Smartphones to gather research http://www.popularm...search/4308375.html
[theircompetitor, Apr 05 2009]

(?) Somewhat related http://www.calxeda.com/
This is a startup that is planning to use cellphone chips to create data centers. [theircompetitor, May 14 2011]

cellphones hunting for black holes, @seti style http://www.wired.co...3/03/android-boinc/
[theircompetitor, Mar 27 2013]

You're Welcome, Mr. Hawking http://fortune.com/...en-hawkings-aliens/
[theircompetitor, Jul 22 2015]


       What's "cell os"?
phoenix, Jan 03 2004

       Cell operating system, sorry.   

       In other words, all those cell phones are sitting there, idle a good amount of the time.   

       Harness the computing power.
theircompetitor, Jan 03 2004

       text an alien? I'd have better luck getting a return text than from my sons...
po, Jan 03 2004

       Never had an issue with my sons -- I already dealt with the wives and daughters in The Handbag is The Cellphone :)   

       SETI of course is one examples. Maybe we can have them calculating primes.
theircompetitor, Jan 03 2004

       Do cellphones have enough processor power to make this possible?
Do they have enough of memory to hold enough data to do meaningful processing?
Can cellphones multitask in any way?
My guess is that the answer to these questions will be 'no' for the majority of cellphones. When that changes we will probably see these applications emerge naturally.
st3f, Jan 03 2004

       Pretty sure they have the processing power. A PocketPC phone can play a pretty good game of chess.   

       The OS has to multitask by definition because it is real-time (i.e. even if you're typing an email on a blueberry it rings the phone)
theircompetitor, Jan 03 2004

       I've seen people type emails on a Blackberry, but never on a blueberry.
krelnik, Jan 03 2004

       krelink -- in case you're not kidding, and if the link doesn't work, it's on their homepage:   

theircompetitor, Jan 03 2004

       It's still not a blueberry, it's a Blackberry.
krelnik, Jan 03 2004

       got it -- thanks
theircompetitor, Jan 03 2004

       This is more a matter of battery power, as opposed to CPU power. If mini-fuel cells were developed to power your phone for years at a time, nobody would mind. Cell phone software already updates itself automagically (newer phones anyway). Until we use up all of the excess cycles in the ever more powerful PC's out there, I don't think there'd be much of a need, though.   

       Some fluffy biscuitry though, since I like the idea of putting slack capacity (in every thing from using offices as classrooms at night, to CPU cycles) to work on things that don't generate enough profit motive on their own.
latka, Jan 03 2004

       krelnik -- let me assure you, as I and many of my colleagues have these -- everyone calls them blueberrys.   

       But point taken.
theircompetitor, Jan 03 2004

       latka -- don't you think if the battery can take playing asteroids or tetris or chess it can take a subdivision of a peer network problem?
theircompetitor, Jan 03 2004

       (_!_) Are there cell phone operating systems? I'd figure they're dedicated devices.   

       The ones integrated into PDAs surely don't rely on the CPU to operate - why should they? All they need to do is pass phone numbers back and forth.
phoenix, Jan 04 2004

       Not quite up to par for figuring new Mersenne Primes. <link>
Klaatu, Jan 04 2004

       [phoenix] - probably depends on the phone; eg, a Nokia series 60 phone (3650 et al) runs Symbian 6.1 on an ARM. In my searching I've found no evidence of an additional microcontroller governing the telephony.   

       Some phone/pda compos clearly have separate procesors for each half (eg Nokia 9000 series, at least pre-symbian ones).   

       All cellphones have some form of processor and thus run some code; whether that counts as an operating system is probably a hazy line.
benjamin, Jan 04 2004

       any combo device (i.e. pda/phone) is designed to run multiple programs by definition, and designed to take outside input, from email to ring tones to code updates. And of course it has communications down.   

       Therefore it seems like distributing problems and collecting results should be pretty doable.
theircompetitor, Jan 04 2004

       "...a Nokia series 60 phone (3650 et al) runs Symbian 6.1 on an ARM..."
This goes back to my initial point. It's not a matter of "writing peer to peer computing problems for cell os", it's a matter of writing a downloadable application written to run on a given processor within a given environment - if the device even has that capability.

       I'd suspect this might be possible in 5 years (if you use the definition of cell phone loosely), but only because all cell phones will eventually be PDAs (or is it the other way around?). I say "might" because people in general are tired of dealing with viruses on PCs and won't want that to be a problem on something like a cell phone, so I expect application development to be fairly tightly controlled by service providers.
phoenix, Jan 04 2004

       5 years later, SETI should do a free iPhone app, if only for the publicity
theircompetitor, Mar 02 2009

       It looks as if nobody's considered the expense of sending all this data back and forth.
Spacecoyote, Mar 02 2009

       //It looks as if nobody's considered // the impact on battery life.
coprocephalous, Mar 02 2009

       [latka] mentioned battery life.
Spacecoyote, Mar 02 2009

       Oh yeah.
Maybe this idea could be implemented using spare processing capacity in the base-stations then.
coprocephalous, Mar 02 2009

       I'm sure my washing machine is now clever enough to run SETI and won't have any battery problems. I'd love it if my washing machine found aliens.
wagster, Mar 02 2009

       I'd love it if my washing machine found socks.
Spacecoyote, Mar 02 2009

       re: power demands of sustained number crunching with battery-powered devices:   

       I've never numbercrunched with a cellphone but I've done it with laptops. The software consumes 100% of CPU cycles for one (out of two) cores. This reduces by a factor of about 5 the time 'till battery recharge needed. Also, a lot of heat, as you'd expect. Cellphones would be more battery-efficient, of course, but correspondingly slower at computing.   

       And networking large numbers of slower CPUs might not solve the problem, because cellphone network bandwidth, unlike cellphone computational capacity, isn't necessarilly in a state of oversupply.   

       But optimising algorithms for such a system would be interesting.
mouseposture, May 14 2011

       Maybe only when the phone is plugged in.
Voice, May 15 2011

       Were running out of spectrum to be used for more pertinent issues, so i think this is not a good use of the transmission medium.
bob, May 16 2011

       Funny to see the bones for something that is being baked in real life.
AusCan531, Mar 28 2013

       Just because something is (being) baked, doesn't mean it's a good idea.   

       That being said I don't really have a problem with this one. Most smart phones end up using less spectrum the more data they handle, because people are careful to keep them on WiFi rather than the data network.
MechE, Mar 28 2013

       'cell os' definition: A peer to peer system of state prisoners sent numerical problems by letter which, on completion and return, earn magic smoke packets.
wjt, Jul 24 2015

       something to do during recharging. Good idea. mfd flavour.   

       Aren't there like a gazillion different hardware architectures for cellphones ? So, if you want it done right, that means a gazillion different assembly level programs to write.
FlyingToaster, Jul 24 2015

       I don't think there were at the time the idea was written. At the time you had Blackberries and Palm OS phones in the US.
MechE, Jul 24 2015

       From watching this title come and go, but never reading it, I assumed the software had been ported to run on DNA and RNA.
pocmloc, Jul 24 2015


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