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Digsby Research Module

This page provides information about the Digsby Research Module, an optional feature in Digsby which helps us keep Digsby free for all our users. It is enabled by default.

What is the Digsby Research Module?

  • There are numerous research projects that require a massive amount of computing power to complete. One option is to run these on a supercomputer but there are very few of these in the world and renting time on them is very expensive. Another option is to break the problem up into many little pieces so each of the little pieces can run in parallel on thousands or even hundreds of thousands of regular computers. This is called Grid Computing. A few examples of popular grid computing projects are: Help Conquer Cancer, Discovering Dengue Drugs, FightAIDS@Home, and The Clean Energy Project. Besides these non-profit projects, there are many commercial applications for grid computing such as pharmaceutical drug discovery, economic forecasting, and web indexing. How does this fit into Digsby? We are testing a revenue model that conducts research similar to the projects mentioned above while your computer is idle. It is a very unique revenue model so we’d like to clarify what it does and how it works.

How does it work?

  • The module turns on after your computer has been completely idle for 5 minutes (no mouse or keyboard movement). It then turns off the instant you move your mouse or the press a key on the keyboard. We did this so it would have absolutely no effect on your computer’s performance and only uses processing power while your computer is not being used. It also runs as a “low priority” process so if any application on your computer asks for CPU power it will always get it before the research module gets it. On laptops, it will use a much smaller portion of your CPUs overall processing power than it will on desktops. It will also never turn on if your laptop is running on battery power.

What does it do?

  • We have partnered with Plura Processing to bring this functionality to Digsby. They have not launched yet but once they do, you can contact them via their website for full details about the projects that are running on Plura or if you require highly affordable on-demand computing power for your projects.

Is it safe?

  • The module and any projects it runs operate in a very secure Java sandbox when running on a user's computer. Any computing is done entirely in memory through the JVM, and the hard drive is not touched at all.

Can I turn it off?

  • We have made this module 100% optional. You can disable it by going to “Preferences > Research Module” and disabling the option or modifying how/when it can use your CPU.

Last modified: 2010/01/21 16:54 by steve
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