Information Technology Reference
• Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search
Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS)  is the oldest of the major VC
projects, stated in 1996. In the ten years since this project has been running, the
computers participating in it have discovered thirteen previously unknown Mersenne
primes, the most recently discovered one being the second largest known prime num-
ber (the 47th known Mersenne prime, 2 42,643,801 − 1 , on April 12th, 2009).
Distributed.net , the organization that started the second largest VC project, be-
gan in 1997. Distributed.net used their VC projects to win several cryptographic
challenges, including the CS-Cipher Challenge, and four challenges sponsored by
SETI@home [11, 12] is probably the most well known VC project. The project,
conceived in 1995 by David Gedye and started in May 1999, searches for extrater-
restrial life by processing the signals collected by radio telescopes. In addition to just
scanning the data for signs of extraterrestrial life, the SETI@home client program
displays a screen saver showing information about the signals it is currently process-
ing. As of April 30, 2010, over two million years of CPU time (72,962,101,899 credit
) had been contributed to this project .
VC projects are developed based on the client-server architectural model. The VC projects
require both hardware and software on both client and server sides. Project's sponsors
provide server hardware and both server and client software, while volunteers supply client
hardware as shown in Fig.1.
Figure 1. Provisions of VC components .
The server has many responsibilities in VC projects. The server's first responsibility
is managing the infrastructure for the project. This consists of hosting a web page where
volunteers can learn about the project and download the client software. The server must