In the world of computers, size
matter. Both ways.
Computers, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Except you've never seen people who tip the scales at 200-plus tons. Or expand so radically they essentially cover the earth. Or shrink so small they're no longer visible.
Or have you? If so, put down the medication. Immediately. And seek help. Lots and lots of help.
And then come back and continue reading. For today we're going to look at the extremes. The smallest. The fattest. The most grandiose. And all things between—including a couple of quick jaunts down memory lane that'll have you pining for the innocent days of olde.
Like a contestant on The Biggest Loser, we'll start big and go small. And what better way to lead off than with the glove-covering giant some out-of-the-box thinkers claim is the biggest computing setup ever designed.
In a project known as SETI@home (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), computers planet-wide lend their idling CPUs to the search for interplanetary life. Arguably the foremost example of distributed computing, SETI is already acknowledged by the Guinness crowd as the largest computation in history.