The Berkley Open Infrastructure Network Computing program is a FANTASTIC way for researches to harness the power of other computers, to aid their.
The most common use of the BOINC Project is the SETI, (Search for Extra-terristrial Intelligence)@ Home program.
Let me quickly explain how this works. BOINC is a program that you download from http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ and install on your computer. After the install is complete, you then have the choice of 'projects' you wish to attach to your BOIC software. That's when you attach a project, say SETI@Home to your BOINC software. Most people will run BOINC as their screen saver. When your computer is inactive for a time, (your choice how long), BOINC will begin to run. When it's running, what is does is this: It uses a small amount of your computing power, which is then transferred to the SETI project. Thus boosting the power at the SETI station. You will then have as your screen saver, old graphs and feeds from the real SETI project. It's kind of fun to watch, too.
There are many other projects you can choose from to, each with its own unique screen saver. All of which are very colourful, a fun to watch.
So, all in all, I highly recommend this as a small piece of software you and to your computer. If for no other reason, than to help search for extra-terrestrial life, or help find a cure for cancer, other things of the like. So, do to http://boinc.berkeley.edu/, and download this little program. You certainly won't regret it!