I’ve always been fascinated by large numbers. Math is pure and unhindered by politics, emotions, and the frailties of mankind. Back at Texas A&M, my Greek friend and I got a grant to use the Cray YMP-2 supercomputer to try to compute out Pi past the million digit place. The Cherdnoski (sp?) brothers had discovered a new formula that permitted the computation of it. Alas, we didn’t make it far.
So now there comes the GIMPS project which is looking for special primes. GIMPS stands for Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. So I have joined it by loading it on some server clusters I own that would otherwise be idle. So far, GIMPS finds a new prime about every year and a half. Of course my odds are about 1 in 100 over 10 years. But hey, it is free CPU cycles. I thought of running other BOINC projects like SETI@Home and Rosseta@home, but they make my server unstable, so I can’t run those. So I’m happy looking for big numbers.