Panther Software and Research Company (psr.com), located in South
Carolina (U.S.), mainly does software R&D (i.e., "services", not "retail
products"). As a service to the community at large, below are some
worthwhile and interesting projects.
Distributed computing projects
These projects only require your computer's time. If your computer (or, in some
cases, even your cellphone) is on but frequently idle, and it has an Internet
connection at least once in a while, you can use its idle time to contribute to
your choice of distributed computing projects. The project software runs at low
priority, so that your work always comes first and only the time your computer
would have been idle is donated.
Many of the distributed computing projects below use Berkeley's
BOINC management software.
Projects using it benefit from having a standardized way of managing work
units among a large number of computers. Volunteers get the ability to
participate in multiple projects if they wish, and can limit run times,
resource use, etc.
The underlying BOINC software is available for Android, MS Windows(x86, x64),
Mac OS X (PPC, x86, x64, Apple silicon), Linux(x86, x64, ARM), and Raspbian
(Raspberry Pi). Not all project's software can run on all platforms, however.
Here are just a few of the many distributed computing projects looking for
donated computer time:
- Folding@Home (protein folding
Rosetta@Home are two of
several projects helping find new drugs and understand biological molecules
both to understand diseases and find treatments and cures. Versions of
these clients are available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX. In the early
days of 2020, Folding@Home, for example, was instrumental in finding
- Einstein@Home, officially called
the All-sky pulsar search, is searching data gathered at Arecibo for
both radio pulsars in binary systems and proof of gravity waves.
E@H software uses BOINC and is available for all the BOINC platforms listed
- FightAIDS@Home is run by
The (non-profit) Scripps Research Institute. The project uses the
World Community Grid and
has software for Android/ARM, MS Windows, Mac OS/X, and Linux/x86.
- Mersenne.org is the home for GIMPS,
the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. On December 21, 2018,
almost exactly one year after the 50th was reported, GIMPS announced that
volunteer Patrick Laroche from Ocala, Florida discovered the 51st:
282,589,933 - 1, which has 24,862,048 digits. Some years ago,
GIMPS volunteers won the Electronic Frontier Foundation's $100,000 award for
discovery of the first 10 million digit prime number.
- As described on their web site at
SETI@Home, the Search for
Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence project went on hiatus (a.k.a
"hibernation") last year (2020). If you liked SETI@Home, check out
U.C. Berkeley's scienceunited.org.
There you'll find other BOINC-based scientific research projects looking for
computing help in fields such as astronomy, physics, biomedicine,
mathematics, and environmental science, including Universe@Home (astronomy),
Cosmology@Home (astronomy), RNA World (molecular biology), and
ClimatePrediction.net. Pick the ones that interest you.
- For an even more extensive list of other projects, check
Citizen Science projects
There's lots of real science work that is now progressing a lot faster or able
to be a lot more comprehensive because people are volunteering to help collect
and/or sort through data for science efforts they care about. Projects can be as
simple as taking pictures around your home (e.g., to see what wildlife is around),
or helping analyze or compare pictures (which humans can often do much better than
computers). If you might be interested, check out:
Some of these projects use open-source hardware tools from
Public Lab that you might find interesting
in their own right. For example, Public Lab offers a USB-connected spectroscope
for $45 (as of 03/2015) as well as other innovative solutions for otherwise
Volunteer work (U.S.)
been named as one of the best Activist sites for matching people willing to
volunteer with organizations looking for volunteers. Enter your Zip code
and/or interests and get a list of organizations near you.
Challenges that pay
Are you an inventor or problem solver? NASA press release 10-211 described
challenge.gov this way:
This new online platform empowers the federal government to bring the best
ideas and top talent to bear on the nation's most pressing problems. On
this site, entrepreneurs, innovators and citizen solvers can compete for
prizes by providing novel solutions to tough problems.
- NASA Solve: "Help solve tough
problems related to NASA's mission through challenges, prize competitions,
From Groklaw.net on June, 2009:
The Case Against Software Patents - Red Hat's EPO-G3/08 Amicus Brief
Many other companies, universities, and organizations around the world have
the acronym P.S.R. and/or have an Internet domain name containing the string
"psr". None of them have any affiliation with psr.com, which is solely in
the U.S. For their domain names (if they have one), please refer to their
publications or advertising.