PVM (Parallel Virtual Machine) is a portable message-passing programming system, designed to link separate host machines to form a ``virtual machine'' which is a single, manageable computing resource. The virtual machine can be composed of hosts of varying types, in physically remote locations. PVM applications can be composed of any number of separate processes, or components, written in a mixture of C, C++ and Fortran. The system is portable to a wide variety of architectures, including workstations, multiprocessors, supercomputers and PCs.
distributed.net is a loosely knit group of computer users from all of the world that is taking up challenges requiring lots of computing power (most notably the RC5, DES, and OGR cracking contests). It is simple to participate in the challenges by downloading and running their client software (which uses idle CPU time to complete its tasks).