Dave Kosiur writes, "I looked over your last few TidBITS and was taken in by the SentientNET April Fools’ joke. However, even though you’ve now pointed readers towards the DCE stuff for other machines, there’s something even closer to home – for Macs. Apple, through its Advanced Technology Group and university research fund (or whatever it’s called), has been working with a group at the StatLab in Heidelberg on a project called NetWork. It’s currently designed to work on AppleTalk networks and lets you distribute processing over the network to other machines. They’ve worked very carefully to insure that the extra processing does not interfere with the user’s work – in this case, the network process backs off immediately if someone starts doing something on that Mac. The examples they provide with the code are: RemoteJob, a way to handle distributed use of MPW; Spinning Brain, a neural net that runs on the network; and ScreenSaver, an app that can be launched over the net when a machine is idle. The pertinent information and code has been available on the last two Developer’s CDs. It’s pretty interesting." [Would anyone who is familiar with this technology like to write an article about it?]
And speak of the devil. Guenther Sawitzki writes in a recent Info-Mac Digest, " The new version 1.2b2 of the NetWork software for distributed computing is on our file server statlab.uni-heidelberg.de [220.127.116.11] and is accessible by anonymous FTP (binary!). The release version 1.2 is scheduled for Developer CD VII. Here are some rarely noticed features: If you have a folder "NetWork Idle Tools" in your system folder, any program which you have in this folder will be launched as your machine becomes idle. See the "Screen Saver" example. Any program in a folder "NetWork Startup Tools" in your system folder is launched when you start your system."