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Giant Grid Discovers Largest Known Prime Number
by lclough at 8:50 am EDT, Jun 4, 2004

] Using an international grid of about 240,000 networked
] computers, researchers have discovered the largest known
] prime number.
] The number, expressed as 2 to the 24,036,583th power
] minus 1, has 7,235,733 decimal digits. Discovered May 15,
] the number is nearly a million digits larger than the
] previous largest prime number, which was itself
] discovered last December.

] Of the 240,000 computers networked onto the grid, Woltman says
] 20,000 to 40,000 computers are active at any one time. The grid
] covers virtually every time zone in the world.
] Woltman estimates that the grid, which is comprised of businesses,
] universities and home users, does 20 trillion calculations a
] second.

If the GIMP network were executing the Linpack benchmark at this
rate, it would be number 2 on the Top 500 supercomputers list.

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