You know the old saying: “an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters could, in an infinite amount of time, type all the works of Shakespeare”? Well, it seems the folks at 100monkeys.org are truing to prove that theory…only instead on monkeys, they’re using computers…
From their “About us” page:
“Inspired by the SETI@home project (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), the idea behind 100 Monkeys is to harness the unused processing power of personal computers around the world. Actually, we’re really harnessing a whole lot of your idle time. What we are hoping for is that you are so bored at work that you will continuously keep our monkeys typing away. Eventually, we hope to muster up a Shakespearean sonnet.As the old quote goes (who said it, anyway?), “If you left a hundred monkeys in front of a hundred typewriters for a hundred years eventually you’d manage to get a Shakespearean sonnet.” Okay, so we at 100 Monkeys paraphrased a bit.
Even if you are not an English major, we believe that you will be able to recognize strings of words hidden between the mad typing of our monkeys. We simply do not have the budget to sustain a team large enough to filter through the massive amount of data our monkeys generate daily. That is where you come in.
Your task is simple. Return to 100 Monkeys as often as possible and keep our monkeys hard at work. Certainly, you have nothing better to do with your time.
To participate in 100 Monkeys you do not need to download any software. 100 Monkeys has spent hours field testing its software so that even a low-end system with a single user can participate.
So, please spread the word about the 100 Monkey project. The more involved the Internet community is, the sooner we’ll have our sonnet!”