No, BOINCing isn’t some kind of weird dance move, rather it’s not even a verb at all. Boinc or Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing is something I’ve been using for a while now. I first saw it at a lanparty where SETI@HOME was running on someone’s PC. Basically you download a piece of information that needs to be processed, your CPU does the computing and sends it back to the server. So stuff that takes months or even years to get processed by one computer is split into little pieces and massive amounts of computers around the globe all compute their little piece of the puzzle simultaneously. All this is done through BOINC, the software in charge of managing all this.
So far I contribute to World Community Grid, SETI@HOME and Einstein@Home. I think two to three projects is enough when you have a dual-core processor. If you’ve got a Playstation 3 you can do some computing as well. To be honest I have no idea if it really helps computing for one of those big projects but I guess it doesn’t hurt to donate some of your CPU time to it when it’s just sitting there being idle anyways.
One thing I like about having my CPU run at around 85% usage all the time is the heat, I don’t need to turn on a stove or anything, my laptop heats up my room enough even when there’s a window open. So, since the temperature isn’t as high as 25°C anymore I can finally restart using BOINC.
If you’ve got a computer which is idling a lot, you should give it a try, makes you feel like a better person when you’re contributing to cure cancer or fight AIDS.
UPDATE: I just stumbled upon this article, it gives a short list of BOINC projects and what their cause is.