10 MIT students rode bicycles attached to dynamos and powered a Linux-based supercomputer for 20 minutes, according to an article in Computerworld. The effort, designed to both win a place in the Guinness Book of World Records and to win a prize from Google, also highlighted low-power computer designs and the need for green computing.
A spokesperson said that the human-powered session produced more computations than took place in the first 3,000 years of civilization. He also said that more arithmetic calculations were computed than were done on the entire earth up to 1960.
At the same time, the processors used in the supercomputer drew a tiny fraction of the power usually consumed by massively parallel computing devices, demonstrating the horsepower possible with relatively green solutions.