I did an M.Sc project at the University of Liverpool called "Distributed Processing Using a Platform independent Language" where I used Java to implement some genetic algorithms on a heterogenous computer network. It was really tough but interesting.
Well since then, stories about distributed computing or grid computing always seem to catch my attention (thanks to all the research I had to do!). Like this one. After the SETI and Folding@Home projects, the UK Met office in conjunction with 3 universities plans to follow suit and use idle PC processing power from users on the internet to help predict world climate in 50 years. They hope that they can 2 million people to sign up on their website. Unfortunately, I don't think I can sign up, it would be a drag on my office's network.
More of that !!!