Short answer: No.
Long answer: Coffee Crash describes a distributed computing system for massively parallel processing enabled by a secret module of program code built into the "Doorways" operating system at the behest of the National Security Agency.

The fictional name of the operating system is a clue that this is bogus. However, the Beowulf "architecture for clustering multiple off-the-shelf personal computers to achieve supercomputer performance" was indeed developed by Donald Becker and Thomas Sterling, as described in the book. (See

A number of real distributed computing systems take advantage of the processing power of huge numbers of personal computers. The best known of these is SETI@home (, which processes radio telescope data in the scientific search for extraterrestial intelligence. Owners of the personal computers voluntarily download screensaver-like software to enable their computers to take part in the processing during otherwise idle time on the computers.


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