Good Nerdy Fun – Amazon’s cloud. The free tier is located at  You get a free blank machine you can load images on for a year.  The machine is small but capable.  I loaded a basic Linux install (Ubuntu) then added a LAMP stack, GNU C++, and Tomcat.  I then replaced that image with Microsoft Server 2008, MS SQL, and IIS and RDP’d into the machine. Borders on trivial to provision a machine using Amazon’s AMIs. Free is nice too. Obviously additional processing is for sale. You can reserve processing power or they have a secondary “market” where unused processing is sold.  The bidding starts at $.01 (1 cent) per hour for the low end machines. Possibly a good source to augment a well partitioned batch job. I’m hooked.