In the past number of years the demand for high performance computing has greatly increased in the area of bioinformatics. The huge increase in size of many genomic databases has meant that many common tasks in bioinformatics are not possible to complete in a reasonable amount of time on a single processor. Recently distributed computing has emerged as an inexpensive alternative to dedicated parallel computing. We have developed a general-purpose distributed computing platform that is capable of using semi-idle computing resources to simulate a dedicated computing cluster. We have identified the suitability of a number of bioinformatics tasks to distributed computing. We briefly outline and evaluate two distributed bioinformatics programs, DSEARCH and DPRml, which have been developed for our system.