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DU Folding@Home - Thread #9 - Put your PC to work to fight disease! [View All]

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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-24-06 10:23 PM
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DU Folding@Home - Thread #9 - Put your PC to work to fight disease!
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This is the next thread for the DU Folding@Home team. The FreeRepublic team is still pulling ahead of us. They have about 3 times the CPUs we have. Team DU needs YOUR help!

For those of you still wondering what this is all about, Folding@Home is one of many active Distributed Computing projects. DC projects utilize your PC's idle time to process work units for the project. The most famous DC project is probably the SETI@Home project (mentioned in the movie Contact). Folding@Home's purpose is to help scientists determine how proteins fold under various conditions in an effort to help cure diseases (cancer, alzheimer's, etc.) This is a very worthwhile project and one certainly worthy of leaving your PC on 24/7.

Some may be concerned about leaving a PC on 24/7 and the costs involved. A newer PC running a full load will use about the same amount of electricity as two lamps left on 24/7. That is to say, not a lot. Personally, I have a Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop that has been running SETI@Home (and now Folding@Home) 24/7 for over 4 years. I have an HTPC (Home Theater PC) running 24/7 and another (dual-CPU) I keep in my bedroom.

Security-wise, running a DC app (even a non-BOINC app) is very safe. I've not heard of any hacker gaining access to any PC via a corrupted DC app or work unit. Just be sure to download the apps from the site's main page and you should have nothing to worry about.

As for Team DU, we are falling further and further behind the Freepers (who have about 3 times the # of active CPUs running). While this project has much greater benefits of helping humankind, it would also be great to catch up to and pass the Freepers!

There are various clients available at the Folding@Home download page including CLI (Command Line Interface - DOS) and GUI (Graphical User Interface - pretty pictures) for Windows-based PCs, Linux console, and Mac OS X GUI, CLI, and Screensaver clients. Personally, I run the Windows-based CLI as it allows for faster crunching of work units (no graphics displays to slow it down).

All of the apps will only use a PC's idle processing time. I've been doing a boatload of video conversion of 16GB HDTV recordings down to 2GB AVI files (for copies of sports events for some friends) and have not seen any issues with performance with the F@H client running or not.

Below is a screenshot of what the CLI setup process looks like. It only requires input from you to specify your:

User name Enter whatever you want your name to be. This could be your DU screenname, for example. Mine is Conjur, for the name of a company I used to have (and my blog is named after)

Team Number <0> <---- VERY IMPORTANT Enter 48157. That is the DU F@H team number. Any work unit processed will be associated with Team DU. If you leave this blank, any work units will be assigned to a generic non-team.

You can press <Enter> to accept the defaults for the rest of the options but I make a couple of small changes:

Launch automatically at machine startup, installing this as a service (yes/no) <---- Type y and press <Enter>. NOTE: - ONLY select this if you are running Windows 2000, XP, or 2003. Windows 95/98/ME will not install an application as a service. You'll want to put a shortcut to the F@H client in your Startup folder manually.

Change advanced options (yes/no) <---- Type y and press <Enter>

Interval, in minutes, between checkpoints (3-30) <15> <---- Type 5 and press <Enter>
I just use 5 min. so it writes out checkpoints more often in case the PC locks up for some reason it won't have to redo so much work upon restart.

Machine ID (1-8) <---- Type 1 for the 1st instance of F@H on your PC. If you have a PC with multiple CPUs, install a copy of F@H into another folder (such as F@H2, F@H3, etc.) for each additional CPU in your PC. When prompted on those other installations of the F@H client, enter the appropriate Machine ID here.

So, that's it in a nutshell.

DU's current statistics are:

Date of last work unit 2006-02-24 19:18:55
Active CPUs within 50 days 316
Team Id 48157
Grand Score 607732 (certificate)
Work Unit Count 4219 (certificate)
Team Ranking (incl. aggregate) 526 of 42950
Home Page
Fast Teampage URL

But the Freepers are WAY ahead of us

Join the fight against disease and have some (statistical) fun along the way!

Thread #7

Thread #8

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