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Topic Title: Why do we fold? A quick briefing.
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Created On: 01/12/2004 04:36 PM
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 01/12/2004 04:36 PM
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[borg]
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Posts: 528
Joined: 10/07/2003

ppl reading this are probably asking themselves why the [content edited] should they waste bandwith, time & money with this strange project...

First of all, this project is a very noble one. It will help cure diseases that are taking a lot of lifes and making lifes miserable for a very large number of people. I won't get into details,I just want to be straightforward and clear. Visit http://folding.stanford.edu' ">http://folding.stanford.edu for if you want to know more.
Also, for the competitive ones, the longer you run the program on your computer, more points you get on the f@h statistic page. You can also run the program on multiple computers to gain more points, and this turns into a great game of getting as much as points possible while fetching more and more machines to run the program for you (school, university, friends...?). Folders are organising themselves into teams, and teams are competing between themselves. Folders on this forum belong to the 34106 team (a unique team designation that you type in while configuring your folding program). Maybe the most useful game on computers ever.

Let's admit it, most of time your computer is not using all 100% of it's cpu time, and that massive-number-crunching beast is doing nothing. Surfing on the web, programming, listening to music... Your processor bores himself to death. That's a real waste.
The Pande group who started the project and are running it, don't have enough money for massive supercomputers, and even if they had, they couldn't compare to the combined power of thousands of cpus worldwide. The program won't obstruct you in your everyday work - it just uses all processor time that other programs leave free, so the processor is always 100% on load. Which brings us to...

Isn't this bad for the processor? No. Processors are designed for this kind of work, number crunching is what they do best, and you better give 'em what they want. Sudden temp changes kill them faster, and with folding u'll have a constant maximum cpu temperature. Ahem, is this bad?? Not if you have proper cooling it isn't it. Proper cooling isn't something exotic. If your maximum temperature while folding is under 55-60C, you're safe. Folding will tell u is your system stable - ppl who just bought their machine are running f@h 24/7 while monitoring temperatures and stability - if computer can fold without problems, it is functional and well assembled.

Yeah but my power bill will be increased as CPUs eat more wattage when on load? This is true. Many people have been calculating and they came to an interesting conclusion - the increase is about 2-4$ a month. It will vary, depending on your cpu voltage and processor type, but you'll probably overall spend more electricity while heating up the water to take a shower, than from months of your cpu being on load. It is funny that I'm even mentioning this, but many people expect a visible increase in power bills, so I had to write this.

Will this increase your ISP bill? Do you need a 24/7 connection to internet? No. When u run the program for the first time, it downloads it's "Work unit" and works on it for hours (mostly 6+ hours). After that it waits until an internet connection is avilable, and downloads a new work unit, while sending the results to the f@h server. Depending on your OS, this process can be automated in various ways, so that u can just forget about the program which is running in background and do your everyday job.

It's very late and I can't type anymore ... but final words:

Join us and fold! It's really nice, you'll meet a lot of people in the team, make a lot of friends, and contribute to the project. It's up to you.

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 01/16/2004 02:53 PM
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xamlit
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Couldn't have said it better.
 01/16/2004 02:55 PM
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Ardrid
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Posts: 12398
Joined: 10/08/2003

Yes, well put, Borg.

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