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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Folding @ Home

I use my old computers for medical research.

http://folding.stanford.edu/

I have a P2 and 2 P3's in my spare bedroom running 24x7 crunching algorithms for Folding @ Home. I just put Linux on them (I recommend Xubuntu for Linux newbies using old hardware), run the program and let it go. It's also handy having a PC on at all times so I can quickly check email or the weather forecast without having to power on my beastly gaming rig.

Anyway, IMHO it's a good way to put old computing power to use. Think about it!
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 12:07 PM
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Re: ok computer guys

^ i like that idea.... might do tha with my old one


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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ok computer guys

Let me know if you need any help setting that up. I'm a big supporter of the Folding @ Home project and I'm always pimping it at work.
In fact, maybe I should start a separate thread to pimp it in the forums..
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 02:46 PM
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Re: ok computer guys

[quote author=tsaotablem link=topic=99843.msg1994717#msg1994717 date=1200416587]
I use my old computers for medical research.

http://folding.stanford.edu/

I have a P2 and 2 P3's in my spare bedroom running 24x7 crunching algorithms for Folding @ Home. I just put Linux on them (I recommend Xubuntu for Linux newbies using old hardware), run the program and let it go. It's also handy having a PC on at all times so I can quickly check email or the weather forecast without having to power on my beastly gaming rig.

Anyway, IMHO it's a good way to put old computing power to use. Think about it!
[/quote]

Don't get me wrong, I certainly support this sort of thing...to a degree. However it also wastes a lot of power compared to not having the PCs running (money out of your pocket and a lot of electrical waste). You could argue that it isn't a waste because you are helping with medical research etc...but the fact of the matter is a good old fashioned super computer is significantly more efficient in terms of MIPS per watt.
-Matt
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ok computer guys

It's true that supercomputers are more efficient, but not all the world's greatest supercomputers are dedicated to medical research 24x7. And Folding @ Home has been recognized as the "most powerful distributed computing network in the world" (http://www.engadget.com/2007/10/31/f...world-records/), as well as making an undeniable contribution to medical research ("..we are essentially able to fast-forward several aspects of our research by a decade" http://www.informationweek.com/story...Sfeed_IWK_News). So the project is working, and for me it's worth the $10-$15 a month in electricity (I tested this by switching them off for a month, twice, and comparing my electric bills). I don't consider the electricity to be a waste as it's going to a good cause. It also makes me feel good to actually contribute to the project rather than to just give money to a charity where I don't really know how it gets spent.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 04:36 PM
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Re: ok computer guys

Are you sure its not really higher then that?

If they are running 24x7 its probably more. I realize that a computer doesn't necessarily burn through huge amounts of power...but you've gotta figure at least 100 watts if you are using most of the processing power even if none of the drives spin up and no monitors are on/connected. 3 computers at 100 watts each, 24 hours a day for 30 days is about $22 a month at 10 cent a kw/hr (its closer to 12 cents a kw/hr here).

I also look at it from an ecological perspective that it is a huge amount of waste even if it does further medical research (so one bad + one good...does that equal a neutral...but I would also throw in the couple hundred bucks a year in extra electrical it would cost me).

Just me, certainly not saying you should be switching them off or something...its just not something I would consider doing.
-Matt
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 04:47 PM
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Re: ok computer guys

If anyone cares...that comes out to about 5300lbs of CO2 emissions in a year for that electrical power if your house gets power from a coal power plant (most do)...or about the same CO2 emissions as 273 gallons of gas (I am guessing about half the gas you use in a year).

An average house probably uses about 900-1400kw/hr a month in the hot and cold months...so your looking at an average of 21,600-33,600lbs of CO2 emissions a year to power the house from coal (okay, yeah somewhat lower because those few months of spring and fall electrical use is ususally lower, so lets say 15,000lbs on the low end...that is still a crap ton)
-Matt
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 06:22 PM
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Re: Folding @ Home

What kind of strain is it putting on your computer in the long run?


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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 07:01 PM
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Re: Folding @ Home

this is like [email protected] home.I used to be real big into that, it's analyzing data for the search for ET's.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 09:31 PM
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Re: Folding @ Home

[quote author=Operator link=topic=103700.msg2097414#msg2097414 date=1203895349]
What kind of strain is it putting on your computer in the long run?
[/quote]

I seem to recall that you can dictate how much CPU power it uses.

I'd run it on my old box since it's just sitting in the crawlspace at the moment, but I don't have a wired connection in my office. Now, if I got my hands on a quad core chip, I'd be able to dedicate a core to it, no additional power needed


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