Author Topic: Use your spare computing power to save lives!  (Read 621 times)

LifestyleDeflation

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Use your spare computing power to save lives!
« on: January 05, 2018, 12:40:23 AM »
In light of MMM's article on the uselessness of mining cryptocurrencies (https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2018/01/02/why-bitcoin-is-stupid/), let's see how many MMM users are willing to use their computers to SAVE LIVES! 

Stanford's Folding@Home uses your computer/smartphone's spare processing power to help find cures to diseases. Learn more here: http://folding.stanford.edu/

I created a team for MMM readers and friends. Join up and let's see how many points we can score! Team number is 233852

Here's a link to our team page: http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=teampage&teamnum=233852

It's crazy easy to get started-- download the installer, open it, and click go. I hope you'll give it a shot!

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Use your spare computing power to save lives!
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 02:35:42 AM »
Keep in mind it isn't free. Modern computers can scale back the speed of their processing hardware in low demand, reducing power usage. Keeping it pegged at 100%, especially if it's run 24:7, means the electricity use may materially increase as a result.

Eucalyptus

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Re: Use your spare computing power to save lives!
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 06:55:18 AM »
Keep in mind it isn't free. Modern computers can scale back the speed of their processing hardware in low demand, reducing power usage. Keeping it pegged at 100%, especially if it's run 24:7, means the electricity use may materially increase as a result.

Agree. Is there a Moustachian thread yet discussing low wattage computers? I mean, a Raspberry Pi with a small LED screen would use bugger all (the computer running off USB 2A, and of course the screen off when not in use). Home computer with the greatest number of Flops per Watt?

Internet in my part of Australia (inner city/CBD) and cloud computing with work (University) is finally getting good enough that I probably only need to run a Raspberry Pi or similar at home now, tapping into a work computer/cloud/server/supercomputer when needed to do hard processing. That means a Pi could be running 24/7 at home, when I'm not using it, on such humanitarian projects.

Be interesting to see the Flops/watt of old android smartphones as well. Running no screen or other apps, but all lined up and kept cool (dismantle case/cover etc to reduce heat load on processor?)

LifestyleDeflation

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Re: Use your spare computing power to save lives!
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 09:19:12 PM »
I found this thread on Reddit the other day that talks about the purpose and value of Folding@Home-- https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/33mx7v/has_foldinghome_really_accomplished_anything_part/

The TL;DR is that this type of research (and most types of research, really) require some degree of blind faith that the effort is worth it.

The papers published with the help of F@H are a partial indicator of the value of the research, even if they have had few measurable outcomes. So my feeling is that the cost of electricity and potential faster wear on electronics is well worth it. I'm sure there are CPUs that are much more energy-efficient than the standard home computer/laptop, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't use what we have.

I trust that the majority of researchers using F@H for computing power believe in the value of their research, and, as they're the experts in their field, I'm ok with deferring to their judgement on that.

Curious what you all think.


Dollar Slice

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Re: Use your spare computing power to save lives!
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 10:30:07 PM »
I've been involved with a F@H team for over ten years... I think they do good work. :-)  I haven't been running the client for a long time since I've been using an old laptop and it didn't seem worth it, but I'm the treasurer for a F@H club that chips in to buy high-powered computers that volunteers run at their homes.
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LifestyleDeflation

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Re: Use your spare computing power to save lives!
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2018, 07:03:52 PM »
Here's another great article with responses to common "no's": https://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=86&t=1164

Cheers!