Jump to content
MitchA

JOIN THE MacCast Folding@home Team

Recommended Posts

I have started a Folding@home team for the MacCast community to contribute to for all of those that are interested. All you need to do is download the Folding application and run it on your computer (Mac or PC) The application will use your CPU to help contribute to research. The many CPUs of users around the world form a super computer of sorts. Currently the Folding@home project is working on

* Alzheimer's Disease

* Cancer

* Huntington's Disease

* Osteogenesis Imperfecta

* Parkinson's Disease

* Ribosome & antibiotics

Visit the Folding@home site for more information on the project.

 

The project consists of teams from all kinds of organizations. I thought it would be cool to have a MacCast community project, that is open for all MacCast listeners to help contribute if they can. Since many of us have powerful Macs, the work that we can do could be somewhat substantial (on a small scale.) I thought it would be fun to have a team of our own that we could track our contributions. There are clients for Windows, Linux, Mac (PPC) and a beta for Intel Macs. The new client utilizes the dual core features of the intel Macs. The client downloads page is located here. There are several types of clients including a screensaver client. The client is not intrusive and shouldn't disrupt your normal computing. You can fold at night and when you are away from your computer. The client is configurable so don't worry about computing disruptions!

What are the different types of clients? The Consoles run in the background and are launched from a terminal, to which they output text messages about the simulation's progress. The Graphical client runs in the background and has a graphics window available that allows you to see the protein being simulated. The screensaver runs just like any other screensaver, except that it also runs our calculation in the background.

 

Beta clients: We often release clients early for donors to beta test. These beta versions likely have some rough edges, but we expect that they should work reasonably well for all donors. See the respective installation instructions for more details of known bugs for each of the beta versions.

 

Simply enter your MacCast forum username (or other name) and the team number 53260, and let your machine take it away. You can view the team stats here.

 

If you have any questions, just ask! I hope that those who are already folding for a different team, may consider switching over to the MacCast team. For those who aren't folding currently, post here if you have any questions! Reply here if you join the team, to let us know that you're folding!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Mitch.

 

I've known about folding for a long time but have never had the impetus to join. Now I'm folding at home for the MacCast Team. ;)

 

-Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, Mitch.

 

I've known about folding for a long time but have never had the impetus to join. Now I'm folding at home for the MacCast Team. ;)

 

-Rob

Awesome! Welcome to the team!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm running it too - and there's no need to thank me - but I must thank the initiator of this thread for bringing it to my attention since a distributed computing project is something I had thought would be nice to contribute to but I've never sought one.

 

I've got the Graphical version running on my PPC 1.5Ghz Mac mini and whilst it seems to present no performance issues (unusually its only running Firefox at the moment) I note it takes at average of 60% of its CPU time and, inevitably, the fans are running noticeably. This is a problem for me in that the Mac mini is the hub of my media centre and so the fan noise is a distraction - unless, that is, I've got some less-than-quiet music on. (So, it's a particular nuisance during the quieter periods of video.) I've tried altering the settings but to no avail - which is why I'm posting. Where can I see an explanation of these? (I can't find one on either the "Folding" web site or the Wiki.) Of course I could try the Screensaver version but I prefer to energy save, perhaps selfishly, after fifteen minutes - at which time my machine goes to sleep if it's not doing something like recording television or radio or playing music - and I do play quiet pieces from time to time despite a Heavy Metal upbringing. (I also need to consider my expensive Apple Cinema Display - again selfish, I know, but I can't see me easily affording another if that fails after its first year - and it is, as suggested, a key part of my media centre.) As it happens I'm in the happy situation of being about to order a new Mac mini - that replacing the old one in the media centre - and when I get it the old one will go into my home office where it'll eventually replace my two PCs there. (I have two since during the happy days when I knew nothing about the inside of a computer - something I'm sure "switching" will return me to - my single PC stopped working and I was high and dry.) I won't have the problem mentioned come my new arrival and whilst it will be academic then I thought I'd raise the question in case others have it - even if they are less troubled by the noise. Actually, I rather hope than a piece on the matter is run on the next MacCast - not least as the Folding site is rather technical and some less minded than I may not contribute as they will be put off by that. If need be I'll relate my experience with the Console and Screensaver versions on my old Mac mini when I get my new one - probably via the forum on the Folding site with a pointer from here - though I think it'll be up to a month before I get that done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a shame that you're having difficulties. Unfortunately I do not know enough about the client(s) to help troubleshoot the problem. I haven't noticed any problems on either of my Macs or My PC running the Client. The folding site is rather technical, and I did some google searching, but didn't really come up with anything good. Let us know if you resolve the problem on your Mac mini. It'd be nice if we could get a little configuration/setup guide going with common questions and answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have joined and put my PowerBook and my iMac on the network too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an update, we've now folded 5 work units!

tcertphpct9.jpg

It looks like we'll have quite a few more in the coming days, judging by the number of us folding that haven't completed a WU yet.

 

Thank you everyone for your support!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I joined and got folding :). Then when I had about 40% of a work unit done I happened to start Parallels. Parallels and FAH a happy couple do not make :(. Locked up my MBP (with 2GB RAM). Had to do a hard reboot causing me to drop my FAH workunit and actually reload the FAH software to get it going again. Parallels seems to be ok. For a try I pulled up Parallels again today with FAH running and again ground the system to a near halt. Parallels took over a minute to boot into Windows while the Mac side was frozen. After Windows was running I could use both sides, but with lots of beachballs and lag.

 

Moral of the story, if you are FAH pause it before fireing up Parallels. And if you end up doing a hard reboot you lose your FAH work unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which client type are you using on your Macbook? Console or the application? Also, are you using the multi-processor client? Then we'll know what combo doesn't mix :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been folding for a while now, but I've just joined the team. I've previously been using the windows client in Parallels, but I've just installed the Intel client - not really liking not having a working protein viewer, but it is making my computer a little bit faster not having to run parallels. Plus there's always the added bonus of not having to use Windows...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Which client type are you using on your Macbook? Console or the application? Also, are you using the multi-processor client? Then we'll know what combo doesn't mix :)

 

 

I am using the 5.91 Beta Mac OSX (Intel) SMP client Installer. It is accessing both CPU's.

Edited by karinlord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am using the 5.91 Beta Mac OSX (Intel) SMP client Installer. It is accessing both CPU's.

Alright, thanks! If anyone else has any difficulties with any of the clients, post it here so other members know what to watch out for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok I did some more research triggered by again losing the WU after taking my laptop on a little road trip to a local coffee shop. FAH started up again on its own when I got back, but loaded a new WU :(.

 

InCrease is an add-on software program which provides a management interface for FAH. It allows for loading of multiple WUs, queue setting, seeing point values, and other preference management tools. As a bonus you can pause and stop current units and then restart them without loosing work previously done :D .

 

After some fiddling about I found pausing the WU via InCrease allowed Parallels to run (and the OSX side) as if FAH was not loaded. Once you are done with Parallels (or other CPU intensive programming) just go back to the InCrease interface and click "continue". FAH restarts where you left off.

 

A scan of the InCrease forums showed the Parallels/FAH conflict was previously noted, as were FAH/Filemaker conflicts. I found the second page of this thread to be particularly helpful.

 

Steps I took to get things going (after some trial and error).

 

1. Disable FAH in your system preferences if you already have it loaded. This will stop your WU but save it for later restarting.

2. Load the universal binary InCrease version 2.2 (if you are running an IntelMac - other versions avaliable for PPC)

3. Run the download and click on "install" when the interface comes up.

4. Set any preferences you have on the preferences menu.

5. If you were previously working on a WU it should come up in the WU listing pane. Highlight it, press "start" and off it goes.

6. If any "groups" show up in red under the groups tab they can be deleted.

7. You can have FAH start automatically if you wish upon reboot by selecting "start at reboot" under the "tools" menu option.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by karinlord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More stuff. This might help Harry out too.

 

Under preferences in InCrease you can make a list of programs which will trigger an automatic pause in folding untill the programs are closed.

 

Just check of the "Pause folding for demanding applications" tab under preferences (gee now why didn't I see that earlier?)

Then "+" in your selected applications (it brings up finder)

 

I added Parallels and then booted up Parallels without first pausing FAH via Increase and everything worked great.

 

I would say for the average, non-console savvy user, if you are going to FAH using InCrease is highly recommended. It makes the process much less frustrating and intimidating. I was thinking this wasn't going to work for me and my travelling laptop, but now all appears good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're up to 10 completed work units!

tcertphpdt5.jpg

 

Thank you to everyone that is folding!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have great news! We're up to 30 Work Units! Thank you everyone for your participation. Won't be long until we're at 50!

tcertphpfl0.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to put up the certificate, but it's insisting that we've only done 49 units, but we hit 50!!

 

Well done everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is great news! Next stop...100 Work units! Thank you all for your help so far!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only one still folding? I mean, I only leave my computer to fold two or three nights a week, and I've got nearly twice the work units done than anyone else...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still folding. I leave my computer on all the time, but it only folds while the screen saver is active.

 

-Rob

 

Addition: Just a note, Graham, after looking at your set-up, your mini is twice as fast as my computer, and your MBP is significantly faster than your mini. Other than the screen saver limitation, I'm not sure what takes my machine so long to complete a work unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only have it running on my MBP (the Mini has been donated to my mum now). I use the beta Intel build - it does fold a hell of a lot quicker than the PPC build, but it used as much of the processor as it can get its hands on all the time (which means fans on full blast). I'd love to see how quick it runs on a Mac Pro since this build is optimised for 4 cores, not two.

Edited by Graham

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

×