Morning Cup O' Joe

Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time.

Use the power of your Playstation 3 for good

While browsing through my Playstation 3 XMB (yeah, why didn’t Sony call it CMB, I guess Sony focus groups found the letter “X” cooler), I noticed under the “Network” sub-menu there’s a Folding@Home icon.

Folding@Home is a project cooked up by these really smart guys over at Stanford University.

Folding@Home (also known as FAH or F@H) is a distributed computing project designed to perform computationally intensive simulations of protein folding and other molecular dynamics. It was launched on October 1, 2000, and is currently managed by the Pande Group, within Stanford University’s chemistry department, under the supervision of Professor Vijay Pande. Folding@home is one of the world’s largest distributed computing projects. The goal of the project is “to understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases.”

Well I downloaded the program into my PS3, installed and ran it. Don’t know exactly what its doing but it looks cool. =D

Here’s a screen shot of the simulation

See that little yellow dot on the map of California? That’s me!!! Actually that’s my PS3 running an assigned task. An assigned task takes an average of 8hrs to complete.

Apparently, you can run this program in Windows, Mac or Linux. It’s good to know that all Fanboys can set their differences aside and work for the greater good of Mankind.

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November 3, 2007 - Posted by | Games and Gaming, Geeks and Gadgetry, Linux, Mac, Science and Technology, Software, Windows | , , ,

2 Comments

  1. Yup, been running Folding@Home for about a decade on my Windows machines. I love the idea. However, one important thing to watch out for, especially in today’s environment: this app will peg your device’s cpu usage at 100%. That has the downside of consuming large amounts of electricity. I used to run Folding on 3 machines at home (2 of them servers that ran 24/7), and it was increasing my monthly electricity bill noticeably.

    Comment by Joe | November 5, 2007

  2. True, as much as I’d love to fold proteins full-time, I left it on overnight once (which seems to be the only way it can do anything useful, one “work unit” took my PS3 about 6-8 hours to finish), and suddenly realized that my house was much colder that night.

    The PS3 sits rather close to the thermostat, and while it’s chugging along at 100% CPU utilization it generates a heat field around it, raising the temperature of the air at least 10 degrees F. My thermostat thought it was 85 in the house, and decided that the heater was not necessary. The humans in the house disagreed.

    And that’s to say nothing of that jet stream of fire that comes out of the right side of the PS3. That is pointed directly at a doorway coming out of a hallway in our house, and now it’s a running joke that when the PS3 is on, you have to crouch and crawl under the invisible fire like a video game obstacle.

    Anyway, back to the post topic, while this project does seem like a good idea, it doesn’t seem practical in my household. I might be better off donating the extra money I would’ve spent on gas and electricity running the PS3 to cancer research or something.

    Comment by agalcid | November 6, 2007


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