Setting up Folding@Home and joining the Brony@Home team
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Sellyme Offline

Posts: 407
Threads: 23
Joined: 2012 Dec
Folding@Home Terminology & FAQ
Folding@Home Terminology:
  • CPU - Central Processing Unit, one of the two primary computer components for folding.
  • Core - A CPU core is basically a smaller section of a CPU. Most programs only run on one CPU core, but Folding@Home can run on all of your CPU cores at once.
  • DC - Distributed Computing, splitting up large tasks amongst hundreds/thousands/millions of home computers to finish them quicker.
  • EO - Extreme Overclocking, a website that provides detailed Folding@Home statistics.
  • F@H (or FAH) - Folding@Home. This one should have been obvious.
  • GPU - Graphical Processing Unit, the second primary folding component.
  • PPD - Points Per Day
  • Passkey - A unique identifier used for getting bonus points
  • TPF - Time Per Frame, the amount of time it takes your computer to complete 1% of a Work Unit.
  • WU - Work Unit; a single task for Folding@Home to complete and return
  • Bigadv - A special kind of Work Unit made for high-end servers with 16 or more CPU cores. Now depreciated.
  • SMP - Symmetric multiprocessing. "smp" Work Units are Work Units that can utilise more than 1 CPU core.
  • Uniprocessor - uniprocessor Work Units can only use 1 CPU core at a time. They are pretty much obsolete now.

(Feel free to suggest more!)

Folding@Home FAQ:

What's a "WU"? What are points?
A "WU" (or "Work Unit") is basically a single task,. Your computer downloads the Work Unit, runs it on your CPU or GPU until every instruction is complete, then sends it back to Stanford. Every time you upload a Work Unit, Stanford will give you "points" based on how big the work unit was, and how quickly you completed it.

Each WU can be considered like a small piece of a puzzle. Once enough WUs are completed and sent back, they are all put together to form the final product.

But why should I do this?
Err... Because it helps science? Do you really need a better reason?

Oh. Okay then. Well, in that case, I've scripted up an automated process to generate subteam statistics for our Folding@Home team! Basically, within the Brony@Home team there's subteams that compete amongst each other to return the most points.

If you're a member of any communities with an existing subteam, you can just join it and help your community out against others! Similarly, if you're part of a community without a subteam, and you can grab together a couple of members from that community to create a subteam, I'm happy to make a new subteam for you, so you can compete with the already existing ones.

So, how do I join a subteam?
There's two easy ways to do this. If you're already folding, and have your stats showing up on Extreme Overclocking, you can just use the join form on the subteams stats page. If you're not yet on EO, and don't want to check every three hours to see if you're there yet, just reply to this thread telling me your Folding@Home username, and I'll keep an eye out for you and add you to the script.

Ooh, I like these stats, where can I get more?
Well, the team's official stats page at the Stanford servers is here, but Extreme Overclocking has a stats page running that is far better.You can find the Extreme Overclocking stats for the team here. They also have detailed stats for each individual user, for instance, here are mine. To find yours just search your username in the sidebar or replace the six digit number in the URL with your userid.

But I don't have a constant internet connection
You don't need one! Folding@Home only connects to the internet to download and send each individual Work Unit. Depending on how powerful your computer is, this could be anywhere between once every six hours to every three days, and if it can't connect it just waits until it can. This means that even if you only connect to the internet for five minutes every day, you can still run Folding@Home perfectly.

Why can't they just get a supercomputer?
Well, there's a multitude of reasons. Firstly, that costs a lot of money. Secondly, they've already got several of them. And thirdly, the combined computational power of people running Folding@Home on their own computers is more than double the computational power of the fifty fastest supercomputers on Earth. So, Folding@Home is better than a supercomputer.

My computer sucks, there's no point
I've run Folding@Home succesfully on a Pentium 4, and if your computer is worse than that... Well, let's not think about that. It's probably not worth running Folding@Home on a netbook, but pretty much any desktop made in the last decade should be able to run it fine. For instance, I used to run an E6500 (which is about 7 years old), and got 3-4k points per day (PPD) from that, which is pretty decent. And remember, every little bit counts. A Pentium 4 definitely doesn't compare to a supercomputer, but there's millions of Pentium 4s, if every one of those ran Folding@Home it would be insanely powerful.

That said, Folding@Home is geared towards mid and high end hardware. If you feel that you aren't making as big an impact as you'd hoped, you can always try some of the BOINC Projects. The smaller, less popular projects would appreciate your help the most.

Does this actually do anything? I'm pretty sure cancer still exists.
Well, you're right. Cancer hasn't been cured. But, if you're scientifically-minded, have a look at this. That's a list of 100 (and counting) significant scientific and biological advancements that have been made thanks to people like you and me running Folding@Home. It definitely helps.

But won't this cost me millions in electricity bills?
Nope. It will certainly use more electricity, but computers use a surprisingly little amount anyway. Let's say you have a reasonably high-end computer (about $1000, custom-built), that you run for 14 hours a day, at an average CPU load of 50%. By running this computer 24/7 with Folding@Home running, your electricity bills would rise by about $8/month. Or, in other words, 1 cent every hour. You'd save more than that by turning your microwave off when you're not using it.

But running at 100% load 24/7 is bad for computers!
No it isn't. That's what they're meant to do. In fact, all modern CPUs can run at more than 100% load easily, that's why overclocking is so popular. If your cooling is particularly bad your CPU might be hitting dangerous temperatures, but really, if your CPU is going to an insanely high temperature at 100% load, you should either underclock it, clean the dust out of your computer, or get better cooling. Otherwise, something as simple as a javascript error on a badly-coded website could cost you hundreds of dollars.

So while I recommend monitoring your CPU temperatures when first running Folding@Home, and maybe dialling back how much CPU percentage it can use if it's too hot for your liking, it probably won't damage your computer. As a general guide, most CPUs can run up to 85°C easily. Desktop APUs shouldn't be pushed much above 70°C, whereas laptops can generally go up to 95°C with no issues. Of course, this is just a general guide, and if you think your CPU is running hot you should check the internet to find out what the maximum recommended temperature is.

Won't this slow down my computer?
Yes and no. The CPU client is very good in that it only uses idle CPU time. If a game wants to use your CPU, it can and will. Folding@Home takes the lowest possible priority, and will never get in the way of your normal CPU usage.The GPU client, on the other hand, is a bit intrusive. It will slow down gaming slightly, although it shouldn't have any noticeable effect on gaming. I recommend running both the CPU and GPU client and simply pausing the GPU (by right clicking on the part of the client that says "GPU" and selecting "Pause") when you want to game, or render video, or anything else GPU intensive. Of course, it's all up to personal preference, just set it up the way you like, that gives you the perfect balance of performance and folding.

Is this like that WCG/BOINC/SETI/PrimeGrid thing?
Yep! It's the same concept, it just does different stuff.

Does the team have an official IRC channel?
Funny that you should ask, because yes, it does! There's an official channel for all things Brony@Home at #foldingismagic on!

And now, it's time for some questions I've been asked by users! This'll be updated as I go along.

If I have two computers can I run them both under my account, or must I create a new account for every computer?
You can run as many computers as you get your hands on under a single username! In fact, Folding@Home even includes a remote client monitoring system for this exact purpose.

Does Folding@Home run on Windows 8?
Yes it does! The Windows XP/Vista/7 client runs fine on Windows 8. Thanks to Armadeus for testing this for us.

Awesome! How do I sign up?!?
Simple, just check out or quick 5-step install guide here!
Selly out!
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(This post was last modified: 2015-01-11, 04:46:01 PM by tiwake.)
2012-12-07, 03:29:24 AM
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Sellyme Offline

Posts: 407
Threads: 23
Joined: 2012 Dec
Setting up Folding@Home and joining the Brony@Home team
Do you like ponies? Do you want to help cure cancer? Well, put that CPU and GPU to work, and go grab Folding@Home, and fold for ponies!

Folding@Home is basically a program that uses information on what we know about proteins, and uses your computing power to try to work out exactly what configurations cause cancer, Alzheimer's, and many other diseases. The way it does so is very complicated and as I lack a Ph.D. I don't understand it, but basically, it knows what is in a protein, so it tests every possible arrangement of these, trying to see what makes sense, and what "misfolds" could cause diseases. All you really need to know is that you give it a CPU to crunch on, and it helps SCIENCE!

The pony team is currently 27th out of hundreds of thousands of teams, and still rising, but I know that we could definitely be rising faster! So follow these instructions, and put that computer to use!

Sellyme's Patented 5 Easy Steps to running F@H
1. Just click the download link here
2. Follow instructions here.
3. Install the thing you downloaded. Select "SMP & GPU" (should be default) as the installation type.
4. Set "Team" to 212997 and "Passkey" to whatever step 2 sent to your email
5. I lied, there is no step 5, you're done.

(Note that step two and the second half of step four are optional, but if you use a passkey you get bonus points, so I highly recommend it)

That's it! You now have F@H installed, and are already folding for ponies. Obviously, you may have some questions about the program. Fortunately, we have a guide just for that! Check out this:
Frequently Asked Questions & Terminology Guide

And finally, be sure to make an account with this forum! We hold competitions once a year or so in the winter with prizes like games and videocards and stuff. To enter you need a forum account to post your entry and what name you are folding under. Be sure to say hi when you do!
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(This post was last modified: 2017-07-10, 01:54:06 PM by tiwake.)
2012-12-07, 03:34:25 AM
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tiwake Offline
stuff (and ponies)

Posts: 659
Threads: 40
Joined: 2012 Dec
RE: Folding@Home Terminology & FAQ
I added a thing to the list and sorted it alphabetically.
IRC channel Yay for brony@home ( #foldingismagic)
2015-01-11, 04:46:43 PM
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Vinyl_scratch_OP Offline
Newborn Foal

Posts: 1
Threads: 0
Joined: 2017 Jul
RE: Setting up Folding@Home and joining the Brony@Home team
Not going to lie this is a cool idea but at the same time, I know that this cannot work. When I say this cannot work I do not mean it would not work physically I mean it is not good for the people putting the software onto their computer. 

I recently learned about how to use a bitcoin miner and I used it for 2 days I was making about 1-2 dollars a day and then I realized the price I was paying for those 2 dollars.

The electricity was costing 10-20 dollars a day to keep it running and I could no longer play video games unless I disabled the Bitcoin miner and then found out this would drastically decrease my PCs life so I turned it off.

I wish this would be profitable but it's not, it would be better to send money directly to them rather than silently getting sucked out of much more then you bargained for. 
2017-07-16, 07:06:17 AM
tiwake Offline
stuff (and ponies)

Posts: 659
Threads: 40
Joined: 2012 Dec
RE: Setting up Folding@Home and joining the Brony@Home team
(2017-07-16, 07:06:17 AM)Vinyl_scratch_OP Wrote: I wish this would be profitable but it's not, it would be better to send money directly to them rather than silently getting sucked out of much more then you bargained for. 

This is not a profit thing, but rather, a way to donate computer power (including electricity) that almost everyone has some of these days, to a very good cause. It is very common to have various coin mining currency machines switch over from that to folding@home. How can something be profitable when there is no money involved to begin with? Overall you gain from longer life expectancy from various biological issues everyone develops over time..

This is also the beginning point for self-repairing biological space suits. Proteins are the building blocks for all of life, and yet very very little is known. To know proteins is to know how to make people more adaptable to various issues, conditions, and possibly even environment.

All of this starts with folding@home.
IRC channel Yay for brony@home ( #foldingismagic)
(This post was last modified: 2017-07-16, 07:32:09 AM by tiwake.)
2017-07-16, 07:31:23 AM
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hiigaran Offline
Chief Bogan

Posts: 2,417
Threads: 134
Joined: 2012 Dec
RE: Setting up Folding@Home and joining the Brony@Home team
Bitcoin mining is generally not profitable on standard computers. You need to deploy specialised hardware that is designed to mine, and nothing else. Those however, are expensive investments.

As for video games, this is an inherent issue with most GPUs. There's no processor scheduling, like CPUs, where you can assign a priority to a process. This scheduling is also why you don't notice CPU folding, because the tasks run at the lowest priority. You need to pause the GPU tasks in Folding@Home whenever you need to play a game, or sometimes even try running anything using hardware acceleration. If this is bothersome constantly pausing and resuming, you can always run BOINC instead. You can specify when to pause GPU units, based on which processes are running. So you can add the process name of your main game file to the list, and you never have to think about it again.

Regarding longevity of hardware, this is true. However, if your temperatures are in the green under a full load, the reduction in lifespan won't be noticeable. You would have replaced the parts with newer ones long before that would happen.
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2017-07-16, 02:58:29 PM
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