So what shared-computing projects are you running? For those who don’t know, BOINC is a shell program developed at Berkeley that allows your computer, during idle times, to download and process data from a wide variety of extremely complicated scientific problems, and then upload them back to the server. SETI@home (the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is run through BOINC. Essentially, it becomes your screen saver.
In this way, scientists are able to process massive amounts of data much faster than they would be able to otherwise given funding, staffing, and time limitations. Granted, in some ways it’s still like pissing up a rope, since the amount of data is so mind-meltingly massive, but hey, we might get lucky.
As for me, I ran SETI@home for quite some time, but I’m a biologist interested in genetics and epigenetics, and the first step (well, the second, really, since the human genome is complete) is to develop a reliably complete proteomics database. The numbers here are staggering. Out of several billion base pairs in the human genome, they code for perhaps 200,000 different proteins. After synthesis, they can be modified in a bewildering number of ways. They can be glycosylated, acetylated, phosphorylated, chopped, diced, blended, and frapped. We are nowhere even close to understanding all the intracellular processes that affect proteins, or even what all the possible protein structures are. Note that there are 5 different projects that address some aspect of protein chemistry.
To that end, I devote most of my computer’s down time to Ecole Polytechnique’s proteins@home project.
Ogre I read your thread just after you posted it and you got me thinking. I used to run the old Seti@home program but during the switch I had some serious computer problems and of course so did the BOINC team. I got frustrated and stopped running the program. After doing over 6000 work units on the original and a very frustrating 11,000 odd credits on BOINC I decided cold turkey was the best way to just quit. You have rekindled the need to crunch data again. I even went looking for this old relic of a thread which I have spent some time over the last two days reading and remembering old names from the Dopers past. Does any one remember any of these names? Lolababy, erislover, fluffball86, leenmi, Kwyjibo, UncleBill, coosa, Achernar, mishaa, white-tigeress, Vanyel, TVGuy, Jonas Marainen, Qixotica, Wonko, auliya, Vengeant, bernse, Hattrick, mblackwell, iconoplast, Rutabegger, Sir Dirx, Lockz, and LeeJam to name a few. Also Xploder who has recently let his membereship lapse, Arcturis the only doper I recall to have only ever made 1 single post. That thread also reminded me of some Dopers who are apparently still around though I haven’t run across any of them lately Spikesbud, RJKUgly, rackman, Tuco, Wicked Blue, and Marcus Didius Falco the only Charter Member who I’m aware of whose post count remains in single digits.
Thanks for getting me going again after having been stalled for so long. Maybe we can get the Dopers fired up once again and maybe see if we can’t take another crack at breaking into the top 200 teams.
I just uninstalled BOINC, actually. I found that it was not playing nice with my new machine – maybe it’s Vista or the Core 2 Duo, but it was not respecting my attempt to limit it to 50% CPU, and was driving up my CPU and motherboard temps past where I was comfortable leaving them for sustained periods of time.
It makes me sad, because I want to search for aliens.
I tried it for a while, but it just took up too much system memory. Of course, I signed up for about a half dozen (mostly biology) projects, and each wanted to hold 100+ mb of memory, even though only one was running at any given time. Any tips on how to avoid this? I’d like to start it again, especially once I build a new and reasonably powerful computer later this summer…
Yep, I’m still crunching away on our SETI@home team(cool, I’m still #1 ), though I’ve been having the same issues as Brainiac4, so I don’t run it all the time on my main rig. I’ll run it in the evenings when it’s cooler and I’m actually sitting at my computer and monitor temps and whatnot. I still run it on my work machine. There are a couple things that have me disillusioned about SETI right now though and that is the clients and the fact that they’re not actively developing a GPU client like Folding has. GPU clients can do tons of the work(you still need CPUs to do much of the work too) and crunch way more data than CPU clients do. If SETI comes out with a GPU client for NVIDIA cards I’ll definitely start my main rig crunching again.
Edit: The other thing that I never liked was how poorly linux clients crunched. My Windows machines always blew my linux machines out of the water. I don’t know if anyone else had the same experience but it was really annoying, especially when they were similar machines crunching.