Google Toolbar Compute - Folding @ Home

Put your PC on a High Protein Diet

Your computer's idle time is too precious to waste. If you are running your PC with idle CPU cycles (realistically everybody has an idle CPU most of the time since most CPU usage is in quick bursts), consider putting it to work for a good cause.

Google has a new thing called Google Compute that installs as part of the Google Toolbar (Google Toolbar is highly recommended for the Google Search box and pop-up blocker). It uses idle time on your computer to do an analysis of proteins which are related to a variety of diseases (such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, and others) as part of Stanford's Folding @ Home project (explains why they call this protein folding).  The point of all this is to give the Stanford team a very low-cost supercomputer made up of all of our computer's idle time to speed their research and hopefully benefit everyone in the process. And if you have a lot of idle time, then consider looking at deck designs, watching grass dry, satellite images, some ugly halloween costumes, and/or these nifty halloween decorations & christmas decorations.

You should ask a few questions (we did) about whether Google compute includes spy-ware and how it would affect performance on your PC.  Basically it's no more intrusive than using the Google search engine and tests have shown about a 0.5 to 1% performance hit even in demanding games (it is the lowest priority task and throttles back whenever you need more power). Does running Google compute and Google Toolbar make your PC less stable? Jon found that it made his computer more stable - go figure!   I know my PC has benefited - maybe it is another benefit of a high protein diet, but for PC's ;-)    Check out this Flash presentation on the Folding project if you have a couple of minutes. The Google client looks a bit different but the idea is the same.

So if you decide this is for you, surf to the Google Compute Page and install it.

By default, everyone who signs up is assigned a random "ID" ... but you can use our "username" and everyone's contributions will be "counted together to allow all of us to see how much of an impact we are making. If you would like to use our Google Compute user ID, then after you install it, click on the DNA double helix icon on your Google Toolbar, select Configuration, and then change the username to "powder2glass" and press the "Save Settings" button at the bottom of the page. If you are running a firewall or Win XP SP2 you may need to grant the "google_fah" or some variation on this name permission to communicate over the internet.

We realize this might not be for everyone, but we thought we'd let people know about a good way to put your idle computer power to good use. There is ZERO benefit to us personally ... unless you count a possible breakthrough from your computing that could help find a solution to something such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's Disease. Things that most people would like to never see themselves or their loved ones suffer from like we have seen in each of our families.

There is no way to know "who" is using the powder2glass Google Compute User ID (only the Active CPU count goes up), so if you do decide to "sign up", send us an Email

Alek & Jon - Google Toolbar Compute powder2glass team

P.S. There is a certain amount of "Geek Glory" associated with being a high ranking team in addition to the help this provides. There are over 300,000 usernames as part of Team Google . But with your assistance, we have been rocketing up in the rankings as seen in the two rank columns.  With your help, we are now in the top-10 of Team-Google and closing in on the top-5. You can see Stanford's hourly updates  and you can also look at our daily folding summary which we are putting the highlights from in the table below. Roger from the UK put this excellent Folding @ Home stats page together to graphically show our progress vs. the other top ten teams and how we are moving compared vs. the 2 teams on either side of us.

                ACTIVE     WORK            GOOGLE (PROJECT)USER
   YYYY_MM_DD    CPU'S    UNITS    SCORE     RANK      RANK    Comment

   2004_01_13        1        0        0  300,000+  600,000?   Started
   2004_03_24       12       80    5,448    1,354    16,973    Started Auto-Tracking Stats
   2004_03_28       14       94    6,440      900    14,557    Busted into Team-Google Top-1000
   2004_04_05       14      120    8,283      456    11,489    Busted into Team-Google Top-500
   2004_04_13       14      143    9,914      294     9,728    Busted into Overall Top-10000
   2004_04_20       13      171   11,899      193     8,210    Busted into Team-Google Top-200
   2004_04_30       14      203   17,225       95     5,722    Busted into Team-Google Top-100
   2004_05_06       14      224   20,666       71     4,797    Busted into Overall Top-5000
   2004_05_12       19      257   26,181       47     3,773    Busted into Team-Google Top-50
   2004_06_01       36      364   45,607       19     2,210    Busted into Team-Google Top-20
   2004_06_07       38      397   50,736       15     2,000    Busted into Team-Google Top-15 and Overall Top-2000
   2004_06_26       44      514   70,823       10     1,468    Moved into Team-Google #10 spot and Overall Top-1500
   2004_07_02       51      568   82,944        7     1,228    Moved into Team-Google #7 ... 21,000 points to position #6
   2004_07_10       51      643  100,911        7       998    Over 100K points and busted into top-1000 overall
   2004_07_18       52      701  114,622        6       880    Moved into Team-Google #6 ... 44,000 points to position #5
   2004_08_17       61      905  161,751        5       653    Moved into Team-Google #5 ... 100,000 points to position #4
   2004_08_26       59    1,007  184,323        5       560    Over 1000 Work units! Great job everyone!
   2004_09_05       63    1,142  209,557        5       496    Top 500 Overall and 200K points!
   2004_10_08       61    2,061  302,108        5       354    Over 300K points in 10 months & ~100K in a month!
   2004_10_17       57    2,233  323,353        4       337    Moved into Team-Google #4!  Great Job Team!
   2004_11_06       56    2,705  374,395        4       298    Top 300 Folding @ Home overall and 374K points!
   2004_12_23       65    4,114  501,404        4       247    500K points and Top 250 Folding @ Home overall!!!
   2005_04_02       59    6,237  774,242        4       200    Top 200 and 774K points!!!!!  Way to go team powder2glass!
   2005_07_24       43    7,202  1,000,101      4       210    1 million points!!!  Great job Team!!!
     Looks like we will Have 1 million points sometime in August ( Got it in July!!!)  Keep up the good work. 
PPS. Some of you may be running Linux - Folding @ Home works just great over there also, and here's the little "trick" to get it work properly for team-google and powder2glass. 

We have had people from all over the world contribute their idle CPU cycles for team powder2glass check out the list of powder2glass supporters here ... and when be sure to send is your info to be added when you sign up! Also read about how we have given away a BUNCH of free gmail invites to publicize the cause which not only resulted in a major clickfest, but also some good comedy! BTW, I've started a new career selling Steamboat Springs Real Estate. Steamboat is an amazing place to ski, bike, fish and golf, email me if you come into to town. If you like to ski check out Justin's ski blog or the Colorado Backcountry blog. I recommend Chip Raches, a great professional Los Angeles advertising photographer. Chip also works with several clients in Colorado and Montana.

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