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Nerfers Nerfing Disease

Team NerfHaven Folding@Home

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#1 cxwq

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 06:48 PM

I created a NerfHaven team (#45293) for the Folding @ Home project a few days ago and wanted to encourage everyone participating in F@H to join the team. If you're not putting your unused CPU cycles to work on anything else, this is a pretty worthwhile cause that may go a long way towards understanding and curing a number of diseases. Folding @ Home uses the computers of hundreds of thousands of volunteers to study protein folding problems related to Alzheimers and some types of cancer, among others.

Teh Contest:

When I wake up on Christmas morning, I will check the team stats and send a PM to the person with the highest point total who isn't named cxwq. I will ask them which of the fine prizes (listed on the first page of this thread) they would like shipped to them at my expense.

  • 30' of PETG
  • 1 NIB BlastFire
  • 1 NIB Max Shot


How To Install: link

How Points Are Calculated: link

Dial-Up, Security, etc: link

Stats links:

Official F@H NH Team Page

NH Team Page @Extreme OC

NH Team Page @Forum PCs
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#2 Talio

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 09:06 AM

It's gonna take me a few days to get things straightened out, but I have two P3's in my server that rarely get used. I've been trying to find a use for them, but other then running my own mail server, FTP client and a nice little proxy web service for my buddies (with limitations of course) it's pretty much dormat. That doesn't stop the thing from creating enough heat to melt the aluminium. I'll sign up for it eventually, it's just going to take me a week or two to run some diagnostics to see exactly how active it is at what hours of the day. The logs look pretty much empty, but I just recently started a service which will auto update virus and OS updates on the wintel machines of my friends. Needless to say I'm very new to Linux administration, so it's pretty much all hood-rigged. It could be useful. It's able to run alot of stuff, it just does it slower then I'd like. If anyone has a duel P4 Xeon motherboard floating around with enough memory, let me know. Untill then, I don't have the 6 grand to upgrade it.

Ah well, it's fun. I'll see what I can do.

Talio.
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#3 cxwq

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:25 PM

That's it? Nobody else here is interested in a computational dick wagging contest? One that actually provides important health science research? Okay, lets make it more interesting.

As of right now, the NerfHaven stats page puts me at 388 points after finishing 4 work units. Each work unit is worth a point total between 10 and 600 (currently) that reflects the relative amount of CPU time required to process it. Points are based on the formula (110 x days_to_complete_on_P4_2.8) so if you have a P4 2.8 you should expect to get a little under 110 points per day, less for slower machines and more for faster machines. I have a 5 day head start, having installed my first client on Friday afternoon. Today I added another couple of (relatively slow) machines.

The first person other than me to hold the #1 point total ranking for the NerfHaven team for seven consecutive days will win their choice of one of the following:
  • 30' of PETG
  • 1 NIB BlastFire
  • 1 NIB Max Shot
To win this contest you will either need a fairly fast computer, or be able to talk one or more of your friends or family into letting you install the client on their computer too. The single rule is that multiple NH members can not work together under the same Folding@Home User ID.

Come on, the NH team is already ranked 11645 of 38951 teams with less than a week of my CPU time, lets see how high we can get it!

Mini FAQ:

The client runs as a low priority service so that it runs 'in the background' and doesn't slow down your system. If you're listening to mp3s, it takes the other 70% of your CPU, if you're playing a FPS, it gets practically nothing, if you go make a sandwich, it takes 100% until you get back. It's all seamless and you don't need to do anything about it. If you want maximum performance under windoze, download the "no-nonsense text-only console" since it's faster than the graphical and screensaver versions.
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#4 The Infinite Shindig

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 06:47 PM

You guys can count on my laptop's CPU time. While it is nowhere near as powerful as a desktop, I'm pretty proud of it. I have a 1.6GHz Pentium M with 1GB of RAM, which isn't bad at all for a laptop.

I think when cx did the nerf group at SETI, I was one of the few that actually joined him. Come on guys, let's get Haven higher on that team list.
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#5 Devious

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 06:53 PM

i'm up for a challenge, that and an NIB Blastfire as an incentive always makes a contest worthwhile :mellow:
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#6 taita cakes

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 08:05 PM

If you're listening to mp3s, it takes the other 70% of your CPU...

But I want to listen to soft rock, and Bob Geldof now! Screw helping.

No seriously, I'm up for it. I have a P4 3GHz up for the cause, but I think my modem will let me down, even though I read the relevant FAQ snippet. I just found out I might have Marfan's disease so I think we all can lend a hand where we can.
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#7 cxwq

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 08:13 PM

I think my modem will let me down

The work unit I'm currently crunching consisted of a ~500k download which will take my Athlon XP 2200+ about two days to process before I have to download more. With your CPU, definitely enable the large work unit option - it will reduce the number of times you have to fetch new data from their servers.

Sucks about possibly having Marfan's... that's pretty rare, isn't it?
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#8 Devious

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 08:16 PM

alright, i've joined the team, currently crunching WU 1 (Frames: 400), currently on 20 of 400, 2 comps running it at the same time
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#9 taita cakes

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 08:22 PM

I think my modem will let me down

The work unit I'm currently crunching consisted of a ~500k download which will take my Athlon XP 2200+ about two days to process before I have to download more. With your CPU, definitely enable the large work unit option - it will reduce the number of times you have to fetch new data from their servers.

Sucks about possibly having Marfan's... that's pretty rare, isn't it?

I'm using the text only console version. I'll have to fiddle with it later.

Yeah Marfan's is pretty rare. But it's slightly more common in America, with odds being 1:5000. It's all pretty fun, early death, blindness, but I dont want to live till I'm old and vegetative, I've seen that happen to too many of my family.
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#10 Illadar

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 09:58 PM

I used to run SETI and the Golem project( did any one else use that), I had those on my old box. I havn't put any on my aleinware which is a shame cause it is unused most of the day, perhapes I shall use this as an oppertunity to put some of those spare cycles to use.
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#11 Viper

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 12:27 AM

I've downloaded it and its running. How do I get to join your team though?
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#12 cxwq

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 12:41 AM

Should have had that option when setting up the client... it asks for a team number.
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#13 Talio

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 08:56 AM

Ok, I can't access the site from my work machine, however I think getting any client to work is going to be a bit of an issue.

What kind of client is this thing? I'm running Red Hat 9 on my server, so it could turn out to be an issue. Unless they have the binary files I'm pretty much SOL. I'll check it when I get at home, but they must have some kind of nix support for this thing. Most of the UltraSparc systems could out perform a standard Van Newman Intel machine any day of the week with flying colors.

I'm also timid as to security issues. The server acts as our home network router and I've got the firewall set up pretty damn strictly. I'm ok with opening a port up, but unless the client is using CHAP authentication, it's not going to happen. I'm already timid enough about opening up ports for SSH and HTTP. I'm not hosting highly sensitive data here, but it's taken me a long time to get all these systems to co-exsist and I'm not ready to go through data tapes to restore lost configuration that's taken me almost 6 months to get.

As much as I understand the cause and I'd like to help, I'm just going to need to understand the client and it's processes first.

Talio.
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#14 Crankymonky

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 10:35 AM

Fine, Fine, You get my PC's and a few of my friends. Once I get home from work. I think I'll put it on 7 machines. 1 AMD sempron 3100+, 1 athlon XP 2000+, 1 Celeron D 335 2.8ghx, 1 P4 2 gz, 1 P3 500mhz, and 1 P2(?) 335 mhz.

Crank'

Edited by crankymonky, 07 July 2005 - 10:38 AM.

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#15 ompa

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 11:08 AM

I'm in. I'll try to get my other comp in it, but for now, I'll put my 2.8 ghz in for it (my other computer is monitor-less at the moment, and it would take a very long time to install FaH without a screen). I won't win, but hey, it's for a good cause- thanks for letting me know about the site.

Lastly, how long does it take before your name is shown under the team members page? I actually kind of skipped over the whole name step, so I'm currently owner...

~ompa

Edited by ompa, 07 July 2005 - 11:12 AM.

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#16 The Large Moose

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 07:45 PM

Yeah, I have almost finished completing my computer, it has a P4 3.4, I am still waiting for my RAM (1GB) to come in the mail, and its finished. I will hook it up, and try this out.
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#17 PissBacon

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 01:09 AM

I'm just about done rigging up a pc too (AMD XP 3000+ venice). Hopefully my friends with more money invested in little electronic things will set it up too. I've been diagnosed with marfan syndrome as well; it's all very weird. They say when I'm running my heart could explode or something.
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#18 taita cakes

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 01:39 AM

Am I the only who sees the humour in that? :lol:
Nah man, sucks to be you. Mine's not confirmed, but the doctor says theres little chance of it being wrong, he's only misdiagnosed it once. I just have a long, anxious wait till December for testing.

Ompa seems to be the only showing up so far. Weird because I was pretty immediate in my sign up.

Another question I couldn't spot in the FAQ: What if I just leave this running for ours while I'm offline [because that could get a lot more work done]. I mean if you've already downloaded the task, then it should be alright, you can then upload later. Hmmmm.
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#19 PissBacon

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 02:43 AM

Yes, if you have dial-up or don't want to be always connected to the internet, it can process while you are offline. I can't wait til i get my friends on this; they leave their computers on for weeks at a time.

Despite getting some weird ultrasound on my heart, they doctor wasn't sure about the hearty-explody thing, so I still run every day; it was probably the most expensive physical I've ever gone in for (insurance didn't cover ultrasound for some reason).

EDIT: I'm going to have to take back what I said since it was extremely vague. What you are asking about requires a bit of extra work; it isn't exactly simple. For help working offline at times, check out this forum discussion.

Edited by PissBacon, 08 July 2005 - 03:08 AM.

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#20 cxwq

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 01:40 PM

I'll try to address all the questions - if yours isn't covered to your taste, feel free to ask for clarification:

Clients: This page has binaries for Windows, Linux, and OS X. I would suggest downloading the "text console" version for your OS since it makes the best use of your computer's power and runs silently in the background. There is information in the FAQ for getting the Linux binaries running under BSD.

Configuration: First go to this page and type your desired username into the box at the top to make sure your name isn't already in use. For the remainder, I'll assume you downloaded the console, text only, no-nonsense version of the client. Open up a command/shell window and navigate to the directory you saved the client in, then launch it. For windoze, if you saved it in c:\ that would mean typing "cd c:\" then "FAH502-Console" - this will change as the version number of the client changes, of course.

The first time you run the client it will ask you a number of questions. For Windoze, the first three questions are:

Your name: Type your username here, case sensitive. If you're not sure what to put, "cxwq" is fine.
Your team number: 45293
Install as a service?: yes

All the rest of the questions can be left as default for most users. People with at least 512MB RAM may want to enable large work units which is disabled by default.

Once you're done answering questions, it will scroll a bunch of junk past the window as it downloads a work unit and fires up the appropriate core for your CPU and the type of work being done. Once all that finishes, it will become much less active, only giving you occasional status updates that look like this:

[16:15:39] Completed 72500 out of 125000 steps (58)

This information is to let you know how much progress has been made on the current work unit. Once it is processing a work unit, you can shutdown your machine whenever you need to. When you restart your computer, the service will automatically run in the background and you will no longer see that window. You can check your progress by opening the file named "MyFolding.html" and the actual client output (what you saw in the original command window) in the file "FAHlog.txt" in whatever directory you put the client in. I've only done all this in Windoze so far, but I assume that the other OS variants also set the client to start automatically with the system and run in the background.

Dial-Up: The client can be configured to dial up automatically when it needs new data or to hold on to the finished work unit until you connect again, then upload the results and download a new unit. I haven't looked into the specifics of this, but you can definitely leave your computer working while it's offline. The forum thread posted above in response to this question is answering something slightly different regarding computers that are never online. Obviously you wouldn't need to follow those instructions.

Security: I've looked into this one quite a bit and the level of attention to security is significantly better than many distributed projects. First, you don't need to open any ports to inbound traffic, all data transfers are initiated by the client. Second, all data transfers are first compressed, then signed with PKI. When your client fetches a new work unit, it verifies the signature before decompressing and beginning work on the unit. If the signature is invalid, the unit is dumped and a new one is fetched. Through this mechanism, you have double protection because even if the IP address of the server is spoofed through DNS poisoning or something, the attacker would still need to defeat the PKI which is Extremely Difficult. Someone with the ability to spoof F@H packets would be better off spending their time working for a government security agency for loads of money.

Team Stats: Provided you set up your client with the correct team number (45293) you will appear in the NH Team stats within 6 hours of completing your first work unit. It can take several days for a computer running 24/7 to complete some of these work units so don't worry if you haven't appeared for a day or two. Check the progress of your work units through the log files mentioned above.

I'd like to welcome Ompa to the 'fold' and note that we are now ranked 8353 out of 38978 teams, having moved up 3292 places since two days ago.
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#21 quasar

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 02:25 PM

I'd like to add that the GUI is really cool as a screensaver. I like to see the carbons it's trying to position and the folding of the whole peptide string is amazing.

Mine says it's working on 'p1801 Collagen PPG1 Amber Core', sounds like a collagen synthase enzyme maybe.
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#22 cxwq

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 02:44 PM

Mine says it's working on 'p1801 Collagen PPG1 Amber Core', sounds like a collagen synthase enzyme maybe.

Descriptions of the various projects (and yours specifically) can be found here. The particular project your computer is assigned when it downloads a new work unit is based on a priority queue for the various studies as well as the relative power of your machine.
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#23 Parapsycho

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 03:13 PM

What kind of client is this thing?  I'm running Red Hat 9 on my server, so it could turn out to be an issue.

Did you ever get the Linux version to run? I've got Mandriva 10.1, and would like to help out too.
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#24 Nerforbust

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 07:53 PM

I got it, even though my PC sucks I can help a little.
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#25 Crankymonky

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 09:16 PM

I noticed that on two of my machines, both running XP, 1 home 1 pro, that after a reboot I had the FAH core running at approximately 50% CPU under both my username and system. Maybe setting it to a service was a poor choice?
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