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Geocaching Grid Team


HartClimbs
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Have a windows computer that you leave on most of the time? Put those CPU cycles to work!

 

There's a grid computing project www.worldcommunitygrid.org that is using processing power from idle PC's to do analysis of proteins to help find effective treatments for disease.

 

There's several of these worthwhile endevors - with grid programs setup for things ranging from searching for intelligent life in the universe (seti@home) to cancer cures, etc..... I had installed this on my PC a couple months ago and have been running with no ill effects. This specific project is a joint effort with IBM and is on the level.

 

Anyway, if you have a computer that you leave on - and you take a look at the site and feel it's a worthwhile use of the idle cycles, I wanted to let folks know I'd created a GEOCACHING team (the contributors can group in teams or individually). There's teams for Slashdot, etc.. - I just thought with the techno-types who geocache - it might be of interest.

 

Sadly, no LINUX version available yet - but it's promised for 2005. Take a look and I hope you find it interesting!

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Yup, there's lots of good programs for using these idle CPU cycles.

 

Just wanted to let people know that a geocaching team had been setup on the woldcommunitygrid.org.

 

It's kind of neat - they track points, both individual and part of team, so the more geocachers that participate - the better! (of course, for those that care about the numbers!) :lol:

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I used to do RSA RC5 project, but about the time it was over I found geocaching and never started anything else.

 

I went back and looked at what the guys that I had teamed up with where now running and they are running Folding@Home.

 

I read up on both FAH and WCG, decided to go with Folding@Home.

 

Of course, even with all of the computes I have access to, they all are pathetic. They all might equal one decent home computer bought in the last six months. Maybe.

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>snip<

Of course, even with all of the computes I have access to, they all are pathetic.  They all might equal one decent home computer bought in the last six months. Maybe.

That's just it - every little bit helps - even if you have an older PC.

 

I've got it running on a very fast laptop, as well as an old crummy PC that's so old and slow that it's maily used as a file repository. :) Fast or slow, the PCs chug through the results eventually (the SLOW pc I have is working on a monster unit-of-work thats already accrued 325 hours of CPU time and is only 83% completed...it'll finish eventually!). Most of the work units are MUCH smaller - and have completed in under a day.

 

Thanks again to the folks who've signed up and hopefully more will consider joining in! It'll be interesting to see how the GEOCACHING team moves in the standings!

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if I have more than one computer would I need to set up different accounts? or do I just log in on the same account and download/install the app on each one and it will keep itself straight? (are the blocks assigned to accounts or computer?)

hmm, well it seems to be working fine....

I gave each 'device' was different name (for each computer).

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if I have more than one computer would I need to set up different accounts? or do I just log in on the same account and download/install the app on each one and it will keep itself straight? (are the blocks assigned to accounts or computer?)

I usually have 3-4 computers running SETI. It's the only one I found so far that supports anything other than Windoze (all my test systems run FreeBSD). They all use the same account.

 

Added:

And no, I will not transfer my points from the PostgreSQL team to any Geocaching team.

 

Jan

Edited by JanniCash
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I used to run SETI@home, hit about 1200 units, but then got bored with it. Now, however, with a new and blazingly fast computer, I am tempted to start it up again just to see how fast it can churn through work units. (last computer 1.6 GHz P4 got through one every 7 or so hours, new one is 2.4 GHz Athlon 64 FX-53 with 2 Gigs of RAM... I'm estimating 2.5 to 3 hours per unit.) However, I am VERY hesitant to put my good computer on the internet right now.

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Well I gave in - I guess it was too tempting. All I can say is WOW my computer is fast, it's 5% done in 6 minutes, and the little graph is blazing by faster than ever before. I know they slow down toward the end but this puts it at about 2 hours per work unit, about 12 per day.

 

Now if I could put this computing power toward something that would actually earn me money, with the computer sitting around crunching numbers while earning me cash, then we'd have something useful.

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I saw something about this on one of my employers' internal website a while back (hint: we did a *lot* of the development of worldgrid, we're shown in the "powered by" stuff.), and set it aside for further review.

 

Saw this post, figured why not, and installed it. I'm in, joining GEOCACHING - too many of my employer teams anyways. :rolleyes:

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I just wanted to congratulate the 14 people who've joined the World Community Grid geocaching team so far on completing almost 400 answer units (and garnering over 96,000 points to date).

 

Like geocaching, it's not about the numbers :laughing: - but the geocaching team's in the top 10% of all the teams and continues to climb! (Ok, so who says something good for the world at large can't be fun and a little competitive too?)

 

Keep those idle PC's humming!

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I always find it interesting when people say "don't waste your idle CPU cycles".

 

A modern CPU will mostly shut down when idle, and consume far less power than one working at full whack. If you run one of these programs, you'll consume more power and generate more heat.

 

I'm not saying don't do it - but don't pretend it's 'free' :laughing:

 

Cheers,

 

Stu

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I'm not saying don't do it - but don't pretend it's 'free'

I don't think anyone thinks it's "free" and you are right when a machine is not doing real work it's "idling." But just like a car when it's idling it's not "off."

 

Windows machine run a program called "idle" which uses very few of the CPU's transistors thus using little power and generating little heat. But it is also sitting there doing no useful work. It's in this "freetime" that these programs run. They have a priority just above idle and below anything else so when something useful for you needs doing it can get done. So, in it's "freetime" it can work on something useful for mankind.

 

Yes, these programs generate more heat and use more power, but if you're that concerned with it you'd be shutting down the computer when not in use and unplugging all of the energy vampires in your house.

 

No, I'm not on the Grid. I Fold.

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I always find it interesting when people say "don't waste your idle CPU cycles".

 

A modern CPU will mostly shut down when idle, and consume far less power than one working at full whack. If you run one of these programs, you'll consume more power and generate more heat.

 

I'm not saying don't do it - but don't pretend it's 'free' :laughing:

 

Cheers,

 

Stu

I always find it interesting that some people revel in pointing out any negative aspect, no matter how minor or insignificant. Nothing's free - and reading through the thread I can find where anyone suggested it was. I just unscrewed a lightbulb so running the grid program is net neutral for my personal power consumption. (actually, I maybe reducing my overall power consumption) :laughing:

 

I just suggested these grid programs (seti, folding, wcg, etc..) as a way to use PC's that are sitting idle for people who have them on already and want to use their available processing power for the greater good. Yes, you're right - the processors (and disk drives) will use slightly more power as they're in use.

 

These good causes need CPU processing power to find solutions - so the more the merrier. As CoyoteRed already correctly noted - to save power - always turn off any piece of electronic equipment when not in use.

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On the flipside, I used to have several PCs crunching distributed.net encryption keys, but after the last cypher was broken, I stopped. Around this time, some geeky friends of mine actually connected power monitoring devices in-line with their PCs and compared the power consumption when idle vs when crunching 24/7. There was a significant increase in the cost of running it idle 24/7 vs crunching keys to the tune of several dollars per month per PC if I recall correctly. So while the argument is valid that you're 'wasting CPU cycles' by not doing anything with them, this 'service' you are providing for FREE (not really) is actually costing you a small fortune if run continuously over time.

 

I no longer crunch anything anymore, except for data when I'm actually using my machines.

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I used to run SETI back in the day, but I figure they've got enough people looking for little green men right now (actually that isn't what they're doing). I started to read about all the problems they were having with the extra bandwidth they were using up just sending out, and bringing back work units. I figure someone else could use my CPU cycles more. I run folding@home on all my computers. My number of active CPUs is kinda messed up, but as of right now, I am ranked 1168, having completed 2212 work units.

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I found the thread on another forum, and here's the post that was the deciding factor in why I stopped crunching.

 

I've dropped out of RC5

 

So, after seeing the latest electric bill ($220) I decided to take it upon myself to see what kind of power my PC's draw.

 

I picked up a "Kill-A-Watt". Basically, it's an inline box that gives you a full readout of what your device draws, in Watts, Amps, Volts, VA's. Hell, it will even tell you the current cycle and give you a KWh readout.

 

I have 2 machines plugged in, in my room. A fully loaded P4 3.19ghz box w\ watercooling and my fileserver that currently is barebones w\ 2 hdd's.

 

At idle, with the 3 UPS's plugged in, monitor and speakers on and the PC's shut off, i'm drawing 78 watts. I'm not sure why that number is so high, but I can only assume it's the UPS's taking the juice.

 

With the AXP serbar on, I jump to 300watts even, so that AXP rig draws 222 watts. With the P4 machine on, the overall number jumps to 479. So the P4 is drawing only 179 watts! These are all "idle" numbers. Here's where it gets interesting. Pop open an instance of d.net RC5.. 580 watts baby. So with a single cpu working at full load, it draws a full 100 watts more power.

 

So, i've shutdown and uninstalled all instances of d.net throughout the house. I figure that's good for a 400w savings overall. This may be old news, but i'm just shocked how much extra juice a PC takes when the cpu isn't idle.

 

And if anyone wants a Kill A Watt, you can buy them on eBay for $45.. Or.. Hit up your nearest Radio Shack, we have them on clearance for $19.97. I think I might pickup another 2 of them, to see what kind of juice my 46" RP draws as well as my window A\C unit.

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I started running seti at home today. The laptop seems to handle the "strain" well, but it's starting to get a bit too hot. I think i'll let it finish this one then decideif I want to keep doing it. The electric bills are killer anyways because of our electric floorboard heat. in the summertime it would be better for us.

 

or if I finally get that off grid PV system i've been dreaming up for years ;)

 

 

Joe Smith

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Laptops weren't meant to run this stuff, at least that's how I see it, and I ran rc5 on 4 laptops when I used to work at Motorola. After awhile, they started to chug, so I turned it off. The post about electric heat made me chuckle. It's understandable that the floorboard heating kicks up the electric bill, but I thought making MORE heat in the summer defeats the purpose of trying to stay cool. ;)

 

Depending on the outside temp and what you have running in your PC room/office, crunching numbers can result in a definite, noticeable temp increase.

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Best choice to save power is to unplug any electronic equipment not in use. I'd read somewhere that a TV draws a good deal of current even when turned off.

 

I found this interesting site on PC power use and it's surprising how much electricity a running PC consumes (even when shut off). I'll leave that discussion to the electrical engineers who frequent the site. My post was about the Geocaching World Community Grid team!

 

Best thing for the environment is - turn your pc off and unplug it. Period.

 

If you do leave it on and want to join WCG - join the geocaching team! (there's the plug for geocaching). Then turn off all your lights and go out hiking!

 

Brian's post was interesting - so the delta for PC at full load (vs. a PC at rest) is basically a single 100W lightbulb. Candles are more romantic anyway. ;)

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"Hello. I'm John Geocacher.

 

Would you burn a 100 watt light 24/7 if it could save a life? If so, I have good news! You, too, can help fight disease by simply leaving your computer on when you are not using it and run our cure finding software. Your computer uses just 100 watts more when running this software--just like leaving a 100 watt light burning as beacon. Let your computer be that beacon.

 

Be part of the cure!"

 

...or something like that.

Edited by CoyoteRed
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Well, I decided not to keep working with SETI at home for now. If I get a desktop I think i'll consider it.

 

The whole thing finished in about six hours, whatever that means.

 

 

The problem is that I usually leave the laptop sitting on the bed and it often gets covered by the blankets. in it's insulated cocoon it sits there and heats up to where you can't even hold it for 10 seconds.

 

For now, i'll have to leave it up to the rest of you guys.

 

But I am looking for a good deal on a desktop. Fast, powerful, and cheap.

 

Any ideas?

 

 

(to get it on topic:) so I can use it for running pocket queries.

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It's been a while and I thought I'd see if more folks join up when I bump this thread from the depths of the forums.

(The geocaching team is at 3,103 results returned at this time, and the laptop overheating thing has been helped by a throttle control on the grid process.)

-J

 

The newest update from the group using the world community grid is:

 

6-27-2005

Seattle

 

Update from the Institute for SystemsBiology

 

Work completed:

 

We have completed 60-72% of the work we plan to process in this phase of the human proteome folding project. That means we’ve processed a huge amount of work that when combined and post-processed here at the ISB results in 3D-structure predictions for over 53,000 protein domains taken from proteins in all complete genome sequences. Again, these domains are the least annotated sequences out there, so this info should be a major source of insight for figuring out what these proteins do. We have two grids devoted to this project (one operated by IBM, the worldcommunitygrid.org, and one operated by United Devices, grid.org). So far IBM has returned 49 batches of work resulting in 49,000 structure predictions, while UD has returned 14 batches. We are projected to finish the work in december at this rate (the grid has grown a bit slower than we thought it would, so tell you’re friends).

 

Biology interface:

 

We have begun the final stage of development for this project, the front end that will display results to biologists. Two programers at the ISB have now begun the process of integrating the results we get from the grid with the myriad other types of biological data using the data visualization and integration platform Cytoscape (cytoscape.org). The functional implications of any given structure prediction are best interpreted in light of everything else we know about a given protein. This front end will allow biologists to efficiently evaluate not just the structure and sequence matches for a given protein, but also its context in the cellular network. Work will begin on a subset of 5 organisms including yeast, human and malaria, but will eventually include all organisms on the grid ... more on this soon.

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The World Community Grid has launched it's next project The Human Proteme folding is about done and they are now folding for Fight Aids at home as well.

Linux capability has recently been added as well for those who may be interested.

Geocachers have returned 5,313 results as of today.

-J

:mad:

Currently the geocaching team has returned 8,933 results for 2,390,866 points (whatever that means :laughing:)

 

At the moment there five possiable projects to work on (you can choose which ones you want your device to do, or just select them all and whatever is available will be sent)

They are:

FightAIDS@Home

Genome Comparison

Help Cure Muscular Dystrophy

Help Defeat Cancer

Human Proteome Folding 2

 

(for some reason 'Help Cure Muscular Dystrophy' isn't available to Linux and Mac users till they switch to "phase 2")

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Ever the paranoid skeptic, with windows already running dozens of behind the scenes processes whose purpose and exploits I do not know, and the prevalence of phishing, spying, hacking, hoaxes and virus propagation, I really can't see willingly signing on to a background process on my computer that could conceivably being doing something sinister as well as or instead of what it is ostensibly trying to accomplish.

 

I also am concerned, being jaded by all the chain email spam, that the purposes of such endeavours might be totally legitimate but simply misguided and useless.

 

Integrity is something the internet simply does not have in my book. :laughing:

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I haven't encountered any issues with the WCG stuff at all. And most of the research I have done about their group has been very positive. Their work has always been referred to in positive ways and is sponsored by IBM. The work they are doing is non-patentable and I believe is never going to be used for proprietary research. Of all the causes I have found online, this one I happily have participated in, trusting that it is safe and I can help make a small difference.

-J

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Having done a small amount of basic research, I cannot find any negatives especially regarding misuse of facilities. I am still concerned about the efficacy of the programs.

 

I get stuck on such things as the collection of pop can pull tabs for dialysis.

 

The pop can companies create a product that eliminates the pollution (litter) caused by their product that was the absolute HORROR of the environmentalist industry just to have it intentionally defeated by an internet hoax that cannot be destroyed... one that was so effective that the victims of the hoax have had to acquiesce to creating real programs to collect the useless things. (Which they now use for PR)

 

This in essence is where my efficacy concern lies.

 

Admittedly, even if the programs turn out to be worthless, whether by design (hoax) or by the simple fact that MOST scientific inquiries yield little or no useful results (other than learning another way NOT to do something), there is no apparent harm done...

 

I am leaning...

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*snip*

 

Admittedly, even if the programs turn out to be worthless, whether by design (hoax) or by the simple fact that MOST scientific inquiries yield little or no useful results (other than learning another way NOT to do something), there is no apparent harm done...

 

I am leaning...

 

That is one of the main reasons I participate. It moves research forward by helping to eliminate dead-end paths that might otherwise take up enormous amounts of time and money to discover.

 

For folks interested, check out this page for information on the different ongoing research projects. Research Project Information

It is possible to set your system to only do work for one or two of the projects, so if you do not agree with one of them, you can choose not to participate in researching it.

 

I believe the Cancer and Muscular dystrophy projects are great examples of how grid processing can help researchers determine new ways to help people.

-Jen

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