Photics Team / Folding@Home

In the video game world, we fight as heroes. What if you could be a hero in real life, without having to do a lot of work? Here’s an opportunity to make that fantasy a reality. I started a Folding@home team for Stamford University is using distributed computing to better understand protein folding. This knowledge could lead to cures for Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases.

It sounds technical, but setting it up is pretty easy.
Here’s how you join the Photics Team…

If you are interested in donating your computer’s idle time, quite possibility for the greater good of humanity, just download the software from the Stamford website… You can use a Mac, a PC or even a PS3. Once you have the software installed, you will be given the option to join a team. If you want to join the team, just put the number 60254 in the Team number field. Your stats will appear on the Team Page. If you have  a newer NVIDIA graphics card, with CUDA support, you might want to check out the high performance clients.


You’ll show up on the team page once you’ve successfully completed a Work Unit. Depending on the speed of the computer, and how long you leave your computer running, it could take a few days. I hardly notice the program running. It just puts a little icon in my system tray.

Folding@Home - Icon in System Tray

As I write this, the FahCore_78.exe is using as much as 98% of my CPU usage. (You can monitor CPU usage via the Windows Task Manager.) If I was doing something more processor intensive, like playing Guild Wars, the Folding software drops down. That’s because it’s set to Low Priority.

Folding@Home - Windows Task Manager (Running Guild Wars)
Windows Task Manager, while running the Folding sofware and Guild Wars.

Folding@Home - Windows Task Manager (Quitting Guild Wars)
Windows Task Manager, after quitting Guild Wars. The Folding@Home software was designed to be unintrusive. I can’t think of an easier way to help humanity.