Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
December 31, 2008     The New Era Paper
PAGE 7     (7 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 7     (7 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
December 31, 2008

Newspaper Archive of The New Era Paper produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2021. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

J e  r.- December 31,2008 VouR COMbIUNITV Page 7 I Stanford From page 1 doing on my adventure motorcycle forum," Tomic said. "It struck a competitive chord for me." The forum has about 17 members who actively contribute to the Folding@home program, Tomic said. Overall, the project has approximately 25.0,000 actively participating CPUs. He has since managed to move up into the top 10,000 for amount of work processed, he said. "But I've got some heavy-duty horsepower running here at no small expense, I might add. That competitive gene is expensive." He has tried several different video cards to find out which perform the best, he said. The program uses video card processors first, followed by the CPU if the video card isn't appropriate. Many video cards in the Nvidia 8000 and 9000 series are able to handle the software while older cards cannot. "If I find a good cause and it includes competition, so much the better," Tomic said. In addition to his own computers, he is running satellite machines in Bend, Phoenix and Portland as well as some in the shop for service. The project started in Dr. Vijay Pande's lab in Stanford's Department of Chemistry and Structural Biology. In 1999 Pande, an associate professor in physical and biophysical chemistry, wrote algorithms that would enable thousands of isolated computers to calculate tiny portions of a folding Garth Tomic's computer monitors shows the folding process at work at left. On the right side, he monitors fan speeds and performance. sequence and combine their solutions. The "software downloads work units from Stanford and then processes them in the background by simulating the folding of proteins. Proteins are biology's workhorse, but before they can perform their-functions in the body's cells, which include serving as antibodies, enzymes, messengers, structural components and transport/storage units, they must transform themselves from long chains of amino acids into three-dimensional structures, a process called "folding." This folding process remains a mystery in many ways to scientists, When proteins do not fold correctly, serious consequences can result, including many well-known diseases such as Alzheimer's, mad cow, CJD, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's, many cancers and many cancer-related symptoms, according to the program's Web site. Pande's program requires massive processing power to achieve simulations of the folding, and Folding @ home received recognition for this in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records for achieving the computing power of one petaflop or 1 quadrillion "floating point operations per second." The program has received a number of awards, including recognition for significant advances in simulating protein aggregation at the heart of Alzheimer's disease. The software can run on virtually any computer, although the output of older machines will be lower, Tomic said. Even the lowliest laptop can help to some extent, he said. He has one laptop producing 67 points per day while one of his big desktop computers folds more than 2,000 points per day. Points are how Folding@ home keeps track of how much has been processed. The software uses 100 percent of the CPU's or graphic card's processing power, but that isn't anything to worry about. "If the machine was designed properly (and most are), it's designed to run at 100 percent without any grief," he said. "When running properly, this shouldn't slow down anything in the foreground." The software does not prevent the use of other computer software, although Tomic suggests turning it off while playing graphically intense games. Thesoftware works in the background and backs off as other software is in use. He does have one caution though, he said. "The interior of the machine needs to be clean because it's going to run at 100 percent." Dust that coats heat sinks and electronic components can cause higher heat buildup, he said, and that could lead to problems. He recommends removing the computer cover, blowing off the dust and looking for failed capacitors or obvious failures before running the software. Tomic said he will inspect and clean towers for $20. He will send all of that cash to the program at Stanford University. For those looking for further information or interested in donating to disease research this way, visit folding.stanford.edu on the Web, click on "Download Folding@home" and follow instructions. Tomic may be reached at 367-6660. To join Team Sweet Home, Oregon, join team number 156891 inside the user account page. For the sake of the friendly competit!on between nearby communities, Tomic is hoping Lebanon and Albany will create teams of their own, and he is planning to contact other computer technicians to join the cause and take the lead in those communities. ! i mimmmmmimmmmm S299 Expires 12/31/08 I Chicken Enchilada Pizza l w/Enchilada Sauce I ' $ 8 95 XL TOt3K Delivery Available i (541) 367-4511" 2435 E. Main St. ili 00Rlo Tt- 1439 Main St., Info: 367-5559 Office: 401-3500 Visit us: www.riotheatreinc.com Ceming s(fl._..VIU$ Fri-Sat 7pro Sun Adults $6,00 ,Child 2-11 Yrs: $5.00 * Seniors $4.00 DTS ; Digital S0und System i i FREE SODA With Purchase of $5 Daily Special GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE 1502 Long St. 818-0081 Across from High School