haven't you been wondering about how much real money you sponsor stanford with when folding? Well, I have. I've always been wondering how much energy an idling computer uses up, does it matter to have the CPU running or not, etc. After the most recent, extremely oversized energy bill, I went out to buy an eneryusagemeter. Very nice tool, you just plug it between your power outlet, and plug, and it reports the Watts used at this very moment. It also has a little cost calculator. I don't much need a cost calculator, as calulating is quite simle here. 1 Watt*Year is ~1 euro. Simple enough. So OK, I have a little file server linux box with 3hd's half a gig ram not much graphics, a 1300MHZ AMDDuron. Now AMD is known to be an energy waster. That is because the Mainboard suppliers can't setup their boards properly and when doing real idle- most of the mainly cheap mainboards fail in one way or the other. So I took my little measuring gadget, unplugged the linux box (Uptime about half a year...) and started measuring. 90Watt at normal idle usage 115Watt at full folding power 55Watt with a neat idle task running at nice 19 Summing it up - it gets down to 60 euros spent soley for folding a year on this box. I found this a bit much, so I stopped. Now the box was sitting there, humming silently waiting for me to play with it, and using it's 55W completely useless. What a pitty. Coulnd't there be a way of throtteling the CPU power used for folding? i don't care if a work unit takes 2 or 4 days - the thing is always on, so it avererages output way above any work computer that is only running 8 hours a day. So I started to play with the idle task. Usually, it's not a process that needs to be running. But it can, in fact, be a process, that tells the cpu - well, to keep it down. Running at the same priority as folding, one can control how much percent are left for folding by using a variable amount of idle tasks. 1 idle task 50% folding 2 idle tasks 33% folding etc. So now I'm folding at 33%. The CPU keeps it cool, running at about 35°C, which is way cooler than a normal idle AMD cpu without explicit idletask would run, It actually does something when running, it's not disturbing my work, and at 20euro/year It stays affordable. Also because I exchanged my old 20Watt router against a 5watt airport which was on anyway.