Preformatted Letter to Ask for Folding@Home Permission

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by maineroad, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. maineroad macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2004
    I stumbled upon this at the Team Futuremark forums (coincedently our next conquest). Thought it might be useful for those trying to convince companies, organizations, or even individuals to join.


    Dear [insert name here]

    I am writing to ask if [organizationname] would be interested in donating otherwise unused computer time to help fight diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow, CJD, ALS, and Parkinson's disease, among others. This donation process would be transparent to all normal users, poses no known security risk, and would require no additional updates or user intervention after the original software installation. The software runs at the lowest possible priority, and readily gives up CPU resources to all other processes.

    The project I am proposing is “Folding at Home”, a nonprofit distributed computing project being run by Stanford University in Stanford, California. This successful project has now been running for over two years, has been successfully installed on over 500,000 computers, and currently has ~90,000 active contributors. In this time, this project has accurately predicted the folding behavior of some proteins. Understanding the exact ways in which proteins fold is the key to preventing and curing diseases such as Alzheimers, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, and Parkinson's disease. More information about the project can be found at .

    The software will be setup to run as a service, using firedaemon lite, and will be undetectable by the normal user. Advanced users may notice the presence of FAH3Console.exe and Fah_core_78.exe in the list of running processes (if they look). It won't affect performance whatsoever, and users won’t notice any effect in word processing, educational software, email, web browsers, etc. will run with the same responsiveness as before, so the users are not affected.

    Network loading is extremely low. A 1.8GHz machine will download a new work unit about once every 2-3 days; each work unit is about 250k. It will also upload the results of each work unit when it is completed (about 900K). The software is self maintaining, and may download an updated executable (approximately 500K) about once a month or as needed.

    As I mentioned before, the software will only be downloaded from Stanford University, which has a vested interest in keeping the software secure; any security holes could corrupt their data and produce meaningless results. To protect against this happening, they use 2048 bit digital signatures, which is much more secure than anything publicly used on the internet; if the signatures do not match, on uploads or downloads, the data is rejected providing extremely secure datastream. Only work unit related information is transmitted to Stanford's servers, which is a simple list of atoms and their calculated positions and velocities.

    I can help with the installation (if you wish) by providing the firedaemon installer file and a pre-configured Folding@home directory.

  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Not bad - but unless you get it to the right person it wouldn't fly. You need to have it presented as an inside job - the member should approach their bosses and ask directly.


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