At several sites I post at they have folding teams that they urge people to join. I am totally not a geek, but I really want to learn to become one. I have tried to search for info but keep coming up with info that means nothing to me at all. Everyone tells me to download this or that but how can I know if my poor pitiful puter even has the necessary requirements to be of use for this thing called folding? I am on dial up and cant spend hours uploading and downloading info. I don't have much RAM (254) but if my computer could help with research while I am sleeping, I am all for it. Can someone who really knows please explain this to me?

*tired of getting the runaround from some smart ass geeks who have laughed at me a lot in other places* :cry: They weren't born geeks, were they?

Here at DaniWeb, we have a folding group as well. Folding actually isn't a tech term at all. Folding proteins is the scientific process of gathering data about proteins and doing a bunch of data analysis and number crunching on them in all of their different molecular configurations. (When you fold proteins, you change their molecular configuration / structure, or something like that. A biologist / chemist can correct me).

Basically, by performing number crunches on folded proteins, scientists can find cures to diseases such as cancer. However, the amount of number crunching that would need to take place would take thousands of years even on today's fastest machines. Therefore, we use what is called distributed computing - thousands (and even millions) of computers (in this case, all of our PCs!) all working together to do the number crunching, and hopefully get all the work done millions times faster. The way that it works is you install software to your machine, and when your computer is not in use, your unused CPU clockcycles are used to do number crunching on proteins (protein folding) ... and the data is periodically sent back over the Internet.

In addition to protein folding, there is another distributed computing project called [email="Seti@Home"]Seti@Home[/email] (it's NASA funded, I believe) which does number crunching on space probes to try to find intelligent life in outer space. But I think finding a cure for cancer is a more worthwhile cause ;)

[email="Seti@Home"]Seti@Home[/email] -
[email="Folding@Home"]Folding@Home[/email] -

And to join DaniWeb's [email="Folding@Home"]Folding@Home[/email] Team,

OK I got that part Dani, but is my computer any use at all? I don't have a big fancy system and I really am on dialup so that is a concern for me as well. I knew that you have the folding team and it was actually a google search on folding that landed me here.

I really don't want to download software and then find out that I dont have the right system requirements. RAM is the issue sometimes. I tend to use too much RAM with my graphics programs.

(If I do find that I can do this, I would be honored to be on your team.)