Tag Archives: computer

Have A Computer? Help Fight COVID 19

This is so simple! If you have a computer (Mac, PC/Windows or Linux), join me and help beat COVID 19. This takes a couple of minutes to set up, is simple and once done, is automatic.

Many of us have idle time on our computers, in between editing and processing, or when we leave our computers on overnight so Cloud backups can take place.

This project simulates the NSP12 polymerase in the monomeric state from SARS-CoV-2! Polymerases are important for transcribing the viral genome, a necessary step for viral replication it infects a host cell (aka our cells). It uses two co-factors, NSP7 and NSP8, but this project simulates only NSP12 in isolation. Our hope is to identify a potentially druggable site in this polyermase for drug dessign efforts

The general wisdom in computer circles is that computers should be left on, as apart from general housekeeping maintenance that happens automatically in most OSs overnight, it’s also better for the machine’s longevity, compared to the constant on and off states and the associated surges with the computer and connected hard drives. The team at Stanford School of Medicine’s Folding@home has made analysing COVID 19 its top priority and has focused their efforts and the power of distributed computing towards SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) projects.

Folding@home is a project focused on disease research. The problems we’re solving require so many computer calcul­ations – and we need your help to find the cures! Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics, including the process of protein folding and the movements of proteins implicated in a variety of diseases. It brings together citizen scientists who volunteer to run simulations of protein dynamics on their personal computers. Insights from this data are helping scientists to better understand biology, and providing new opportunities for developing therapeutics.

Viruses have proteins that they use to suppress our immune systems & reproduce themselves.
Folding@home want to understand how these viral proteins work and how we can design therapeutics to stop them.

To help with this international effort, simply download the free Mac, Linux or PC software and help out: https://foldingathome.org You can run this on a laptop or desktop computer and remember that every bit of computing power can help analyse the virus’s proteins and lead to its defeat.

You can select how much computing power to assign and if your computer should work on the project at all times or just when idle. You can also stop and start at will, if for example you’re editing a complex project that needs more computing power. Its all controlled via a very simple web interface. Just follow the very simple instructions.

Get folding and lets help our scientists figure out how to defeat this awful virus.

Cooling Fans

Keeping Your Hard Drives & Computer Cool

The warmest room by far in most  homes is the home office, mainly because that’s where the computer and the hard drives live. Any creative will generate loads of data (pictures, video or audio) which means loads of hard drives for storage and backup. Even though some external hard drives have fans to keep things cool, once these pile up, pockets of hot air form and have an effect on both the active (fan) and passive (heatsink) cooling of hard drives. Excess heat can result in hard drive failure and on computers erratic behaviour at best or failure of internal components at worst.

A powered USB hub and a pair of USB fans cool down my hard drives. July 18, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakoian

A powered USB hub and a pair of USB fans cool down my hard drives. July 18, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakoian

Server rooms in offices have specific air-conditioning installed to keep the storage arrays cool, but alas most of us won’t be in a position to do that. Next best thing is to move the hot air away from the drives and also to cool the air falling upon and into them.

A powered USB hub and a pair of USB fans cool down my hard drives. July 18, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakoian

A powered USB hub and a pair of USB fans cool down my hard drives. July 18, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakoian

A very simple and cheap solution is to install a powered USB hub and plug in some USB fans. These will cool down the air and also move the air around. Simple, cheap, easy and effective.

A USB fan cools down the air before it get's sucked into my MacPro. July 18, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakoian

A USB fan cools down the air before it get’s sucked into my MacPro. July 18, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakoian

Another use for the simple USB fan is to have it cool down the air that’s sucked into your computer by it’s own internal cooling fan. By cooling the air outside the computer, the computer’s internal cooling system has a more effective job of keeping the CPU, GPU and internal hard drives cool. Incidentally, having a fan blow cooler air towards the air intake on your laptop will have the same effect (on Apple MacBooks it’s the hinge between the screen and keyboard. On PCs it’s sometimes the same place and sometimes on one of the sides).

Naturally, on hot days, the same technology can be used to cool you down too!

Good places to source this equipment will be Scan, Amazon or Dabs.

Chase Jarvis’ Photo & Video Workflow

“Nessie” Proof Backup Strategy

I’m a big believer in having a good backup strategy; it’s absolutely essential in this day and age of digital everything. My friend and colleague Chase Jarvis has put together a great video showing how he approaches the challenges of photo and video backup workflow; definitely check it out.