What is Rosetta@Home?
Rosetta@home is a small program that runs on your computer to simulate the 3-dimentional structures of proteins, the building blocks of life as we know it. Through this effort the Rosetta@home non-profit organization behind the effort hopes to better understand and fight diseases such as HIV, Malaria, Cancer and Alzheimer's. Rosetta@home the organization depends on the help of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to run their program to create a distributed, virtual supercomputer that rivals the worlds fastest (and most expensive) supercomputers. The Rosetta@home application runs on your computer in the background and uses processor time that you aren't currently using to simulate folding proteins. The Rosetta@home website can be found at http://boinc.bakerlab.org/rosetta/
What is BOINC?
The Rosetta@home application is downloaded, controlled, configured and scheduled to run by a managing application called BOINC. Users of Rosetta@home do not actually interact with Rosetta@home itself, but control various settings by using the BOINC Manager application.
STEP 1: Download the BOINC client.
STEP 2: Install the BOINC client.
STEP 3: Configure BOINC to run Rosetta@home
When the BOINC Manager first starts it pops up a wizard to allow you to configure BOINC to run one or more different distributed computing projects, including Rosetta@home. We will tell BOINC to run Rosetta@home on our computer, and tell it we want to be a member of the Mormon Transhumanist Association team.
STEP 4: Sit back and relax.
Does running the Rosetta@home application slow down my computer?
Under normal useage the Rosetta@home should not be noticable. The program runs at a reduced priority, which basically means it will wait to use your processor until all the other programs have had their chance. The program does use your computer's memory, and while Rosetta@home tries to limit the memory it takes based on how much memory your computer has installed, it may cause problems if you are running other memory-intensive programs. The BOINC manager application does have the ability to "snooze" Rosetta@home, which turns off the Rosetta@home application for an hour and reclaims all of the memory for use by your other applications. Alternatively, it is easy to tell BOINC to stop running Rosetta@home all together, and then re-enable it later.
Does running the Rosetta@home application hurt my computer?
Most computers will have no problem running Rosetta@home. It does, however, cause your computer to use more power (electricity), and therefore create more heat. This may be a problem in some computers, such as laptops, which are not necessarily designed to run at full power all the time and therefore aren't able to keep their processors cool enough. Current processors have the ability to turn parts of themselves off or put themselves into a low-power state when they detect that the computer is not busy, and when Rosetta@home is running the processor will never enter these states. It is possible to tell BOINC to throttle Rosetta@home, which it accomplishes by running the program full out for a short time (around a second, I believe), and then pausing the program to let the processor cool down.
Who do I contact with questions?
Association Director Bryant Smith is the project manager: email@example.com