SpotLight on gsmitheman
gsmitheman started folding on 3/29/05
He has an unknown number of points
19 processors are folding somewhere from his efforts
This crazy talk will be explained below
Lets meet gsmitheman...............
Where do you call home these days?
I call home Forest Hill Maryland. I live there with my wife and son, Daisy the dog (who you have all met in my avatar) and Dizzy the cat. I am 62 years old. I started life in Union NJ. and lived there for 21 years. Moved to Maryland in 1965. I have two other children from an earlier marriage (a daughter 38 and a son 40). Boy that makes you feel old saying things like that.
What got you started folding?
A small spot in MaximumPC magazine got me started back in March 05'. GM and thunar really got me going well. I am probably somewhat motivated by my having a form of Leukemia called CML. It and a few other problems had slowed me down enough that I needed a hobby I could do without standing and walking very much.
Where are you employed?
I am retired since Dec 1989 from Lucent Technologies. I was very fortunate to retire at age 46. Actually worked most of my career when they were known as Western Electric (part of the Bell System). From 1965 to retirement all my jobs were computer related. Computer (main frame) operator, coordinator, supervisor, programmer. Worked shift work for many years. Liked the night shifts more than days back then. Do anything you can do for eight hours to get a full schedule done and thousands of people something to work on the next day. I enjoyed my work and they always had you going to training.
What other hobbies or interests do you pursue when not folding.
Film photography was a childhood hobby. Had a darkroom and all that goes along with that. Digital photography was a natural transition and made easier by the earlier knowledge.
Investments interested me very much. Even started a club with some neighbors at one time.
I really got heavily into woodworking after retirement. Built a shop in the basement and kept adding tools. It was much like adding computers, networking, new applications, etc. is today on the computer. When you get a new tool you have to learn to use it. Next you start making projects that make use of it. Wood routers really give you a new dimension to work with. I built quite a few projects over 10 years of woodworking. I decided early on I would take pictures of everything I built so I would have something to look at in the nursing home. Also many of the projects were for relatives and friends and some were going out of state. I may never see them again.
Toyohtadude recently said he was interested in woodworking and that got me to scan in all the pictures and put them online. It's a good thing I did since they were starting to deteriorate. Anyone that's interested in seeing those project pictures here is a link. Link to Project Pictures Click Here
When the woodworking was to much I switched back to computers (Late 2001). The PCs had really gotten more capable and the Internet was in full swing. It was good to be learning something new again. I started buying machines, each more capable.
Then I started building them and that was really fun. It started to get a little boring until I found folding. All the machines had a use and there were new things to learn again.
How did you learn about computers?
I was a late bloomer I didn't get interested in computers until after I retired.
Reading MaximumPC magazine and finding info on the Internet. Didn't have any other friends who even wanted to talk about computers. My first scary contact with PCs was adding 256MB of memory to an IBM P3 800MHZ. That machine is now folding in Al's basement in Cleveland. The first build was done on my dining room table. The first one is the most exciting. Everything is new and scary.
I have built six now and have been very fortunate. All have booted the first time. Only one Abit MB ever had to be RMA back to NewEgg (actually twice - so I gave up and switched to Asus). The hardware gods have watched over me very well. I like to help folks order the parts they need and then I watch them do their first build. I never touch anything during the build - they do everything themselves. I'm just there for moral support and to answer questions.
What hardware are you currently running?
AT my house:
AMD 3800 X2 dual core, 1GB
Dell 9100 PD820 dual core 2.8GHZ, 1 GB
Home build P4 HT 2.8GHZ, 1 GB
Dell 3000 P4 2.8GHZ, 512MB
Dell 4550 2.4GHZ, 512MB
Dell 8200 1.8GHZ, 1 GB
Dell 8200 1.8GHZ, 512MB
Home build AMD XP 3000+, 1 GB
Home build AMD XP 3000+, 512MB
Portable Cel 1.5 GHZ 512MB
Brother in NJ - 4550 2.4 GHZ, 512MB
Brother in Law - Sony PD820 Dual core 1 GB
Nephew - Sony PD820 Dual Core 1 GB
friend - Compaq P3 1.2GHZ 384MB
At this point I want to dispel the rumors that I am too neat to be a geek.
Do you overclock any machines?
I have not overclocked anything yet. Last night I finished building an AMD 3800 X2 and will probably check with Phred and give it a try on that machine.
What are the main things you use your computers for today?
Folding - a hobby that never gets boring.
Maximizing your results, adding hardware, controlling power costs. controlling heat, greeting folks, staying current on the forum, looking for new ideas, seeing what the competition is doing, it never ends (thanks for that - something that doesn't get boring).
Photography - fix pictures for others and shoot all family get togethers. Try to actually take portraits at the get togethers instead of snapshots nobody ever really cares about. Make calendars for family members. Using old family pictures or current photos of children. Pictures I put in albums or even online get looked at once or twice and then just sit there. A calendar gets every collage looked at for a full month. Think about a photo calendar for your Mom or Dad, sisters or brothers. They will enjoy your effort all year.
Buying hardware online. That's a never ending area of interest. Always checking for sales and building the next machine in my head.
What Broadband provider do you use - are you happy with their service?
Comcast - currently at 4.5 MB down not sure what up is anymore but it gets the job done well enough.
They have been very reliable on the node I'm on. But it is an almost totally residential node. I'm told that folks on heavy business routes have far more interruptions ( probably construction and more activity). Expensive at $45/month.
I would give DSL a try but they don't serve my area yet.
What do you like most about Folding and the MaximumPC forum.
The sharing of information and how everyone gets along together trying to reach a common goal. The folks with a keen sense of humor very often make my day. Why don't you tight butts loosen up. You know who you are.
I don't fold under my own username since I made top100. I prefer to fold with different folks from time to time and try to make things happen that will be good for the entire team. I may get back to folding under my username in the future (perhaps when we are in fourth place and have a nice margin from the team in 5th.
I get considerable pleasure out of being a part of creating the SpotLights.
And finally it seems like there is almost always a reason to celebrate (at least there is on our team).
What are your future folding plans?
Keep doing anything I can think of to help our team move up in the rankings thereby delivering the following product to our folding brothers and sisters on teams above us.
Personally trying to produce more points using less electric from BGE.
I follow GM's advice - Upgrade your hardware and give older folders to family and friends to keep power costs under control.
Making next summer a real plus for the MaximumPC folding team. We held our own well last summer when other teams faded. I think with some good ideas from everyone we can do much better in the summer of 2006'. Late winter - early spring that discussion will hopefully start to take place.
I enjoy doing SpotLights on other folders much more than doing my own.
I look forward to the next one. I don't get volunteers for SpotLights very often. So you may find a PM coming your way soon, asking you to be in the SpotLight (check your mail). See you all around the forum.