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 Post subject: Holiday Folding Reflections
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:37 pm 
FoldingMonster
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:47 pm
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Location: My Rock & Stone Cathedral
It seems that I've been in the right place at the right time, employment-wise, since the late 1980s. It's always been busy - hence I've tended to find most of my vacation time consumed in Nov/Dec each year - in spite the down economy (which I measure from 2008), I've actually had MORE work, resulting in even more vacation time pushed into the end of the year.

Time was that I'd spend a pretty good bit of that vacation tweeking my stable of folders - I'd wait until the wife and kids were upstairs in bed, and I'd head for the basement to see how I could squeeze out a few extra points.

Unfortunately, despite the abundance of work, money got tighter and tighter, until I was forced to shut down everything. My basement, which at one time seemed to have a life of its own, fell silent. The definition of frequent became getting down there once every couple of months.

I always figured that it was just a matter of time before things turned around, I had some $$$ to stick into folding, and those holiday tweeking sessions would return.

I dropped in on the forums occasionally to "see" familiar faces, but I rarely posted.

Then, suddenly - at least it seemed sudden to me - Rose was ill, and then she passed, and Gordon followed just weeks later. I had been anticipating a renewal of PM'ing Gordon when my finances improved and I upgraded and restarted the farm - I knew he'd know just where to point me so I could maximize my contributions.

But it wasn't to be. By 2009 work had so taken over my time that I dropped just about everything else, including keeping up with friends here. Gordon and I last exchanged PM's in 2009. I wish it hadn't happened that way. I know his sun didn't rise and set around hearing from me, but I do wish I'd had the chance to let him know how much I thought of him during his last two years, when I was consumed by the real world. I bet I'm not the only one who didn't get to say goodbye. And I still hate it.

I'm folding these days on a pair machines, a far cry from the heyday of The Cave. I restarted despite the cost, out of respect and appreciation for Gordon.

My tired company laptop will be replaced with an i7 in a couple or three weeks, so hopefully my production will increase somewhat.

I'll continue folding as long as possible, though I doubt I'll be in any position to recreate the farm anytime soon. Maybe one day...

In the meantime - Godspeed, Gordon, Godspeed.

Merry Christmas everyone,

Eric B aka Monsterbuilder


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Folding Reflections
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Wow, great to hear from you MB, Though I was never a farm folder, I've had lots of trouble keeping folding going just on one PC because of work, $$$, & general time constraints. Even though I'm making a big push now to make it into the top 100, I won't be able to keep it up much past the first of the year.

I'm still waiting for things to turn around, but in the meantime G, Rose, friends & family, & other lost but not forgotten folders give me strength to fold as much as I can, when I can.

The good news is that you no longer need a "farm" for a decent level of production. For those that can afford it, a multi-proc server setup is a "farm-in-a-box" that can land you in the 100,000 - 500,000 points per day range running at least 16 threads up to 64 threads on an Quad-Opteron or Quad-Xeon based system through -bigadv work units. Just check out [url=http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/user_summary.php?s=&u=610964AtlasFolder's stats[/url] from a couple weeks ago for the potential... 2 clients For 3 to 4 million each week. The downside of course is what you currently see from AtlasFolder.... if that -bigadv machine goes down, you drop like a rock.

But even for those on a much tighter budget, a "lowly" i5-3550K & GeForce GTX-650Ti can still net you 25,000-40,000 ppd or more & Haswell should up the ante a good bit too!

Things are definitely not the same here since the loss of Rose & Gordon, but we still love to hear from the old-timers, the up & comers, anyone who wants to stop & say "hi" for that matter :)

BTW... you (and by YOU I mean all the lurkers) don't have to be actively folding to drop in & say hi every now & then :)


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Folding Reflections
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:16 am 
FoldingMonster
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Hey chaos, I can relate on all those points - work, $$$, time - lots of work, less $$$, no time!

I looked at AtlasFolder's stats - WOW. The points he's putting up are amazing enough, but it's the number of WU's per month that pops my eyes. Heck, back in the QMD days, I doubt I put up anywhere close to 500 WU's per month, much less than tens of thousands. Just, WOW.

I like the idea of managing a multi-proc server over a farm - that farm was a big time sink, though I loved it! My kids are old enough that having some kind of server in the house would make sense (schoolwork, music, vids, games, etc).

We're looking at trying to upgrade an old CRT television to a wall-mounted flat screen - that would be a good time to add a home theater PC, built on a quad-proc platform.

(I can feel the juices flowing!)

I'm probably not going to do anything that involves significant spending for a little while, though, given the uncertainty of where taxes are going in 2013.

Never thought I'd say this, but it looks like The Fix is in up in DC. My health insurance costs are about to climb due to the new healthcare law. I'm not in the so-called 1%, but it doesn't matter relative to tax increases. Even if all the assets owned by the 1% were completely confiscated, you only get enough money to offset one year of budget deficits. Until there are some real spending cuts, NOT just a slowing of the growth of spending, the feds will have to come after the middle class via tax increases, so I'm gonna pay more sooner or later, and it's very tight for my family already.

To make matters worse, the fallout from that ghastly crime in Newtown, Connecticut appears to have energized the anti-gun people to the point that who knows what will happen? I'm feeling strongly that I need to look into picking up a few guns before the options of what I'm allowed to own are extremely limited.

D@mn, I wish our fed govt would just stay the he!! out of our lives. I want to work hard and get paid for it, grill steaks on the deck, watch bowl games with the guys, play with the kids, teach my son & daughter how to hunt, worship what and where I please... I don't care to interfere with my neighbors lives and choices... and I don't want them using their votes to interfere with mine...

Whoa - gotta get off the soap box.

That's probably better saved for The Studio.

Getting back to folding, would you go Quad-Op or Quad-Xe? Is there a specific 'board that stands above the rest? I'm not married to Intel or amd, so don't be bashful!

BTW, i take it that the quad-proc options have far exceeded vid card folding production?

Merry Christmas, chaos!

MonsterBuilder :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Folding Reflections
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:17 am 
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MonsterBuilder wrote:
...
Getting back to folding, would you go Quad-Op or Quad-Xe? Is there a specific 'board that stands above the rest? I'm not married to Intel or amd, so don't be bashful!

BTW, i take it that the quad-proc options have far exceeded vid card folding production?

Merry Christmas, chaos!

MonsterBuilder :mrgreen:


If you can afford it, a 4P G34 Opteron rig will be in the neighborhood of $1100 for a 'starter' rig with only 2 CPUs (good for ~50-150k PPD, maybe) up to around $3300 for a decked out rig with 4 decent CPUs (good for ~300-550k PPD). You would want to use these exclusively for folding, nothing else. If you want to throw together a 3rd gen i5 or i7, you could use those as a daily driver and still get pretty decent PPD for the investment.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Folding Reflections
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:30 pm 
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$1100. I've got that in a few different rigs, but won't get near the ppd. Something like this is next on my list.

How's it going, MB? :) Good to hear from some of the gang... especially after losing Gordon. It's been rough.
Hope you're able to rejoin us soon. And what Gero pointed to for a folding machine, is what I wood want, rather
than doing upgrading on your present farm. Especially since you would be starting fresh again. Take care, bro. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Folding Reflections
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:40 am 
FoldingMonster
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:47 pm
Posts: 1284
Location: My Rock & Stone Cathedral
Hey Gero,

Thanks for the rec' - it looks like it'd be Tyan or Supermicro as far as quad G34 boards go, though I did spot Asus with a dual proc version. Not sure I could swing the $$$ any time soon, unless I could sell it to Mrs MB as a home theater PC......... :mrgreen:

I was back in the basement last night, looking at my old rigs - man, did I have a good time gettin' my geek on down there. Started out with a K6-III 400MHz oc'd to 550MHz that I cobbled together from parts I scored off eBay. I think I had it running Win98SE, eventually folding those old deadline lacking Tinker(?) work units. About a year before I retired it, the board, psu, etc, was pulled from its case and left to run while sitting on a cardboard box.

Hey jack,

I hope to get back in the saddle one day. It's a bit sad looking at all those rigs in the basement - all dark. The folding forums seem rather quiet also. I reckon that could be in part due to losing Gordon, but from what I read elsewhere (The Studio, for example), it seems that traffic across the forums is down dramatically for a variety of reasons.

The world of tech is changing - I still love the mag, still subscribe, but I wonder if we're not far from it becoming on-line only. I go back to the BOOT days & Brad Dosland. I started out being SO intimidated at the thought of building my own machine, then progressing to being able to slap one together in an evening and having it running Ubuntu and folding by bedtime - and judging from all our folding brothers posts, my experience was a common one, thanks to the forums and the mag.

Tonight, after the kids go to bed, I've got to spend a little time playing Call of Duty: Black Ops for the Wii.......... being daddy makes me the gatekeeper in terms of what we allow my son to play videogame-wise. I'm gonna try not to get sucked in, but I hear it's pretty impressive!

Merry Christmas to you both,

Eric


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