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Here’s how your PC can help find a cure for the Coronavirus

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  • 5 min read

Stuck at home frustrated by the quarantine that’s been imposed worldwide? Well, so are we. However, as people passionate about technology, we asked ourselves, “what can we do to make the situation better, to help out?”

As it turns out, the best thing you can do is stay inside your house. However should you decide to leave your computer idle for a while, there is a little bit more you can contribute via Folding@home, a project that lets you contribute your system’s idle processing power to run simulations to learn how to fold particular proteins, which in turn helps out in making medicines for deadly diseases like Cancer and most recently, Covid-19.

Folding refers to the way human protein folds in the cells that make up your body. We rely on proteins to keep us healthy, and folding is how said proteins assemble themselves. As you can guess, when they misfold, there can be severe consequences.

Folding@home provides a simple client that you can simply download, install and you’re good to go. The client automatically downloads workloads and starts crunching numbers whenever your computer’s idle, or any other way that you set it up.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at how to download and set up the Folding@home client.

Also read: Humanoid AI: More artificial, less humanoid than you might think

Let’s get folding

Step 1: Head over to the Folding@home website and download their client according to whatever OS you’re on.

Step 2: Once the download finishes, run the installer. Just select Express Install as the installer mode. You could, however, go for the Custom install if you’d like more control over the software.

Step 3: By default, the client launches a web interface to help set us everything up. Now the first thing we have to do is to set up an identity. You can fold anonymously as well, but if you’d like to track your stats, you’ll have to set up an identity.

Go ahead and click on Set Up an Identity and then Start Folding

Step 4: Now you have to give a name and if you’ve joined or created a team, then that team’s number as well. You can go ahead and skip if you don’t want any part in the whole team thing but we here at Candid.Technology set up a team over at Folding@home to track our stats collectively, and we would love to have you on board.

Go ahead and enter 252080 as the team number to join our team. For the passkey, you’ll have to click the link that reads Get a passkey and enter your name and email. Your passkey will be emailed to you.

Click Save when you’re done.

Step 5: You’ll be taken to your web control panel where you can set up all the basic things. For most people, you can just change some settings you’d like here, and you’re good to go.

Step 6: However, we’ll go ahead and open the client for some advanced settings. To do so, right-click on the icon in the taskbar and click Advanced Control.

Step 7: This will open the advanced control panel where you can set things up like how much of your CPU and GPU if at all should be used, whether it should be used if your computer is idling or not and the details of the workload you’re already crunching.

As a bonus, you can open up the Protein viewer the same way you opened the advanced controls and see a 3D model of the protein you’re folding.

And that’s how you can make your PC contribute to fighting the pandemic. Remember, we’re in this together.

Also read: Could artificial intelligence be considered a person under the law?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: