[RC5] Protein folding. A new project???

Mike Faunce mike at faunce.com
Sun Jan 28 22:36:54 EST 2001

From: owner-rc5 at lists.distributed.net
[mailto:owner-rc5 at lists.distributed.net]On Behalf Of Brandon Zaleiski
>>United Devices is trying to find similar structures within common
>How do you know that?  What else are they working on?

HMMR (I can't remember what it stands for) compares two gene sequences
looking for similar structures.  I got this information from reading their
web pages, press releases and the short blurb that shows up on the client
screen.  As far as what else are they working on, according to their website
and press releases, they have an upcoming cancer project and some form of
web site testing with Exodus, but nothing else is running currently (of
course, the truly paranoid would say they could be running anything at all
on their client's PC's now :O ).

>>To get back to Stanford's Folding at Home, it's based on Mithral's COSM
>>as someone else pointed out, was developed by Adam Beberg.  Adam Beberg
>>one of the founders of Distributed.net.  Adam left Distributed.net when
>>vision for the future of Distributed.net and the vision of the rest of
>>Distributed.net's members diverged.  Judging by this, I doubt that there
>>will be much chance of them working together.  Especially since
>>Distributed.net is part of United Devices now and UD's goal is definitely
>>different than either Distributed.net's original goal and Mithral's goal.
>What is United Devices goal?  How has Distributed.net changed?

As an outsider, I don't know exactly what happened between Adam and the rest
of D.net, but looking at Mithral's web site and the way D.net has gone, here
is what I gather:  Adam wanted to create a distributed computing framework
that would make it easy to develop new projects.  The rest of D.net wanted
to keep with the existing framework and shoe horn projects into it.
Adam/Mithral has gone on to do what he wanted to do with Cosm (Folding at Home
is built on Cosm).  D.net still has roughly the same clients.  They added
OGR and (I'm not sure about the timing) did DES-III.

UD is a for profit company that is looking to pay it's clients (in one way
or another, they just completed a contest where the top 100 users got paid,
I was at about 175 :( ).  D.net hasn't changed, so far, but the main people
at D.net are now UD employees (and moved to Houston).  From what I've read
on this list and in both press releases, UD hopes to take their experience
and make their client better.  I'm sure that D.net is going to reap some
benefit as well (the new Stats box for example).

But, IMHO, I don't expect D.net to be around forever.  It doesn't make sense
(again, to me) for UD to keep the D.net client as is.  (I also fully expect
Entropia to either drop or merge GIMPS once they have paying projects).  I
don't have any inside information on any of this, I'm just an interested,
long time, distributed computing fan/hobbyist/geek/whatever.  I'm interested
in distributed computing as a whole, not just D.net, but according to my
stats, I've been running the D.net client for 1,172 days - 3.2 years.


Mike Faunce
mike at faunce dot com

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