Some background: I’ve been contributing to the Folding@Home project since 2009. This project uses computers to simulate protein folding in order to test new ideas, drugs, etc, related to things like alzheimer’s, huntington, diabetes, etc. Essentially users install a program on their computer and that program uses the CPU and GPUs to run simulations.
You can fold anonymously or you do it on a team. Each simulation (“work unit”) gives you a number of points and those points are added to your username and your team. The result is a healthy competition between users and teams where everyone tries to beat each other. It’s a nice incentive to keep people folding.
Since folding takes everything to the limit, CPUs and GPUs run hot. This means two things: fan noise and a hot and dry room. Noise is annoying and the heat is not something I always need. It’s useful for those cold winter months, but becomes a problem when temperatures raise and you live in an old building without AC.
Back in 2016 I had an idea: why not move the computer outdoors and leave it there permanently?