Frequently Asked Questions
is Fight AIDS @ Home?
is a project run by the Olson
Laboratory that uses distributed computing to contribute your
computer's idle resources to accelerate research into new drug
therapies for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. FightAIDS@Home
made history in September 2000 when it became the first biomedical
Internet-based grid computing project. FightAIDS@Home was started with Scott Kurowski, founder of Entropia.
People all around the World continue to donate their home computer's
idle cycles to running our AutoDock
software on HIV-1 protease inhibitor docking problems. With the
generous assistance of IBM,
we joined World
Community Grid in late 2005, and launched FightAIDS@Home
on World Community Grid on 21 November, 2005.
do I join the FightAIDS@Home Project?
All you need to do is download
and install the free client software.
Once you have done this, your computer is then automatically put to
work and you can continue using your computer as usual.
do I tell World Community Grid to run only FightAIDS@Home?
World Community Grid runs more than one distributed computing project,
not just FightAIDS@Home. By default, all new World
Community Grid members are set contribute to all
projects. But members have the option of opting out of
projects if they want to donate all their unused computer time to just
one of the
research projects. When the server sends a
work unit to the agent, there is a
chance that it will run a project other than
FightAIDS@Home - unless you choose to participate in a
To opt out of a project:
Click on image to enlarge it.
- Sign In to the
World Community Grid web site.
- Go to the "My Grid/My Statistics" page.
- Select "My Projects" on the left menu. This
brings up a new page titled "My Grid/My Profile".
- Under "Available Projects", uncheck the projects
would like to opt out of.
- Click on the "Save" button (at the bottom of the
page) to save your changes.
- Click on the "sign out" button (at the top right
of the page) to exit the site.
does the FightAIDS@Home software work?
We use a client (a piece of software) that automatically downloads
small pieces of data and then uses AutoDock to
perform calculations that model how drugs interact with various forms
of HIV Protease, a key molecular machine in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
After your computer processes the information, the results are sent
back to The Scripps Research Institute where they are analyzed by
researchers in Prof.
Olson's Laboratory. The process takes an enormous amount of
computing time, which is why The Scripps Research Institute needs you
(and your friends!) to participate in FightAIDS@Home.
does the FightAIDS@Home screensaver look like?
Here is a screenshot; visit the World Community Grid FAQ for more
information about the FightAIDS@Home
Click on image to enlarge it.
are the units of energy?
You can see that in Panel B, "Docking Energies", and in Panel C, "Best
Docking Energies", we measure the quality of our dockings using
energy. The units of energy in AutoDock and in the FightAIDS@Home
screensaver are "kcal/mol", or "kilocalories per mole". These are
the same calories you count when you are on a diet. One calorie is
roughly 4 Joules (1 cal = 4.184 J to be more exact). Take a look
at Wikipedia for more information about units of energy,
the calorie, the joule, the topic of energy in general, and free energy.
in it for me?
Simply, the satisfaction of knowing you are harnessing the idle
resources of your computer to assist us in our endeavours to develop
not only new AIDS therapies, but new methodologies for fighting AIDS.
We couldn't do it without you.
my computer only be working on the FightAIDS@Home project?
No. there is more than one humanitarian project running on the World
Community Grid. The default setting for a new member on World Community
Grid is to contribute computing power to all of the projects. You may
select to contribute only to FightAIDS@Home.
computers can run FightAIDS@Home?
Currently, any Internet-connected Windows XP, 2000, NT 4.0, Me, or 98
PC with a Pentium 550 MHz or above, 256 MB of RAM or more, and 50 MB of
Free disk space. Mac OS X and Linux systems are also supported.
I need to do anything after I download and install the free software?
One of the beautiful things about the free desktop application is that
it will run on its own.
I need to upgrade the software at a later date?
Similar to an anti-virus software program that you may already be
running, the free desktop application that powers the FightAIDS@Home
project automatically upgrades itself as long as you connect to the
Internet periodically, so you are always running the most current
the FightAIDS@Home software interfere with my normal work?
Whether you are using your computer or it is sitting idle, the software
works in the background. You won't even notice it's there working to
solve one of the world's most complex problems.
I need to leave my computer on all the time to run FightAIDS@Home?
You are not required to leave your computer on; however, the more time
your computer is running, the more time it spends working on the FightAIDS@Home
I lose control of my dial-up or network connection?
You will never lose control of your dial-up or network connection or
any other part of your system.
question was not answered here. Who do I contact?
Please remember: we are not funded to provide support. We cannot
guarantee that your email will be replied to. If you cannot find your
answer on our website, you can check the forum
hosted on the website for World Community Grid.
Please do not send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.