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Fight COVID-19 with the Spare Computing Power of Your Mac

Do you have spare computer power now that we are in lockdown? Your processing power can be used to fight COVID-19. Please read and then share this message.

First off all, chapéu to our friend Tim Rahman at NEP for letting us know about this very worthwhile use of his group's 'furloughed' GPUs.

Creative Technology (Part of the NEP group) has many media servers with GPUs that normally provide services to clients at live events. With the sporting calendar almost completely wiped out between now and September, they would have been sitting there doing nothing.

Now they are helping in the fight against COVID-19. Controlled by a new Mac Pro, the server farm is now part of the Folding@Home project run by Stanford University.

We have used our Macs to mine cryptocurrencies in a syndicate before, but signing up to the Folding@Home project is going to save lives. The organisers are especially after high powered GPUs to help fight the virus. (See note below)

By downloading Folding@Home, you can donate your unused computational resources to the Folding@home Consortium, where researchers working to advance our understanding of the structures of potential drug targets for 2019-nCoV that could aid in the design of new therapies. The data you help us generate will be quickly and openly disseminated as part of an open science collaboration of multiple laboratories around the world, giving researchers new tools that may unlock new opportunities for developing lifesaving drugs.

2019 nCoV CDC 23311

Image Credit: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM available at https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23311

If you haven't followed the link, the FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 webpage is well worth a read as it goes into detail on how computing power can help model the structure of the 2019-nCoV spike protein and thus develop help to find an antibody.

Please can we ask our readers to share this page, the CT or the Folding@Home page via any means, directly or by social media, to help get the message out that your Mac can help the fight against COVID-19.

It took us two minutes to download the installer and get processing, it is really that simple. You also get a cool graphic representation of what is going on.

If you would like to be part of the Creative Technology group's capacity, use the number 240907 when prompted.

 

After an interesting chat online, it looks like the app 'out of the box' only utilises the CPU. We will investigate further and see if there is a way of forcing it to compute using the GPU.

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We would imagine that Creative technology were running the app on the Mac Pro and then adding 'slots' of the other computers into that. Will this work if users have an external GPU or is it down to the drivers?

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Are there any Mac nerds out there that can get this working?  Would bootcamp be the only way? 

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What a rollercoaster of a day - We are currently trying to use Rosetta under BOINC which does use the GPU!


Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. 

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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