Folding@Home and nowhere else
March 24, 2008 3:39 PM   Subscribe

I want to run Folding@Home on my MacBook Pro, but I want it to only fold while plugged in. Is there a way I can do this?

I like to run Folding@Home on my MacBook Pro, version 6.10 beta 2. I remember when I ran F@H on my old PC, it had an option in the console version to stop the program when the computer was running on battery power. Presumably, it would start it back up when the computer was plugged back in. My old PC was a desktop, so I never really knew how well that option worked. Now, on my Mac, I want to conserve battery power when I'm on the go, but I'd like to run F@H when I'm at my desk. I can't find any option to do this in the pref pane or on F@H's site. Is there any script or program I could do to automate this? Also, could I possibly have F@H stop at a certain time of night so that I can sleep without having to hear my fans running full blast (Sometimes, I keep my laptop on to download stuff at night, but that's a fairly quiet procedure.).

Thanks for your help, guys. I really want to contribute to F@H and I feel like I'm always wasting my dual core processor in Mac mode. And if I should be running a different version, let me know and I'll change it.
posted by mccarty.tim to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Marco Polo allows you to apply actions based on context. Power source (power adapter/battery) is listed as a context and both Opening a file (an application, a document, etc.) and Quit an application are listed as actions so it should be no problem to create a rule for what you want. Current Time Of Day is also listed as a context so that will should take care of turning off F@H at a preset time.
posted by junesix at 3:50 PM on March 24, 2008

Response by poster: It's not that easy. F@H is turned on and off by a preference in the pref pane. It then opens 5 processes, 4 called FahCore_a1.exe (Don't ask me why it's called that on the mac, maybe it's based on Wine?), and one called fah6. I have no idea how to reliably start and end them or change that pref from an app like Marco Polo. It'd be nice if FAH was just a simple little app that lived up on the menu bar, but I guess Standford won't make it that easy anytime soon for Intel macs.

But thanks for telling me about Marco Polo. It looks really useful, although it might not be the right thing for this situation.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:23 PM on March 24, 2008

The preference pane isn't actually running the folding at home process, it is instead firing off the FahCore_a1.exe and FAH6.exe executables. Those are what you want to deal with. You might need to just not use the preference pane, and instead use the command line to launch FAH. It's not hard, and if you search for the linux client help, most of it should apply. I've not tried this on the mac, but I certainly have run the command line version on linux.
posted by cschneid at 8:30 PM on March 24, 2008

It looks like there's a console client version on the Download page. The installer notes tells you how to run it from command line. That takes care of starting the F@H client. Someone in the Intel Mac forums can probably help you out with the command + switches for killing the client.
posted by junesix at 8:57 PM on March 24, 2008

The BOINC distributed computing client supports the option to only run while your computer is plugged in, but BONIC doesn't do Folding at Home yet. Perhaps there is another project out there you would want to contribute to?
posted by dcjd at 10:23 PM on March 24, 2008

Well, for the time of day thing, you could put a crontab entry that sent a terminate to any F@H processes, and another entry that started it back up in the morning. cron is already on macs.
posted by ctmf at 10:51 PM on March 24, 2008

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