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Welcome to dubber's Grid Team PC911 page.

Cancer is the most feared of diseases. Almost everyone has had to deal with it. The feeling of helplessness and despair when faced by Cancer can only be experienced, not described.

No longer do you have to be helpless and hopeless. You can do something about Cancer.

You can use your computer to help do Cancer research that could not be done any other way.

This page is about a Cancer research program that you can be personally, directly involved with.

Yes, you can be involved along with hundreds of thousands of other people in a historic Cancer research program that will, at the least, shave 2 to 5 years off the time it takes to finish this research to find a cure for Cancer.

UD is a small, free, non-invasive program that runs in the background on your computer using "unused" processor cycles. Your computer processes Cancer research "work units" and returns the results via the Internet to UD.

Further down this page you will find-

Three steps to join the Grid Team PC911 Cancer Fighting Team

What is UD? by Alex Byron

Frequently asked questions about UD

About UD from the UD folks themselves

An introduction to and explanation of the Grid Team PC911

Let your computer run at its best and make a difference by Robert Komstock

Adlib's question, dubber's answer

UD Links

Three steps to join the Grid Team PC911 Cancer Fighters-

1. Go to the United Devices Download page to download and install the UD agent.

2. Go to the Grid Team PC911 Home page and join the Grid Team PC911.

3. Go to the Grid Team PC911 UD Forum to meet and chat with your new team mates. We are waiting to meet you.

What is UD?

Here is a slightly expanded explanation of UD written by Alex Byron, webmaster and owner of PC911-

UD stands for United Devices. And that's just what UD is: 1,000,000+ devices(computers) from around the world united for one cause. That cause is Cancer research.

United Devices is a provider of distributed computing services. This means they combine the computing power of hundreds of thousands of computers from all over the world by using the idle time and unused processor cycles to work on big computing projects that would normally take enormous amounts of time.

One of the projects they work on is the search for a cure for cancer. The idea is to check certain chemical molecules against certain proteins that are thought to be key elements in cancer growth. However, there are millions and millions of combinations to check, and doing this on only a few computers in a lab would take a very long time.

This is where regular computer users like you come in. By installing a small program on your computer UD will send your computer a work unit to complete. Your computer will work on it when it is idle, using only unused processor cycles, not interfering with anything you do on your computer. When the work unit is completed, it uploads it to the UD web site and retrieves the next unit to work on.

You probably get the idea. With thousands and thousands of computer users across the planet installing the UD software and donating their free unused computing time, processing can be distributed over many computers to help speed up the process.

Frequently asked questions about UD.

Here is a little FAQ written by yours truly-

Q. Will UD interfere with my game play is I leave it running while I play one of the more intense games, like Serious Sam, Red Alert2, or Black & White?
A. NO. My game play with Serious Sam while running UD works with no problems at all.

Q. How much money does it cost to run the United Devices program?
A. The UD program is free.

Q. How will UD affect other programs running on my computer?
A. The UD program is non-invasive. That means that it runs in the background. UD only uses computer resources that no other program is using. It is by default a Low priority program.

Q. What kind of maintenance is involved after I install UD?
A. You do not have to do anything after UD is installed. The program automatically uploads results when a job is finished and downloads another job.

Q. How big is the UD program?
A. The UD program is small. It will not take up more than a couple of Megabytes on your hard drive.

Q. Is UD spyware?
A. UD is not spyware. Check all the spyware lists. UD will not be on them.

Q. What's in it for me to use UD?
A. UD gives you the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile (Cancer research) with your computer. There is also the satifaction and pride you will feel for helping relieve pain and suffering for all people forever. You will regain your hope and self-esteem.

Q. How complicated is the UD program?
A. You do not have to be a computer-geek techno-head guru to run the UD program. It is easy to install and use.

Q. Will UD work on a dial-up connection?
A. UD works well on a dial-up connection.

Q. Will UD work if I am not on the Internet 24/7?
A. UD does not require a permanent always-on connection to the Internet.

Q. Will UD run when I am not connected to the Internet?
A. UD runs in the background whether you are on or off the Internet. Internet connection is only required when returning results and downloading a new work unit. This will only take a couple of minutes.

Q. Why should I join Ud and the Grid Team PC911?
A. As part of the Grid Team PC911 you will enjoy camaraderie, friendly competition, and lots of help from some of the most computer-savvy people anywhere.

Q. Are there other advantages to running UD on my computer?
A. Running UD to do cancer research gives you a legitimate excuse to upgrade or get a new computer to be able to do more research.

Q. Will my old computer run the UD program?
A. The minimum computer system requirements to run UD are: Intel Pentium processor or equivalent, at least 48 MB RAM, 500 MB Hard Disk Drive with at least 20 MB available for use, the ability to display 8-bit graphics at 800x600 resolution and an Internet connection. Some are running UD on even older, smaller computers with less Ram, so if you have one of the older PC's and want to run the UD Agent go ahead and try. If it will not work, then so be it, no damage will be caused to your PC...and if it will work then we will gain another warrior in this fight against cancer!

Q. Are there any computer configurations that can cause problems with UD?
A. You will not be able to join the PC911 team if the Internet security setting in Internet Explorer is set to "High". You will have to change the setting to "Medium" or "Medium-Low" to join. After joining you can return the setting to "High".

Q. Will UD work on all Operating systems and platforms?
A. No, UD will not work with Windows 95, a Mac, or Linux.

An explanation of UD from the UD folks themselves

A landmark research project has begun that allows people to make a real difference in the fight against cancer .

The Intel-United Devices Cancer Research Project is asking you to volunteer your PC to help process molecular research being conducted by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford in England and the National Foundation for Cancer Research. To participate, you simply download a very small, no cost, non-invasive software program that works like a screensaver: it runs when your computer isn't being used, and processes research until you need your machine. Your computer never leaves your desk, and the project never interrupts your usual PC use.

There is no cost to participate and no impact on your computer use. The project software cannot detect or transfer anything on your machine but project-specific information. It just allows your computer to screen molecules that may be developed into drugs to fight cancer. Each individual computer analyzes a few molecules and then sends the results back over the Internet for further research. The goal is to enlist enough volunteers to provide very rich and thorough results to the University of Oxford for further research. This project is anticipated to be the largest computational chemistry project ever undertaken and represents a genuine hope to find a better way to fight cancer.

The computational power to perform research of this scale is only available through the generosity of individuals like you.

A brief introduction to and explanation of the Grid Team PC911

Here at Grid Team PC911 we help people who have computer problems.

On April 6, 2001 the Grid Team PC911 Cancer Fighting Team was formed.

Members of the Grid Team PC911 have downloaded a program(UD Agent) that does cancer research.

The UD Agent processes data contained in a "work unit" that is downloaded when UD Agent is installed.

When the work unit is completed, the results are sent via the Internet to the United Devices servers and another work unit is downloaded to your computer.

This all happens in the background while you go about your regular computer work.

You can read all the details in the sites referenced at the bottom of this page.

The UD Cancer research program is groundbreaking, historic, and literally life-saving work, which is why we are doing it.

So you can have an idea of how much Cancer research processing you are doing, UD has established a "points" system. You earn points for processing work units.

The amount of points you earn is determined by how fast your computer processor is, the amount of memory installed in your computer, the amount of hard drive space allocated to the UD program, and the speed of your network connection.

All this info about your computer is used to establish the amount of points you receive when processing work units. Each time you finish a work unit you are given points depending on how long it took to finish it.

Naturally, points competition has arisen. We compete with each other. We compete with other individual teams. We compete with all the UD teams in the world.

As of this writing (7-21-05) we have 479 active members.We have earned 131,343,048 points. Our team is ranked 23rd in the world out of more than 40,000 teams.

We need your help to do more Cancer research, and to climb as high as we can in the UD points rankings. Our goals right now are reach at least 600 active members, turn in 1,000 results per day, and earn 110,000 points per day.

Let your computer run at its best and make a difference
By Robert Komstock

When researching newspapers from the 1996-1997 time period, I often call my co-workers over to share a chuckle at the computer advertisements. Most of the computers advertised cost more than the car I'm driving and boasted wimpy specifications that people would sneer at today. The price of computers has halved in the past few years, while the speed and data capacity has more than doubled. As a result, more and more people have bought them. Telling somebody today that you are computerless earns you a guarded glance usually reserved for folks who confess they have no telephone or running water.

Try telling someone, "No, don't send me that information by e-mail, because I don't have an e-mail address." Then tell someone, "You know, I never did see the point in picking up a driver's license." In each case, the incredulous looks you receive will be virtually identical.

As a result of curiosity, peer pressure, a desire to be trendy, or an actual work-related need, many people own computers, complete with an Internet connection. People stay in touch with friends and family, read the news, research their favorite hobbies, download music, and many other things. Others stare with dismay at what has become a $1,500 paperweight. Maybe they got tired of these activities, found some of the tasks a bit too complex, or the computer just started running poorly or even died, and the computer guru at work had no idea how to fix it.

I'm guessing at this because I never had the opportunity to reach that point. Before the novelty wore off, my computer was zapped by an electrical power surge. I had thought that a cheap surge suppressor was enough to protect my investment. I cringed at the thought of paying to ship the machine back to the manufacturer, and then trying to convince them it was a normal problem covered under warranty. For all I knew, they would open the case to find a blackened husk of molten plastic and metal. Neither was I enticed by the prospect of finding a computer repair shop and paying close to the value of the computer itself to have it repaired.

The point of this column is that I would like to share the wealth I've found with whoever can relate to any of these problems. All right, here's the wealth: A friend, in addition to assisting with my computer repairs, told me about a Web site named PC911 (pcnineoneone.com). Its home page offers computer news, virus alerts, technology advances, how and where to shop for the best prices, how-to guides for upgrades and repairs, and a host of other things. The site is owned and staffed by people who love computers and want to help other computer users. They devote time and effort to maintaining a place where the average man, woman or child on the street can come to get computer help.

The true wealth of the site is found in its most popular section, the PCQANDA/PC911 Computer Help Forum. Anyone with a computer problem can visit the forum to ask for and receive help or advice. The PCQANDA/PC911 Forum has an extensive searchable archive of questions that previous visitors have asked. There's a good chance that somebody has already asked your question, and you can read the advice that was given on the topic. If you do post a question, members are eager to help you, and the replies promptly pour in. No question is too "stupid," and members will patiently walk you through the steps to correct your problem. No one asks you for money, although donations are welcomed to offset the costs of maintaining the rapidly growing site.

PC911 has solved another problem for me and many of its members. We were despairing of the fact that we spent a load of money on a computer, and were doing little more than checking e-mail and playing games, or writing the occasional letter. The PC911 home page provides a link to an Oxford University research project's Web site. Millions of computer users from all over the world have downloaded a small program from the university's site which analyzes molecules in an attempt to find a cure for cancer. The program, named UD (United Devices), runs in the background while your computer is turned on. UD uses only the resources that your other computer programs are not using. The program has been examined and tested by thousands of computer-savvy people who have found no downside to running it. As I sit here typing this column, my computer searches for a cure for cancer. I have to tell you it feels good.

I am no longer a guy scratching his head at a toasted computer. With help from PC911, I built the computer I'm writing this with, and hope to have a second machine completed by next payday. Both will be a part of PC911's UD cancer-fighting team.

Check out the PC911 site. Become a member of the PCQANDA/PC911 Forum so you can post a question when you need to. Join the cancer battle as well. You will enjoy both. If I can clarify anything, let me know. rkomstock@hotmail.com

Adlib's question, dubber's answer

Adlib's question-

I hate to sound negative and to be a put-down, but what if this doesn't work? Is UD's idea going to work when they find a way to match the drug to the protien? Or is this all just a theory? Or is their idea a definite way to the cure and it's all just a matter of time? I'm curious. Either way I'm still going to crunch along all the way to the cure, 24/7. You know how great the feeling will be when a cure is found and millions of lives will be saved all because generous people like us donate our computers to them? Knowing that we all found a cure for cancer!! It will be UNBVELIEVABLE!!

But back the the question. Is this a sure-fire way?

dubber's answer-


The sure fire thing is that we are going to find out.

What we are doing is saving time and money in the pursuit of a cure for cancer.

It might be possible to duplicate our efforts with a bunch of supercomputers. The problem is that no one can afford to pay the money that these machines would cost to use. By donating our computers, we are cutting way down on costs and making this research affordable.

What we are doing is Cancer research, but not in the ordinary definition of the term. We are not going through the Scientific method of forming Hypotheses, designing experiments to test the hypotheses, carrying out the experiments and then interpreting the results of the experiment.

What we are involved in is a winnowing process that is preliminary to the actual experimentation that will be carried out later. Our processing determines which molecules out of millions will interact {the more hits the better the interaction} best with a series of cancer proteins.

Once we determine the most likely molecules, further experimentation will be done with them that involves actual tests, not computer modeling like we are doing.

I have seen estimates that the work we are doing will accelerate this Cancer research by 5 to 8 years. What the results will be no one can say for sure.

But, how can you not try?

If we don't try, we will never know.

How can you not do the most you can to advance Cancer research?

Win or lose, cure or not, we are providing information quickly that would have taken years, if ever, to obtain any other way.

UD is easy to do, it's free, and it doesn't interfere with your normal computing.

Besides that, it's fun to associate with all these fine UD/PC911 people: Chatting with , competing with, and learning from.

My computer is is faster and more reliable than it ever has been from maxing it out for UD.

My friend, I think the most important thing this UD project provides is Hope. Without Hope we are lost. UD provides us with Hope for a future without Cancer. That great Hope is what drives hundreds of thousands of people with a million+ computers to participate in this great undertaking.

I've said it before. We are making history. We will be included in any history of computing as being among the first to use distributed computing to do medical research that otherwise could not be done or at least not be done without great difficulty.

How can you resist the siren call of directly participating in Cancer research?

I can't.

My father's death was accelerated by lung cancer two years ago. UD won't bring that fine man back.

I participate in UD, like many others, in the Hope of saving at least one person in the future from the pain and suffering that we and our loved ones have gone through at the hands of Cancer.

UD related links-

The UD Agent download page.

The Grid Team PC911 Forum home page.

The Grid Team PC911 home page. Join Grid Team PC911 here.

UD Forum Community-maintained FAQs

The Big Foot site. Ken's great UD reference and stats site.

Statsman. A comprehensive stats site for UD.

Grid Team PC911 Member Details and Statistics

UD Teams Recruiting Forum

A_Thor's Grid Team PC911 site.

Mick's Grid Team PC911 site.

If you would like to ask me a question, make a comment(good or bad), make a suggestion, or just shoot the breeze, please click here to send me an email.

Allan "dubber" Cooley

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