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TSQL Tuesday #126: Folding@Home

May 12, 2020

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday comes from Glenn Berry, and is all about what you are doing to help during the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.

He links to Folding@Home, which allows you to use your personal machine(s) to do complex protein folding calculations to help with medical research. I don’t pretend to understand all of what they’re doing, but essentially it’s taking a problem, breaking it down into lots of mini problems, and sending these mini problems out to individual computers to find solutions. I’ve signed up to that now, and joined the Tech Nottingham team, so that’s one thing I’m doing. Plus I’m trying to get my old desktop working again, so it can run on there as well as my newer machine, and I can fold double the things.

I’m finding this a hard blog to write though, because I don’t feel like I’m doing that much apart from that. The main thing I’ve done is to set up a Microsoft Teams organisation for my local creative writing group, Nottingham Writers Collective. We’ve run a few meetups on there and it’s been a fun way to keep in touch with some people who are very important to me. We’ve also set up a number of things in the team to help people share work, and set challenges for themselves, but so far nobody has really used them. They’re there though, if anyone does feel a need, and I hope as the lockdown continues we will take advantage of them a bit more.

I think this is one of the little things that a lot of us are probably in a position to do. So much of our lives are suddenly being lived online, and it’s easy for us as techie people to forget how daunting a lot of this stuff is. So, make more of an effort to be patient with your family as they ask you for the 10th time how Skype works, or want to know why they can’t see everyone on a Zoom chat. Look out for things that can help keep people connected, and tell everyone about them.

I’ve discovered tabletop simulator, humbe bundle’s offer on Asmodee games, and board game arena’s free to play browser version of many tabletop games, and managed to organise a gaming session with some of my friends a few weekends ago. I think it helped us feel a bit less alone, and I will try to organise similar things in the future.

This was an odd blog to write, I’ve not really written anything on here until now that wasn’t very SQL/tech focussed. I hope anyone who reads this is keeping well and coping ok with everything.

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