Remember Folding@Home? AKA Life With PlayStation? If not, it would be hard to blame you. It was something I downloaded but never really took the time to understand. Now Sony has announced that, in the beginning of November, it will be retiring Folding@home from the PlayStation 3. You will no longer be able to help Stanford University understand protein folding and further Alzheimer’s research by casually opening an application on your PlayStation 3.
It was an interesting system. Post the 1.6 firmware update, which was made available all the way back in 2007, the Folding@home icon was added to the PlayStation’s Cross Media Bar. All folks needed to do was select it, and watch as the PlayStation 3 began calculating ‘stuff’. The idea was that, with multiple machines linked together, working in tandem, previously unmanageable calculation would become routine, helping Stanford University in its research.
It was something I never really properly understood, not really, but it was enough to know that I was kinda involved, somehow. It was a weird kind of interactivity, watching other PlayStation users connect across the world.
It’ll be a shame to see this strange thing go.
PS3 System Software Update (v4.30) [PlayStation Blog]