How to Make your PC Productive When you are Not Doing Anything on it

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Posted on Mar 14 2013 - 3:59pm by Momina Imran

Buying a really powerful PC does not necessarily mean that you are also using it to its maximum output it is capable of giving you on average. Ever wondered what can your computer do for you or, better still, for the world in the valuable time it is sitting idle? There are a number of things you can make your PC do in that while. Here are a few ideas.

6 Useful Tasks Your PC Can Perform When You Aren’t Using It

Participate in looking for Cures of Life threatening Diseases Like Cancer, Mad Cow, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Disease

Folding@Home Go back to some Biological functions in your life. For the continuation and development of your body, the basic units responsible are the proteins. They perform vital functions to aid digestion, provide immunity against viral infections, enhance co-ordination through helping signals to be transmitted to different parts of the body and many other tasks. For all these tasks to be performed properly, the proteins must be put together properly, a procedure called “folding”. When this folding isn’t achieved accurately i.e. the proteins fail to fold orderly, this can result into numerous serious health issues.

To aid the simulation of proteins Folding@Home developed by Stanford University is a computing venture that uses the unused power of your PC to process this simulation. All you have to do is download the software directly from the official website and launch it to initiate the folding. If the default settings are kept, this process will use minimal processing power so as to not affect other opened applications. Folding@Home is compatible to work with Windows, OS X and Linux systems.

Maintain Windows 8

Windows 8 users can make their PC to run self-maintenance processes, Go to Action Center then head to Control Panel and select Maintenance to alter the settings for Windows PC to maintain itself. It will install updates for Operating System, run scans to detect malware in hard drive and launch system diagnostics on selected time to avoid hindrance in their daily functions. You can set the time at which you are engaged in daily tasks, for instance, during the time you are sleeping.

Automatic MaintenanceAutomatic Deep Scans

Manual scanning of your PC hard drive can consume a lot of your time while affecting your computer’s performance if you go through the process while antivirus is performing its own tasks. The best option is to schedule the deep-scan while your computer is sitting idle. This option is available in almost all antivirus software these days. You just have to explore the options and preferences to enable deep scanning for set time.

However, if you are a Windows 8 user that already has an integrated anti-malware solution installed in it, you do not need to worry about scheduling the deep scanning since Windows Defender initiates the scan by default at 2 am every night if you leave your computer on.

Create Back Ups for Data Stored On Your PC

CrashPlan BackupYou will find two recovery options provided in Windows 8, one being ‘Windows File Recovery’ and the other is ‘File History’. File History works similar to Time Machine in OS X. In short, file history will make regular backups to selective files on another external drive after an interval of 10 to 30 minutes once or twice a day. It lacks the option for scheduling though.

On the contrary, you have File recovery for a scheduled back-up plan as per the day and set time on your PC. In addition, this option has the advantage of creating a full system image of the existing state of your system to save you from installing it all again and recovering each file manually. System image lets you restore your PC to a saved earlier state in case of any errors or system corruption. To access File Recovery settings, open Windows 7 File Recovery when in Control Panel. This option works only to achieve offline backups only for Windows.

To make sure your entire data is completely backed up, add an online backup plan like CrashPlan to your list. CrashPlan has a free version available online that provides the options to back-up your external hard drive, any other computer on your network and even another person’s computer if they also have CrashPlan installed on their system. In comparison, the paid version includes the option to encrypt your data and save all of it on CrashPlan servers. As far as the time of creation of these backups is concerned, as is the central subject of this post, you can schedule it according to the time you are not actively using your PC. You may also choose a loading rate for the backup. Simply go to Settings > Backup or Settings > Network.

Download CrashPlan

CrashPlan settingsHelp other Torrents Downloaders by Seeding Torrents

You might have noticed the active ‘Seeding’ happening for a number of files on torrent sites. What actually happens is, whenever you download any data via the peer-to-peer setting through BitTorrent, your PC is not fetching it from only a single server. In fact, a number of people upload the files for the downloaders that do not have the entire file. The process is ‘seeding‘. Surprisingly, majority of the downloaders are unaware of this fact and they end up stopping the download as soon as the download has finished. This directly slows down the speed for other downloaders that are downloading that specific torrent.

If your computer stays on for a longer period of time and your ISP has unlimited bandwidth feature, than you really should aid the downloaders by seeding the torrents you downloaded. All you have to do is, open the torrent provider like uTorrent or Vuze and start the completed downloads again. You can further set your computer to shutdown or standby automatically when there is no one downloading your specific torrents. To do this go to Options > Auto Shutdown.

SeedingMore Computing Projects include Climate Prediction, Discovering Materials For Storing Energy & Many Others

As mentioned earlier Folding@Home is just one of the multiple computing projects out there you can spend your CPU/GPU cycles on. University of Berkeley has the software BOINC that lets a user to choose from a number of distributed computing projects. Among them is the ClimatePrediction.net project that can forecast the Earth’s climate up till the year 2100. Others include GPUGrid.net for Nvidia GPUs to launch molecular simulations, for making a three dimensional model of the Milky Way Galaxy from all the data available Milkyway@Home can be used, SETI@Home is dedicated to find traces of narrow bandwidth signals as a search for extraterrestrial life, and many other projects are available with processes like these.

Download BOINC

BOINC is compatible to work with Windows, OS X and Linux but the projects included in it do not all run on every operating system. You can configure its settings to schedule the tasks within the hours your computer sits idle. Go to Tools, and select Computing Preference.

BOINC ManagerThe ways mentioned here are just few out of many tasks you can make your computer to perform while not being actively used. Instead of wasting valuable processing power on just keeping your computer on doing nothing, you should actually take some or just one of these tasks up.

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