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Westchester PC Users Group

Press Releases

  • Local Computer Enthusiasts Help Virus Cure From Comfort Of Their Homes
    Joe Bruno, WPCUG workshop leader
    July 13, 2020-Members of a Westchester County computer club are assisting researchers to battle the Coronavirus from the comfort of their homes and are looking for others to join. To participate, volunteers simply donate unused number-crunching power from their personal computers. In doing so, local residents help distant virus researchers, who stitch together "distributed" computing capacity for bio-molecular research into "folding."

    The local club—Westchester PC Users Group (www.wpcug.org)—will conduct a free open Zoom workshop July 27-Monday at 7pm for others who want to join the effort. Anyone interested should email veep@wpcug.org.

    Sleepy Hollow-resident Joe Bruno is one of four locals already "folding" who are members of WPCUG. The home computer club for enthusiasts was founded in 1981 that today has 170 area members.

    Bruno lets distant researchers tap six computers in his home. "It’s great to take something that I enjoy--playing with computers—and use it for the good of mankind," says Joe Bruno, who is a retired computer consultant.

    The national research—run by the non-profit Folding@Home Consortium (FAHC)—studies the molecular structures of human protein and seeks a cure for related diseases. Under a microscope, the human proteins look like ribbons dotted with balls that naturally combine in what is called "folding." But sometimes they "mis-fold," activating malignant cells such as cancer cells. Scientists run vast number of simulations—which require the distributed computing capacity—to understand protein architecture and sequencing, to design cures for mis-folding. Promising simulations are then subject to later-stage experiments.

    The folding project website https://foldingathome.org/covid-19 explains: "By using distributed computing, we can split up the simulation, run each piece through a computer, and then combine them together afterwards. This really sped up our results." Researchers from Stanford University and Washington University in St. Louis take the lead.

    To participate locally in folding requires downloading computer software that takes under a half hour to install. Bruno says that donating computer time is fairly seamless, although participants will use more electricity and generate more heat because their computers will be working harder. Bruno adds that participants have the option of donating computer time when their computers are not in use or all the time.

    The Zoom online workshop on folding is part of a WPCUG initiative offering free summer membership through August 31, where computer enthusiasts can plug in to the club’s 15 monthly workshops to sample activities. Workshop topics include digital photography, photo editing, mobile devices, upgrade & repair, Windows, macOS and the web show. Annual membership is only $50/year. For further information, contact membership@wpcug.org.

    -Article by Robert Marich
    Reprinted in Patch, msn news, Yahoo News, News Break, Pelham Examiner.

  • Local Computer Club Puts Digital Photography in Focus
    April 2, 2020-Article by Robert Marich in The Examiner.

  • Educators Fund To Rehab Computers For Disadvantaged Children
    Fraternity of Emile makes a donation
    February 26, 2020-Joseph Vogel (left) of NYC educators non-profit The Fraternity of Emile presents $750 to fund charitable work by the Westchester PC Users Group (wpcug.org) earlier this month in White Plains. Receiving a ceremonial oversized check is WPCUG president Pierre Darmon (right). Volunteers refurbish computers that are donated to disadvantaged recipients as part of WPCUG’s Westchester PC-Renew (wpcug.org/pcrenew) initiative, which rebuilds donated computers that are then presented to educational, veterans, and non-profit groups.

    The Fraternity of Emile, established 125 years ago, is based in New York City and takes its name from a student in classic Rousseau 18th-century literature.

    ABOUT US: Westchester PC Users Group was established in 1981 as a non-profit that conducts workshops and serves as a sounding board for practical knowledge regarding computers and mobile devices. Members can get answers to questions from resident experts, attend drop-in workshops, and tap crowd wisdom to solve their tech problems. Its 170 members are adults from Westchester, the Bronx, Fairfield, and Putnam counties.

    Photo credit: “Photo by Allan Turnbull.”

    Reproduced in the February 28, 2020 Examiner.

  • Local Computer Club Navigates Evolving PC Landscape
    January 3, 2020-Article by Robert Marich in The Examiner.






updated 08/12/2020 - pd