Meet the Folder: 3shirts

Oh the amount of folding puns one could do with the user name 3Shirts, I’ll go first, you can put any more in the comments, “he has 3 times as much folding to do than the rest of us”.

As a relatively new member, having only joined the folding team back in mid-September, 3shirts has managed to fold his way into the top 50 within 2 and a half months, so it’s not that hard to get yourself in the monthly updates. Now, the hard part is getting into the top 10.

So why do we do all these Folding related articles? Well, in case you were wondering, it’s mainly because with the power of our PC’s and PS3’s we’re all able to help fight diseases, not overnight, but in due course and the more folders there are, the faster we can find cures. So, if you don’t fold, you must be in support of diseases. Secondly, we do it for the community, we all like some friendly competition, so why not battle you’re way up the TSA stats to take over those who you secretly dislike? We also give you the opportunity to have a post dedicated to you.


Name: Tim
Username: 3shirts
Age: 28
Location: Bedford, UK

Folding Q & A

There are several different reasons why people run Folding@home, be it experience with one of the diseases folding aims to cure, just helping out, or just for community status. But what got you into folding and for TheSixthAxis’ Team?

I had folded for a while when I first got the PS3 in a clan I was then in. After I left I kinda forgot about it. When I was reading the 1 million in 1 month article a couple of months ago I suddenly thought this was something I should be doing again. I find reading about the current projects fascinating and I have access to several machines, so why not.

There are several different platforms that Folding@home can be run on (PS3, PC, MAC and Linux), what platforms do you use to fold?

I have my PS3 set to run it when idle and shut down after a completed work unit. I therefore tend to fold a few units a month on that. It’s a launch day console and I don’t want to push my luck but I am gradually increasing it as I gain confidence that it can handle it, especially since my house is now so cold at night I am less worried about it overheating.
I also have my main home desktop PC and a desktop and laptop at work.

Some people get worried about using the PS3 to fold because they’re worried about their PS3 dying on them. As a guide, how long do you fold on your PS3 for, and in which mode?

I run in advanced, just because it looks cooler. I currently only run folding for maximum 20 hours a month on the PS3 but am going to start running it every night.

The Folding@home software on the PS3 has evolved over the past few years, bringing in Music playback and most prominently Life with PlayStation. Is there anything that could be added to improve the experience?

Or is there something that you would like to be removed from Life with PlayStation?

I am generally not looking at it when it runs so the simpler it is, the better really. I only need it to focus on folding. I don’t know if it has much in the way of overheads but it could frankly be a command line display and I’d be cool with that.

There may be some people who might think that their hardware isn’t powerful enough for whichever reason. What Specification are you running Folding@home on?

  • My main desktop is a 2.8 GHz Intel Core Duo with 4 GB of RAM and a 768Mb graphics card.
  • The work laptop is new and running an AMD Dual core Athlon at 2.2 GHz with 3 GB ram.
  • The work desktop is an old Pentium 4 at 2.6 GHz and 1 GB ram.
  • I am amazed just how much more effectively the PS3 folds than any of these though.

There will be people from the TSA community that will read this who don’t currently fold, is there anything you’d like to say to those members?

Why not?!

It is such a cool thing and almost unique in that you are basically helping some incredible research with no cost or effort to yourself. It’s also another fun community aspect of TSA including a little light competition :)

User Stats

Team Rank Project Rank Weekly Points Total Points Work Units Next Overtake
14/12/10 45 176,595 1,836 29,702 246 Bonyman
14/12/11 27 131,902 Jeebers

We need you

If you would like to feature in a future Meet the Folder post, please fill out the form over at and when you press send your answers will be forwarded to me and I’ll reply to you as soon as possible.

We’d like to thank Tim for his time in answering our questions.


  1. “if you don’t fold, you must be in support of diseases”
    love it :)

    • I loll’ed as well.
      But it makes you think, if there weren’t any diseases, we probably wouldn’t be doing this now, the world would be a place where there’s barely enough food to survive, and millions of people are rugularly wiped out when there’s a bad harvest, pesticides are over used and therefore the environment is heavily polluted…
      talk about going off on a tangent…. :/

      • We’d probably be doing seti@home, but I know very little about that, which is exploring I believe, rather than curing.

        In regards to that quote, as funny as it may be, it has some truth to it ;).

  2. Top stuff, 3shirts.

    Good on you for getting back into the swing of things. Also, a pleasure to read a bit about a very popular member of TSA.

    Jas-n. Ha!

  3. “His name’s like my name”……(real name that is)

  4. Yo! Im in Bedford! (Kinda, Wilstead – A6) We should see who else is around and have a gt5 tourny/get drunk or something :D

    • Cool, I’m actually in Cople so not far away

      • Bedford eh? Originally from Luton myself. What a dump.

  5. This also makes me think I should get involved. Spare fatty 60gb doesnt get used much and this sounds like a good reason. Never really looked into the folding@home thing.

    /goes off to investigate…

  6. Well done 3shirts – no wait is that you about to overtake me?! I’ll have to start doing a bit more :)

  7. Little note, I’ve updated the graphs to include Novembers stats.
    Also convince as many people as you know to join in folding, either under your name (if you’re persuasive enough) or under their own, we don’t mind, just as long as it’s under “Pure1” (that’s the team number by the way -78731 – look it up on your phone)

  8. I’m really confused about this whole folding business, what does the term folding mean?, and in what way and how do they harness the power?. forgive my ignorance peeps lol

    • It is protein folding. It’s very sciency but basically proteins naturally arrange themselves (known as folding) before perfoming their purpose and this is a basic function of all living things. Using the number crunching power of the cell processor in your PS3 (or whatever CPU in your computer) the programme simulates millions of combinations of proteins to find the result of their folding or misfolding. This can lead to greater understanding of how diseases come about or, more importantly, where to direct the research into preventing them.

  9. Ive no idea what you just said but thanks anyway lol, I should give it a go but am slightly concerned it might brick my ps3, what with that and all the constant hard resets I’ve had to perform recently (Cheers New Vegas and Black Ops)

    • I’m folding on my fat ps3, 24/7, for more than a year (except when playing games), have faith!
      But you could start doing one protein a day and set the ps3 to shutdown after its done :)

      (I so wanted new Vegas, but I here the crashes are making it nearly unplayable :/)

    • Quite a few people fold on PlayStation 3’s (fat PS3’s official name) there is some proof to say that those PlayStation 3’s that fold regularly are less likely to suffer from YLoD, but don’t quote me on that.

      • I am folding more now than I was when I submitted this and it’s never been a problem. As Jas-n says, you can set it to shut down after it completes a unit which is a good way to control it and keep the running time down if you are worried

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