Meet the Folder: ShovellyJoe

I swear it’s been more than roughly 1 month since I did the last one. Obviously I’m wrong, AdmiringWorm’s post went out on the 15th, it’s probably because of the madness that we had at the beginning of the month when we finally found out we’d got our millionth point in a single month.

Meh… this month we have the Man that is ShovellyJoe, but as you’ll see a bit later, things are not how they seem…


Name: Alex
User name: ShovellyJoe
Age: 16
Location: Leeds, 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 used to fold back when Life With PlayStation was called simply Folding@Home, but after a while I just got out of the habit of doing the odd work unit every now and again. Then when TSA started the Folding team I joined up and decided that my love of competition meant that I couldn’t resist trying to fold so much as to get into the leaderboards.

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

I have my 80GB PS3 which I run a few times a week to complete a work unit, usually when I get home from Sixth Form till the work unit finishes, then I have my Mac desktop computer which I run every day.

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 my PS3 a few times a week, usually weekdays meaning I tend to get about 3 work units a week from it. I fold in Advanced simply because I think it sounds cooler and it’s probably better, and I just turn my telly off and let my PS3 fold away!

The Folding@home software on the PS3 has evolved over the past few years, brining 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?

For me, I wouldn’t really be that bothered if they removed all the extra fluff and just had the basic Folding software, I never use any of the extra features and I never watch the little molecules on my screen. If the PS3 could somehow fold in the background while I’m on the XMB that would be great. And the option to do work units offline and store them to be uploaded later would be cool as my router is currently broken and I feel like I’m letting the folding team down, I don’t know if it already does this. Otherwise I’m happy with it as it is!

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?

I run F@H on my Mac, using Mac OS X 10.5.8 on Leopard, and according to my ‘About This Mac’ menu I have a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a 2GB 1067 MHz DDR3 memory, whatever that means!

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?

You should definitely get into it, if you’re scared about your PS3 dying then just run Folding for around 3 hours a day using the auto-shutdown option, it takes 6 hours to do a work unit and even doing just one helps contribute to the team and hopefully help Stanford cure some diseases!

So there you go, ShovellyAlex’s folding habits, now on to his stats, because no folding post is complete without them.

User Stats

Team Rank Project Rank Weekly Points Total Points Work Units Next Overtake
15/02/11 62 221,712 36 20,433 83 colossalblue
15/02/12 76 33,573 shields_t

Want to take part?

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, you’ll then get a reply from me confirming that you’ve been added to the list.

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


  1. Just for info, the off-line thing works but only for one WU. It downloads the info, processes the WU off-line then uploads the info and gets the next so at that point it would stop I think.

  2. Can I suggest a new question of “Where did your username come from”. I’d like to know if ShovellyJoe has any specific story and the same goes for many other members.

    • Thats a great idea to include in the ‘Meet The Folder’. Some people have inventive TSA usernames or PSN I.D’s….

      • ShovellyJoe comes from an episode of Friends, it’s the episode called ‘The One Where Joey Speaks French’, basically Shovelly Joe is the potential father of a pregnant woman who killed his own father with a shovel >_>

  3. Great stuff! Pleased to meet you, Joe. :-) Good to see a real variety of hardware helping with the Folding.

    I’m just about to start with my i7 (new CPU, new machine).

    • His name is Alex, it’s weird I know.

      • Next you’ll be telling me your name is Jason! *prepares to be shocked*

    • People always call me Jack online because my PSN is JackDusty. In the words of The Ting Tings; That’s not my name

  4. Hey Alex, great read :)

  5. Nice to meet you Alex , i must try folding on my mac at some stage too.

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