When the opportunity was available, I made sure to take advantage of it.
It's neat to read about the history of the team as I never got seriously into it until more recently due to the COVID junk. What's up about the bigadv stuff? I'm familiar with what it is but I don't think it's discontinued. Never had to worry about it until recently.
To sum up the bigadv story, back in the day (2010-14)there were some monster sized cpu work units of 1m + atoms that give big PPD for the time, 250k-1m PPD depending on the hardware which was supposed to be 8 cores (not threads) or more. The hardware requirements changed a couple of times due to people spoofing the client to run on 2600k, Phenom x6, i7-920 etc that could complete the WU in time if they had a big enough overclock. Late 2013 it was announced that the hardware requirements were going to be changed twice within the next 4 months to keep up with the increasing core count of CPU's and stop the spoofing that was still going on, which meant that to run the projects you were going to need 24 then 32 physical cores to meet the deadlines. Older slower machines would drop back to SMP work units with a corresponding points drop. This caused uproar as people had sunk a lot of time and money into optimising rigs that were able to complete WU well in advance of the then current deadlines, would be able to under the new guidelines as well but couldn't due to the to new hardware requirements based solely on core count.
The team was raging at this and rightly so, many of them, including myself, had multiple 2p/4p rigs that cost thousands and couldn't be sold on or repurposed into a daily driver so people started to quit. The uproar continued on all the major teams that were cpu heavy and it was then announced that the bigadv project would be stopped due to the outcry over the new requirements at the end of January 2015 and that it, people just quit immediately.
A lot of people felt so bitter over it they vowed never to donate to Pande group again. The project lead and head of the entire folding project have both since moved on but the bitter taste remains. Bigadv finished 31st Jan 2015, the same WU with much lower points were available for most of 2015 then everything switched to SMP WU with much lower atom counts and points. WU with that many atoms have not be issued since.
Fun notes, I still have one of my bigadv 2p running - currently hosting a 1080 & 1070 plus a 20thread CPU slot giving 3 times the PPD it did back in the day. To find anything about bigadv on foldingforum means you have to go digging, the sub forums that existed have all been hidden and in some cases I suspect they have been deleted.