Every folder has a private list of foldit facts that caused them to slap their heads out of astonishment they'd never noticed such obvious things before. Here's mine ...
10. "Set 'thip crinkle and spoit' to no."
Everyone's favourite: to get fractional scores visit Menu --> General Options and check Show advanced GUI.
9. make mine a Dark
Save your retinas by visiting "View" and checking "Dark background"
8. What's that green number by my nick (foldit login name) for?
It's your place in foldit's "evo" competition. Join a group to learn how to do tag-team protein folding and reduce that number.
7. wiggles Behaving badly
Actions --> Wiggle All(W) is such a staid little function, marching doggedly upwards point by point. But open Behavior and start playing with the Clash Importance slider and "W" becomes an entirely different beast -- staggering around and occasionally falling drunkenly into a suddenly higher score (or blowing the model apart, which can be fun too). HINT: that CI slider works great in partnership with Actions --> Mutate Sidechains(M)
6. Z Wars
So you've poked at the model and wiggled back to about where you were, frantically working the CI slider all the way up. Just do Undo --> Undo(Z) to reset from the bottom and do the run-up all over again. Repeat as often as you want, learning from previous runs, throwing in a bit of Actions --> Shake Sidechains(S) or Actions --> Wiggle Sidechains(E) for variety. Use Undo --> Set Rcnt Best(Ctrl+Shift+N) at the beginning so you can restore your high-water mark with Undo --> Restore Recent Best(Ctrl+N).
5. The Shadow knows, hehe hehehe. ...
Guide puzzles, including most Beginner Puzzles, are quite unplayable as delivered. There are hints on the web pages and researchers comments for these puzzles on how to set the View options so you've got a prayer of actually solving the problem. Obviously View --> Color Relative to guide & --> Show guide, but also --> Show outlines. And this is one situation where you probably want to leave --> Dark background **un**checked. Uncheck anything else you don't need to cut down on distractions ...
4. Bands in space
... which brings us to banding to the guide. You may have tried banding two segments and missed, leaving a band floating in "air". Those things are actually useful, and when you wiggle the segment will pull towards the end of the band. Mouse over a sidechain of the model and you'll see a shadow of that sidechain in the guide, just band to the bottom of the guide-sidechain (sorry: doesn't work for glycine so you'll just have to guess).
3. The mysterious Move Tool
When the next "ligand" puzzle pops up do yourself a favour and revisit tuturial puzzle "Level 4-5: Moving along" ( http://foldit.wikia.com/wiki/Tutorial_Puzzles#Hydrophobics_and_Hydrophilics -- scroll down). You can sometimes click on part of a model to bring up this purple pointy compass rose. Once you have it onscreen, visit Actions --> Help and study the (hidden!) stuff in the upper-left window of the Help window under "Mouse on the background:" -- these hints will let you spin, zoom and move the ligand to your heart's content.
2. Shut View down when you're not looking!
Recipes can run up to four times faster if you've unchecked most of the fancy features in View. You wouldn't believe how long it took me to learn this simple fact.
1. Bend around the freeze
Freeze a segment (middle mouse click on my Win7 workstation) and you can grab a neighbouring part of the model and bend it around the freeze. Learning this simple trick was, for me, perhaps the most liberating discovery on my foldit journey to date.
Thanks for all the help!
From global chat to my fellow AD group members and the documentation on the foldit site and wiki, I'm deeply grateful for all the folks who have helped me to see the obvious.