15 April 2014

15th of April

Farm news
Were running ClimatePrediction ANZ models at the moment. Currently the entire Intel-GPU cluster plus one of the Nvidia GPU machines are on the case Mixed in with them I'm also running Asteroids work.


XP end of support
April 8th came and went. The few Windows XP machines that I have are still working after XP support ended. They picked up a few patches on the 8th and that should be it. I could upgrade a couple of them if I want to spend the money, however they would need memory upgrades to be able to run Win 7. None of them are particularly fast and its not really worth the effort.

06 April 2014

6th of April

Farm news
Another warm week but overnight temperatures are falling so that I managed to get the Intel-GPU's going overnight. Its cool and wet today (Sunday) so I have also been running one of the GPUgrid machines.

The Intel-GPU crunchers have been mainly working on Climate Prediction ANZ work mixed with Asteroids. I find that the later BOINC version prefers to swap work out rather than splitting the resource shares. If I have 4 CPDN work units I would also like to run 4 Asteroids at the same time, however the 7.3.x works by running 8 Asteroids or trying to run 8 CPDN (except I have them limited to 4 concurrent). I raised this with the developers on the mailing list and was told they don't expect to fix it any time soon. That is the max_concurrent setting is partially ignored when scheduling what work to run.

I continue to get upload failures for some of the CPDN files. I resort to using the backup file/proxy server on the dial up to finish off the uploads for these. I also had one for GPUgrid this morning. I think its an ISP fault but they don't seem to have a clue. It only seems to happen on the big uploads (CPDN and GPUgrid have 12Mb plus result files) and even then some work fine and others repeatedly get stuck at the same point.


BOINC testing
We got 7.3.15 this week. which had a few minor tweaks since 7.3.11. They put a change into .14 to abort work that exceeded the memory limits and then decided to remove that change in .15 as it was aborting too much work (pretty much all projects seem to underestimate how much memory their work units need).

Collatz have said they were going to rewrite all their apps in COBOL, remove all optimisations and make only 32 bit apps to put everybody on an equal footing. This was of course an April fools day joke.


Pi work
Last week I tried to upgrade one of the Pi's from Debian Weezy (the current release) to Debian Jessie (the testing release) so I could get a more up to date BOINC client. The latest Jessie BOINC client is 7.2.42. So after adding the Jessie repo to my apt configuration file and then doing an "apt-get update" followed by "apt-get upgrade" it downloaded a heap of files and started installing until it ran into libcurl I think and then complained it was the wrong version. I couldn't get it past that so I had to restore the image I made before starting.

I am aware that Loctus of Borg also had a repo which has a few BOINC related things in there such as the BOINC client (without manager), BOINCtui and the Seti multi-beam app. It seems he has BOINC 7.2.33 so its not as up to date as the Debian Jessie version. The only other way to do it is get the source and compile my own version.

From reading the Raspberry Pi forums it looks like Debian Jessie is expected to get released some time in November 2014.

I had to re-image one of the Raspberry Pi's this weekend. The same Pi that I tried upgrading to Jessie the week before. I took a copy of one of the other Pi's that was working fine and then wrote that to the offending Pi's SD card. I then had to remove BOINC from it so it doesn't use the same computer Id and then reinstall from the repository. After that I reattached to the projects and merge the old and new computer Id's.

28 March 2014

28th of March

Farm news
Weather is still quite hot but had a few cool days where I had the entire Intel-GPU cluster going, but unfortunately not cool enough to get the GPUgrid crunchers going.

At the moment I have 3 machines in the Intel-GPU cluster running Climate Prediction work. They've just released their Australia and New Zealand models. Being in Australia I figured I should be doing as many of these as possible as they are directly relevant to us. I've had 4 files (so far) get stuck uploading. That has forced me to dig out the trusty old file/proxy server and hook it up to the dial-up to get the files uploaded.


BOINC testing
We're still on 7.3.11 for Windows and 7.3.13 for the Mac. Nothing major found, although one bug I reported 2 years ago, to do with putting the manager into a loop, is resolved. Also with running the last release version (7.2.42) and 7.3.11 on the same machines I have noticed that .42 keeps swapping out my CPDN tasks when I have other work but .11 does not which means its resource sharing is better.


Parallella news
They received the batch of 15,000 bare boards and have been waiting on two particular components before they could resume production. They've now got the missing components and will be clearing the Kickstarter backers (like me) and then moving onto the pre-orders. This will supposedly happen by the end of April but given all the other missed deadlines....

Remember the Pi Fan modification I did? I'll be doing a similar thing to the Parallella's when they arrive as they need forced-air cooling plus heatsinks. What I need are some MicroUSB to 3 pin molex fan header cables. Unfortunately the eBay seller who did the ones for the Pi Fan only did normal sized USB connectors.

15 March 2014

15th of March

Farm news
Again another hot week so nothing much running. I did leave one of the Intel-GPU machines running for a couple of days. The Raspberry Pi's keep going too.

I am still playing with OpenVMS. I will start another blog for it.

Still waiting for a Parallella (or two) to arrive. The latest update was they produced 800 and had more undergoing testing for the batch of 1000. They are waiting on more PCB's to arrive.


BOINC testing
We got 7.3.11 this week so I have been running it on a couple of the Intel GPU machines. The main change is around the notices handling so it can display video and other content, not just text. This is possible because of the upgrade to the wxWidgets 3.0 library which is used extensively by the manager.

Unfortunately some Linux distributions are still running older versions of wxWidgets so they will have to statically link it into the manager for them. Also the Raspberry Pi which runs a version of Debian is way behind the current release. Its currently got 7.0.27 when the "release" version is currently 7.2.42.