15 October 2008

A little AP drama

The guys over at Seti@home have managed to come up with an optimized version of the Astropulse application. As I already use the optimized application for normal seti work units I didn't think twice about installing it.

I put the files in their directory and had to edit a small XML file that tells BOINC what programs to use. I made the mistake of opening the sample one provided using Internet Explorer and doing a cut and paste. I put the appropiate bit into my existing XML file and restarted BOINC. BOINC immediately trashed all my Astropulse work. I tried the same on a second machine and it too trashed all its Astropulse work.

I left a message on the Seti@Home message boards. I was pointed in the right direction within a few hours. It tuns out Internet Explorer adds a space before the trailing / within a tag, which BOINC doesn't understand so it trashes all the work units.

Normally Astropulse work units take me 40-41 hours to process. They now take 20-21 hours. Now thats some speed improvement! A big thankyou to Raistmer & Jason G for building this optimized application and also to JD Whale, Josef W. Segur, Urs Echternacht & Richard Haselgrove.

The Einstein@home guys have also released an optimized application that is somewhat faster than the previous version - around 20 to 25% faster, so I took the opportunity to update all the machines with it while I was at it.

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