26 January 2012

26th of January

And here is the news this Australia Day 2012

BOINC testing
We got up to 7.0.11 this week. It still has a few things to iron out, pretty much the same as 7.0.8. The manager has annoying button resizing depending on what you click and how big the text is. It also still doesn't build up a GPU cache.

Farm news
The farm has been off most of the week as its been hot and humid. In fact they are forcasting rain for the rest of the week, but at least the temperature has dropped a bit.

I still have a couple of CPDN full-res ocean work units to complete, so have started up that machine in the hope we can get them done by the end of the month (if I leave it running 24/7). I have also been doing some of the BOINC testing so Maul has been running for the last few days.

GPU Users Group
The GPUUG finally managed to finish off their 45 HDD fund raiser. They have now got 2 running. One is for a dedicated Astropulse server. The second is a replacement download server to replace a couple of older servers that currently are having issues.

Given my donations to the 45 HDD fund raiser it will take a while until my credit card recovers and I can consider a donation. It will be directed to the download server as I think its more important.

Project news - GPUgrid
They have introduced project badges. There are two sorts. One for overall work done and another set for work done towards publications. As they do more and more publications its possible to accumulate a number of these. The overall work done images are based upon amino acids and the publication ones are the water monecule. They have applied the badges retroactively (ie we have all been given the badges for work done previously).

I have also made a donation towards them, not much, but I think it important that they get some funding support for the work they are doing and maybe they can pickup a graphics card or two. They are looking at getting their app to work on the new ATI graphics cards.

15 January 2012

15th of January

BOINC testing
We got 7.0.8 yesterday. This fixes the problem with the buttons auto-resizing. They still auto-resize they simply removed the divider bar that was user adjustable. Apart from that its still got the issue of not fetching enough GPU work.

I put 7.0.7 on a machine that also runs GPUgrid earlier in the week. I enabled the BOINC screen saver. My first GPUgrid work unit crashed after running for 5 and a half hours. I am not too sure why but suspect the BOINC screen saver. I have since disabled the BOINC screen saver and its completed some more work units successfully.

For comparison I have 2 identical machines running the same projects. The only difference was that one has BOINC 7.0.7 and the other has 6.12.34 installed. As expected they have been behaving pretty much the same.

Farm news
The weather cooled off again for the last 2 days (and its been raining). That meant the farm can get going so I have been running 3 of the machines non-stop since. They have managed to push past 49 million for GPUgrid, so its getting a bit of work done. I am taking a few days off next week so the farm will be off while I am away.

No news from the computer shop so I will start chasing them tomorrow to see where various things are at.

GPU Users Group
Their 45 HDD fund raiser was stuck on the $1500 dollar figure so I made another donation to get it below $1000. A few other people have also made some donations since then and it has finally reached its target. Matt Lebofsky from Seti@home has posted a couple of pictures of the JBOD in the Technical News forum which can be found here: http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=66635

iPad port of BOINC
See two posts back for the link to this. Its been download a few times from different countries, so hopefully someone can make a working app out of it. I don't know how long I can leave it on my web hosting site as it uses up over 40% of my disk space limit, so I would like to get as wide an audience as possible to grab a copy.

07 January 2012

7th of January

BOINC testing
We're still on 7.0.7 so no changes from my last post on the subject. I expect there will be a new version next week as people return from holidays.

Its still got 2 main bugs that I think need fixing before its releasable. The auto-resizing of the buttons in the manager and the work-fetch for GPU (more precisely the lack of).

There is also a questionable decision to not over commit the CPU if there are multi-threaded jobs running, which will quite often lead to an idle CPU core.

There have been reports of 3 projects (Almergrid, BURP and Constellation) rejecting all work from the newer client presumably because of the new certificate structure.

Farm news
Not much happening on the farm this week. Weather was hot most of the week so everything was off. Yesterday cooled down so I fired up 3 machines and banged-out a few work units. Its going to be hot for the next 5 days so I have started powering them off again.

GPU Users Group
They are still trying to finish off their 45 HDD fund raiser. They need another $1,560 to complete it.

iPad port of BOINC
See my previous post. A few people have downloaded it. Maybe it will progress to a working version this year, but don't hold your breath.

Project news - Einstein
They have discovered another new pulsar.

Project news - Seti
They are having some issues giving out work. Its not the network bandwidth this time as that has dropped off and file transfers are quick now. Its an issue with the scheduler not giving work out.

Short-term plans
1. Put another GTX560Ti in Maul. I need to replace the power supply with a modular unit.
2. Get the Adventure 2800 in a case and running
3. Get the 12 core machine sorted out
4. Sell off the old graphics cards (on eBay)

04 January 2012

iPad port of BOINC

There was some discussion on the BOINC Dev mailing list this week about people working on an iPad port of BOINC.

I paid a developer to port BOINC to the iPad. Unfortunately he didn't finish it so the source is incomplete. It consists of an RAR archive containing an Xcode 10.6 project with the 3 support libraries (c-ares, curl and wxWidgets) required to compile BOINC. He did not do the GUI, nor did he complete the code conversion to Objective C so its quite likely useless. I don't have a Mac so can't test it.

You can download from here: http://augurtbbs.com.au/downloads/dlindex.html

Warning: Its 128 Mb in size

01 January 2012

New years day 2012

Happy new year.

I was going to pen the last blog for 2011 yesterday but getting ready to see in the new year took precendence. So where did we end the year?

BOINC testing
we're up to 7.0.6 for Windows and 7.0.7 for Linux. Hardly anything changed from 7.0.3 which I had installed before. Its still got the button auto-resize issue and its unable to build up a cache of GPU work (but it does for CPU). Its still not ready for release in my considered opinion.

I tried a couple of the Virtual Box test work units. The initial download when you attach to the test project is 1.6Gb. They work fine, but there is no screen saver or output from the work units to see what its doing.

Farm news
I put the old 55Gb SSD into Maul seeing as its usually my guinea-pig when it comes to testing stuff. I had to reinstall windows onto it and off it goes. No problems, just a couple of hours spent setting it up the way it was before. I also pulled out the 3 GTS450's and put a GTX560Ti in there.

As mentioned last week Maul was getting rather clogged up with dust (caked on all the fans and the heat sink). So it was off to the shop for a clean and tidy up some of the cabling to give better airflow. Its now looking a lot cleaner. I have asked the shop to get a modular 750w power supply in for me and will look at putting the other GTX560Ti into it. There aren't enough PCIe power connectors at the moment.

The power LED in Maul seems to have died (its gone very faint). I did ask the shop to check it but given they are imbedded in a panel they can't do much about it. This is my 2nd or 3rd CM Storm Sniper case to do this, so its an issue with Cooler Master using cheaper components. Seeing as its such a major hassle to return the case (yes its still under warranty) and be without the machine for 2 months I am not going to bother getting it fixed.

The 3 full-res ocean wu from CPDN that I mentioned last week were finished off and we've picked up another 3. Its about 25% through the current ones.

GPU Users Group
I made yet another donation towards their 45 hard disk fund raiser. The last time I looked they still needed $1630 to complete it. They already have half of the drives ordered so the JBOD we purchased is partially usable. We need to get this completed before we can move on to the next item, which is a new download server for Seti to replace their two existing ones.