25 August 2013

25th of August

Farm news
I got the KVM cable on the weekend so the new i7 is off and running now. I spent a bit of time on Saturday.setting up projects applying windows updates, etc.

I also got a couple more of the Belkin dual-USB power adapters during the week. I have removed the individual ones so the power board they were plugging into now has a few free sockets. I also tidied up the cabling a bit with a few cable ties. They all running quite happily at the moment.

The Seti WOW challenge is still running so I am staying away from Seti for the moment except for the one machine that has dual GTX660's.

Project news - Asteroids
Last week they released an SSE3 optimised app. This week they released an SSE2 one for older computers. The scheduler has been sending these out so I've been getting a mixture of SSE2 and SSE3 apps. After about 10 results the scheduler can determine which is the fastest and only sends that app. There is about 1 minute difference between the two apps when running on my i7 machines. They take about 30 minutes a work unit. The project admin has mentioned they will look at increasing the work unit size later.

19 August 2013

19th of August

Farm news
Crunching has shifted to Asteroids for the moment due to the Seti challenge that I wrote about last week. Work requests aren't getting much work so I have left a dual-GPU machine running it while the others run Asteroids.

Belkin make a dual USB power supply that is rated for 2.1 amps per USB port, more than enough to run a Raspberry Pi or Parallella. The sales rep in the shop was rather worried that it would only work for those products listed on the box (Apple products) and tried to talk me out of getting it. It seems fine running one Raspberry Pi at the moment. I will plug another one in and see how it goes but I am not expecting any problems. Assuming it works out I will get a couple more to free up some power points.

Still waiting on the KVM cable to get the newest i7 going. Hopefully it will arrive during the week.

Also still waiting on the Parallella boards to arrive. There hasn't been any news about them shipping yet but here's hoping.

BOINC testing
We got to 7.2.11 this week. No major changes, just some minor tweaks around notices and the rest is mostly Mac related. I have installed it on the iGPU machines and haven't noticed any issues so far.

Project news - Asteroids
I mentioned they released optimised apps last week. This week they have released an SSE3 version of their app which is taking about half the time (approximately 35 mins) that the optimised app takes per work unit. There is still an AVX version to come but that is waiting on some changes to the BOINC client.

15 August 2013

14th of August

Farm News
The farm continues to concentrate on Seti work for the moment.

I picked up new i7 on the weekend and installed stuff on it. Unfortunately I don't have a long enough KVM cable for it, in its new location. I have ordered another (longer) one so I can get it hooked up.

I had to reimage one of the Raspberry Pi's as it wouldn't let me access it except by plugging in a keyboard, mouse and monitor. That fixed the access issue but the image I have is from April and so I had to apply a fair few updates after that.

I have started getting some bits for the Parallella's. I'm not sure when they will arrive but thought I should start getting ready. I needed a couple of USB to Micro-USB adapters so I could plug in a keyboard and mouse. I also got a MicroSD card for it. I still need to get a power adapter and might rearrange the ones running the Raspberry Pi's. I'll probably get a few dual-USB power packs otherwise I will run out of power points.

The Orbit@home project is looking to restart in "the Fall of 2013" to quote their words. They have received some funding from NASA.

Project News - Asteroids
They release optimised apps for all platforms. The Raspberry Pi's had about a 1/3rd speed up. The Windows and Linux users are reporting a 50% speed up. There are even further optimisations in the works (ie using the AVX and SSE3 instruction sets) which are still being tested.

Project News - Einstein
They've moved the BRP4U app from the beta test project (Albert) to their main project, so when the Raspberry Pi's stopped getting work I attached them to Einstein.

They still have the BRP4 work units running on the Intel HD graphics using an OpenCL app.

Their beta test project is also testing a new content management system (Drupal) so they have reworked all the web pages. It takes a bit of getting used to.

08 August 2013

7th of August

Farm news
I did some rearranging of the network on the weekend. Unfortunately it went wrong and I was without internet connectivity for a couple of days. Well a couple of machines could connect, just not all of them. I think I have things working again, but it will take a couple of days to confirm as the slower machines finish off work.

I should be picking up another i7 on the weekend which will join the Intel-GPU cluster once set up.

Android BOINC
As I mentioned last week various projects are supporting the Android platform. That has generated a lot of messages on the various project message boards about their problems. Personally I have no plans to use an Android based phone or tablet for number crunching as I don't consider them suitable.

Seti Wow! Event Challenge
SETI.Germany is organizing a challenge to celebrate and honour the 36th Anniversary of the Wow! Signal detection.

The challenge will run from 16:00 UTC on the 15th of August to 16:00 UTC on the 29th of August. If you are interested see the SETI.Germany web site HERE