31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014

This is my final 2014 post. Its around 11pm on New Years eve as I type this.

Farm news
The i7-5820's have been getting a bit of a work out this last week to get an idea of their performance. They seem to be about the same as the i7-3770's. I've run Asteroids, Einstein and Seti work through so far. It is better than the i7-970's that they are replacing but not as good as I wanted. I have hoped that going from a 1st generation to a 5th generation i7 would have provided greater improvements, but it seems not.

Apart from the new machines I have also been updating the Raspberry Pi's. I managed to remove x11 from them which free's up almost 100k of memory and around 800Mb of disk (SD card) space. The latest updates include the Linux kernel and boot loader..I got concerned when it said it was going to remove packages boinc and boinc-manager, but it seems it leaves boinc-client behind. The last time I tried it you couldn't remove x11 without taking out BOINC. The upgrade takes a few hours to get installed, followed by another 30 minutes removing the x11 junk so if you are going to do it allow plenty of time.

Next year
I have a few things I would like to get done. The "to do" list:

  • I would like to spend some time sorting out the Alpha Server DS15 and see if I could actually get BOINC installed on it.
  • I have some ideas about getting a rack and transplanting the Intel-GPU machines into it.
  • GTX970 upgrades and maybe free up two more i7-3770's to go into the rack.
  • Get the Skeleton running with the PCIe expansion board

All the best for the new year.

27 December 2014

I7-5820k builds

These are the 6 core/12 thread machines that I got just before Christmas. They are replacing a couple of i7-970 based machines with basically the same configuration, just newer. I spent Boxing Day decommissioning the old machines and moving boxes around, installing software, etc.

I would have liked to get the top of the line CPU but the price difference was almost $800, to gain extra PCIe channels and 1 extra core/2 threads.

About the only thing I might adjust at this point is to move one of the top fans to the front of the case as I think the air-flow is out of balance, that is there are more fans removing air than drawing air into the case.

Fractal Designs ARC Midi R2 case
Seasonic 750w modular power supply
Asus X99A motherboard
Intel Core i7-5820k CPU (6 cores/12 threads @ 3.3Ghz)
16Gb (4 x 4Gb) Kingston DDR4 memory @ 2133Mhz
Corsair H80i sealed water cooling, replaced fans with Noctua
2 x EVGA GTX750Ti graphics cards
Pre-loved WD Black 1Tb HDD
Intel 520 series 120Gb SSD
Generic DVD reader

14 December 2014

14th of December

Farm news
Despite the weather this week has actually had a bit of productivity. While it was hot most of the week we got a couple of cool days and I took the opportunity to fire up the GPUgrid crunchers. I had them running until midday when it started to get hot again.

I also managed to finish off the ClimatePrediction work that one of the Intel-GPU machines had so it has cleared its cache as well. As is usual I got a few file transfer failures for CPDN and GPUgrid which I have to clear via the dial-up.

On Saturday I picked up the two new i7 replacements from the computer shop. Now all I need to do is decommission the couple of old machines and sell them on eBay. The shop still need to supply a copy of Windows 7 for one of them, but that is just a CD and license sticker so I can pick it up during the week. I took a few photos so I will do a separate blog post for them.

BOINC testing
On the BOINC front we got a new build, 7.4.35 which has already been replaced with .36. I was doing some testing of notices with .35 which doesn't seem to notify when it has new notices. The suspend GPU tasks bug has been fixed though.

07 December 2014

7th of December

Farm news
Mostly off would be the best way to describe it. Parallella's and Pi's have been running, everything else has been off. I even had them off for 2 days when it got too hot. We've also been getting a thunderstorm come though pretty much every night this last week with lightening and strong winds.

I did manage to get one of the Intel GPU machines to pick up some ClimatePrediction work and then had it working in bursts of 12 hours (overnight) to try and finish them off. They also give me issues uploading and I have to resort to the old dial-up modem to clear the stuck file transfers. They are taking 52 hours to compute and I restrict them to 4 at a time. I have only just now, managed to complete the first 4.

The replacement 6 core/12 thread machines are still in the works. The shop got the DDR4 memory this week and the first machine is now complete. The second is waiting on Windows to come in from their supplier. I will collect the pair of them next weekend.

I have been selling off some of the old graphics cards on eBay to get some money towards a pair of GTX970's to replace the pair of GTX670's that I use as GPUgrid crunchers. I am working my way from the most recent cards to the oldest ones as I won't get as much money for the old cards. The more recent ones also have their original boxes so it makes it easier to sell and post them.

Raspberry Pi's and Debian
Debian (the flavour of Linux that the Raspberry Pi comes with) are coming up to another release called Jessie. The current release is called Wheezy. I have been running Jessie on all the Pi's for some months now with them getting frequent updates as it was considered a testing release. My main reason for using Jessie was to get a more up to date BOINC client. Jessie went into a freeze period at the beginning of November as they prepare it to become the next release, some time in early 2015 although there is no official release date.

The last BOINC client that made it into Jessie was 7.4.23 so that is the version we will be running for the next 12-24 months, unless you want to compile your own.

BOINC testing
After the release of 7.4.27 they found a couple of bugs and so we're testing 7.4.32 at the moment. The main fix is to the backup project not working (zero resource share). While that seems to be fixed it won't suspend GPU tasks so there will another version to test in due course.

Project news - Seti
They received some data from the Arecibo radio telescope, only 4 disks worth, so that will be processed fairly soon. They are still trying to rebuild their Astropulse database so they haven't managed to get any Astropulse work sent out yet. I understand they are still working on the back-end plumbing for the Green Bank radio telescope data as well.

22 November 2014

22nd of November

Farm news
Weather hot, like in the mid-30's (degrees C) hot for a couple of days this week so the entire farm was off. Its back into the upper-20's so I have the Parallella's and Raspberry Pi's going again. I have been running the Intel-GPU's overnight as well.

The Intel-GPU machines are all doing Asteroids work. Credits are around 14 million so still quite a way to go before it catches up to the other projects. The Parallella's and Pi's are doing Einstein work. I have 2 Parallella's and 6 Raspberry Pi's.

I was in the computer shop this morning dropping off parts for the 2nd new build machine. They are still waiting on memory before they can be completed. It seems DDR4 memory is still in fairly short supply at the moment.

Pi B+ rebuild
A day after I did the last post I went and upgraded the B+ Raspberry Pi and after rebooting it refused to come back. I ended up wasting the next 4 hours restoring from the official image (downloaded back in June) and then having to upgrade it to get it back to what it had and remembering all the things that I normally change from the standard Pi image. I have since taken a snapshot of it so at least I have an image I can just dump onto it should it happen again.

Before anyone asks "why didn't you use one of the other Pi's images" I would point out they are all B models. Their image is a bit different and doesn't work on the B+ which is why I had to go back to the official image and then upgrade it.

Ideally I would like a stripped down image that doesn't have all GUI stuff that wastes space and CPU time. X11 and the desktop stuff are all useless when remotely accessing the Pi. I do remove some of the packages that come with Raspbian but not enough to get rid of x11 entirely.

15 November 2014

15th of November

Farm news
After an almost complete shutdown earlier in the week when the temperatures were in the mid-30's we're now back up and running the Intel GPU machines. When I say "almost complete" the file server and router were off as well as most of the computers. I left the Parallella's and Raspberry Pi's running even though they had no network access.

There is more hot weather forecast for the coming week.

BOINC news
7.4.26 (Mac) and 7.4.27 (Windows) were released to the public. Nothing new for me as I was already running .27 on most of the machines anyway. There have been a couple of fixes done since but we haven't seen a new build yet..

CPDN issues
This morning I picked up a bunch of CPDN work units. They showed up in BOINCtasks as using zero CPU time and were using less memory than some of the other CPDN work units. I left them running for 10 hours. When I checked again they still had the same symptoms so I went and looked on one of the machines and there were Visual Fortran pop-up boxes with error messages. Once I pressed the Okay button the tasks fail. I had 15 of these across 3 machines.

Strangely enough another 5 of them are running and using CPU time, more memory, not to mention doing checkpoints.

Upon reading the CPDN forums for Visual Fortran errors regarding a different climate model, it seems they don't like Windows and Intel iGPU's. Its something to do with the graphics the model can show while running, not that I ever bother with the graphics. It doesn't seem to effect Linux computers.

Seti news
It seems they are scraping around for data to process. They have some older data that needs reprocessing with new apps but that is about all they have from the Arecibo radio telescope. They do have data from the Green Bank telescope but no apps or back-end plumbing (work unit splitters, validators, etc) for it yet. They are also sorting through database issues.

This isn't causing me an issue as I have been concentrating on Asteroids more recently but it seems they now have more processing power than they can handle.

08 November 2014

8th of November

Farm news
We're working nights. I generally have the machines off (except the Parallella's and Raspberry Pi's) during the day and get some of them going overnight. I have been doing some GPUgrid work as well as concentrating on Asteroids.

I got to 14 million for Asteroids, only to have them run out of disk space today, so I have a pile of work units waiting to upload. Oh well back to doing Einstein and Seti.

While doing BOINC upgrades on the Parallella's I noticed that one hadn't been rebooted for 80 days and the other for 51 days. I decided they needed cleaning and a reboot. Due to the fan arrangement they had a layer of fine dust all over their insides. The only real way to get to it is a paint brush and blow it out. They should be good for another 3 months now.

BOINC testing
We got 7.4.27 this week. The only change is to back-out the checking for Nvidia compute capability 1.x devices and the CUDA 6.5 drivers on Windows. Its still there for the Mac.

Thanks to LocutusOfBorg's ppa I also got 7.4.27 for Ubuntu. If I relied on Ubuntu I would have to wait a year due to their long-term-support versions not updating anything until their next major release.

With Debian Jessie the last version that made it in before their change freeze was 7.4.23. They are currently frozen while they finalise what will be in the Jessie release. The Pi's will have to stay on this version for a while.

02 November 2014

2nd of November

Farm news
Well most of its been off for the week, I have fired up all the Intel-GPU machines today as the weather has cooled off a bit. They are all doing Asteroids work at the moment.

I got another pair of GTX750Ti's which I plan on putting in the 2nd of the 6 core/12 thread machines. I am still waiting for the 1st one to be built. The memory was out of stock so that has held things up a bit.

BOINC testing
Late ths week we got 7.4.26 which along with other changes has some code to detect CUDA 6.5 drivers and warn the user that Nvidia no longer support cards with a compute capability less than 2. I have installed it on all the Intel-GPU machines and they don't seem to have any issues so far.

I was waiting for Debian Jessie to get 7.4.23, which it got yesterday. Debian were going to have a change freeze in November so they could finalise the Jessie release. I am not too sure if that means they will have to stick with .23 or if they will be able to get .26 into the Jessie release.

Meanwhile Ubuntu has an even older BOINC client. LocutusOfBorg's PPA is having issues building 7.4.23 with it failing to build for the arm architecture. The latest version I got from the PPA was 7.4.13. I use this on the Parallella's as the Ubuntu repos are even more out of date.

25 October 2014

24th of October

Farm news
I have just 1 or 2 of the Intel GPU machines crunching overnight at the moment. The Parallella's and Raspberry Pi's are still running 24/7 though.

I have ordered a couple of new 6 core/12 thread machines to replace my oldest i7's which are also 6 core/12 thread. As the new machines will be running GTX750Ti's I have taken them out of the dual GPU cruncher and given them to the shop for the first build and ordered another pair for the 2nd build. This brings the Intel GPU part of the farm up to 6 machines.

Old specs
ASUS P6T motherboard
Kingston HyperX memory 12Gb, DDR3-1600 (3 x 4Gb sticks)
Intel core i7-970 (6 core/12 thread) 3.2Ghz
Corsair H80 water cooling system. Corsair fans replaced with Noctua fans
Intel 520 series 120Gb SSD
WD 500Gb HDD
Palit GTX660 graphics 2Gb, OC edition
Seasonic 750w power supply 80+ bronze
CM Storm Sniper case

New specs
ASUS X99-A motherboard
Kingston HyperX memory 16Gb DDR4-2133 (4 x 4Gb sticks)
Intel core i7-5820k (6 core/12 thread) 3.3Ghz
Corsair H80 water cooling system, Corsair fans replaced with Noctua fans
Intel 520 series 120Gb SSD
2 x EVGA GTX750Ti graphics
Seasonic 750w power supply 80+ bronze
Fractal Designs ARC midi R2 case

As you can see almost the same, except its faster and has dual GPU's. The old machines will go up on eBay as a complete system unless I get an offer for them in the next fortnight or so.

Update 27th of October
I have dropped off the bits that I had to contribute to this 1st build. unfortunately its delayed for 2 weeks because memory is out of stock and got back-ordered.

18 October 2014

18th of October

Farm news
I have finally reached 25 million credits for Seti so I am now scaling back and will concentrate on some of the other projects. Both Asteroids and ClimatePrediction need to catch up. In the case of ClimatePrediction they tend to go from feast to famine (ie lots of work to none) quite regularly. Asteroids have a CUDA app but because it does floating point maths it runs rather slowly. Both AMD and Nvidia limit the floating point capability of their consumer grade cards.

The farm is running during the day but the main GPU crunchers are usually off. Now that the dual Nvidia-GPU machine has been updated to GTX750Ti cards it may get to run during the day. I have already listed the two GTX660's on eBay.

Depending on how the 750Ti cards work out I may replace the remaining GTX660 cards. I have one GTX660 in each of the 6 core/12 thread crunchers.

Also on the shopping list are GTX970's to replace the GTX670's that are in the GPUgrid crunchers. I looked at them last week but decided they were a bit too expensive at the moment.

Project news - GPUgrid
They've decided to move to a CUDA 6.5 app and are dropping their 4.2 app. This fits with Nvidia ceasing support in their drivers for pre-Fermi cards. Given they are up to Maxwell architecture I expect Nvidia will drop support for the Fermi-based cards fairly soon.

17 October 2014

GTX750Ti upgrade

This is what we start with, a pair of GTX660's

And this is the GTX750's in their place.

Here are some GPU-Z screen shots. The first showing the card details

And this one showing it rather maxxed-out while running two Seti@home Multi-Beam cuda 50 work units.

They are certainly running a lot cooler than the GTX660's that were in there before. They also appear to be quicker but it could be the work units which vary in the amount of processing required.

12 October 2014

12th of October

Farm news
Not much happening on the farm during the day. Its usually too hot so the only things running are the Parallella's and Raspberry Pi's. At night I have been running the Intel-GPU machines. The Parallella and Pi's are running Einstein BRP4 work and the Intel's are still running Seti work.

On the hardware front I am going to get a pair of GTX750Ti's to replace some of the GTX660's. I will also be looking at replacing GTX670's which are in the GPUgrid crunchers. Given I have boxes of old graphics cards I will be listing these on eBay fairly quickly after they have been removed from the machines.

I got a rough price from the computer shop for the 20 thread Xeon servers, they were almost $3000 just for a CPU and then there was the motherboard. Needless to say I won't be buying one of them any time soon. I also looked at an i7-5820k (6 core/12 threads). The price was reasonable. But, and there is always a but, it uses 10 watts more than the i7-970's that its supposed to be replacing and is around the same clock speed. Sure it would be faster and has newer instructions.

Project news - Seti
They've released a new Astropulse application. It does a bit more maths and of course isn't compatible with the previous version. You'll either need to run the "stock" project supplied application or download the optimised versions and manually updated your app_info files.

There is an installer coming but will be a couple of days before that gets tested and released. In the mean time I have already installed it on the Intel GPU machines and managed to trash a bunch of multi-beam work units.

The estimated time to completion is way off while the server works out how fast your computer(s) are and will adjust itself once it gets 11 validated work units, excluding the ones that are more than 10% blanked or otherwise fail.

27 September 2014

27th of September

Farm news
Crunching continuing on Seti. Current credit is around 24.3 million. RAC (recent average credit) has dropped quite a bit due to having the Nvidia GPU crunchers off (due to the weather). I have the dual GTX660 machine running overnight most nights and off during the day. The Intel GPU machines are running 24/7 for the moment.

BOINC testing
We have 7.4.22 as a release candidate. I think there will probably be another bug fix or two before it gets released but its getting close.

Future hardware
I have asked my local computer shop to quote on a server-grade machine to replace my older i7-970 machines. They seem to be taking some time to get back to me. It was for a dual Xeon motherboard.

Also on the wish list are a couple of GTX970's to replace the GTX670's. Some GTX750's to replace the GTX660's and reduce the power bills.

Raspberry Pi's
The Debian-based Linux world had another bug fix this week. The bash bug which could allow a hacker full access to the machine. Debian and Ubuntu have released patches for bash  I have updated all the Pi's as a precaution.

20 September 2014

20th of September

Farm news
Still crunching for Seti. We had a few warm days during the week so the Nvidia crunchers were off during the day. Credit is currently around 23.8 million with a daily output (RAC) around 71,000. It looks like its going to take a while to get to the 25 million target.

The oldest Raspberry Pi has locked up a few times today for no apparent reason. Given all the SD cards were replaced a couple of weeks ago I don't think its the SD card this time.

Yesterday Nvidia announced the GTX980 and GTX970 cards based upon the Maxwell architecture. Looking at the specs of the GTX970 they look like a good replacement for my GTX670's. Depending on pricing I may just get a pair. They have more CUDA cores and use less power.

Nvidia are dropping CUDA support on the older cards that are Pre-Fermi (ie Pre-GTX460). If you've got one and you use CUDA then don't upgrade to the latest drivers.

Nvidia also seem to be moving to 64 bit for CUDA with the latest Apple Mac drivers only being available in 64 bit.

13 September 2014

13th of September

Farm news
Still crunching for Seti. Total credits are now above 23 million however daily output has taken a hit. We had a few warm days this week so I have had to stop two of the Nvidia GPU machines and limit the other one to running overnight.

BOINC testing
We got 7.4.21 during the week. Not much change from .18 which I had on all the windows machines. A couple of tweaks with the manager and some more work on the installer. This version is a release candidate so its getting close to being released.

Raspberry Pi news
The case for the B+ arrived so I have now got it running. That takes the Pi part of the farm up to 6 of them. 5 are the B version and one B+ version. Speed-wise its identical to the others as they use the same SoC (System on a Chip).

I had a fair bit of trouble getting it going. It seems my image that I run on all the B versions wouldn't work so I had to download the latest from raspberrypi.org and then plug in a screen, keyboard and mouse. I then upgraded it to Debian Jessie (the release version is still Debian Wheezy) and then cull off most of the junk they give you with it. They seem to be bundling the Wolfram Engine which was quite large.

As an experiment I tried to get rid of x11 completely, which also took out BOINC. I then went to reinstall BOINC which decided it wanted to bring back a number of x11 libraries as dependancies. Given I don't use the manager I don't need a GUI and x11 takes up a lot of space.

Having got the B+ up and running I noticed it managed to get a kernel update to 3.12.28+ #709, a firmware update and BOINC 7.4.18, so I then ran around updating all the B versions. The dist-upgrade takes around an hour and a half for each Pi. These later versions seem to be a bit more stable.

Oh and that is little something I put together to try and organise the Pi's. Its just a piece of wood with a bunch of screws to clip the Pi's onto. The white Pi with the fan isn't on here because the case doesn't have any mounting holes. I still need to organise the cables but its better than hanging them by their network cables.

06 September 2014

6th of September

Farm news
Crunching for Seti continues. Recent average credit is up to 90,000 and total credits around 22.9 million.Currently using 5 x Intel GPU machines and 3 x Nvidia GPU machines.

There was a fund-raiser going for Seti so I gave some money towards that. We're trying to encourage the many people who use the project to give $10 each to help pay for the staff and equipment. Those that donate represent 0.1% of all users.

Pi news
As mentioned last week I got new SD cards. I have replaced all the SD cards on all 5 of the Raspberry Pi's. For each one I upgrade Debian, then take an image of the old SD card and write that to the new SD card.

The Raspberry Pi B+ I ordered last week arrived sans case. The case was shipped yesterday so I expect to see it early next week. I will set it up once the case arrives.

I am also trying to organise a better (tidier) location for the Pis rather than having them hang via their network cables. The white Pi case that I added the fan to doesn't have any screw holes in the base so its going to be difficult to mount. Lego anyone?

30 August 2014

30th of August

Farm news
The farm is continuing its Seti crunching. I am aiming for 25 million credits and its currently above 22 million. The farm is doing around 88,000 per day at the moment. The weather has been cool and wet so I have added another one of the Nvidia GPU machines to the task. That takes the current effort to be 3  Nvidia GPU machines and 5 Intel iGPU machines.

SD card woes
As you would have gathered from the last couple of blog posts I have been having some issues with the SD cards on the Raspberry Pi's. This week I purchased 5 new ones and will start replacing them all. I have already thrown 2 cards in the bin.

SD cards are not designed for computers running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week writing data constantly. They simply wear out the memory cells. There is a Linux file system called F2FS (Flash Friendly File System) that would be better suited than the ext4 file system that I am currently using, however its not mature enough yet.

Raspberry Pi B+
While researching Linux file systems I noted that the Raspberry Pi B+ version has replaced the B version that I have. I have ordered one. Its still based upon the same SoC (System on a Chip) but has more USB ports, a lower power consumption, uses a MicroSD card instead of the standard SD card and has a redesigned layout. The connectors are on two edges now.

23 August 2014

23rd of August

Farm news
As per the last 2 posts were still crunching away at Seti. Recent average credit is around 79 to 80k so its still climbing a bit. Total credits are around 21.5 million.

I noticed one of the Intel GPU machines is producing consistently less work than the other Intel GPU machines. They are all meant to be identical. I had a look and found a BIOS setting that might have been causing this and have changed it. The recent average credit is climbing but I can't tell yet as its still not caught up with the others. I could only do this recently because all the machines are running the same mix of work (Seti), before they weren't.

Asteroids have been having a number of issues with running out of space on their server, specifically for uploads. They only have 1 server. They seem to need more disk space so if anyone wants to help out please ask over on their forums. I suggested they get a Drobo rather than a server as their main need seems to be storage.

Update: Sun 24th of August
The oldest of the Raspberry Pi's has been playing up. It dropped off the network and I couldn't access it. After a few goes at rebooting it I reimaged the SD card and then updated Debian only to have it fail again upon rebooting. I have reimaged another SD card and put that in it.

I suspect the card has reached its limit of writes. Apparently they have around 100k write cycles and most name-brand ones incorporate some wear-levelling. Its a name-brand card and supposedly has a lifetime warranty. I don't have the receipt so couldn't return it anyway.

17 August 2014

17th of August

Farm news
Crunching continues for Seti. RAC (recent average credit) has hit 70,000 and total credit has just passed 21 million. My new target is 25 million for total credit before I start cutting back.

I am slowly rolling out the new optimised Seti apps that I mentioned in the last blog post. For each machine I run the down the cache until they are out of work before installing them. I could just stop BOINC, install the apps and then start it up again but I would rather have a clean change over in case something is wrong. It takes about a day to run down the cache on the Intel-GPU machines. The Nvidia-GPU machines will be done last.

I am also noticing that there is a general shortage of work for Seti, probably due to the challenge running at the moment and all the extra computers. Quite often my machines will make work requests and get nothing. BOINC will retry but starts to back-off the requests if it keeps failing to get work.

The Parallella's picked up BOINC 7.4.13 today. I had one Parallella set up to define the Epiphany co-processor and the first thing it did when it came up was to make a scheduler request for some work for it. There wasn't any but at least the client can now request work for a user-defined co-processor. There still aren't any apps that can use the Epiphany at the moment.

14 August 2014

14th of August

Farm news
As I said in the last post the farm is merrily crunching away Seti work. RAC (recent average credit) has now climbed to 65000. That is average credits per day.

Being the middle of the month I got a bunch of windows updates. I have to apply them on 12 machines which all takes time.

I tried installing boinc_app_seti via the repo on a Raspberry Pi. It ran for about 10 minutes before crashing the Pi. I then had to reboot the Pi, remove the app and detach it from Seti. It would appear to be rather unstable. The Pi is now back to crunching for Einstein.

Project news - CPDN
Their database server crashed. Last I heard they have been trying to set up a virtual machine to replace the old server they had. They have been off-line for around 3 days now. While I have completed and upload my tasks I can't report them as completed until they can get the server going.

Project news - Seti
We got updated optimised apps for Seti. They updated the installer to v0.42. See the Lunatics web site http://lunatics.kwsn.net/ for these. I will be running down one of the Intel-GPU machines and installing them on it before I roll them out to the other machines. The CPU apps in particular are faster.

One of the teams (Seti.Germany) are running a challenge from the 15th to the 29th of August. This is timed with the anniversary of the Seti Wow signal back on the 15th of August 1977.

03 August 2014

3rd of August

Farm news
We had a cold snap so I fired up one of the 12 core crunchers to help out. I generally don't use them much these days because they use more power than the other (newer) machines and are also a bit slower. I don't expect the cold weather to last.

I have passed the RAC (recent average credit) figure I had for Seti before going away. Usually it takes about a month to settle but after a week and a bit we're up to 35,000 and it looks like its still climbing. All the decent hardware is crunching for Seti at the moment. The lesser hardware (Raspberry Pi's and the Parallella's) are doing Einstein work.

I managed to pick up some stray ClimatePrediction work (like 1 work unit each) on 4 of the Intel GPU machines. They are happily running alongside the Seti work,

BOINC testing
I rolled out 7.4.8 to most of the farm this week. Then after a fair bit of break between versions we got 7.4.12 for testing. I've got it on one machine. It has a few cosmetic issues under windows but apart from that nothing major seems wrong with it.

26 July 2014

26th of July

Welcome back. After a bit of a break we're back crunching.

As I said in my last post everything was off while I was away. Everything powered up just fine, well the half of the farm that I have tried so far. I still haven't powered up the Nvidia GPU machines yet. There were the usual patches to apply, so that took a bit of time and there was a new alpha-test version of BOINC, so I installed that on one machine. No problems so far for the Intel GPU machines.

The Parallella's came up fine and most of the Raspberry Pi's did except one. I did an update on it and then it refused to boot. I had to re-image the SD card with an old backup and then did another update which seems to have fixed it and also gave me the alpha-test BOINC client. So far its behaving.

I will update the Nvidia GPU machines when I get time. At the moment the Intel GPU machines are doing ClimatePrediction work which hogs the computer until its done. They are the EU regional models which are fairly quick by their standards at 44 hours each. Once they are through I will be concentrating on Seti work as I still haven't got the credits up to the other projects yet, only about another 5 million needed. The Parallella's and Raspberry Pi's crunch Einstein work.

As seems to be usual with large files the ClimatePrediction work get stuck uploading so I have had to use the old dial-up to get the stuck files through. That takes a bit of baby-sitting and fiddling with settings.

28 June 2014

28th of June

Farm news
The farm is running down. Having reached a RAC (recent average credit) of 60,000 for Seti its going to be taking a break. I am travelling for a few weeks so the farm will be off.

I have been running one dual GTX660 machine and 5 Intel GPU machines exclusively doing Seti work for the last 3 or 4 weeks, so they can catch up to the other projects. Its currently around 19.1 million with the target being 20 million. The Parallellas and the Raspberry Pi's have been running Einstein work.

The first Pi has been regularly locking up, but its running kernel 3.12.22 and the others have 3.12.20 and they work fine. It also has a 16Gb SD card and the others have 8Gb cards, none of which should make any difference.

I spoke with my usual computer shop regarding the Haswell-E CPU's but they have no news at this point so maybe when I get back they will know more. It also looks like the latest Nvidia GPU's will be delayed so no upgrades in that area either.

14 June 2014

14th of June

Farm news
The Intel-GPU machines are all running Seti work. I also have the dual GTX660 equipped machine running Seti. I am currently on 18.3 million credits as I write this. The aim is to get to 20 million credits as Seti has fallen behind some of the other projects. The Parallella's and Raspberry Pi's are doing Einstein work.

We got a bunch of windows updates this week so I have been running around this morning getting all the machines up to date. Its takes a bit of time to get through all of them.

Debian Jessie also had a number of updates so the Raspberry Pi's got updated as well. It also gave them BOINC 7.3.19 which I have been running on the Windows machines for a while.

CPU upgrades
It seems there are some newer Intel i7 chips due out soon. The Haswell-E series are expected to be released in Q2 this year. I still have a couple of i7-970 machines that being the oldest of the number crunchers are due for replacement. There is talk of 8 core (16 thread) CPU's in the line up. Unfortunately it will mean new motherboards as well, so I will end up replacing both machines completely rather than reusing parts.

07 June 2014

7th of June

Farm news
Its turned a bit cooler so I have managed to get a few more machines up and running. The GPUgrid crunchers were running and they promptly trashed 16 work units each. Not my fault though they are bad work units and all the Windows users are failing them, so they pretty much are all flagged as bad work units apart from the few that get picked up by Linux users.

The Intel-GPU cluster continue to do Seti work with one finishing off its ClimatePrediction work units. The CPDN work units have about 62 hours to go and there doesn't appear to be any more work from them. Once its finished i'll get it onto Seti work as well.

The 60mm fans arrived in a 60cm box with a lot of brown paper for padding. I think they used a larger box to justify the $44 delivery fee. One has been put onto the Raspberry Pi that was looking rather naked with the 60mm hole in the top. The other two are spares at the moment.

They continue to crunch. I've had one lock up after about a week of running. The only solution is to unplug the power connector, wait about 10 seconds and plug it back in again. I am not too sure why they aren't stable as the Pi's run for months without needing any intervention.

01 June 2014

31st of May

Farm news
The ClimatePrediction work seems to have run out. I managed to get a few resends on one machine and the others are now on to other work. This week has been spent working on the Parallellas.

To get the 2nd Parallella going I had to cannibalise the fan off the Raspberry Pi. The Pi now has a 60mm hole in the top of case to vent the hot air :-) Not to worry I have more 60mm fans on order from FrozenCPU and when they come in will replace it.

I ended up re-imaging the 8Gb mico-SD cards with Ubuntu 14.01 (the image from Parallella) and then spent another 8 hours getting 14.04 onto it and set up for crunching. The process went like this:
edit the /etc/hosts, hostnames and host.deny files

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install update-manager-core
sudo do-release-upgrade
(takes around 5 hours to complete)

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get remove libreoffice
sudo apt-get remove thunderbird
sudo apt-get remove firefox
sudo apt-get remove ntpdate
sudo apt-get install fake-hwclock
sudo apt-get install ntp
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo shutdown now

I could probably remove a lot more, x11 springs to mind. At this point you have an Ubuntu 14.04 image with most of the modules needed to get going, so shut it down and make a copy of the SD card image, we can use this for other parallellas. The only thing that needs to change again is the host name, install boinc and then add the various projects.. The projects can be added via BOINCtasks.

I now have both off and running with the same image and crunching away. Hopefully I won't have to update them for a while. And this is what they look like in BOINCtasks (running on a Windows PC)

Its not the best place for them sitting on a rug on the floor, but they are close to the power point/power adapters. I need to sort out a better location for them (and the Raspberry Pi's).

25 May 2014

25th of May

Farm news
At the moment we're winding down the ClimatePrediction ANZ work units. I have two machines left with work to complete and we can't get any more. In the mean time I have allocated the other 3 Intel GPU machines to running Seti.

Parallella news
Carrying on from my last post one of the Parallella's is off and running. They are about 1/3rd faster than the Pi's when running on the ARM. They can also do 2 work units at the same time. Unfortunately nobody has managed to get the Epiphany co-processor to do any work yet. There is a bet between one of the Einstein developers and Andreas Olofsson (CEO of Adapteva) over getting the Epiphany to do a 3*2^22 real to complex FFT in single precision faster than the raspberry Pi's GPU. The deadline is the 15th of September.

I updated the Parallella image from Linux 14.01 to 14.04 (Trusty). That took around 4 to 5 hours to complete. This also got BOINC updated to 7.2.42

The Parallella, like the Raspberry Pi, doesn't have a battery backed real-time clock. As you would have seen from my last blog post it sets the clock some time after booting up. To work around this I had to install fake-hwclock and ntp. The fake-hwclock stores the date/time when shutting down and gets it when starting up. The ntp runs as a daemon and corrects the clock from an ntp server. By default Ubuntu doesn't install ntp, but has one called ntpdate which only runs (delayed) at start up. Commands to do the above:
sudo apt-get install fake-hwclock
sudo apt-get install ntp
suto apt-get remove ntpdate

Pi news
Over the last fortnight I was running the 3.12.19+ kernel on one of the Pi's. The other guys running it have been reporting random crashes. Well it did the same to me with two crashes over a 24 hour period. Apparently the only error messages are output on HDMI so unless you logged in locally and turned the screen saver off you can't see them. It doesn't log much so even then there is very little information to report to the developers.

After the 2nd crash I went back to the "release" kernel (ie 3.10) which works fine.

20 May 2014

More Parallella

As you would have gather from my previous post both my Parallella's arrived. As usual there was some drama getting them going.

  • I didn't have a micro-HDMI cable. so I got one on eBay, that took a few days.

  • I plugged the Parallella into the Belkin dual-USB and it didn't want to boot. I was greeted with a single green LED on the board flashing about once per second. That indicates power problem. But the Belkin is rated to deliver 2.1A output, yet the Parallella clearly refused to boot. I ended up getting a rather expensive adapter from Dick Smith that was rated to 3A output. That fixed the flashing LED.

  • The 1st of 3 micro-SD cards refused to boot. All I got on the monitor was two penguins on the top left of the screen. I swapped the micro-SD card for another one and that booted up. Strange because all 3 cards have the same image.

  • Next I had to remember all the things I configure on the Pi and do them again on the Parallella. Things like getting apt to use the proxy server, naming the host and giving it the other host names. After that it was install BOINC, which got 7.2.7 from the repo and then setup the couple of config files that it uses.

At this point its now running an Einstein BRP4 work unit..
5   01-01-1970 11:00 AM Processor: 2 ARM
6   01-01-1970 11:00 AM Processor features: swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3 tls vfpd32
7   01-01-1970 11:00 AM OS: Linux: 3.12.0-g0bc9c3a-dirty
8   01-01-1970 11:00 AM Memory: 969.19 MB physical, 0 bytes virtual

32   01-01-1970 11:00 AM Benchmark results:
33   01-01-1970 11:00 AM    Number of CPUs: 2
34   01-01-1970 11:00 AM    325 floating point MIPS (Whetstone) per CPU
35   01-01-1970 11:00 AM    1441 integer MIPS (Dhrystone) per CPU

Hmm looks like it needs to set the clock too.

19 May 2014

Parallella Pictures

Here are the 2 boxes. The left one without a label is the clear plastic case (some assembly required) and the one on the right is the parallella.

This is what you get in each box.

I've peeled off some of the brown protective tape. In the right box you can see the 60mm fan that I am going to install on the top of the case. X marks the spot to drill.

Here is the trusty locksmith 60mm drill bit again and the hole cut through the top of the case.

A close up of the 60mm 5 volt fan from FrozenCPU

And here it is put together showing the top view.

And a side view. You can see the heatsink for the Zynq 7020 under the middle of the fan.

15 May 2014

15th of May

Farm news
We're still running ClimatePrediction ANZ models. They must have finished off the 1st batch last week because I had almost run out of work when they seem to have produced another 5,000 work units, presumably the 2nd batch.

I was running 4 of the ANZ models at a time on the i7's and manually picking up Asteroids work to use the remaining 4 cores. This time I have changed to running 7 at a time and tough for CPU cache contention. I've allowed one free core :-)

Parallella news
They arrived late last week. I have copied the disk image to the micro-SD card and of course they don't want to work. I am now downloading the image again and will try writing it again. Not sure why I am having trouble as its a similar process to write the Raspberry Pi SD cards and they work fine. I've tried 3 different micro-SD cards between both parallella's.

I need to add a fan to the case, something similar to what I did with the Raspberry Pi. The Parallella's need forced-air over the heatsink on the Zinq 7020. Also there aren't any air holes in the case, just some cut outs for the various connectors. I'll share some pictures once I've got one working.

30 April 2014

30th of April

Farm news
The entire Intel GPU cluster are still crunching CPDN work. They have plenty of work available for the ANZ models that I am currently concentrating on.

I upgraded a couple of the Raspberry Pi's to Debian Jessie and they appear to be working fine so far. See my previous blog post about the process I used.

I got a couple of Windows XP updates yesterday, which is well after the end of XP support. Not sure if Microsoft had a change of heart or not. There is a bug being reported for Internet Explorer that effects all versions, but we don't think Microsoft will release a fix for XP. I use Chrome on the remaining XP boxes anyway. You can't actually remove IE as its so imbedded into the operating system. You can use other browsers and make then the default of course.

Parallella news
Update 23 earlier this week told us they had shipped up to backer 2,999 and expected the remaining board to go out within a week. They have finished assembling all boards. They also showed a photo of an Epiphany 64 coprocessor equipped board.

Yesterday I got a shipping notification from them, so hopefully I will have mine soon. Its only been about 2 years since I backed the project on KickStarter.

The volunteer working on a Parallella application for Einstein is struggling to use the Epiphany coprocessor. Unfortunately it lacks the memory to do the FFT (Fast Fourier Transforms) that the project use. It looks like it will only be able to make use of the dual core ARM processor for number crunching.

25 April 2014

25th of April

Its ANZAC day here in Australia.

Farm news
Crunching of CPDN work continues. I keep getting stuck uploads that I have to use the dial-up to get them unstuck. It gets a bit time consuming but better than wasting 110 hours of computing.

RPi upgrade
I did another attempt at upgrading one of the Raspberry Pi's from Debian Wheezy to Debian Jessie (the testing release). This time seems to have been a success and its got BOINC 7.2.42 running on it from the repository.

The process I used was:
1. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and change it to read:
deb http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org/raspbian/ jessie main contrib non-free rpi
2. Do a sudo apt-get update command
3. Get a cup of tea while it updates the list of packages
4. Do a sudo apt-get dist-upgrade command
5. Make a pot of tea and drink it
6. Do a sudo apt-get autoremove command
7. Do a sudo apt-get autoclean command

The dist-upgrade took me around an hour with a few questions as it goes along. The last time I tried this I got stuck on one of the questions, this time I took the defaults. You don't actually have to do steps 6 and 7, its simply to free up space by getting rid of the old packages.

I took a snapshot of the SD card before doing the upgrade so if it goes horribly wrong at least you can reimage the SD card. Also if your Pi is running BOINC work its best to finish it off and report it before starting.

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.

02 March 2014

2nd of March

Farm news
Another hot week and then it cooled down in time for the weekend. I have all of the Intel-GPU machines going flat out.

As you would have seen in my previous blog post I have added a fan on the top of the case of one of the Raspberry Pi's. I also increased the overclock a bit so its now the quickest of them. It only seems to make a 1 hour difference on the Einstein BRP4 work units.

BOINC news
7.2.42 was released yesterday. It addresses an HTTP 400 error that seems to effect Yoyo@Home mainly.

This is not to be confused with the 7.3 release that is in alpha testing. Its main change is with wxWidgets and other support libraries that BOINC and the manager use.

I am also looking at OpenVMS. When I first learnt to program in the 1980's we had a VAX computer which ran VMS. Things have moved on quite a bit since then, there are AlphaServers available fairly cheaply. No need to buy one though, there are a number of freely available Alpha CPU emulators and there is an OpenVMS  hobbyist program where you can get OpenVMS for free (for non-commercial use).

There is also a publicly available OpenVMS cluster called the Deathrow Cluster that you can access for free. You can find it at http://deathrow.vistech.net

22 February 2014

Pi Fan

Here is the fan modification that I did to one of the Raspberry Pi's.

60mm 5 volt fan (EverCool EC6015M05CA from FrozenCPU)
60mm rubber fan silencer (from FrozenCPU)
USB to 3 pin molex fan header cable (off eBay)

Here's the fan and silencer. It comes with 4 self-tapping screws

Tools. Yes you'll need something to put a hole through the top of the case. I bought a 60mm drill bit normally used for locksmiths to drill into doors. As you can see it works on plastic Raspberry Pi cases too.

The center drill bit is designed to pull the blue part of the bit into timber, however it got stuck before the blue part had even reached the plastic. I had to drill out the center hole with a normal drill bit so that the blue part can touch the top of the case.

Here is the fan mounted on the top of the case. That is a resistor cable with the blue plug. It came with some 12 volt fans. I was thinking of using them to reduce the fan speed (the fan is rated at 4000 RPM) however they don't work at 5 volts.

Another shot side-on so you can see the fan mounted on the top of the case

A shot from inside the top of the case.

These are the USB to molex fan header cables that I got off eBay.

And here we are fully assembled

Another shot at a different angle of the completed modification

The fan is blowing air into the case. This was because if the fan were turned upside down it doesn't mount properly. The holes on this side of the fan are countersunk. I think it provides more airflow over the 3 main heat producing components on the Pi this way, rather than trying to suck the air out of the case.

The rubber fan silencer is useful. The fan itself isn't exactly 60mm so there is a gap between the hole in the top of the case and the fan if mounted directly. It also cuts out the vibration which was the reason why I got it.

I did buy a couple of chrome fan grills but the screws aren't long enough to hold the fan on as well as the grill. If I can find some longer self-tapping screws I will try and mount the grill later.

Running the fan off the Pi's USB port means the fan doesn't run at full speed which makes it quieter and should help it last a bit longer. Just make sure your power supply can provide extra power to the Pi.

16 February 2014

16th of February

Farm news
Again another hot week and then just in time for the weekend showers which cooled things off a bit. I have, for the weekend at least, managed to get the GPUgrid crunchers running and had a few of the Intel GPU machines running too.

Tonight I had one GPUgrid file fail to upload and it refused to budge. Restarting BOINC didn't help. Restarting the PC didn't help. Restarting the proxy server didn't help. Restarting the router didn't help. Not using the proxy server didn't help. In the end I dug out the old proxy server got it on the dial-up and uploaded the offending file. I have no idea why it does this. It even managed to upload all the other files without any issue and then one (usually the biggest) gets stuck.

BOINC testing
7.2.39 was released to the public. Not much change since .33 so I haven't bothered updating machines, although I did have it on a couple for testing.

We're now into another alpha-test cycle with 7.3.2 which is mainly upgraded support libraries such as wxWidgets as they have moved on. There should also be some amendments in the notice handling.

Unfortunately it won't help the Raspberry Pi's as the Debian Wheezy repositories are still stuck at 7.0.27. I am not sure how they get newer versions into the repos as its been stuck at that version for the last year or so.

09 February 2014

9th of February

Farm news
Another hot week. I managed to get about 2 days of crunching going but we're all off at the moment. I don't see much chance of things improving for the next month or so.

Project news - Einstein
They've run out of the Arecibo data so the only things getting any of the BRP4 work now are the low-end devices such as the Raspberry Pi. There was an earthquake at Arecibo in January and they seem to closed for repairs at the moment. Arecibo also has funding issues. The BRP4G work units have run out as they were really 8 BRP4 work units bundled together. Einstein have other searches to keep the CPU's and GPU's busy though.

04 February 2014

4th of February

Farm news
Nothing much happening again this week due to the heat. Its turned cool today so I have taken the opportunity to get the GPUgrid crunchers plus a few of the Intel GPU machines going for a day or two until the heat returns.

I started on the Raspberry Pi fan and have taken some photos which I will put up as a separate blog post. The Pi developers have come up with a FFT library that runs on the GPU and promises speed improvements of 10 times.

Not that I need another machine  but I rescued an old Dell Dimension 4600 that was getting thrown out in a council clean-up this week. Apart from being full of dust it works fine. It had an XP Home license sticker so I have put an 80Gb hard disk into it and clean installed XP Home on it. Its only a Pentium 4 with 512Mb of memory. Microsoft is stopping support for XP on the 8th of April.

BOINC testing
We got 7.2.39 this week. They have given up on the sub-second CPU throttling after realising their "wrapper" can only work in 1 second intervals.

They added reporting to project servers every hour (in .38 I think) which I find rather annoying. Hopefully some of the projects will complain about the extra load it places on their servers.

Project news - Seti
They have released an Intel GPU app for multi-beam work units. I need to download the app and put it into my app_info when I get a chance.

28 January 2014

28th of January

Farm news
We had a few hot days and then the Australia Day log weekend cooled off a bit. I managed to get a couple of days use out of the GPUgrid crunchers. It's been fairly warm during the day, so I am crunching at night. That is except for the Raspberry Pi's.

There is a parcel waiting down at the post office I suspect it's the 5 volt fans. Looks like I might be doing some soldering on the weekend. My initial thought was to wire them up to the GPIO pins on the Pi but being worried about frying the poor thing I might just grab an old USB cable and wire it up directly to a USB connector which I can then run off a power supply, at least until I can find out how much current the fans draw. I might also want to throw a resistor or 2 in line to reduce the fan speed as 4000 RPM is probably overkill and noisy.

Asteroids project news
They are doing another server upgrade, RAID disks again I believe, so they shut down on Monday and won't be black online for at least 3 days. They also ran out of work on Sunday, probably because everybody was trying to get enough work to see them through the outage.

18 January 2014

18th of January

Farm news
Not much to report, the farm has been off due to the heat, well all except the Raspberry Pi's who are still going. We're in the middle of a heat wave as it's our summer.

Speaking of the Pi's I have ordered a couple of small (60mm) 5 volt fans. The idea is to cut a hole in the top of the case and mount the fan on the top of the case. I am planning on powering them off the 5v GPIO pins.

Parallella news
They had a couple of companies inject some funds and as such are able to continue to make the boards. At last report they were up to donor number 90. At the moment they are waiting on boards and other components to become available. The next batch of boards are expected around the 28th of January (too late for Australia Day) and there will be approximately 1000, so it's still going to be a couple of months before I see mine. One of the moderators at Einstein@home has received his so there might be some apps available by the time I get mine.