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).