17 March 2018

17th of March

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All off

Nvidia GPUs
All off.  Ran Einstein gravity wave work during the last week

Raspberry Pis
The ones with fans running Einstein BRP4 work

Debian point release
Stretch had a point release 9.4 so a few updates came out of it, plus various security fixes during the week. Raspbian followed the day after with the same fixes but also updated firmware to support the new Pi.

New Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi foundation released a new Pi called the Pi 3 model B+. It has a faster CPU (1.4GHz now), the same memory (1GB of DDR2) and better WiFi and networking. I promptly ordered 11 to replace my current farm before the distributor ran out of stock. They arrived yesterday.

I have swapped out four Pi3 crunchers and the support Pi3 already with Pi3B+ models. I only had 5 spare copper heatsinks so I need to order more.

I also got another 5 port USB charger which I use to power the Pis. It turns out its only rated to supply 3 x 2 amp plus 2 x 1 amp even though I have one running 4 Pi3’s in a Pi^4 (Pi to the power of four) case plus the fans. I might need another charger or two.

Pi^4 case
I have two more Pi^4 cases that are waiting on some M2.5 screws which I had to order off eBay. They are coming from China and take up to 30 days to arrive. I couldn’t find any in the local electronics parts stores or hobby shops.

To make it a bit safer I also have some chrome fan grills on the way but they aren’t holding up the build. Just don’t stick your fingers in the fan. The 60mm fans hurt.

Photos of the Mk I case coming soon - once the screws arrive.

04 March 2018

4th of March

Farm status
Intel GPUs
One running. The rest off.

Nvidia GPUs
Two running the rest off

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work

Einstein O2 gravity wave tuning
Weather goes from hot to cool, so in the cool times almost all the farm runs Einstein gravity wave tuning run work. Their first tuning run for the O2 (Observation run 2) had problems so we’re doing it again. They had to issue new apps and new data files.

I find the Ryzen’s aren’t too good at hyper threading this app so I only run 8 at a time. If I run 16 at a time their run time doubles. The Intel machines however are better so I use all available threads on them.

Other news
I still haven’t got the other 5 i7-8700’s assembled yet, still waiting on my PC assembler to return from holidays.

Another annoying thing is Intel have stopped updating Beignet which provides OpenCL capability to their iGPUs. They apparently had open source drivers (Beignet) and closed sources ones. They have now decided to have one set of open source drivers called Neo. Unfortunately it could take a long time before they become available in Debian repositories.

BOINC testing
BOINC 7.9.2 has made it all the way up to stretch-backports in Debian. Its also available via locutusofborg’s ppa for Ubuntu and of course from the BOINC download all page. This updates a few things and looks like it might have fixed one annoying bug with the Manager Tasks tab. It still has a problem with the event log losing its time format. This version is to support Science United.