Future Boinc thoughts

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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 85054 - Posted: 8 Mar 2018, 10:03:42 UTC

I think it's unfair to categorise BOINC's outputs purely in terms of volunteers' personal scoring, but other research programmes in terms of scientific benefit.

Only last week Einstein reported new-to-science discoveries from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope mission: this is a massively funded international collaboration, and the data has been extensively researched already, but it still took the distributed computing approach to find these results.

In the field of life sciences and medical research, I've personally contributed to 20 published scientific research papers since 2012 via just one BOINC project - GPUGrid (and there'll be more in the pipeline - scientific publishing is a slow business).
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Bernie Vine
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Message 85056 - Posted: 8 Mar 2018, 11:03:57 UTC

I simply cannot see the point of using my 8 rigs with 750Ti's minimum, in projects that don't do some good for mankind in a reasonable timescale.


Of course no one is insisting that you should, what and how you use your computers is and always has been up to you.

Out of those "2 billion PC's" how many are still working? How many are work PC's and does that total include laptops.

Also I wonder if modern society and the way it has changed even in the last 5 years is a factor. How many people still own a desktop PC, many have switched to tablets and smartphones, even the humble laptop is declining in popularity. To be able to participate in distributed computing with any success I feel a desktop PC is necessary, whilst modern laptops have fast processors and built in GPU's they are really not suited for long term crunching.

Of course your figures refer to now, what was distributed computing like 5 or 10 years ago? without those figures any conclusions are just speculation.
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Profile Jord
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Message 85057 - Posted: 8 Mar 2018, 11:29:43 UTC - in response to Message 85053.  
Last modified: 8 Mar 2018, 11:32:03 UTC

If you want to do specific science, helping mankind better their health, there's World Community Grid, for which you can run your CPUs at https://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/research/viewAllProjects.do
Microbiome Immunity Project
Smash Childhood Cancer
OpenZika
Help Stop TB
FightAIDS@Home
FightAIDS@Home Phase 2
Outsmart Ebola Together
Mapping Cancer Markers

Of those just 173,360 people are interested in Boinc DC projects.
The amount of people doesn't matter so much. It's not the people who do the science, but their devices. So you measure it by the amount of science their devices do, which is 22,539,244.2 GigaFLOPS / 22,539.244 TeraFLOPS, on average, every day. Many supercomputers don't reach those numbers.

Furthermore, with joined groups such as Gridcoin (where multiple thousand of people form one account), it's really bad to count popularity based just on the amount of people that are active on a project. WCG for instance has 51,998 active users whose 258,633 active hosts generate on average 608,586.0 GigaFLOPS / 608.586 TeraFLOPS of data, but do you know how many of those are joined accounts?

Compared to Folding@Home's statistics: http://folding.stanford.edu/stats/os
Native TFLOPS* 	x86 TFLOPS* 	Active CPUs 	Active Cores 	Total CPUs
41,425 	        86,498 	        89,615 	        300,657         8,731,061
And notice that they state their statistics based on science done, not based on how many people do it?
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Profile Jord
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Message 85059 - Posted: 8 Mar 2018, 15:48:51 UTC - in response to Message 85058.  

You are all missing the point, which is that only a handful of Boinc projects support GPU crunching, most are CPU only. I do not decry the various CPU scientific endeavours, as you have seen I have supported most of them over 18 years since 2000. The simple truth is that people can do more good for mankind by using their GPU's in another way than by supporting just 1/2 a dozen Boinc projects.
What you're missing is that the majority of people use their GPU for what it is intended for: show pretty pictures on their monitor/screen and perhaps game a little. A lot of the projects use such specific coding that it's not really useful to run on a GPU, or it needs the less fault-tolerant CPU to do the work. Slow but steady.

Sales of PCs/Macs have been plummeting all around, and that's the place where the GPUs are used. The big sales in GPUs is at the moment for cryptocurrency, but because the next hash is so difficult to calculate you won't do with one or two GPUs, but you need a whole lot of them. And since that's impracticable to pay for, unless you're stinking wealthy, it's where pooling comes in. But even pooling has its limit.

These also slurp up electricity, a reason why lots of big farms move to Iceland (cheap hydro-electric energy). And eventually even then they won't be able to do those calculations anymore and something else is needed. Back to BOINC though, for the regular user it's cost efficient to run work on the smaller devices. Therefore I do hope that the developers do see the light soon and make a new BOINC that can run on all of the Android and IoT devices out there.

The IoT is going to be big, what with a small device needed in all lamp posts, traffic signs, traffic lights, perhaps even the roads themselves, to accommodate for the self-driving car. Small energy efficient devices, with lots of computing power. Even we should jump on its band wagon, now there's still places free.
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Profile Gordon Lowe
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Message 85060 - Posted: 8 Mar 2018, 17:46:16 UTC - in response to Message 85058.  

an old fashioned geek

I've been called worse. ;~)
The mind is a weird and mysterious place
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anniet
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Message 85063 - Posted: 9 Mar 2018, 0:19:06 UTC - in response to Message 85058.  
Last modified: 9 Mar 2018, 1:01:36 UTC

Any plans anyone might have had to welcome you back to the board got scuppered, didn't they? I spent ages trying to think up a way round it ... nothing! Not a sausage. Never mind :)

You are all missing the point, which is that only a handful of Boinc projects support GPU crunching, most are CPU only.
You didn't make that point before. You've just made it now. Tell me I missed it too. Go on... see what happens... ;)


The simple truth is that people can do more good for mankind by using their GPU's in another way than by supporting just 1/2 a dozen Boinc projects.
What people? Us people? There's a lot of good done that has absolutely nothing to do with GPU's, or CPU's, but if it's an overriding concern for you that your GPU's do this good thing for mankind - then go for it! :)

Universities do comply with federal and state laws relating to the welfare of the laboratory animals that pass through their hands I'm sure, so that'll be reassuring too. Perhaps a teensy conflict of interest with other organisations you support, but you pride yourself on your pragmatism and perhaps your GPU work reduces the need for testing at early stages? I don't know enough to be sure of that, but it might be so. I hope so :) Who knows... if there was incontrovertible proof that it did - I could even be swayed to consider it worth some of my time too. Of course... the proof would have to leave me utterly utterly convinced that the reverse wasn't true, but I've wobbled off-point now *scowl* I think it was that horse you mentioned.

I will use mine for the best benefit to mankind that I can do with them.
Awwwww... thank you :) I didn't think you were doing ill by mankind before though, nor that any of us were but you've obviously been doing much research while you were away and know this is what you want to do ---> "CPU work for Boinc, GPU work for elsewhere." ... [edit: I've suddenly gone blank.... that is what you want to do, isn't it? ] I checked. It was :)

I predict that Boinc will die off from lack of interest in 5 years.
If we pretend you're right, where would you shove your CPU's then...?

;)
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Profile Jord
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Message 85066 - Posted: 9 Mar 2018, 8:59:04 UTC - in response to Message 85064.  

But I won't expect much support on a Boinc forum now will I?? :-)
On the contrary. Stanford does very good science, I've run their programs in the past. If you want to go over there, be my guest. It's a free world we live in, you get to do with your hardware what you want, there's no one around telling you what you need to do with it.
I for one still point people to try Prime95 when they seem to have stability problems, to test and see if calculating a large Mersenne Prime will topple their computer over, and if it does, that it's their computer that has the problem. Whether they do so, is still up to them.

People are leaving Boinc & seti@home in unprecedented numbers for many reasons, projects off sir, creditscrew, no tangible results for their work, and for other reasons discussed here. Seti classic and DC was a novelty back in 1999, two decades later, time has moved on, and it doesn't have the same cachet any more to appeal to the general public. Even the new Breakthrough Listen hasn't had that much of an impact.
So I take it that over the two months you kept "quiet", you held a widespread poll among the people who left, personally asked them their reasons why they left, trawled through all project forums to read people's reasons why they left, managed to get a hold of each and every one of them, etc. etc. and have a concise write up someplace online that shows in graphs and tables how you researched this and what the outcome of it was?

Or are you just generalizing, shaking some reasons out of your sleeve, reasons you hold dear, reasons why you're trying to leave here? Because then please, by all means, say so: "I am leaving because of these reasons". Because what do you care that other people are leaving?

But good luck over at FAH. Mind what you say on their forums, as when you think you had it tough speaking your mind at Seti or over here, it ain't a cakewalk over there either. Remember that they're as much a volunteer project as anything else these days, and even have it that when servers go down, it can take several days before someone notices and turns up to give them a kick.
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Sir Rodney Ffing
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Message 85079 - Posted: 9 Mar 2018, 14:47:30 UTC - in response to Message 85072.  

I have an in-box at Seti with at least 10 messages from a wide range of people.
I am underwhelmed.

I will try FAH, and I hope that it does what it says on the tin. Internet Forums are the same the whole world over, wherever they are hosted. They are populated by opinionated left wingers...
ROFL

You have been given good advice, Chris:-

Mind what you say on their forums
Take it with good grace. Godspeed you there, sir and good luck.
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Sirius B
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Message 85085 - Posted: 9 Mar 2018, 19:07:17 UTC

In the words of a famous singer:

"Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye"

Let us know when you leave & we'll throw you a wave. :-)

Don't slam the door on your way out.
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betreger
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Message 85086 - Posted: 9 Mar 2018, 19:50:30 UTC

With further reflection a reason I support BOINC is because I enjoy supporting others in their quest for knowledge and sometimes a bit of it rubs off on me.
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anniet
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Message 85096 - Posted: 10 Mar 2018, 15:35:49 UTC - in response to Message 85064.  
Last modified: 10 Mar 2018, 15:49:14 UTC

No teensy conflict that I can so far see.
Perhaps you just donate to PETA then, and don't peruse their work from time to time. At least Stanford is on their radar and has been for awhile, so that's good, isn't it?

Deceased quadrupeds do tend to have that effect on people.
Well if flogging horses is someone's thing - I'd rather they waited until it was dead. And neither seti nor boinc are in my opinion.

*long look*

I hope you won't be continuing your tirade about everything that's got up your nose here and everywhere else, over there, I really do.

I did do a little research for you - not a lot - but re your anti left wing sentiments. I think Stanford Uni could well be a step in the right direction for you. It's still rated "liberal" ... but at 234th (out of 446) with Berkeley at 93 you should have less to despise. Of course, you'd be a lot more comfortable doing something for a Texas University. I think their Austin Campus comes 345th. I read TexasA@M is supposed to be the least left of any. I don't know if either host any distributed computing but it might be worth looki-... hold on, there's the Southwestern Assemblies of God University, also in Texas... that's not liberal at all.

Foof for thought...

edit at post from Chris I missed: I told you it wasn't good. Just as well you don't want to socialise. It'd take you about three hours to get in to do so ... ;)
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paul

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Message 85097 - Posted: 10 Mar 2018, 17:27:49 UTC - in response to Message 85095.  
Last modified: 10 Mar 2018, 17:36:33 UTC

If you are looking for a "cafe" the "Anything goes (almost)" forum is accessed from a drop down on the bottom right of most pages IIR. You must be logged in.

Be aware new posters are heavily vetted. Posting rights stay limited until approved. Controversial posts/topics aren't welcome so stay within the rules and accept decisions of higher ups. Website takes some getting use to, just persevere and you'll get there. Not been active there for some years so there may have been changes. Best of luck anyhow.

Might add - BOINC has been discussed over there before.
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Sirius B
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Message 85098 - Posted: 10 Mar 2018, 17:59:27 UTC - in response to Message 85096.  

Nice post Annie :-)

However, Bob Dylan could have made it short, sharp & sweet with his:
"Blowing in the Wind"
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anniet
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Message 85101 - Posted: 10 Mar 2018, 19:36:26 UTC - in response to Message 85098.  
Last modified: 10 Mar 2018, 19:43:32 UTC

I'm not sure it was. A nice post, I mean. I've become wary of sprinkling too many smileys/winkies in my monologues after finding out they're a major irritant, and I'm wondering now whether that monologue came out a bit... acidic as a result. I don't think I meant it to, although I did have a terrible week and it's spilled into today and made me a bit grumpy.

Maybe staying away from the keyboard would have been better :) I don't know. Folding is a very worthy project of course. On its own it's reason enough for anyone who wants to move their computers over there to do so. I would just hope that the force for good that BOINC has been and continues to be, doesn't become a casualty of personal pique, that's all.

Anyway - if my first post of today has caused offence in any way, my sincere apologies.

edit: you might not have noticed... I don't do short...
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Sirius B
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Message 85102 - Posted: 10 Mar 2018, 20:00:26 UTC - in response to Message 85101.  

No offence here :-) The CPU v GPU issue is nothing more than the equivalent of driving on the motorway. There are those who like driving fast, those who like fastish & those who poodle along.

It is those who poodle along that seems to be taking Crunchies away from those who like fast. When E.T is discovered which more than likely will not be in our lifetime, I shall happily look over the pearly gates should it be announced that it was a poodler that discovered them...

...& die laughing...

...wait a minute, if I'm looking over those gates, I'm already dead :-(
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Profile Gary Charpentier
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Message 85106 - Posted: 10 Mar 2018, 20:39:31 UTC

Likely found by some Raspberry Pi user.

I suspect our grouser doesn't understand statistics. IIRC Eric has calculated about a 1% chance per year. Those of you who don't understand statistics might think that means 100% chance after 100 years. It doesn't work that way.
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Sirius B
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Message 85107 - Posted: 10 Mar 2018, 20:51:00 UTC - in response to Message 85106.  

LOL. but true. I still say that there is a 99% chance that I'll be looking down from those gates when the 1% happens :-)
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Profile Gary Charpentier
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Message 85111 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 4:35:45 UTC - in response to Message 85107.  

LOL. but true. I still say that there is a 99% chance that I'll be looking down from those gates when the 1% happens :-)

Einstein didn't think it would ever be possible to detect gravity waves. Larger more sensitive antennas are coming online and radio engineers are reducing noise in receivers. Who knows what the future holds. Or OSETI may have found ET by then.
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Profile Jord
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Message 85114 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 7:42:52 UTC - in response to Message 85113.  
Last modified: 11 Mar 2018, 8:09:17 UTC

Don't forget the "expert" has decreed that IOT is going to be big.

A typical over emotional response only to be expected.

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Sirius B
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Message 85116 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 18:17:26 UTC - in response to Message 85113.  

Boinc has done no harm in its years of operation, but as we are beginning to see, it is past it's sell by date, and time and society has moved on. Certainly no offence taken here that is for sure.
2 points.

1: You are incorrect, it has done some harm to a degree, it has allowed xenophobic bigotry to rise to an unacceptable level.

2: CPU crunching is just as valid to science as GPU crunching. You have made your views well known so that begs a question:

Why are you still here using BOINC?
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