Posts by Gerry Rough

1) Message boards : News : 6.8 billion core-hours (Message 37566)
Posted 23 Apr 2011 by Gerry Rough
Congratulations crunchers! On a related note, how many core hours were crunched last year as comparison? That stat might be interesting too.
2) Message boards : BOINC Manager : My Wish List - 2 (Message 23079)
Posted 13 Feb 2009 by Gerry Rough
The problem with it is that on some projects, while BOINC is showing that it estimates the task will only take another 5 minutes, they actually run for another day (or more).

I understand this, but the true or false 'time to completion' doesn't really go to my point.

BOINC will really try everything in its power to get all the tasks in your cache back before their deadline is up. And so it can happen that older tasks stay in limbo, while newer tasks go first.

If you just let it continue without interfering, you'll see that BOINC will do it.

True, but my point is to finish the started ones first to keep the cache relatively cleaned out with less 'waiting to run' clutter. My own thinking is that this would be much better for newer users who are wanting less clutter and especially their first work out the door ASAP. For us who have been with it for a while, the statistical reality is really no different.

A famous man once said: "A cluttered beach doth not beckon the soul."
3) Message boards : BOINC Manager : My Wish List - 2 (Message 23071)
Posted 12 Feb 2009 by Gerry Rough
I first posted these two questions over on the Einstein boards and was encouaged to post here:

I was wondering the other day why BOINC does not finish the WU it has already started on the project is working on, rather than starting a new WU and crunching on that first. Should not BOINC give priority to those WUs it has already started first? I would think so; after all, it would get older the work out the door quicker, and more importantly, out of the cache. It is certainly not a big deal, but I would think it would help on the margins.

I recieved the following from Alinator in answer to my query:

"Simply put, the CC work scheduler is designed to accommodate the wide range of projects, settings, and preferences possible, while at the same time avoiding missing any deadlines if at all possible.

For the situation you mention two possible reasons come to mind:

1.) The newer task has a shorter net time to deadline than the current work onboard, therefore is seen to be under time pressure right from the start.

2.) One of the conditions where the CC will run a full scheduling simulation is when new work has been fetched. This also results in debt being recalculated and updated. Many times this will result in 'short pitting' one or more tasks which are currently running and resuming others and/or starting new ones depending on the outcome of the STD recalculation.



While I understand much of this explanation, I think my query can be accomodated as well. Alinator's explanation is great for the "why" but why not write a simple priority into the code to push the waiting work units out the door quicker based on CPU time already completed? I think it would help the cache, and the other calculations can easily be accomodated for subsequent work units.

My other query regards writing a simple right-click to reconfigure the interface under each of the tabs in BOINC manager. I am talking about the project, application name, team, etc. under each tab. I would like to delete some of those catagories, and expand others to my liking. I think something like this would be well recieved, since we all have our own preferences about what information is displayed under each tab. Is this possible?
4) Message boards : Projects : Project TANPAKU (Message 22950)
Posted 8 Feb 2009 by Gerry Rough
I posted something in the shout box a few days ago and got an answer from a Japanese: Project is now dead and the staff have been moved to other projects. Game Over. Sorry to see it happen; I was hoping it would be back up by now.
5) Message boards : BOINC Manager : CPU usage (Message 21789)
Posted 14 Dec 2008 by Gerry Rough
Please don't bump ancient threads.

I apologize. The ideas in this thread were so close that I thought I would use it.
6) Message boards : BOINC Manager : CPU usage (Message 21778)
Posted 13 Dec 2008 by Gerry Rough
Sounds like the memory requirements of more than 1 Einstein task exceeds your physical RAM. Probably your computer is spending a lot of time swapping data/code between virtual memory and physical RAM which doesn't work the CPU very hard.

You could try to free up some RAM by excising parts of the OS you don't need, starting fewer services at boot time, starting fewer personal apps while crunching, etc.

Most definitely not the problem: 4 gig of memory, and there are no projects that really use that much memory anyway, at least the ones that I run.
7) Message boards : BOINC Manager : CPU usage (Message 21772)
Posted 13 Dec 2008 by Gerry Rough
Most of this thread below has to do with hyperthreading and CPU usage, but mine is slightly different. I have a Q6600 quad core processor that only runs Einstein differently than any other project on that host (no other project has this problem): when two or more (especially three or more) Einstien WUs are running simultaneously, processor usage falls dramatically. If I run two E@h WUs, pocessor usage often falls below 90%; If I run three or more simultaneously, processor usage falls down to around 55% or less. Hmmm. What's a cruncher to do?
8) Message boards : Questions and problems : Boinc 6.2.19 not releasing memory (Message 21286)
Posted 16 Nov 2008 by Gerry Rough
Actually, I didn't come to these boards to answer this question, but since mine is similar I thought I would help.

My similar question is why does BOINC continue to pile up work units in memory in the first place? Should not BOINC be told to start running the next work unit waiting, and not start a new work unit without completing all waiting work units first? That would sure help keep the memory usage way down, I should think. On muti-core hosts like the one in question for this thread, there should only be at most two waiting work units on any given project.
9) Message boards : Questions and problems : Boinc 6.2.19 not releasing memory (Message 21285)
Posted 16 Nov 2008 by Gerry Rough

I'm using BOINC 6.2.19 with Rosetta (win xp 32 bit) on a dual core with 1GB of RAM. I recently set it to use only 20% of RAM while I'm working, and 60% while idle.

I usually have 1 day task buffer, and that gives me about 25 task on queue anytime.

My problem is that since I set it to use 20% of RAM (200MB), BOINC starts 2 tasks, one of them uses most of the RAM and the other goes waiting for memory (each job usually requires about 150MB of RAM).

For some reason, when the job stops because of lack of memory, it doesn't close the process and keeps it there using memory. That should be ok. The problem is that BOINC then starts the next task hoping it will be able to run it, and the same thing happens.

After 1 hour, I have 20 tasks suspended by lack of memory, and 20 processes consuming 50-80MB of RAM each, and my RAM and swap goes to space.

Does anyone have the same problem or know how to avoid this? This seems like a bug to me.


O be not fretful O man! Yours is really a common question for newcomers. The preference you need to set at the Rosetta site is called "Leave applications in memory while suspended?" You can set it to "No" and that will solve the problem for you.

But there is a better way for you to run BOINC. Don't set your preferences so low, especially for a project like Rosetta, which is stable and uses less memory than many other BOINC projects. Set your memory preferences to 95% for both idle and working. Sound like suicide? Hardly. BOINC just doesn't use that much memory anyway with that project. You should be able to run many BOINC projects without any hiccups at all with that much memory on a dual core host. I've run Rosy and other projects with less memory and never had a hiccup like yours, as long as I monitored how much memory was being used by the different projects (just to make sure I wasn't using too much memory).

Remember that BOINC is designed to run in the background, not to hog all of your resources. And because it is a low-priority application, you should never have memory problems as long as you know how much memory you have and keep your BOINC projects using something below that threshhold of memory usage. In fact, if BOINC uses too much memory it will stop running the app anyway, and your messages tab will have a message for you telling you that there is not enough memory to run your preferred project, so there are failsafes for this kind of thing.
10) Message boards : Promotion : Complete "BOINC Unification" in one website (Message 17202)
Posted 6 May 2008 by Gerry Rough
I will repeat again, the point of the unified site was to have one single common agreed place on the Internet where anyone can go to get 100% impartial information about BOINC or any of the projects using it. There are 1,000 websites out there doing it anyway. I just wanted half of the people in this discussion to agree on one place. Then to have the BOINC website recognize that website in a semi-official way. Then many users could collect information on ALL boinc projects without having to get consent from someone else. 100% impartial information...


I don't usually get involved with stuff like this on the projects, but I think your idea is outstanding. But I also believe that the only way to make it happen, as has been posted already, is to go ahead and make it.

If you build it, they will come.

I have found that the boinc community really is a herd of kittens; they tend to find fault with everything. I do believe that if you try to advertise your project, that you are serious about getting it done and take steps to actually get it done, and perhaps eliciting the help of others who are close to this already, such as boincstats Willy, it WILL work. I would strongly recommend that you use an already existing site that is well known and try to go from there.

Get a couple of volunteers and make a great front page that is cool and you'll get a lot of attention. I for one would be happy to join your band of cats once you get going if I can get some time.

There is one way to herd kittens by the way: shake the box of friskies at feeding time. :-)

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