Posts by Sid

1) Message boards : Projects : LHC on CNN (Message 21231)
Posted 13 Nov 2008 by Sid
Post:
My nodes is up and ready...lets do some science!



Once the Large Hadron Collider get running and [hopefully] LHC@Home starts to have work on a consistent basis, I believe that the whole BOINC enterprise will benefit from the interest in basic science that this project will gin up.

I have been collecting information on the LHC and the science involved:

The LHC: Mother of All Science Fair Projects

I hope that this thread will continue to be an interesting resource.




2) Message boards : Promotion : How can we address BOINC's retention problem? (Message 20723)
Posted 9 Oct 2008 by Sid
Post:

3. It isn't clear to me how fair and balanced the crediting system among projects really is. Are there standards which BOINC enforces?

Some sanity with BOINC credits needs to be enforced.





The subject of cross-project parity is too often just another flame war.

A Cobblestone of computation is supposedly 0.86 trillion floating-point operations, but the reality bears only casual resemblance to the theory.

I thought that the abuses of Reisel Sieve and Cosmology would be enough to bring some attention to this problem. . .

. . . but Ramsey confirms that it has just gotten worse.

I have been having some success in team building, trying to marshal team members to participate in crunching competitions only to be told that they couldn't tolerate the loss some projects would mean to their RAC and TC standings. . .

Apparently before the project credits are applied to overall statistics, a correction factor needs to be applied.

. . . only then would overall standings have any credibility.


Until this elephant in the living room is addressed, the BOINC enterprise suffers greatly.
3) Message boards : Promotion : The 'set it and forget it' school of BOINC participation (Message 19485)
Posted 14 Aug 2008 by Sid
Post:




Since we are apparently in the summer doldrums, many BOINC projects have been less than consistent of late [i.e. Riesel Sieve, Milky Way, Cosmo and ABC] I believe that a flight to quality is indicated.



Lately, MindModeling and Seti have also caught the Eratic BIONC Project Syndrome.

Why does it seem that there are more and more spare computer cycles chasing after fewer and fewer consistent, relevant and worthy projects?

Rosetta, Einstein, QMC, Poem and WCG lead the short list.


4) Message boards : The Lounge : U.K. competition: Grid computing for a greener planet (Message 18933)
Posted 30 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:


Grid Computing Now! launches environmental competition: Grid computing for a greener planet.

The free competition open to U.K. residents invites participants to propose ideas for using grid computing to help solve an environmental issue. There are two entry tracks, professional and non-professional.

Entrants have until 1 September, 2008 to register and submit their proposal, the first stage of the competition.


More . . .
5) Message boards : Projects : Riesel Sieve? (Message 18879)
Posted 28 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
6) Message boards : Questions and problems : New Ubuntu user needs help (Message 18832)
Posted 25 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
Solved the connection problem, But need to update from 5.4.9 to 5.10.45. Does anyone know how to install the new download?


Jurgen:

Adept Manager will eventually be updated, Linux works backwards from Windoze.
7) Message boards : Questions and problems : New Ubuntu user needs help (Message 18831)
Posted 25 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
Jurgen:

The key to Ubuntu Linux is a utility called Adept Manager.

Do a search for BOINC and select what you need.

8) Message boards : Promotion : Analyse of the user survey and improvments (Message 18505)
Posted 15 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:

The user survey is currently BOINC's best data for analysing what needs to be changed.

John.



These are the current results of the BOINC user survey.

This page is updated every hour.



9) Message boards : Promotion : Post your ideas for promoting BOINC (Message 18485)
Posted 15 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
Its difficult to simplify it any further, the whole thing is quite complex for various reasons.



John:


Here I have to disagree with you.

BOINC 101, designed for the newbie and those who want a set it and forget it experience could be set up to run as a screensaver [and only run when the screensaver appears], with no more thought to it than any other screensaver.

This could run a basket of BOINC projects [either selected automatically or as options], tailored to the capability of the computer and the newbie's usage style.

I have real reservations about accepting the status quo as being as good as it can get.
10) Message boards : Promotion : The 'set it and forget it' school of BOINC participation (Message 18482)
Posted 15 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:

Eventually we get guys like you who say that BOINC is too complicated and is not "install and forget it".



I am addressing this problem, AND IT IS A VERY REAL PROBLEM, from the perspective of the typical, techno-challenged noob or a fence sitter who is interested, but not committed, to getting involved in Distributed Computing.

I have been trying to talk a very technocapable neighbor into getting into BOINC. . .

. . .BUT he has real concerns with security and whether it is really worth the trouble.


I know that many prospective BOINCers are concerned with 100% processor usage, power consumption and their computers running hot.

We need to address these points in a coherent manner and not be so invested in the status quo that we don't seek improvement.


11) Message boards : Promotion : The 'set it and forget it' school of BOINC participation (Message 18481)
Posted 15 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:

By the way, generalizing that most people will get their machine with a form of Windows is out of date. Plenty of machines come with an as easy to use Linux version these days.



Linux has a long way to go before it gets beyond it's enthusiast image and goes mainstream.

Microsoft Windows has a significant majority of market share in the desktop and notebook computer markets . . . .

Operating System




It's just, if you want to install something on it, you need to know something about it. Then again, the same thing goes for Windows.



I believe we all know people who can turn their computer on and off, check their email, use a search engine and YouTube, play solitare AND NOT MUCH ELSE.



Should we put an advisory on the BOINC homepage:

Not recommended for the computer semi-literate?

12) Message boards : Promotion : The 'set it and forget it' school of BOINC participation (Message 18476)
Posted 15 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
We must make the BOINC experience more newbie friendly.

Who is this 'we' you speak of?



The we who don't deny or ignore the problems that BOINC presents to the noobs.


The problem with Seti it and forget it is that when a newer client comes out, a lot of people don't go use it. Look at how many people still use 4.xx versions of BOINC and what problems they unknowingly cause with that on various projects.



Seems that BOINC client is stable enough that using the latest version isn't that much of an issue.


OK, projects can put in a minimum client that can get work, but this isn't always wanted behaviour as the client may not be available for some OSes that are supported. Until someone ports them...



The great majority of newbie's computers are running M$, I can't think of a BOINC project that doesn't support all late model M$ OS's.

I also suggested running at least 3 projects at a time.


As for making BOINC simpler, what do you want to be made simpler? If you truly want it simple, go to Grid Republic, fill in which projects you want to crunch for, click download BOINC and you're done. Really. How much simpler do you want it, someone coming to install it for you?



Problem is, BAM and GridRepublic aren't newbie portals, most newbies go to individual projects, have a less than rewarding experience and don't come back.

I have been doing this for a little over a year, am approaching the 1M club and am still learning some of the nuances and tricks every day.


. . . BOINC is far from a set it and forget it experience


Us who help would like it if you who needs help knows the least bit about how your computer works, what the OS is capable of and that you do not assume that something is broken or needs fixed, just because you didn't read up on what the software is capable of in the first place.



Does user-friendly ring a bell?

How many newbies bother themselves with RTFM?
13) Message boards : Questions and problems : Embedded videos? (Message 18473)
Posted 15 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:



I believe embedded videos makes a MB more interesting and might help increase traffic.



Parallel thread:

Using YouTube to help explain BOINC and it's projects
14) Message boards : Promotion : The 'set it and forget it' school of BOINC participation (Message 18472)
Posted 15 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:



I believe that a 'set it and forget it [KISS]' strategy would work for many newbies and would not involve them in much of the politics, geekspeak and bickering that, sadly, BOINC is ateup with . . .


Since we are apparently in the summer doldrums, many BOINC projects have been less than consistent of late [i.e. Riesel Sieve, Milky Way, Cosmo and ABC] I believe that a flight to quality is indicated.


This thread is expanding on this subject, brought up on this post:


Unfortunately some of the most worthy projects only have work occasionally [i.e. LHC, SIMAP, Lattice, Cels and MindModeling], running them requires regular attention. . .

If you are looking for a set it and forget it experience, I would recommend running at least 3 of the following BOINC blue chips [Rosetta, Einstein, QMC, Poem and WCG] so that if one runs out of work or has server issues, the others will keep your box running.



We must make the BOINC experience more newbie friendly.
15) Message boards : Promotion : Post your ideas for promoting BOINC (Message 18469)
Posted 15 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
Greetings - I did SETI a few years ago and have recently come back to @home computing. I'm an average computer user but have to say that I agree there is enough techno-jargon to muddle the gray cells. First I'm looking at World Community Grid , then switch to BOINC, then see Grid Republic, then come across Folding@home (Stanford).



I have been involved in BOINC for a little over a year now, and I must agree, there is an overload of choices with little overall plan.


Then there is the issue of teams - should I or shouldn't I? What's the point?


First off, there are entirely too many teams. . . about 75K. This could be drastically cleaned up by deleting any team that hasn't scored a point in three months.

I would look for a team that had an useful and interesting message board and participates in the crunching competitions that are offered [the PrimeGrid Challenge series for example]


The bottom line for me is how do I and my computer deliver the most crunches to the orgs. What are the optimum settings for my system to deliver the most bang for the buck?



Unfortunately some of the most worthy projects only have work occasionally [i.e. LHC, SIMAP, Lattice, Cels and MindModeling], running them requires regular attention. . .


If you are looking for a set it and forget it experience, I would recommend running at least 3 of the following BOINC blue chips [Rosetta, Einstein, QMC, Poem and WCG] so that if one runs out of work or has server issues, the others will keep your box running.


Reading some of the boards tells me that a lot of people are asking questions about a lot of techno-crap that the software should take care of. I don't need to speak/understand computer science, biology, chemistry, astro physics, and blah, blah, blah. I just want to donate what I can and use the KISS method.



Most newbie BOINCers want to contribute to worthy causes and participate in interesting science. Appeals to individual accomplishment and sense of purpose are things that will keep them crunching.



It seems to me if you want to attract and retain newbees, the simpler the better. And then if those people want to get more technical - hey there is enough out there to wet anyones thirst.



I believe that the set it and forget it school of BOINC participation needs to get it's own thread.

Coming soon. . . .
16) Message boards : Projects : Riesel Sieve? (Message 18463)
Posted 15 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
Thanks Sid. Nice to know that at least it isn't something on my end. I've already switched to other projects.



Now that RS has been non-responsive for almost three weeks, the question needs to be asked: Was it a spoof project from the getgo?

If RS wasn't giving out way too many credits, would anyone have been crunching it?

. . . surely not for the interesting science it was involved in.

I must confess, I got caught up in the hoopla about RS and crunched it for a few almost 8K credit days on my humble farm. . .

. . . but quickly repented and came away feeling that I had wasted electricity and computer cycles.







17) Message boards : Promotion : searching for BOINC instead of bookmarking (Message 18313)
Posted 9 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
Instead of bookmarking BOINC I do a google search for BOINC. I do the same for 'world community grid'.

It isn't much more difficult with auto-complete.

I don't know if it helps, but it is my understanding that google keeps track of popular searches.




I believe that BOINC is easy enough to find on the search engines for someone who uses the terms 'BOINC', 'distributed computing' or any of the projects.

Like mouse milking, this tactic might be useful but hardly worth the effort.
18) Message boards : Promotion : How can we address BOINC's retention problem? (Message 18297)
Posted 8 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
OK, i will start a list of reasons why people leave BOINC projects. You can add to the list by replying to the message and adding what you think.

You might find some of the data collected here Survey results useful.



Thanks for that link, here's a pearl:


3:05 PM UTC, February 14 2008

1. I had a TERRIBLE time figuring out which projects would run on my Mac. I had to visit each site, check specs, and even then it wasn't always clear, and STILL isn't. is there an 'official' list of which BOINC projects run on Macs and if so, WHERE IS IT??? If none, PLEASE create and publish as a bulleted item on your web site - in this PC-centric world, it would be a real boon to new and even older contributors. This simple but chronically overlooked issue NEEDS to be CLEARed up, and only YOU can do it! (I can't even find this issue adequately addressed on any BOINC help site, either.)

2. Most projects are puzzlingly SLOW to credit work to my machine. It simply should not take sometimes a week or more to turn this data around and post it. Sometimes I wonder whether my results have really gotten through.

3. It isn't clear to me how fair and balanced the crediting system among projects really is. Are there standards which BOINC enforces?

4. I have shut some projects down because they feed me enormous, choking chunks of data that take literally many days of computing time to complete. If a computational error occurs, all that computer time is lost. Projects very much need to download data segments that take NO MORE than maybe half a day to complete. If an unfortunate error occurs, at least all of the other running projects don't suffer as well from the time lost.

5. Thanks and regards, Darryl W. Dockins dwdockins@charter.net



Some key points that realy need more examination:


I really didn't realize that BOINC was that problematic to the Apple delegation.

Projects that drag on for weeks before assigning credits to finished work.

I agree, any WU that runs over 12 hours is a downer.

Some sanity with BOINC credits needs to be enforced.
19) Message boards : Promotion : BOINC Merchandise based on Participation Levels? (Message 18278)
Posted 7 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
How about BOINC tee shirts, coffee mugs, key chains and other merchandise that would herald some level of participation in BOINC and it's projects?

. . . imagine 'BOINC Millionaire Club' tee shirts, and other promotional merchandise that can only be purchased [at cost, or if a profit is made it would go to BOINC or the projects] by those who have accumulated 100k, 500k, 1M BOINC cobblestones?

. . . how about 100K, 250K, 500K, 1M merchandise available from individual projects?

Imagine the conversations at sporting events, stores and the water cooler that begin with being asked 'What is BOINC?'
20) Message boards : BOINC client : BOINC running on upcoming Nehalem system:question on HyperThreading (Message 18272)
Posted 7 Jul 2008 by Sid
Post:
Thanks for the replies people.
So to recap,the HT enabled Nehalem(8 logical cores) system has no chance having(according to built in benchmark tool) double the score of 4 cores?

How reliable is the built-in tool in terms of predicting the actual points per day?



Ivan:


Everything you find in the fan magazines and sites are mere speculation and guesses.

I believe that Nehalem will be as drastic a step forward as was P4 to C2D.

I have been following this development, with eager anticipation:

Intel Slates "Nehalem" for Q4 2008



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