Posts by gravitysmith

1) Message boards : Questions and problems : 6.4.5 suspending ... sort of (Message 22432)
Posted 14 Jan 2009 by gravitysmith
Post:
Thanks. It isn't major, but it should be dealt with.
2) Message boards : Questions and problems : 6.4.5 suspending ... sort of (Message 22424)
Posted 14 Jan 2009 by gravitysmith
Post:
I should also add that I only see this behavior on the tasks that were running at the time I did the "activity"/"suspend" command. Work that is "waiting to run" or "ready to start" or "ready to report" does not show this increase in the "To Completion" time.

Also, if I suspend every project individually (leaving the "activity" menu item at "Run Always"), then I do not see this behavior.

I have reset my computer once, and it also had no effect on the increasing "To Completion" time.
3) Message boards : Questions and problems : 6.4.5 suspending ... sort of (Message 22423)
Posted 14 Jan 2009 by gravitysmith
Post:
Hmmm... I see this on all the projects I currently have in the queue (Einstein, MilkyWay, Cosmology). There are a couple other projects I run, but I doubt I will see them for a while because of the stupid long-term debt. If it helps, I could force them to run.... Also, my machine is Vista Ultimate x64 on a quad-core.
4) Message boards : Questions and problems : 6.4.5 suspending ... sort of (Message 22421)
Posted 14 Jan 2009 by gravitysmith
Post:
Hi,

I recently installed 6.4.5, and ran across what appears to be a bug. I normally keep activity set to "run always". The problem is if I "suspend" the computation, the "To Completion" time in the Task tab keeps increasing! These are regular apps (no CUDA calculations).

I should point out that all other indicators show the computation has stopped. The status on the Tasks tab shows "Suspended - computation suspended", and the Messages tab shows "Suspending computation - user request" just like it should. Windows Task Manager even shows the CPU usage drop to almost zero.

Can anybody repeat this? How do I file a bug report?

gravitysmith
5) Message boards : Web interfaces : Spam from Seti@Home ... and I never signed up! (Message 14303)
Posted 14 Dec 2007 by gravitysmith
Post:

Thank you Nicholas. I hadn't thought about the automatic account creation when I created a BOINC-wide team, but it makes sense in retrospect. I have deleted the team from the BOINC-wide list. Hopefully the email address hasn't propagated too far. Now if only I could delete the phantom accounts .....

gravitysmith
6) Message boards : Web interfaces : Spam from Seti@Home ... and I never signed up! (Message 14298)
Posted 14 Dec 2007 by gravitysmith
Post:
I just received an email in my inbox from the admins at Seti@Home. The funny thing is that I never signed up for Seti!

At the bottom of the email is a link to opt-out, which has a user id in there. I checked the Seti site, and apparently I do have an account there. I don't know the password since I never actually signed up, but an account with my username and email exists!

What follows next is my best hypothesis about how this came to be. I am the captain of a team. It is a team of one, but it keeps the spam down from those trying to recruit new members. Anyhow, I saw a news item a while back that said I could register my team through this BOINC site and then it would be automatically registered with any new projects. I am fond of my team name, and would hate for it to be associated with someone else, so I registered. The evidence that this registration is the cause of my phantom account is that my team name is also registered at Seti and my phantom account is listed as the leader of the team.

So what should be done? Well, this spam thing is too much! There is a reason I never explicitely signed up at Seti. The project doesn't interest me. This means that ANY message is unwanted. I can understand the need for a team to have a leader, and in hindsight realize that account creation is the easiest (and most straight-forward) way to set up a team. I would prefer not to have a Seti account associated with my username, but there is no option to cancel an account, so I am stuck.

My recommendations for change are:

  • Make email messages opt-in. This simple act would have saved me a lot of aggravation with spam (and will prevent future annoyance).
  • Allow people to cancel accounts. Why waste database resources with unwanted and unused accounts? Plus it gives inaccurate counts on the stats sites. It would also make me happy to remove my phantom account.


If I knew how to fix this myself, I would. It is frustrating to get spam. Correcting the items above would go a long way to solving this problem and preventing other similar oversights.

In the end I almost have to laugh as all this is actually quite ironic. Part of my motivation for creating a team is to avoid spam from recruiters, but by creating a team I end up with spam from the admins of a project I never joined! Please tell me ... when does this BOINC stuff become fun again?

gravitysmith

7) Message boards : Server programs : New forum feature may be used for spamming (Message 11557)
Posted 8 Jul 2007 by gravitysmith
Post:
Hi Kathryn, thanks for the link! I added a summary of my views to the ticket with a link back to this thread. In general, I have read a number of your posts on the various fora, and I want to say I appreciate your constant helpfulness!

Hi Sekerob, and thanks for pointing out the good alternatives. It sounds like WCG has a good system. It took me a while after first starting BOINC to join a team. The main thing that held me back was the fact that my e-mail would be given to some stranger. Personally I think even that should be opt-in for all of BOINC. Since then I have toyed with being on a couple of teams, but in the end I formed my own team (with one member) just so I could keep my email private. It is too bad because there are some teams I would probably otherwise join. The way I see it, the forced choice of providing an email (even if throw-away) destroys some of the BOINC community and fragments us a bit, but at least we have the option of simply not joining a team. It is too bad we don't currently have a choice for getting out of PMs....

gravitysmith
8) Message boards : Server programs : New forum feature may be used for spamming (Message 11552)
Posted 8 Jul 2007 by gravitysmith
Post:
My intent is not to add fuel to this fire, but I thought I would add another point I haven't seen raised. The lack of an opt-out for PMs may be keeping people from joining.

I have been running BOINC for just shy of 3 years. During that time there have been some changes to BOINC I agree with and others I disagree with, but none has concerned me as much as this one. If PMs existed when I joined, and if I knew there was no way even to opt-out, I certainly would not have joined or would have quit almost immediately after. I have absolutely no desire to receive any messages from BOINC projects unless it is from a project admin concerning an technical issue with one of my hosts. I joined BOINC for the idea of contributing to science, not to become part of yet another social network. If I knew when I started that I would get hassled with unwanted messages, I doubt I would have stayed.

To get a sense of where I am coming from, let me describe my habits. I browse the project forums somewhat regularly, reading what interests me and ignoring things that don't. On rare occasions, I will write a post if I feel I have something significant to say. Mostly though I just keep to myself, and I like it that way. I use BOINC because of the science, and although reading the idle chit-chat can pass the time, I have no desire to participate in it. From this perspective, PMs are nothing more to me than a place to collect spam and a waste of project resources.

I imagine some will say that opting out of the PM notification messages is a viable method to keep the spam from affecting me since I would never have to read the messages. To a large extent I agree, but not totally. Maybe this is where my personal quirks come in to play, but I feel my accounts actually sort of belong to me. To have unwanted messages appear with no recourse of eliminating them would be equivalent (in my mind) to saying that the cubicle/office at work is "mine" as long as I ignore random people wandering in and posting their advertisements all over the walls and my desk. Just ignore them, right? For me, that doesn't work, and I do personaly take unwanted PMs as an invasion of my privacy just as much as I would take people adjusting my work space as an invasion of my privacy. I do my best to minimize unwanted messages in my life, and to now tell me there is not even a way to opt-out of receiving them is very frustrating.

This whole PM discussion raises another point as well. What is the point of PM if everybody were to turn off notification and never check the inbox because it is full of unwanted messages? Given that very few participants actively participate in the forums, it is reasonable to assume many do not check their project acccounts regularly either. If a large number of users turn off notification because of "spam", then not only are you in a situation where the whole purpose of PMs is largely useless, but now you are also consuming project resources to store and manage all these unwanted messages that will likely never be read. Furthermore, the sender of the PM would have no way of knowing whether you are even interested in reading their message. With an opt-out possibility, the sender could at least be informed that the user does not want messages, and project resources could be released for other tasks. If for no other reason than the practicality of it, I would strongly suggest an opt-out feature be provided.

gravitysmith

P.S. The only reason I write at all is because of an unwanted message I received, and my desire to avoid receiving any more.
9) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Graphics freeze - due to project switch? (Message 5057)
Posted 19 Jul 2006 by gravitysmith
Post:
Today the graphics part of BOINC screensaver froze and nearly required a hard shut-down of the computer to get it to quit. The timing of the events relative to project switching lead me to wonder if there is any correlation. For complete detail, all the messages from the BOINC manager for the relevant time are listed at the bottom of this post. I have the saved the stderr files as well if they are needed.

The message at 1:22:37PM shows error with E@H screensaver which occurred when I tried exiting the screensaver by moving the mouse. Unfortunately it did not exit and after a couple seconds lead to the error on the next line of the messages. At that point, my mouse cursor was visible and responsive, but the screen was frozen on the last image from the E@H screensaver. In other words, the screensaver was no longer animated but filling the entire screen. Various key combinations such as alt-tab, ctrl-alt-del, and right-clicking the mouse (to change graphics properties), did not revive the screen and gave no indication of having any effect on the system. Nothing seemed to affect the screen.

Being a laptop, I realized I could close the lid and force the computer into sleep mode. This worked. About 10 seconds later, I opened the lid, and the computer resumed with the screen back to normal. Even though I had pressed ctrl-alt-del a number of times, there was no indication of the log-off menu (WinXP Pro) suggesting the buttons really had no effect during the graphics freeze. Based on the events, I guesstimate the 1:24:00PM time to be when the lid was re-opened.

Interestingly, during this down time, Malariacontrol.net requested work, not once as I would expect due to the E@H result erroring out, but twice. Why would it request work twice? More interestingly, by examining the times from the message log it can be seen that a project switch should have occurred just prior to the error and likely during screensaver mode. I have a 60min "switch between applications" preference for both projects.

To give the time-frame more context, the following are my system parameters:

WinXP Pro SP2
BOINC CC 5.4.9
leave apps in memory (both projects)
write to disk every 300sec (both projects)
switch between projects = 60min (both projects)
BOINC screensaver = wait 5 min before starting
BOINC screensaver option = go to blank after 4 min
turn off monitor/harddisk = 20 min

Finally, I will note that I do NOT have "On resume, password protect" set. I write this to emphasize that the problem is different from what others have seen with the screensaver.

7/18/2006 12:18:22 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Requesting 45 seconds of new work
7/18/2006 12:18:27 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Scheduler request succeeded
7/18/2006 12:18:29 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Started download of file wu_2_28_449_6_1460688868
7/18/2006 12:18:32 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Finished download of file wu_2_28_449_6_1460688868
7/18/2006 12:18:32 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Throughput 22677 bytes/sec
7/18/2006 12:18:33 PM||Rescheduling CPU: files downloaded
7/18/2006 12:18:33 PM|Einstein@Home|Resuming task h1_0881.5_S5R1__777_S5R1a_0 using einstein_S5R1 version 402
7/18/2006 12:18:33 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Pausing task wu_2_121_430_0_1006093592_1 (left in memory)
7/18/2006 1:22:37 PM|Einstein@Home|einstein_S5R1 not responding to screensaver, exiting
7/18/2006 1:22:43 PM|Einstein@Home|Unrecoverable error for result h1_0881.5_S5R1__777_S5R1a_0 ( - exit code -1 (0xffffffff))
7/18/2006 1:22:43 PM|Einstein@Home|Deferring scheduler requests for 1 minutes and 0 seconds
7/18/2006 1:22:43 PM||Rescheduling CPU: application exited
7/18/2006 1:22:43 PM|Einstein@Home|Computation for task h1_0881.5_S5R1__777_S5R1a_0 finished
7/18/2006 1:22:43 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Resuming task wu_2_121_430_0_1006093592_1 using malariacontrol version 533
7/18/2006 1:22:52 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Sending scheduler request to http://www.malariacontrol.net/malariacontrol_cgi/cgi
7/18/2006 1:22:52 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Reason: To fetch work
7/18/2006 1:22:52 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Requesting 16741 seconds of new work
7/18/2006 1:22:52 PM|Einstein@Home|Started upload of file h1_0881.5_S5R1__777_S5R1a_0_0
7/18/2006 1:22:57 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Scheduler request succeeded
7/18/2006 1:23:02 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Started download of file wu_2_107_450_1_149844874
7/18/2006 1:23:03 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Started download of file wu_2_105_450_4_276313049
7/18/2006 1:23:13 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Finished download of file wu_2_107_450_1_149844874
7/18/2006 1:23:13 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Throughput 7322 bytes/sec
7/18/2006 1:23:13 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Finished download of file wu_2_105_450_4_276313049
7/18/2006 1:23:13 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Throughput 7321 bytes/sec
7/18/2006 1:23:13 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Started download of file wu_2_104_450_5_203109966
7/18/2006 1:23:13 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Started download of file wu_2_106_450_3_14565351
7/18/2006 1:23:15 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Sending scheduler request to http://www.malariacontrol.net/malariacontrol_cgi/cgi
7/18/2006 1:23:15 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Reason: To fetch work
7/18/2006 1:23:15 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Requesting 5987 seconds of new work
7/18/2006 1:23:16 PM||Rescheduling CPU: files downloaded
7/18/2006 1:23:17 PM||Rescheduling CPU: files downloaded
7/18/2006 1:23:25 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Finished download of file wu_2_104_450_5_203109966
7/18/2006 1:23:25 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Throughput 11581 bytes/sec
7/18/2006 1:23:25 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Finished download of file wu_2_106_450_3_14565351
7/18/2006 1:23:25 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Throughput 11583 bytes/sec
7/18/2006 1:23:26 PM||Rescheduling CPU: files downloaded
7/18/2006 1:23:27 PM||Rescheduling CPU: files downloaded
7/18/2006 1:23:27 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Scheduler request succeeded
7/18/2006 1:23:32 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Started download of file wu_2_106_450_2_1041285643
7/18/2006 1:23:32 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Started download of file wu_2_106_450_4_60221424
7/18/2006 1:23:38 PM|Einstein@Home|Finished upload of file h1_0881.5_S5R1__777_S5R1a_0_0
7/18/2006 1:23:38 PM|Einstein@Home|Throughput 48889 bytes/sec
7/18/2006 1:23:42 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Finished download of file wu_2_106_450_2_1041285643
7/18/2006 1:23:42 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Throughput 6426 bytes/sec
7/18/2006 1:23:42 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Finished download of file wu_2_106_450_4_60221424
7/18/2006 1:23:42 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Throughput 6426 bytes/sec
7/18/2006 1:23:42 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Started download of file wu_2_104_450_4_1212216164
7/18/2006 1:23:43 PM||Rescheduling CPU: files downloaded
7/18/2006 1:23:44 PM||Rescheduling CPU: files downloaded
7/18/2006 1:24:00 PM|Einstein@Home|Sending scheduler request to http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/EinsteinAtHome_cgi/cgi
7/18/2006 1:24:00 PM|Einstein@Home|Reason: To fetch work
7/18/2006 1:24:00 PM|Einstein@Home|Requesting 21600 seconds of new work, and reporting 2 completed tasks
7/18/2006 1:24:03 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Finished download of file wu_2_104_450_4_1212216164
7/18/2006 1:24:03 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Throughput 12095 bytes/sec
7/18/2006 1:24:04 PM||Rescheduling CPU: files downloaded
7/18/2006 1:24:06 PM|Einstein@Home|Scheduler request succeeded
7/18/2006 1:24:09 PM||Rescheduling CPU: files downloaded
7/18/2006 1:24:09 PM|malariacontrol.net beta|Pausing task wu_2_121_430_0_1006093592_1 (left in memory)
7/18/2006 1:24:09 PM|Einstein@Home|Starting task h1_0881.5_S5R1__776_S5R1a_0 using einstein_S5R1 version 402


smith

[edit]Minor word tweaks and grammar corrections.[/edit]
10) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Option to turn on/off LTD. (Message 3423)
Posted 10 Mar 2006 by gravitysmith
Post:
I have my own view of course, and not suprisingly, it is somewhat different. I also know I am not alone in this.


Indeed you are not alone.

What is my story? Well, generally I like to keep a short queue because frankly I enjoy having a fast turn-around time on my WUs. My problem however is my laptop, which I occasionally take with me on places where for several hours (sometimes days)I don't have a network connection. In order to stock up with enough WU to last me that time, I too am forced to "cheat" the system by suspending the work I currently have available ... which also has the effect of messing with my LTD since I have to guess how much to allocate to each project.

Anyhow, this is my particular story of why I sometimes would like to micromanage how Boinc behaves. I am sure many others also have many other reasons, and some may just generally enjoy micromanaging their projects. I know there are times when I am simply in the mood to see project X being crunched instead of project Y.

My suggestion therefore is that instead of trying to make the participants fit the mold dictated by the debt calculations, give them the option to do what they want if the fancy strikes them. As a practical matter it would cut down on the number of help questions related to people seeing that no new work was downloaded because of huge LTD (which by the way is not even visible without heroic efforts). Another benefit would be that by having options, participants would finally gain control over what their computer is doing, instead of Boinc trying to control everything. People are not as logical and systematic as the debt calculations, and I know I personally hate it when some program thinks it knows MY wishes better than I do. The whole purpose of the debt process is so that the participant's wishes can be followed (in a manner that is practical for deadlines, etc), so why not give the participant the option to manually override the process temporarily?

Please, don't get me wrong with my mini tirade here. I think the debt process is a great feature in general. When I am not staring at my statistics or percentage of work done and instead am enjoying the other aspects of my life, I am grateful the debt system is there following my guidelines. But I am human, and not machine. I want to follow my whims and temporarily change things at times.

For those set against micromanaging, realize that the "suspend" feature that is already present is one micromanaging option, and is EXTREMELY useful for cases like I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately it is the only way to micormanage, and so the participants who don't want to follow the rigid debt calculations are left with frustration, questions/comments on the help boards, or they are forced to become "creative" and find ways to circumvent the "feature" they don't like.

Also realize that those who prefer the rigid debt procedure don't have to use the options. Furthermore, if you are really think you know better than the participant, there is always the possibility of including "nag" messgages when the options are utilized. Perhaps a pop-up window saying something like "If you find yourself frequently requesting more work, you may want to increase your cache." or "By turning off the debt calculation, your project preferences will not be followed" or even "By switching projects now, your current work will not complete before the deadline. Are you sure you want to switch?". For the occasional adjustment, people won't mind, and if it becomes more than occasional, they can adjust their settings if you tell them which ones.

In short, give us more options for micromanagement, and if we exercise them, don't penalize us. If I were to click "work on project X now", I mean that Boinc should work on project X now, and (temporarily) forget about the guidelines I set in the resource share. I an certain that a lot of participants would appreciate regaining control over what their computer is crunching.

smith




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