Why classic SETI@home is closing down and other facts of life.


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Message 212003 - Posted: 12 Dec 2005, 22:36:18 UTC

"Refreshing your memory on Classic in 1999. Go read some yourself."

Ah, but the difference is that when we were doing SETI work in 1999, many of us had the equivalent of Model T Fords for computers so the outages you cited were hardly noticed, if they were noticed at all. I know that they were transparent to me since I just had SETI running in the background and didn't notice when it was waiting for an upload or download slot at all. Plus, now with BOINC, it is far more noticable since if you are running multiple applications and it backs up you see this list of pending up/down loads piling up. Also, even with multiple BOINC applications, if the distribution is bottled up you end up with a bunch of applications all waiting for some work to do. I know I am now running SETI, Rosetta, Climateprediction, Einstein and LHC and yet they are all idle waiting for some data to work on.
I'm debating about running Wold Community Grid as well since it has no distribution problems currently.
I hate having my two PC's sitting around rwiddling their thumbs when I am not using them. Such a waste of CPU time, and when I get the third machine working I will have even more idle time to donate.
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Message 212037 - Posted: 12 Dec 2005, 23:08:04 UTC

I'll say it again, enable another project. Our chances of actually hearing another civilizations signals, even with an improved receiver, using this ground based, under the atmosphere antenna are virtually nill. Besides which, we're KILLING the data..we have way more crunchers than needed.
Go over, help design the worlds most powerful particle collider, do gravity wave research, help the biologists (god knows they need all the help they can get :)


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Message 212057 - Posted: 12 Dec 2005, 23:26:33 UTC - in response to Message 211982.

After running SETI for years and accumulating over 36,600 hours of computing time, I have a pretty dumb question.
If there is no bandwidth to upload and sownload actual work, then why is there plenty of bandwidth to post messages like this and make inquiries as to personal and overall SETI progress?
After all, bandwidth is bandwidth. If Boinc is bottled up, why can't SETI divert to its own servers? It is all well and good to use BOINC as its main distribution method, but having a backup seems like a wise thing to do. Just as important systems have emergency power backup for times when they may have a power failure,it would seem that SETI ought to be able to maintain an emergency alternate server path for when BINC gets swamped. After all, I am writing to a SETI server right this minute, which could easily be diverted to service uploads and downloads when this happens.
Perhaps I am looking at things in an overly simplistic fashion.
Just a thought.


First off, I was NOT going to post in this message, cause I think it should have been LOCKED from replying. I decided to answer a simple question, because no one has, yet. I still think this message should not allow any more replies, and maybe all the replies moved to a different message, and the original message in this locked down.

The answer to this is the Upload/Download servers are on a different bandwidth than the forums. The forums are on the campus network pipe. The SETI servers are on a dedicated pipe only for file transfers/reporting, which is larger than the campus network.


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Message 212123 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 0:11:04 UTC
Last modified: 13 Dec 2005, 0:17:20 UTC

Here's my view on SETI at this point in time:

I am not a participant in seti for the science. I am a participant because I believe there is life elsewhere in the universe and I would like to know of reproducible proof it exists. That there would be naysayers regardless of what is revealed matters none to me as I would personally feel a lifetime goal was realized. My best chance of helping with this bar none is via seti.

My first computer working with seti was a 33Mhz 386 and the results were slow to leave. Now my newest computer puts out roughly 30 classic WUs/day and in-between I have left my computer running 24/7/365 since I joined in 2000. As a result of this on time I have replaced five hard drives and my push to get the fastest computer I could arrange for was solely for the benefit on my participation in SETI.

I would be a liar to say that the earned credits were not a positive thing. I remember someone selling their unassigned credits on ebay so apparently some people were desperate for as many WUs in their numbers chase as possible. My credits went to the Amateur radio Operators team. So the end of this "chase" of numbers after such a long time is to me a sad thing, I looked forward to seeing how my 5 year game was progressing and looking forward to it for years to come.

It's like discovering from now on all official Golf games will consist of 23 holes and all old stats based on 18 holes are no longer of current value.

But again, I wasn't into it for the game of numbers, I want to know of that proof of extraterrestrial existence.

So now it's BOINC that is the venue to these possible findings and seti is experiencing growing pains as is BOINC. I've set seti to suspend and get no more work. I've got a few completed seti WUs awaiting transmission & when seti is running again I'll switch it back on and continue.

What will be lost is my exclusion to SETI for fickle me, I decided to jump ship during this down time & take on Rosetta & Climate prediction and will keep running them so when I resume SETI crunching, seti will be getting less WUs from me. But... thanks to BOINC my output of crunched data has remained constant only with different recipients getting the benefit of my electric bill & future hardware replacement so in this light of perpetuation of crunching I give BOINC high marks.

So to me the milestone of Classic closing and my finding it impossible to up/download SETI WUs at this moment is I suppose, more related to how no longer will seti be getting 100% of my spare cycles.

I think Matt's posting is probably more honest than most of us have come to be used to in this age of perpetual spin, politics & whine.

My only complaint is I would have liked to have been emailed earlier than I was regarding the end of Classic. I was one of those blissfully using setidriver and SetiSpy to keep track of my stats. I never gave Seti a second thought as long as the antenna in my toolbar was pointing up. the immediacy of Classic's closing was a shock to say the least considering the credits over the last 6 years were going to be stopped as "classic" was retired. I could have been emailed months ago with a heads up but a check of my email shows this was never done.

It's a small complaint but as a Doctor I have come to understand the importance of informing the patient well before my performing anything unexpected.

Back to my rock & I'll await the normal up/downloads when seti exits the recovery room.

Gary
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Message 212125 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 0:12:52 UTC - in response to Message 211982.


If there is no bandwidth to upload and sownload actual work, then why is there plenty of bandwidth to post messages like this and make inquiries as to personal and overall SETI progress?
After all, bandwidth is bandwidth. If Boinc is bottled up, why can't SETI divert to its own servers?


My understanding is that it is not a lack of bandwidth problem, it is the web server software on the upload/download servers not being able to handle the amount of file transfer requests, not the actual amount of data being transferred.
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Message 212129 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 0:20:45 UTC - in response to Message 212123.
Last modified: 13 Dec 2005, 0:22:38 UTC

.

It's like discovering from now on all official Golf games will consist of 23 holes and all old stats based on 18 holes are no longer of current value.

Gary


Gary, although I'm solidly in favor of BOINC and you did say in the part of the post I snipped the numbers weren't your prime motivator, I'll say it's a DAMN SHAME they didn't press for BOINC credit for our past work.
Although for me it was always more helping validate and develop distributed computing, as i've always been aware of the inadequacy of our receiving antenna and the miniscule chance of hearing anything, I DO feel more than somewhat cheated that 5+ years of work is now forgotten.
I have to blame myself for running SAH so long I came to pretty much ignore it and thus put off the switch to BOINC so long, but dang it all, they should have held out for some at least partial credit for us old timers.

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Message 212161 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 0:38:36 UTC - in response to Message 212123.
Last modified: 13 Dec 2005, 0:46:15 UTC

Here's my view on SETI at this point in time:

I am not a participant in seti for the science. I am a participant because I believe there is life elsewhere in the universe and I would like to know of reproducible proof it exists...

And that is exactly what this little part of science is chasing.

The philosophy and politics for when we do find something will be a whole new subject...!

...So now it's BOINC that is the venue to these possible findings and seti is experiencing growing pains as is BOINC. I've set seti to suspend and get no more work. I've got a few completed seti WUs awaiting transmission & when seti is running again I'll switch it back on and continue.

... take on Rosetta & Climate prediction and will keep running them so when I resume SETI crunching, seti will be getting less WUs from me. But... thanks to BOINC my output of crunched data has remained constant only with different recipients getting the benefit of my electric bill & future hardware replacement so in this light of perpetuation of crunching I give BOINC high marks.

This is an important part of Boinc. You now have a choice of projects.

This feature also means that Berkeley can be a little more 'experimental' with their developments (and hopefully develope faster) by not having to maintain a constant 24/7 availability for the servers. They can affort to go offline for a while to change things or get things fixed.

...I think Matt's posting is probably more honest than most of us have come to be used to in this age of perpetual spin, politics & whine.

Very much so. However, perhaps a few people need 'educating' to recognise real-world comments rather than gasping for their next fix on spin and hype.

(Hey, the real world is much more fun! Chill out folks!!)

My only complaint is I would have liked to have been emailed earlier than I was regarding the end of Classic. ... the immediacy of Classic's closing was a shock to say the least ... I could have been emailed months ago with a heads up but a check of my email shows this was never done.

PR is never a strong point for any doctorates! Medical doctors often get slammed for not talking to their patients in a way that is easily understood yet not patronising... Communication is difficult.

The mass emailing was very expensive to do and was the last "catch-all" last ditch attempt to catch those still unawares even after two years of news of the change in the media and other online forums. Seems like I've been here years already!

It's a small complaint but as a Doctor I have come to understand the importance of informing the patient well before my performing anything unexpected...

And that is a lot more fairly put than some of the user angst we've seen. All very understandable from you view point.


A very good welcome to Boinc and to Boinc-s@h.

Normal service (whatever that might be) will be resumed 'soon'.

While waiting, please be welcome to see what else science has to offer and please help out here again soon.


Aside: The Boinc client operates a feature called "long term debt". If you stay attched to a project that has gone offline, the time lost offline is added up and then that project gets preferential treatment when it finally comes back. Long term, your chosen resource share amongst all the projects will be honoured even if a project goes offline for a while.

See the help link in my sig for more details.

Happy crunchin',
Martin
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Message 212162 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 0:39:14 UTC - in response to Message 212123.

I could have been emailed months ago with a heads up but a check of my email shows this was never done.

It's a small complaint but as a Doctor I have come to understand the importance of informing the patient well before my performing anything unexpected.
Gary

Gary, I can understand how you went uninformed. I was informed by a prominent display at the top of the seti website nearly two years ago. I guess they'd assume most would have visited the website at least once in two years.

welcome aboard now though.

tony
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Message 212176 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 0:50:34 UTC - in response to Message 212129.
Last modified: 13 Dec 2005, 0:52:12 UTC

... I DO feel more than somewhat cheated that 5+ years of work is now forgotten. ... they should have held out for some at least partial credit for us old timers.

No need to feel cheated or any loss. Your old time s@h-classic WUs count (credits) will be listed with your account. The final update for this will be done soon after s@h-classic is closed.

The new credits system is indeed different and to my mind it is fairer despite its imperfections.

Its also very good that everyone has the score-sheet cleaned so that the new kids online get a chance to give the old ones a good run for their old iron!!!

Enjoy the the race, and the science!

Happy crunchin',
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Message 212258 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 1:34:02 UTC - in response to Message 212176.

Cheated? Yes, cheated is a nice word to use since they LIED about closing it on December 15th and they closed it on December 1ST. What a bunch of lying, worthless, contemptable, bottom of the toilet bowl scum suckers. I'll do united devices, I'm sure this won't affect their processing though since there's all the new HAPPY seti classic people processing on boinc. Good luck keeping those servers up.


... I DO feel more than somewhat cheated that 5+ years of work is now forgotten. ... they should have held out for some at least partial credit for us old timers.

No need to feel cheated or any loss. Your old time s@h-classic WUs count (credits) will be listed with your account. The final update for this will be done soon after s@h-classic is closed.

The new credits system is indeed different and to my mind it is fairer despite its imperfections.

Its also very good that everyone has the score-sheet cleaned so that the new kids online get a chance to give the old ones a good run for their old iron!!!

Enjoy the the race, and the science!

Happy crunchin',
Martin


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Message 212271 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 1:39:36 UTC - in response to Message 212258.

Cheated? Yes, cheated is a nice word to use since they LIED about closing it on December 15th and they closed it on December 1ST. What a bunch of lying, worthless, contemptable, bottom of the toilet bowl scum suckers. I'll do united devices, I'm sure this won't affect their processing though since there's all the new HAPPY seti classic people processing on boinc. Good luck keeping those servers up.




Good riddance, troll. Don't let the door hit your fat a$$ on the way out.
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Message 212277 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 1:44:27 UTC - in response to Message 212258.

Cheated? Yes, cheated is a nice word to use since they LIED about closing it on December 15th and they closed it on December 1ST. What a bunch of lying, worthless, contemptable, bottom of the toilet bowl scum suckers. I'll do united devices, I'm sure this won't affect their processing though since there's all the new HAPPY seti classic people processing on boinc. Good luck keeping those servers up.

Classic is still running, what are you talking about? They've merely asked that you come here early.

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Message 212284 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 1:49:15 UTC

Man, oh man. Am I ever tired of reading about this bitching. It started as an interesting topic then digressed. Let me re-group for myself:

As I understand it, there could be some resources dedicated to making this (s@h) project run smoothly.

1. Manpower, both kinds: paid and free.
2. Money, both kinds: free of strings and looking like a ball of twine.


Let me address the first item: As for manpower, I see that some of this load can be donated by the users whom are so interested in this project. It sounds like there's a need for someone to communicate 'news' to the group. Maybe a volunteer could periodically speak/email the direct 'working-on-it' members of s@h what would be important to the 'contributing-idle-cycles' members and then "Post This To The Web". This keeps a flood of 'what's going on from hitting only one person, as well as letting the 'contributing-idle-cycles' members know where their precious cycles are being used. Other volunteers might also be able to assist as well, remotely fixing servers, posting User requests and other general ADMIN duties. The stuff that takes a precious amount of time from the 'working-on-it' members of s@h. These tasks can be divided up so a group of people could handle the daily grind of work, if the task is so large maybe we'd need 5 user Admins to handle accounts A-E, F-J, ..., and then a Webmaster/News reporter/Updater. I'm not trying to solve the problem here, just giving the big-picture example of taking an overwhelming problem and applying distributed-computing over a group of people who are interested in it. That would take care of the Free manpower; the paid-manpower comes in the next section.

Addressing the second item, Money, takes only a bit of thought. If each member were asked to donate, I'm sure a sizeable number of the required donations would be met through the group. Maybe, an active campaign might help in keeping the hardware and software up-to-date? There's already links setup to handle our donations (both monetary and equipment), it sounds like getting organized to create a campaign to begin making these requests would be a great use of resources. I'm not trying to state that this is easy. It is "simple", but that doesn't mean it is "easy". We don't need to reinvent the wheel here, just a bit of a push to get the wheel rolling. And that leads me into the paying/funding aspect of the project.

It's always easier to ask for a grant from a single source than it is to try to get the same amount of funds from so many smaller sources. It involves more people, it takes more co-ordination, and is not the project for people who want to focus on science. Science people like to focus their talents on science rather than constantly spending their time with a bunch of other people who's main focus is NOT science, but who's main focus may be money, people connections and co-ordinating the work of other people. Please, I'm not trying to offend either group, if you find yourself in one of those camps. Just tou point out that different people like to do what the like and feel comfortable doing. I've liked this project when it wasn't called SETI@home, but just plain SETI. This was from the time I was in High School (1976) and read about SETI and the multi-radio-telescope project proposed by bushy eyed Carl Sagan. Back then I had to write for the big paper bound printing written about the project. This goes way back.

All I'm saying is let's work togather to fix these issues. Ask how we can help. Divide and conquer. It doesn't do the project any good if the help we're offering isn't finding a home either. Rotating assignments might help. This would give us all the opportunity to get involved and find those aliens!

Thanks,
Tracy

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Message 212335 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 2:28:49 UTC - in response to Message 210664.
Last modified: 13 Dec 2005, 3:09:32 UTC

I personally have over 100,000 hours in computer time being donated under the seti classic project and after reading this set of “Here are some reasons off the top of my head that SETI@home Classic is shutting down” I feel a response is necessary to some of your points of perpetual misinformation, this all too typical of the computing environment.


SNIP


I hope the existing problems can be resolved in a reasonable time frame, for if the storage requirements become too great, I will dump the completed results to date and project in general.

Dennis



Perhaps, if some people had migrated earlier as requested for months on the Classic site, instead of racking up cheap Credits, Boinc-Seti would have been able to absorb influx of people. Instead the daily increase in users went from 600 to 4000. Tell me of any business that can handle that kind of growth overnight.
I for one do not consider your criticism valid and definitely not welcomed from a Johnny come lately.

From your numbers and your registration date, one has to guess you have a small farm. And YOU don't think you're partly responsible for the current woes.

I'm sorry if that offend you, but I find your post offensive


"I for one do not consider your criticism valid and definitely not welcomed from a Johnny come lately." --> Hardly a Johnny come lately as stated. That is the date of change over to the latest version on this notebook machine. If I can remember correctly, my classic start date was May 1994.

You did not offend me and I am terribly sorry you cannot handle reality!
Simple fact is as stated. Further during the overnight period, the following window was on the screen this very morning with a red circle with the white X, and stated:

Displayed window header:"setiathome_4.18_windows_intelx86.exe - Application error"


The instruction at "0x7c918fea" referenced memory at "0x00000010". The memory could not be "written".

Click on OK to terminate the program
Click on CANCEL to debug the program

GO FIGURE? Just suspended the seti! At least until the software is more stable. Has nothing to do with waiting! Just reality.

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Message 212394 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 3:06:47 UTC - in response to Message 212335.

I personally have over 100,000 hours in computer time being donated under the seti classic project and after reading this set of “Here are some reasons off the top of my head that SETI@home Classic is shutting down” I feel a response is necessary to some of your points of perpetual misinformation, this all too typical of the computing environment.


SNIP


I hope the existing problems can be resolved in a reasonable time frame, for if the storage requirements become too great, I will dump the completed results to date and project in general.

Dennis



Perhaps, if some people had migrated earlier as requested for months on the Classic site, instead of racking up cheap Credits, Boinc-Seti would have been able to absorb influx of people. Instead the daily increase in users went from 600 to 4000. Tell me of any business that can handle that kind of growth overnight.
I for one do not consider your criticism valid and definitely not welcomed from a Johnny come lately.

From your numbers and your registration date, one has to guess you have a small farm. And YOU don't think you're partly responsible for the current woes.

I'm sorry if that offend you, but I find your post offensive


You did not offend me and I am terribly sorry you cannot handle reality! Simple fact is as stated. Further during the overnight period, the following window was on the screen this very morning with a red circle with the white X and stated:

Displayed window header:"setiathome_4.18_windows_intelx86.exe - Application error"


The instruction at "0x7c918fea" referenced memory at "0x00000010". The memory could not be "written".

Click on OK to terminate the program
Click on CANCEL to debug the program

GO FIGURE? Just suspended the seti! At least until the software is more stable. Has nothing to do with waiting! Just reality.


That error msg is a windows error not BOINC or Seti.

Go fix your computer.

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Message 212398 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 3:12:49 UTC - in response to Message 212394.

[quote]

SNIP


I hope the existing problems can be resolved in a reasonable time frame, for if the storage requirements become too great, I will dump the completed results to date and project in general.

Dennis



Displayed window header:"setiathome_4.18_windows_intelx86.exe - Application error"


The instruction at "0x7c918fea" referenced memory at "0x00000010". The memory could not be "written".

Click on OK to terminate the program
Click on CANCEL to debug the program

GO FIGURE? Just suspended the seti! At least until the software is more stable. Has nothing to do with waiting! Just reality.


That error msg is a windows error not BOINC or Seti.

Go fix your computer.


Gotta back Andy up on this one. You're looking at either a corrupted windows install or a hardware problem.

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Message 212409 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 3:23:41 UTC - in response to Message 212394.

I personally have over 100,000 hours in computer time being donated under the seti classic project and after reading this set of “Here are some reasons off the top of my head that SETI@home Classic is shutting down” I feel a response is necessary to some of your points of perpetual misinformation, this all too typical of the computing environment.


SNIP


I hope the existing problems can be resolved in a reasonable time frame, for if the storage requirements become too great, I will dump the completed results to date and project in general.

Dennis



Perhaps, if some people had migrated earlier as requested for months on the Classic site, instead of racking up cheap Credits, Boinc-Seti would have been able to absorb influx of people. Instead the daily increase in users went from 600 to 4000. Tell me of any business that can handle that kind of growth overnight.
I for one do not consider your criticism valid and definitely not welcomed from a Johnny come lately.

From your numbers and your registration date, one has to guess you have a small farm. And YOU don't think you're partly responsible for the current woes.

I'm sorry if that offend you, but I find your post offensive


You did not offend me and I am terribly sorry you cannot handle reality! Simple fact is as stated. Further during the overnight period, the following window was on the screen this very morning with a red circle with the white X and stated:

Displayed window header:"setiathome_4.18_windows_intelx86.exe - Application error"


The instruction at "0x7c918fea" referenced memory at "0x00000010". The memory could not be "written".

Click on OK to terminate the program
Click on CANCEL to debug the program

GO FIGURE? Just suspended the seti! At least until the software is more stable. Has nothing to do with waiting! Just reality.


That error msg is a windows error not BOINC or Seti.

Go fix your computer.



Computer is fine Andy, Software or install of that package, as this appeared during off hours, idle. Notebook P25-509 running virtually 24/7 for two years last month. No known BIOS updates no problems on other software in use.

If the fault of write address is correct at "0x00000010" that is interrupt table of the X86 chip design. Program should never access this area by Intel original design spec. from memory of design in the mid-70's.
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Message 212422 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 3:30:39 UTC - in response to Message 212335.

If I can remember correctly, my classic start date was May 1994.

SETI@Home opened to the public about May of 1999.

MJ
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Message 212439 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 3:43:26 UTC - in response to Message 212409.

.........Computer is fine Andy, Software or install of that package, as this appeared during off hours, idle. Notebook P25-509 running virtually 24/7 for two years last month. No known BIOS updates no problems on other software in use.

If the fault of write address is correct at "0x00000010" that is interrupt table of the X86 chip design. Program should never access this area by Intel original design spec. from memory of design in the mid-70's.


You may be right, but from what I have personally found and what has been written in all the posts here, computers that have this problem and similar have in 99% of cases been tracked to wrongly configuration or drivers behaving badly.

The usual suspect in many cases is ATI graphics drivers and the associated Catalyst control centre. Sometimes updating the driver has worked and on my youngest sons machine removal of catalyst, which he says is total waste of space anyway, cured the problem.

Now I don't know if this applies to your computer, but it is a starting point.
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Message 212442 - Posted: 13 Dec 2005, 3:47:25 UTC - in response to Message 212422.

If I can remember correctly, my classic start date was May 1994.

SETI@Home opened to the public about May of 1999.

MJ


I stand corrected, hell getting old. Correct info:

Name (and URL) Lost_But_Maken_Headway
Results Received 4871
Total CPU Time 12.773 years
Average CPU Time per work unit 22 hr 58 min 13.3 sec
Average results received per day 2.03
Last result returned: Sun Dec 11 19:48:32 2005 UTC
Registered on: Sat May 22 04:13:12 1999 UTC
View Registration Class
SETI@home user for: 6.567 years
Your group info:
You do not currently belong to a group.
You are not currently the founder of any teams.

Your rank: (based on current workunits received)

Your rank out of 5436301 total users is: 76510th place.
The number of users who have this rank: 18
You have completed more work units than 98.592% of our users.

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