My BOINC upgrade thoughts


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Adrian Foster
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Message 846888 - Posted: 30 Dec 2008, 14:55:37 UTC

Hi,

Having loyally crunched away for a few years on BOINC now as well as donating financially, I have only just found this message board area. My own fault completely.

Anyway, I have not found BOINC to be the most user-friendly software install but have a couple of ideas which hopefully a developer somewhere can work upon if thought sensible ? Apologies if they have been covered in previous posts.

Firstly, most importantly - upgrades. Every software package from games to operating systems and virus checkers etc has an 'scan for upgrades' button to search the web then download and install new upgrades. BOINC doesn't. The best software automatically scans the web and tells me an upgrade is available.

I am no techhie so asking me to type exec commands is wasted. Why can't BOINC do this, or does it ? I presume I have to de-install BOINC then re-install it currently, if so do I lose my credits and surely the risk with this is people will not bother to re-install.

Secondly, I recently upgraded from XP to vista. With XP Boinc used to run automatically. Vista stops it and each time I have to manually click on the 'blocked programmes' bit to start it. Why can't a preferences tab be created to over-ride Vista ?

Just two thoughts of mine,

All the best

Adrian.

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Message 846909 - Posted: 30 Dec 2008, 15:44:37 UTC - in response to Message 846888.

Firstly, most importantly - upgrades. Every software package from games to operating systems and virus checkers etc has an 'scan for upgrades' button to search the web then download and install new upgrades. BOINC doesn't. The best software automatically scans the web and tells me an upgrade is available.

BOINC has had the update message since the earliest of 5.10 versions. When a new recommended version is released, you will be apprised of that through the messages. BOINC will not update automatically due to possible security reasons.

I presume I have to de-install BOINC then re-install it currently, if so do I lose my credits and surely the risk with this is people will not bother to re-install.

You will only have to uninstall BOINC through Add/Remove Programs if your current version is still 4.19
Otherwise you can install directly over the older version. With the latest versions it is even possible to install an older version over the newer version, if for some reason you want to return to the older version.

No work will go lost, unless you do something that you shouldn't do. Like delete the BOINC (Data) directory. Else an upgrade install will exit the present running BOINC, delete the BOINC only files, write the new ones to disk and start up again, continuing where you were (or just about).

Secondly, I recently upgraded from XP to vista. With XP Boinc used to run automatically. Vista stops it and each time I have to manually click on the 'blocked programmes' bit to start it. Why can't a preferences tab be created to over-ride Vista ?

That's Vista security for you. If you disable the User Account Control (UAC), it'll do what you want but your OS is less secure. Update to BOINC 6.2.19 or 6.4.5(*), allow it to install as a service (that's in the third screen in the installer, Advanced button, make sure the check mark is on the Protected Application Execution) and BOINC will start even before a possible Windows logon.

(*) You cannot install 6.4.5 as a service on Vista if you want to use the Seti CUDA application.
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Adrian Foster
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Message 847907 - Posted: 1 Jan 2009, 23:19:29 UTC

Jord

I have just manually upgraded from v 5.10.30 to 6.4.5 to test your response.... you are right about the Vista block being removed - that now works as it should have done all along - but I still don't think you have addressed the central issue in my upgrade question :

1 There is no "search for upgrades" option under any of the 6 headings (File, View, Tools, Activity, Advanced & Help), or
2 There is no "upgrades are available" automatic notification flag, or
3.There is no email sent to my email account to advise me of this.

I may well be the only non-techie who has downloaded BOINC but I doubt it. If a user does not visit the BOINC website or at every log on review the message tab, he/she will be unaware there are upgrades available. The messages log contains typically 20 - 30 rows per task, 90% of which is gobbledegook to me, and probably 99% of which is irrelevant to me, and 100% of which disappears if I log off without reading it due to time constraints or other user access.

I take onboard your point re security, but I still believe there should still be an option in the main menu system, or an email sent to each user to say upgrades are available.

Regards,
Adrian.

Profile Gundolf Jahn
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Message 847921 - Posted: 2 Jan 2009, 0:06:01 UTC - in response to Message 847907.
Last modified: 2 Jan 2009, 0:06:28 UTC

...
1 There is no "search for upgrades" option under any of the 6 headings (File, View, Tools, Activity, Advanced & Help)

Those are project buttons, not BOINC buttons.

2 There is no "upgrades are available" automatic notification flag

That's a good idea, but I think I saw it mentioned elsewhere.

3 There is no email sent to my email account to advise me of this.

Bad idea (IMO). That would cause immense traffic and be looked upon as spam by many BOINCers.

...
The messages log contains typically 20 - 30 rows per task, 90% of which is gobbledegook to me, and probably 99% of which is irrelevant to me, and 100% of which disappears if I log off without reading it due to time constraints or other user access...

The entries in the Messages tab regarding new versions stand out in red, like this:
23/12/2008 23:40:32||A new version of BOINC (6.4.5) is available for your computer 23/12/2008 23:40:32||Visit http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php to get it.

Gruß,
Gundolf
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Message 848215 - Posted: 2 Jan 2009, 15:38:11 UTC - in response to Message 847907.

2 There is no "upgrades are available" automatic notification flag

There is a study going on about this option, which can be set by projects. Read about it here.
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Questions and Answers : Wish list : My BOINC upgrade thoughts

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