Hannah (Apr 16 2009)


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Mibe, ZX-81 16kb
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Message 886719 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 17:21:29 UTC - in response to Message 886619.

Also, users are down since (at least) February 20th but RAC is down since April 1st?

It could be that many hosts don't finish (and return) an AP unit within 30 days. That would explain how the RAC can be constant even though the number of active is declining steadily.

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Message 886721 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 17:39:47 UTC - in response to Message 886619.

Well, putting the total SETI users next to the total BOINC users seems to indicate that it is indeed SETI that has the problem out of proportion.




Botched CUDA rollout? Too much downtime? Credit whoring? Obama effect? No general press? Economy hit SETI worse than the others? Or ten years and only one re-observation of a handful of candidates?

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Message 886723 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 17:44:10 UTC - in response to Message 886705.

A pity, but I cannot see what relevance SETI has for the modern world. If we were to detect any signals, the likelihood of any coherent message transfer in any of our lifetimes is remote.

Bernie



Really? Can’t see the relevance? The discovery of intelligent life in the cosmos would only change everything. Nothing would ever be the same again. Religion, philosophy, all the way down to how we as individuals see ourselves in the universe, would radically change.

Seems pretty relevant to me.

But you are right, any coherent message swap wit an intelligent life out there within our lifetime is unlikely.

This is a game for people who tend to take the longer view of things. Sadly, most people are not comfortable thinking outside the few decades that mark their own existence, and fail to appreciate the importance of things that go beyond such small snatches of time.

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Message 886727 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 18:04:35 UTC - in response to Message 886723.
Last modified: 20 Apr 2009, 18:05:45 UTC

A pity, but I cannot see what relevance SETI has for the modern world. If we were to detect any signals, the likelihood of any coherent message transfer in any of our lifetimes is remote.

Bernie



Really? Can’t see the relevance? The discovery of intelligent life in the cosmos would only change everything. Nothing would ever be the same again. Religion, philosophy, all the way down to how we as individuals see ourselves in the universe, would radically change.

Seems pretty relevant to me.

But you are right, any coherent message swap wit an intelligent life out there within our lifetime is unlikely.

This is a game for people who tend to take the longer view of things. Sadly, most people are not comfortable thinking outside the few decades that mark their own existence, and fail to appreciate the importance of things that go beyond such small snatches of time.


I have to question your first paragraph, I suspect it would SEEM important, but religion would adapt quickly, I am not a philosopher so no idea, but I already believe there is life out there and I suspect so do a lot of others, in a short time the fact that they WERE out there would fade as we can never really exchange ideas or concepts and after hundreds of years we would likely have no idea what they looked like or how they thought. However the good thing is having no results, as you pointed out doesn't mean they are not out there somewhere.

I am also not looking short term with the WCG projects, I do not expect to see quick results, however a cure for cancer and clean renewable energy would also have huge impacts on the quality of life.

I am not really knocking SETI, it is just that I have become increasingly uncomfortable over the last few weeks about having 5 PC's using energey 24/7 in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.

However even now I would be over the moon if one of you dedicated crunchers found "the signal" I would be cheering as loud as the next guy. ;-)

Bernie
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Message 886732 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 18:20:58 UTC

Sorry, guys. I have to say this. I don't think the exodus of users has anything to do with the recession. I think it started with the week of the clogged data pipe and went off the cliff the week of the lost database boot drive. All the annoying "SETI has no work" messages I've been seeing more than occasionally over the past two or three weeks haven't helped either. My first inclination was to cache a week's worth of data (by the way, boinc calculates this incorrectly, always assuming you only have one CPU, instead of 2 or 4) but the clogged data pipe occasionally caused a client detached situation, which caused me to lose a bunch of credit. (Yes, I crunch for the credit). These types of outages in corporateland would have the CIO breathing fire down your neck. Also all the talk about camping and hiking trips and music gigs and concentrating on incidentals instead of fixing the outage problems and preventing their ocurrence are being construed by many as a lack of caring about the project, and if the project doesn't care, then why should we?

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Message 886738 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 18:33:01 UTC - in response to Message 886732.

..Also all the talk about camping and hiking trips and music gigs and concentrating on incidentals instead of fixing the outage problems and preventing their ocurrence are being construed by many as a lack of caring about the project, and if the project doesn't care, then why should we?

Camping, hiking, music gigs? Are we on the same forum?
We? Talk for yourself, I do care.
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Message 886744 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 18:38:02 UTC - in response to Message 886732.

Also all the talk about camping and hiking trips and music gigs and concentrating on incidentals instead of fixing the outage problems and preventing their ocurrence are being construed by many as a lack of caring about the project, and if the project doesn't care, then why should we?


I cannot agree with this, you are referring to Matt's posts where he occasionally refers to what he has been up to when not at work. Post that are well received by the crunchers here. To accuse Matt of not caring!!... words fail me!!!

Bernie
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Message 886751 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 19:08:22 UTC - in response to Message 886732.
Last modified: 20 Apr 2009, 19:08:48 UTC

Also all the talk about camping and hiking trips and music gigs and concentrating on incidentals instead of fixing the outage problems and preventing their ocurrence are being construed by many as a lack of caring about the project, and if the project doesn't care, then why should we?


I suspect that it is construed that way the very few whom are here only for the credit.

I guess you want project leaders who live and breathe for the sole purpose of keeping the pipelines flowing and are not allowed any life outside of that.

Yeah, good luck with that. :P
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Message 886752 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 19:09:30 UTC - in response to Message 886744.

Also all the talk about camping and hiking trips and music gigs and concentrating on incidentals instead of fixing the outage problems and preventing their ocurrence are being construed by many as a lack of caring about the project, and if the project doesn't care, then why should we?


Just to set things straight, I totally respect this opinion. I personally like to keep things informal and friendly, and perhaps discuss non-SETI things that are on my mind (or otherwise occupying my time). I can see why some may find this offputting, and maybe even a sign of me being aloof. Fair enough, but let me assure you I work best when I'm multitasking between many disparate endeavors.

Also.. I am hardly "the project." I'm just one of several people who work here.

- Matt




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Message 886755 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 19:18:05 UTC

Also all the talk about camping and hiking trips and music gigs and concentrating on incidentals instead of fixing the outage problems and preventing their ocurrence are being construed by many as a lack of caring about the project, and if the project doesn't care, then why should we?


Matt is allowed a life you know.

Are you going to pay for him to work full time on the project?
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Message 886761 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 19:30:17 UTC - in response to Message 886744.

Also all the talk about camping and hiking trips and music gigs and concentrating on incidentals instead of fixing the outage problems and preventing their ocurrence are being construed by many as a lack of caring about the project, and if the project doesn't care, then why should we?


I cannot agree with this, you are referring to Matt's posts where he occasionally refers to what he has been up to when not at work. Post that are well received by the crunchers here. To accuse Matt of not caring!!... words fail me!!!

Bernie

I guess he's never noticed the servers coming back on line at weird hours of the night. I've seen the feeders come back to life at midnite Seti time. This did not happening by itself. Someone is remotely rebooting the system.

The reboot and rebuild of the forums yesterday didn't happen on its own. More than likely it required one of the guys to give up part of his Sunday to come in and babysit the servers until things stabilized.

Personally, I like to hear that Matt gets out and clears his head, whether it's his couple of camping/hiking trip he takes each year, or his music gigs to supplement is meager salary. These are need diversion to keep him sane. He as well the other guys at Seti need a life outside the job.

Seti has a very dedicated group of people that often have to go way beyond the call of duty to keep us happy and our systems well fed.
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Message 886768 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 19:58:40 UTC

In that SETI@Home has nearly half the computing population of the BOINC universe and a large number of those people are single project types, a major downturn of those people will dominate the movement of the general BOINC population graph.

To get a proper perspective you would need an average graph of all project other than SaH summary population to know if it was a generalize downturn or a downturn because of something specific to SaH.

Economic downturn yes, loss of jobs yes, but 10% unemployment still means that 90% employment exists. I know the only change *I* have made is to turn off one computer, but that was because of 90 degree weather ... nothing more ... and it was my slowest ... and besides, I don't do much SaH ...

All I am saying is that you have to be careful with graphs and data like that... you can see exactly what you want to see if you look hard enough ...

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Message 886780 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 20:50:25 UTC - in response to Message 886768.

Interesting note about the graph. SETI had a larger decline than BOINC combined. This implies that some other project(s) acquired more users, but SETI brought the total down.

Oh, and 10% unemployment does NOT mean 90% employment. It just means 10% of people are getting government checks because they were laid off. I am unemployed by definition (out of work but seeking a job), but I do not qualify for unemployment due to my circumstances. Therefore, I am not counted in that 10%, and the same is true for many others.

The downturn is most likely a result of many factors... some of which are out of SETI@Home control. However, complaining about lack of computing power but not being able to distribute enough work to keep up with demand is dishonest to SETI volunteers.

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Message 886783 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 21:00:57 UTC - in response to Message 886780.

The downturn is most likely a result of many factors... some of which are out of SETI@Home control. However, complaining about lack of computing power but not being able to distribute enough work to keep up with demand is dishonest to SETI volunteers.


I don't know about "dishonest", disingenuous maybe, but not dishonest.
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Message 886796 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 21:50:29 UTC - in response to Message 885910.

From what I've seen over at Anandtech, we've lost many over the past year because of work outages. People start crunching other projects for a few days and it's no big deal, but when it drags out into 10+ days they go away for good. We have one team member who has literally dropped 20,000 pts/day. His total boinc output is the same, he's just shifted a lot of his rigs to other projects.
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Message 886799 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 22:06:33 UTC - in response to Message 886732.

Sorry, guys. I have to say this. I don't think the exodus of users has anything to do with the recession. I think it started with the week of the clogged data pipe and went off the cliff the week of the lost database boot drive. All the annoying "SETI has no work" messages I've been seeing more than occasionally over the past two or three weeks haven't helped either. My first inclination was to cache a week's worth of data (by the way, boinc calculates this incorrectly, always assuming you only have one CPU, instead of 2 or 4) but the clogged data pipe occasionally caused a client detached situation, which caused me to lose a bunch of credit. (Yes, I crunch for the credit). These types of outages in corporateland would have the CIO breathing fire down your neck.


Hmmm... Just a few echoing thoughts about the scale of the problem. Boinc loses about 30,000 active users (~ 10% of Boinc) and Seti@home loses 40,000 (~22% of Seti). Do 40,0000 users really pay attention to the set-and-forget boinc? I think that the recession and lay-off situation accounts for most of these. Pcs are turned off and junked. Then there are the other 10,000 users (~5-6%) who have moved on to other projects: WCG gets 2,500 of them. It is these users who, for the various reasons reasons posted here, have moved on. Is 5-6% of the users a reasonable estimation of credit hounds or of those who are flexible in their project choice?

So, as far as Matt's original post, I'll side with him.

Also all the talk about camping and hiking trips and music gigs and concentrating on incidentals instead of fixing the outage problems and preventing their ocurrence are being construed by many as a lack of caring about the project, and if the project doesn't care, then why should we?


Certainly not being construed as such by me.

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Message 886800 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 22:12:12 UTC

I tend to think that Astropulse has a lot to do with the smaller crunchers quitting. The number of AP units I get which have been sent out 4 or 5 times is at least 30% of my total and probably 95% of the abandoned units are from P4's or lower.

These slower machines can take up to 10 days of crunching time to complete an AP unit. I can understand someone looking at their machine, seeing that the Completion Time figure is hardly moving and assuming that the unit has locked up or, just getting cheesed off with the time it's taking and aborting the unit. After a couple of these long units they think "stuff it, I'm not achieving anything" and switch off altogether.

I also get the feeling that apart from a select few, we are not held in very high regard by the project administrators, probably at the level of lab rats. They appear to act in a very high handed way toward their minions, a "crunch what we give, take it or leave it" attitude. Unfortunately quite a few have chosen to leave it. The major examples of this are the introduction of Astropulse, which should have been an "Opt In" project instead of an "Opt Out", and the entire CUDA debacle. CUDA, although it has been stabilised to a large degree still has major problems. The only reason it has improved to the state it has is because of the volunteer, 3rd party efforts of Raistmer and the other Lunatics. SAH admin has been very quiet on the matter, almost in denial that there ever were problems. A couple of buggy clients from BOINC Central and continuing server problems hasn't helped much either. (Question, Where DOES that money we donate go ? Most of us donate believing the money will be used to help solve these problems, but things are getting worse, not better.)

I'll probably get toasted for saying this but you only have to read the forums to see I'm not the only one feeling this way. As any admin of an organisation that depends on volunteers will tell you, if you get too arrogant and start taking your volunteers for granted they will vote with their feet. It's evident that quite a few have voted.

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Message 886813 - Posted: 20 Apr 2009, 23:06:41 UTC - in response to Message 886800.

I tend to think that Astropulse has a lot to do with the smaller crunchers quitting. The number of AP units I get which have been sent out 4 or 5 times is at least 30% of my total and probably 95% of the abandoned units are from P4's or lower.

These slower machines can take up to 10 days of crunching time to complete an AP unit. I can understand someone looking at their machine, seeing that the Completion Time figure is hardly moving and assuming that the unit has locked up or, just getting cheesed off with the time it's taking and aborting the unit. After a couple of these long units they think "stuff it, I'm not achieving anything" and switch off altogether.

I also get the feeling that apart from a select few, we are not held in very high regard by the project administrators, probably at the level of lab rats. They appear to act in a very high handed way toward their minions, a "crunch what we give, take it or leave it" attitude. Unfortunately quite a few have chosen to leave it. The major examples of this are the introduction of Astropulse, which should have been an "Opt In" project instead of an "Opt Out", and the entire CUDA debacle. CUDA, although it has been stabilised to a large degree still has major problems. The only reason it has improved to the state it has is because of the volunteer, 3rd party efforts of Raistmer and the other Lunatics. SAH admin has been very quiet on the matter, almost in denial that there ever were problems. A couple of buggy clients from BOINC Central and continuing server problems hasn't helped much either. (Question, Where DOES that money we donate go ? Most of us donate believing the money will be used to help solve these problems, but things are getting worse, not better.)

I'll probably get toasted for saying this but you only have to read the forums to see I'm not the only one feeling this way. As any admin of an organisation that depends on volunteers will tell you, if you get too arrogant and start taking your volunteers for granted they will vote with their feet. It's evident that quite a few have voted.

Brodo

I've seen a lot of people saying that the project doesn't treat the crunchers with any respect, but I've seen no interaction between SETI@Home personnel and SETI@Home crunchers that suggests that it's true.

... and in my humble opinion, we're talking about a project that is trying to cover hardware, facilities, bandwidth and (four??) salaries out of $117,000/year in donations?

I'd expect things to change dramatically if SETI got a nice big donation that would cover all new servers (and bigger ones) and a couple more people, but I don't see how on $117,000.

I think we also need to keep in mind that SETI@Home is the flagship BOINC project -- and that BOINC is supposed to make it possible to do really big science on a shoestring budget. They certainly are walking the walk and talking the talk.

I think we tend to lack perspective.

I do think it'd be a good idea for SETI@Home to recruit someone from the Sociology department to "man" the forums and work on their PR. I think we represent a tremendous opportunity for someone who has to write a doctoral dissertation.
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Message 886829 - Posted: 21 Apr 2009, 0:15:53 UTC - in response to Message 885910.

Slow steady progress since the last tech news item. The science database continues to be massaged into shape from the past month of nastiness. It's working, but some indexes are still missing, and some queries are taking longer than we'd like. Sometime, probably next week, I'll turn the science status page updates back on - until then the numbers are old and/or flat out wrong.

We're narrowing down the cause of our data recorder woes to either the SATA card or the system itself. We're trying the former first. A new one is on order and we'll have to get it configured remotely (which is a lot easier than configuring a whole new system remotely).

We're also finding that we don't have the processing power we'd like. It seems like we lost a lot of active users over the past few months. I blame the recession. You could also blame Astropulse, I guess. In any case, we need more people. We're hoping the 10th anniversary buzz will help. And speaking of that, Jeff and I are putting all focus on the NTPCkr, just so we have something fun/new/interesting to present in time for any p.r. blitz. That means very little effort in systems/upgrades/etc. for the next 5-6 weeks. Simply don't have the time/manpower.

Sorry about the lull in tech news items. I was on vacation visiting 23 relatives. Many are under 5 years old, which meant a lot of them have colds, which meant I got sick immediately upon my return, earlier in the week.

- Matt

I admit that I have pulled a few computers from S@H because they could not do AP work within deadline. A major increase in the AP deadline would have solved the problem.
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Message 886838 - Posted: 21 Apr 2009, 1:12:06 UTC

( Excuse me for the texte in french, but, i'm not able to translate that correctly )

En 1999, comme de nombreuses personnes, j'ai installé S@H comme "ScreenSaver" et il a fonctionné ainsi pendant plusieurs années en arriere-plan.

Aujourdhui, pour plusieurs raisons, de nombreuses personnes ont acheté ou construit des "Supers Calculateurs" uniquement dédiés à BOINC.

Un temps, ces personnes ont calculé pour SETI et SETI en a profité.
Aujourdhui, SETI a quelques problemes et ces personnes, qui ne supportent pas d'attendre, vont sur d'autres projets.

ce n'est pas un probleme !! Laissez les faire !!

Je suppose que l'equipe de SETI connait le nombre moyen d'utilisateurs sur lesquels elle peut compter.

PS: sur mes ordinateurs, SETI fonctionne toujours comme screensaver en arriere plan et les problemes de SETI ne m'ont pas dérangé. Mon RAC a un peu baissé car j'étais en vacances !!

Si quelqu'un veut bien traduire ce texte, je l'en remercie.

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