Run BOINC when the screen saver is enabled


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Questions and Answers : Wish list : Run BOINC when the screen saver is enabled

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Rothrock
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Message 900986 - Posted: 29 May 2009, 15:51:41 UTC

I've set my preferences for BOINC to run my SETI assignments after 1 minute of idle time. But sometimes I just want to see the screen saver and I use the hot corner to invoke it.

I get a message that BOINC is paused and I have to watch the icon float for 1 minute until my machine has been idle for that long. Then the screen saver kicks in.

It seems like it should be idle for 1 minute or until the screensaver says, do it now! :)

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Message 901021 - Posted: 29 May 2009, 16:46:40 UTC

That sounds like what its doing. Is there a question? Do you have a lot of CPU intensive work going on? theres really no need to pause BOINC while your computer is in use. BOINC only runs on spare CPU cycles. IF your CPU is busy boinc backs off.
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Message 901168 - Posted: 29 May 2009, 22:54:40 UTC

Hmmm. I don't know if I want to have BOINC running all the time, maybe I'll try changing it to zero and see if I have any problems. But I kind of feel like I would still prefer to have a little grace period where all the resources are for me.

My point is that when I invoke the screensaver I don't think BOINC should have to wait 1 minute (or however long I've set the delay for BOINC to know that I'm not busy.) to start. If I've set my screen saver to BOINC and I take an action to start the screen saver I'm say, "Hey I'm not busy, start now."

In other words the two shouldn't have anything to do with each other. It should be, "Hey, BOINC, you have two ways to know that I'm not busy. One is if I don't move the mouse or type for X minutes. The other is that I've started the screen saver."

But that isn't how it currently works. That is why I'm suggesting it in the wish list. At least not on my machine, if it is supposed to be different please let me know how I can make it do what I want.

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Message 901316 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 4:00:07 UTC

if you want the graphics then just click on "show graphics" on your boinc manager when you have the seti project highlighted. the screensaver is acting just like it should. Its waiting the 1 minute you require the system to be idle before it starts.

Show Graphics does just, it shows you the graphics
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Message 901329 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 4:26:56 UTC

Show graphics is grayed out. I'm guessing because I need to wait for one minute for BOINC to realize that I'm not active. But then once BOINC starts the button is active. Of course as soon as I click the button, BOINC thinks I'm active and suspends all activity. So that really isn't a solution.

Maybe the screen saver is acting as it should, and perhaps as you think it should. I'm really just trying to add a feature request/wish list. The whole point of having a place to ask for features is that maybe sometimes the way things work isn't the best and doesn't make sense to somebody else.

I want a button that says, "I'm done, start now. Hey I know I told you to wait X minutes, but I really am smarter than a computer and I know that I want you to start now. So, start now." Why is that such a difficult thing to be asking for?

Or is this forum not to make suggestions?

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Message 901453 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 7:58:44 UTC - in response to Message 901329.
Last modified: 30 May 2009, 8:10:13 UTC

Show graphics is grayed out. I'm guessing because I need to wait for one minute for BOINC to realize that I'm not active. But then once BOINC starts the button is active. Of course as soon as I click the button, BOINC thinks I'm active and suspends all activity. So that really isn't a solution.

Maybe the screen saver is acting as it should, and perhaps as you think it should. I'm really just trying to add a feature request/wish list. The whole point of having a place to ask for features is that maybe sometimes the way things work isn't the best and doesn't make sense to somebody else.

I want a button that says, "I'm done, start now. Hey I know I told you to wait X minutes, but I really am smarter than a computer and I know that I want you to start now. So, start now." Why is that such a difficult thing to be asking for?

Or is this forum not to make suggestions?

This forum is for suggestions, but the dev rarely have time to read them. :(

You will find that most of users that are active in the forums don't use the screensaver (a waste of CPU cycles)

You have to select a running WU to activate the 'Show Graphic' button. If you have your preference set to stop Boinc when user is active it can't work since the project isn't running.

Suggestion: Boinc projects run at low priority so most modern computers have no problem having it always running in background.
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Message 901547 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 15:54:55 UTC - in response to Message 901168.

BOINC isn't a screen saver. It's a project management program with screen saver functions. And then it'll only show a project screen saver when the project has a graphics application, else it'll show the default BOINC screen saver.

But that doesn't make BOINC a screen saver. The screen saver doesn't start the client either, not on Windows at least. It does on the Macintosh. So get a Mac. ;-)
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Message 901640 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 18:58:35 UTC

I do have a Mac. And in my system preferences for screen saver there is something called BOINC. I'm going to say that BOINC screen saver is a screen saver. I am a fairly sophisticated person and understand that the screen saver is actually just a graphical representation of what is going on behind the scenes, but it whatever else it is, it is also a screen saver.

But despite the technical semantics of whether the thing called BOINC screensaver is or isn't a screen saver and despite whether or not things run in low priority mode or not. And whether or not I have a delay or have set 80% of my processors or any of this...

Forget the screensaver for a moment. ALL I WANT is a button that says, "START RUNNING BOINC NOW!"

I'm sorry to shout, but everybody really seems dead set against this and is really pushing back on something that I really find to be a no brainer. I'm sure you all mean to be helpful, but it isn't coming across like that.

Of course if you run BOINC all the time I guess a Start Now button wouldn't really be needed, but allow just for a moment that some people don't want to run it all the time. In that case a Start Now button would be great. And if that Start Now button could be combined with the screen saver functionality, so much the better.

I really don't think this is a left field kind of request.

I'm still new to this and for a little while, at least, I like to see the screen saver to remind me of what is going on and watch it process. It gives me a tangible reminder of being part of this giant project. I would really like a button so that when I'm done with my work I can say, "I'm done, start the BOINC, let me watch it for a minute and leave my computer feeling good about the donated cycles."

I only have the screen saver run for two minutes and then it goes dark and I'm not wasting cycles any more. Hey, give a newbie two minutes of wasted cycles just to enjoy it?


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Message 901727 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 20:47:59 UTC - in response to Message 901640.
Last modified: 30 May 2009, 20:50:57 UTC

Forget the screensaver for a moment. ALL I WANT is a button that says, "START RUNNING BOINC NOW!"

In a round-about way that button is already available.

When you're running on web-preferences, open BOINC Manager->Advanced view->Advanced->Preferences, make sure that "While computer is in use" is checked under the Processor usage tab, click OK.

That will immediately override the web-based preferences and start running BOINC even while your computer is in use.

Want to go back to the web-based preferences?
BOINC Manager->Advanced view->Advanced->Preferences->Clear.

(Nitpicker: It's not so much "start running BOINC now!" as Boinc is already running even if it is waiting for you to stop using the keyboard/mouse... you may ask for a "Do science now!" button. ;-))
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Message 901748 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 21:14:08 UTC - in response to Message 901727.
Last modified: 30 May 2009, 21:15:06 UTC

That may be one way around the problem, Jord, but I have to admit its not very intuitive. Perhaps it wouldn't be too hard to add an option to the pop-up action menu to the BOINC icon in the system tray (for us Windows people) that allows the user to start the screen saver immediately, just like the "Preview" button does in your screen saver properties (again, for us Windows people). I'm sure this could be implemented OS-independent so that it would work for Macs and Linux as well.
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Message 902171 - Posted: 31 May 2009, 20:53:39 UTC - in response to Message 901727.

Jord - Thanks for the idea. Also the only problem with clicking that checkbox is that then becomes your preference for the future.

Here is how I would like to use it. I'm done using the computer in the morning before I go to work. For that little thrill of, "Now I'm off to work and my machine is going to do nothing but compute spectra for 8+ hours, I'm going to start computing now. I can watch it for a 20 seconds before I head out the door. A minute after I head out the door the screen saver will go dark and stop wasting cycles, but for 20 seconds I get a visual reminder. Cool!" But of course when I get home at the end of the day when I get home I will forget that I have changed my preferences. And for whatever reason I really don't want BOINC computing while I'm working.

I like the name, "Do Science Now" much better for the button. :)

OzzFan - Thanks for the validation. It just seemed like a good idea for something that was missing to me. Maybe it'll never be accomplished, but I finally feel like somebody else has heard my idea and didn't think it sucked.

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Message 902192 - Posted: 31 May 2009, 21:59:07 UTC - in response to Message 902171.

Jord - Thanks for the idea. Also the only problem with clicking that checkbox is that then becomes your preference for the future.

Only for that long a time until you go by the local preferences again and click Clear. Clicking Clear will immediately delete the local preferences and throw you back to web-preferences.
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Questions and Answers : Wish list : Run BOINC when the screen saver is enabled

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