Eric Are you out there or anyone from Seti?


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Message 971670 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 15:40:54 UTC

I am curious if anyone from Actual Seti ever even looks in this Forum? I would hope someone would check in at least once a day but lately I really doubt it. If one person spent say 10 minutes a day keeping people informed I can't see how that would be such a huge expense. It would do a lot to shore up the faith of the individual volunteers that wonder just like me.
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Message 971683 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 16:15:22 UTC
Last modified: 19 Feb 2010, 16:16:09 UTC

Hiamps, your concern would be valid if SETI was desperately short of volunteers, and needed to stop people leaving and/or start new people signing up.

I think that this is actually quite low on their list of Things to Do Right Now. Especially if (as it seems) there are some other problems demanding their attention.

I share your frustration at the lack of information in real time, but I have worked on enough large complex projects to know that you have to prioritize your scarce resources - people in this case. As long as there are volunteers like you and me who stay attached through these panics (and I suspect that the majority of SETI crunchers probably don't know these outages and slow downs even occur) SETI staff will spend times on other more important things.

Like getting the servers communicating again, for example.

And before anybody suggests we unionize and withdraw our services until we are properly tended to, ask your self what percentage of SETI's crunching power even reads these Forums. We would all look pretty dumb if we all quit and nobody noticed.
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Message 971688 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 16:26:58 UTC - in response to Message 971683.
Last modified: 19 Feb 2010, 16:27:26 UTC

Hiamps, your concern would be valid if SETI was desperately short of volunteers, and needed to stop people leaving and/or start new people signing up.

I think that this is actually quite low on their list of Things to Do Right Now. Especially if (as it seems) there are some other problems demanding their attention.

I share your frustration at the lack of information in real time, but I have worked on enough large complex projects to know that you have to prioritize your scarce resources - people in this case. As long as there are volunteers like you and me who stay attached through these panics (and I suspect that the majority of SETI crunchers probably don't know these outages and slow downs even occur) SETI staff will spend times on other more important things.

Like getting the servers communicating again, for example.

And before anybody suggests we unionize and withdraw our services until we are properly tended to, ask your self what percentage of SETI's crunching power even reads these Forums. We would all look pretty dumb if we all quit and nobody noticed.

I am not as frustated as merely curious? Seriously I wonder if anyone from Seti reads this forum very often at all? Since most that I have seen run lots of other projects this forum would be there best source to see if there is a problem, not their machines....Graphs obviously don't seem to let them know.
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Message 971705 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 16:56:18 UTC - in response to Message 971670.

I am curious if anyone from Actual Seti ever even looks in this Forum? I would hope someone would check in at least once a day but lately I really doubt it. If one person spent say 10 minutes a day keeping people informed I can't see how that would be such a huge expense. It would do a lot to shore up the faith of the individual volunteers that wonder just like me.

Sometimes taking 10 minutes to do something else when you are deep in though about what you are working on is the worse thing you can do.
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Message 971707 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 16:57:34 UTC - in response to Message 971688.

While they don't post in here very often if at all, they are pretty much kept in the loop as to what we are talking about. There are some in here who are in direct contact and pass on any really urgent things that come up in here.

They know it annoys us that we aren't hearing from them but I, for one, would much rather have them all pulling their hair out trying to get this fixed than in here holding our hands. Once they get us up and running again they will let us know what broke and how they fixed it.
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Message 971712 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:06:33 UTC - in response to Message 971705.

I am curious if anyone from Actual Seti ever even looks in this Forum? I would hope someone would check in at least once a day but lately I really doubt it. If one person spent say 10 minutes a day keeping people informed I can't see how that would be such a huge expense. It would do a lot to shore up the faith of the individual volunteers that wonder just like me.

Sometimes taking 10 minutes to do something else when you are deep in though about what you are working on is the worse thing you can do.

Actually I have found that taking 10 minutes when faced with a problem can sometimes bring a refreshed view to the situation. And talking about it even with someone that doesn't understand the problem can also bring fresh ideas....
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Message 971715 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:07:37 UTC - in response to Message 971707.

While they don't post in here very often if at all, they are pretty much kept in the loop as to what we are talking about. There are some in here who are in direct contact and pass on any really urgent things that come up in here.

They know it annoys us that we aren't hearing from them but I, for one, would much rather have them all pulling their hair out trying to get this fixed than in here holding our hands. Once they get us up and running again they will let us know what broke and how they fixed it.

It would take a lot to say" Hey we know and are working on it...."
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Message 971721 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:17:14 UTC - in response to Message 971707.

There are some in here who are in direct contact and pass on any really urgent things that come up in here.

So I believe: it tends to be called 'back-channel' communication.

One of the best-known (and most useful) exponents of the art is Pappa, but he hasn't posted here since 18 Feb 2010 4:51:51 UTC - over 36 hours ago.

Which begs the question: why aren't the back channels bi-directional?

I just want one bit of information from the project: "We're on it."

I don't want a continuing running commentary - tried this wire, that switch, the other configuration option: that's the time-waster.

But: Problem? ACK.

is quick and easy to do, and can come through any channel - provided it's authoritative.

And until I see that ACK, and can trust its source, I continue to have a nagging doubt that the project is even aware there is a problem. As I was discussing with Ned yesterday, Matt still seemed to be in "it'll blow over of its own accord if we give it time" mode last time he posted: he's said that before, and been proved wrong, and I fear he may be wrong again this time.

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Message 971723 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:19:58 UTC - in response to Message 971721.


I just want one bit of information from the project: "We're on it."


Looking at recent changes in Cricket, and the fact that I finally started uploading and downloading last night, somebody must be "on it".


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Message 971726 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:25:23 UTC - in response to Message 971712.

I am curious if anyone from Actual Seti ever even looks in this Forum? I would hope someone would check in at least once a day but lately I really doubt it. If one person spent say 10 minutes a day keeping people informed I can't see how that would be such a huge expense. It would do a lot to shore up the faith of the individual volunteers that wonder just like me.

Sometimes taking 10 minutes to do something else when you are deep in though about what you are working on is the worse thing you can do.

Actually I have found that taking 10 minutes when faced with a problem can sometimes bring a refreshed view to the situation. And talking about it even with someone that doesn't understand the problem can also bring fresh ideas....

Yeah it can go either way. Personaly if I get intrupted when digging around in some code trying to fix a problem I'm no good for some time after that.
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Message 971730 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:28:20 UTC - in response to Message 971715.

It would take a lot to say" Hey we know and are working on it...."

The problem with that is that people will then expect/demand updates. Every hour or so. Sometimes it's best to ignore the users.
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Message 971736 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:36:53 UTC - in response to Message 971730.

It would take a lot to say" Hey we know and are working on it...."

The problem with that is that people will then expect/demand updates. Every hour or so. Sometimes it's best to ignore the users.

Maybe jsut have an machine that watches the forums. When a lot of complaints crop up automaticly make a post. "Something seems to be wrong we are working on it."
That might cut down on the 20 redundent complains an hour stating something is wrong. Then again just turing off the forums would also provide a solution.
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Message 971737 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:38:41 UTC


Yeah it can go either way. Personaly if I get intrupted when digging around in some code trying to fix a problem I'm no good for some time after that.


I'm like that even trying to read these boards. If someone asks me something when I'm in mid sentence I have to go back and reread the whole paragraph to figure out where I was. As I said, I'm more than happy to wait for them to get it fixed then tell us what happened. I'm sure by this time they are well aware it is Berked and are hard at work getting it fixed.
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Message 971739 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:42:23 UTC
Last modified: 19 Feb 2010, 17:42:57 UTC

Well since the problem is in it will clear itself mode, I am doing my best to help clear the jam. Am working at home today and will keep hitting my buttons until I get Carpel Tunnel, maybe that will clear it up. 1 minute wait is as long as I will accept! In last hour have gone from 185 ready to report to 323 ready and that is all in the time it wanted to wait. Having over 1000 pending is really messing with my machine and I want it back.
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Message 971743 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:46:09 UTC - in response to Message 971739.

Well since the problem is in it will clear itself mode, I am doing my best to help clear the jam. Am working at home today and will keep hitting my buttons until I get Carpel Tunnel, maybe that will clear it up. 1 minute wait is as long as I will accept! In last hour have gone from 185 ready to report to 323 ready and that is all in the time it wanted to wait. Having over 1000 pending is really messing with my machine and I want it back.

You need a macro application.
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Message 971745 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:50:49 UTC - in response to Message 971721.

And until I see that ACK, and can trust its source, I continue to have a nagging doubt that the project is even aware there is a problem. As I was discussing with Ned yesterday, Matt still seemed to be in "it'll blow over of its own accord if we give it time" mode last time he posted: he's said that before, and been proved wrong, and I fear he may be wrong again this time.

I don't think that's the right characterization.

I've been in similar situations, on the "Matt" side of things....

We have a bunch of pretty keen observers here. We see some of the metrics (like the cricket graphs) that Matt sees.

So, they do whatever they do, they fix what they can find broken, they look at logs to see if transactions are being completed, and then they have to wait to see the trends.

... and when the trends start to look good, we'll probably notice before Matt does.

I personally believe that the problem is fixed, and we're just waiting for the load to drop to the point that most connection attempts fail.
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Message 971750 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 17:56:01 UTC - in response to Message 971736.

Maybe jsut have an machine that watches the forums. When a lot of complaints crop up automaticly make a post.


LOL. "Your call is really important to us, but all our operators are busy right now." That always makes me feel better.
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Message 971762 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 18:13:19 UTC - in response to Message 971745.

So, they do whatever they do, they fix what they can find broken, they look at logs to see if transactions are being completed, and then they have to wait to see the trends.

And that's where I think we have a problem. Transactions are going through: they'll show up in the logs. The Server Status Page shows 27,073 results received in last hour. Superficially, that sounds healthy - just a little on the low side (long term average ~45K - 50K). And well below the levels that we know the system is capable of sustaining - fully end-to-end - during usually busy persiods such as post-maintenance recovery.

I personally believe that the problem is fixed, and we're just waiting for the load to drop to the point that most connection attempts fail.

And that's where we must agree to disagree. I'm monitoring, and I'm not seeing any sign of systemic end-to-end performance even beginning to return to normal levels. It still feels as if some component is causing a bottleneck, and the sort of bottleneck which will need active intervention to cure, not just the passage of time.

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Message 971770 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 18:29:50 UTC

What is the master file? It seems to have no problems have seen this go thru quite a bit...

2/19/2010 10:28:34 AM SETI@home Master file download succeeded

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Message 971781 - Posted: 19 Feb 2010, 18:40:28 UTC - in response to Message 971770.
Last modified: 19 Feb 2010, 18:43:30 UTC

What is the master file? It seems to have no problems have seen this go thru quite a bit...

2/19/2010 10:28:34 AM SETI@home Master file download succeeded

I think it's just the SETI homepage. It contains (as the homepage of every project does) the line
<scheduler>http://setiboinc.ssl.berkeley.edu/sah_cgi/cgi</scheduler>
which corresponds to the Message line just above the one you posted:
19/02/2010 18:29:11|SETI@home|[sched_op_debug] Found 1 scheduler URLs in master file

Gruß,
Gundolf
[edit]You'll have to use the "show source code" menu command of the browser to see the scheduler URL.[/edit]
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