End of April Report (Apr 29 2010)


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Profile Matt Lebofsky
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Message 992785 - Posted: 29 Apr 2010, 21:01:37 UTC

Okay it's been a while and nobody else is chiming in so here are some general random updates. Sorry these are so few and far between. Not my fault.

We did successfully, finally, split the informix databases up. Instead of both redundantly housing SETI@home and Astropulse, one is specifically running SETI@home, and the other Astropulse. We lost our redundancy, but we back these systems up weekly and in a pinch can always regenerate lost data by splitting it again and sending it out to y'all. What we gained was a massive amount of i/o. Actually more like the Astropulse i/o isn't clobbering normal SETI@home day-to-day operations anymore. Like all things, this procedure took far longer than expected - mostly due to one of the SETI@home tables being strangely hard to drop off the one server that no longer needed it - something about a user-defined type in that table causing informix to crash when the deletes were done en masse.

There are still the usual set of other systems projects or problems waiting for our time and attention. Our master mysql server, mork, has been stable but may reboot itself unexpected at any point. Luckily when this happens recovery has been short and painless. We'd replace this system, but need another system with similar drive space and cpus and 64GB RAM which we don't have. Even worse is our main file server (which, among other things, houses our web site and home accounts) is slow and also prone to unwarranted random crashes. Some systems still need an OS upgrade. I also want to rebuild the RAID on thumper...

In brighter news, the gigabit link project got a kick in the right direction. Short story: turns out the whole lab wants a gbit connection to campus and suddenly has some discretionary funds for this. So we might partially piggy-back on that bandwidth. Anyway, the increased-bandwidth patient still has a pulse. Of course, we haven't really our own 100Mbit ceiling too much lately, so this is hardly an emergency at the moment.

Also... our data drive bay down at Arecibo was broken. We finally shipped them our bay working here at Berkeley just so they could continue to collect data, but that meant we could read new disks, only process data already on disk (or in our archives, i.e. old stuff that had yet to be properly processed). Anyway, we got the broken bay sent up here last week and Jeff found it was just a bent pin in the cable that connects to the power supply, so we have two functioning bays again in the two separate locations, and are reading newer data off drives for the first time in a while.

Other than that (and the usual set of minor tweaks and crashes that require a few minutes here and there) we've been running fairly well in a steady state. Dan continues to mostly work on CASPER stuff. Dave is working entirely on BOINC development. Jeff and Bob are manning the general data pipeline. Jeff and Eric are working on NTPCkr stuff - mostly RFI analysis/excision and candidate rescoring. While I seem to be part of all projects around here (like everybody) I've been forcing myself away from systems stuff except as needed - another reason why I've had little motivation to write tech news reports.

I've been mostly working on data quality stuff - one program that injects fake signals into raw data to test various parts of our blanking/analysis suite, and a bunch of other programs to test basic data integrity. Stuff that should have been done years ago, but better late than never. In short, the results are pretty much all good, but there are several database corrections of varying magnitude which need to be carried about before we can truly reduce the data even more. Stuff like pointing corrections, or general rescoring.

The basic game plan, as it has been, is to rally behind the NTPCkr suite once the RFI/scoring stuff is working and the science database can handle the full analysis load in earnest. If you're frustrated by lack of advancement on this front, maybe it'll help to think of all the previous NTPCkr pieces made public part of a "proof of concept beta test." We do hope to have this rolling, complete with volunteer analysis and input, sooner than later. It's funny the SETI institute is working on their own volunteer analysis project. Basically just another thing that gets the public confused about who actually manages SETI@home. Anyway, you know how little labor resources we have, so we do what we can.

By the way, that NASA balloon project that crashed and burned this morning involved the great efforts by several of our lab mates here at Berkeley. Many years of planning/production lost in an instant. Total bummer.

- Matt

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Message 992792 - Posted: 29 Apr 2010, 21:45:11 UTC - in response to Message 992785.

Hi Matt,
Great to see you back and posting even if it is only a one off until someone else gets conned.....uhh, volunteers to keep us informed. Just a note, one of the servers are having download problems again, I think it's Vader but I'm not sure. I guess the right person already knows that but worth a mention.
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Message 992793 - Posted: 29 Apr 2010, 21:46:12 UTC

Thanks for ANY update.

Too bad about the balloon going up and the payload going down. Who didn't put in the cotter pin?


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Message 992795 - Posted: 29 Apr 2010, 21:52:42 UTC


Matt, thanks for update!

Just a note..
DL server 'http://208.68.240.18' is online.
DL server 'http://208.68.240.13' is since a few days not available.


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Profile Matt Lebofsky
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Message 992796 - Posted: 29 Apr 2010, 21:59:35 UTC - in response to Message 992795.

Try the download servers again... I think I just fixed it.

- Matt
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Message 992797 - Posted: 29 Apr 2010, 22:02:14 UTC - in response to Message 992796.


Many thanks!

The last few days we could read a lot of messages because of not possible DL.


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Message 992807 - Posted: 29 Apr 2010, 22:48:14 UTC

Hello Matt.

Welcome back. You were sorely missed. Eric did an admirable job in your absence.

Thanks for the detailed update. I am certain we will see its effect shortly. I do look forward to that. My "rac" is in the basement.

Again, welcome back.

ront
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Message 992809 - Posted: 29 Apr 2010, 22:57:57 UTC

Thanks for the update's Matt.

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Message 992835 - Posted: 30 Apr 2010, 3:09:46 UTC - in response to Message 992785.

Matt


Missed having some idea what is going on. Whoever is assigned ought to realize how important keeping us informed is.

I appreciate your comments and efforts.


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Message 992847 - Posted: 30 Apr 2010, 4:40:19 UTC

Thanks for the news Matt.

I see your band has a new guitar player. Probably works for cat food only!

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Message 992861 - Posted: 30 Apr 2010, 7:33:24 UTC

Matt........

Thank you so much for the informational update.

I am sure I am joined by many others in saying that I miss your daily updates dearly. But I do understand it can get tedious after awhile.

Please do continue to chime in when you feel it is not a bother.

Your info has been missed.

Meow meow.
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Message 992898 - Posted: 30 Apr 2010, 11:24:49 UTC

Thank you for this information and everything that you and the team are doing to keep us inform and stocked up with WU's
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Message 992908 - Posted: 30 Apr 2010, 13:10:34 UTC - in response to Message 992785.

It's funny the SETI institute is working on their own volunteer analysis project. Basically just another thing that gets the public confused about who actually manages SETI@home. Anyway, you know how little labor resources we have, so we do what we can.
- Matt

This is the point I have tried to clarify, without offending any one, in the SETI@home in the news thread of SETI@Home Science Section but I was silenced because it looks like I am too old to treat this subject. Maybe you can have more luck.
Tullio
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Message 992910 - Posted: 30 Apr 2010, 13:26:41 UTC

By the way, that NASA balloon project that crashed and burned this morning involved the great efforts by several of our lab mates here at Berkeley. Many years of planning/production lost in an instant. Total bummer.


I hadn't realised the outcome of that had hit quite so close to home. I am sure everyone here sends their kindest regards to them.

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Message 992978 - Posted: 30 Apr 2010, 17:25:40 UTC

Thanks for the note. I know it's hard to do your work, plus juggle sysop emergencies AND write diary entries as well. Know that it is appreciated by those of us toiling away in the background. Don't underestimate it's importance. This project has more of a TEAM feel than any other I've worked on, because you keep us in the loop.

Don Hiebert

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Message 993060 - Posted: 30 Apr 2010, 21:48:20 UTC

THANKS!!
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Message 993163 - Posted: 1 May 2010, 5:42:06 UTC

Thanks, Matt, for the update. You are missed.
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Message 993590 - Posted: 2 May 2010, 18:55:14 UTC

Matt...
Thanks for the great update. You've been sorely missed.
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I'm just slowly BOINC'ing along.

Hey... ET... you have a sister who likes earthlings?

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Message 993858 - Posted: 3 May 2010, 19:45:04 UTC


SETI@home crew, just a note..

No new work available.


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Message 993865 - Posted: 3 May 2010, 20:03:34 UTC - in response to Message 993858.
Last modified: 3 May 2010, 20:04:02 UTC


No new work available.

... although there are still some tapes/channels not splitted. Whatever the splitters are doing (they are "running"), it's not what they are supposed to do.
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