Old computers - What to do with them...

Questions and Answers : Wish list : Old computers - What to do with them...

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Profile Jonni Jones

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Message 996189 - Posted: 14 May 2010, 15:40:56 UTC

I saw Best Buy's ad on TV offering to take your old computer and get rid of it. Why doesn't SETI market the idea of using your old laptop as a dedicated Seti computer? Think of all the computers out there that could be in use. If the marketing was done right (PBS, SYFY, etc.) there could be a whole lot of data put to work.
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Profile Hammeh
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Message 996192 - Posted: 14 May 2010, 15:58:14 UTC

The problem is that many old computers do not have the hardware to enable them to process tasks in time to meet the work unit deadlines set by the project. Therefore, it may turn out to be a waste of computing time and energy.
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John McLeod VII
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Message 996246 - Posted: 14 May 2010, 20:38:18 UTC - in response to Message 996192.  

Actually, you have to go back a long way to find computers taht cannot complete on time. I am not certain what the current minimum is, but not too long ago there was someone using a 66MHz 486 successfully.


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David Killawee

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Message 996899 - Posted: 18 May 2010, 6:12:05 UTC - in response to Message 996246.  

Another problem with using older computers is electrical waste. Computer have gotten faster and more powerful, but in a lot of cases the electrical requirements have not changed much. So using and older computer can use the same amount of electricity as a current computer but end up processing less data. If you want to dedicate a computer to this project then I would suggest using a current computer with as many of the OS extras as possible turned off, and do not use Safe Mode on Windows systems. You may think that you are simply reducing the load on the proccesor by using Safe Mode - You are, but you may also be preventing software needed to support certain hardware features from loading, so Safe Mode could actually result in slower processing. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to make sure the computer has a carload of memory to reduce pagefile swaps, and have no other programs running except a virus checker .

David Killawee
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Message 996901 - Posted: 18 May 2010, 6:40:26 UTC - in response to Message 996899.  

You are, but you may also be preventing software needed to support certain hardware features from loading

Talking about that, BOINC and the science applications running under it need updated Windows versions as else your computer may produce errors abound. This means that you'll have to update your Windows once in a while, to make sure it has the latest updates, service packs, certificates and such little things.

For example, XP Service Pack 3 has been available since May 6 2008. You only have Service Pack 2. What's your excuse? :P
Jord

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Questions and Answers : Wish list : Old computers - What to do with them...


 
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