Posts by Mentor397

1) Message boards : News : Arecibo still threatened with closure. (Message 1796481)
Posted 16 Jun 2016 by Profile Mentor397
I'm not sure how much it will help, but I wrote an editorial for the local paper on this. Good luck.
2) Message boards : News : Database Rebuild Status update. (Message 1608020)
Posted 2 Dec 2014 by Profile Mentor397
Thanks for all your hard work.

- Jim
3) Message boards : Number crunching : My Apologies. (Message 1506367)
Posted 20 Apr 2014 by Profile Mentor397
The work units haven't "gone for ever", only the copies sent to you as tasks have gone. The work units will be copied again and sent on to someone else.
Bob Smith
Member of Seti PIPPS (Pluto is a Planet Protest Society)
Somewhere in the (un)known Universe?

Indeed, but they're gone for me. Anyone waiting for me will have to wait longer.

- Jim
4) Message boards : Number crunching : My Apologies. (Message 1506167)
Posted 19 Apr 2014 by Profile Mentor397
I wanted to apologize to everyone who was/is waiting for work from me. Suffered a complete hard drive failure and had to wait to order a new hard drive and then restore what I could from it. I'm back up now, but I'm afraid those workunits are gone forever.

- Jim
5) Message boards : Technical News : Oscar Building (Nov 30 2010) (Message 1052177)
Posted 1 Dec 2010 by Profile Mentor397
Take as long as you need to. You're doing a great job. I keep getting more CUDAs to work on, so even if you can't get it done before the new year, I've got WUs to keep me busy.

- Jim
6) Message boards : Technical News : oscar is now running informix (Message 1051291)
Posted 26 Nov 2010 by Profile Mentor397
The workunits people are receiving are re-sends of timed out workunits from other user's accounts. They are not fresh workunits.

That's all right. I don't need fresh workunits. In today's economy, I know there are people who aren't as well off as I am. Indeed, somehow I've picked up 34 workunits over the last couple of days, including five or so since I checked it a couple hours ago. This doesn't even include the ones I've finished over that time.

I've only got one video card. That's enough work for a week, at least!

- Jim
7) Message boards : News : The project is down while we remodel our database servers. (Message 1045587)
Posted 2 Nov 2010 by Profile Mentor397
I'm not complaining. I know the money hasn't always cooperated, but I've always said that if it ever came down to taking it down for a month to get it running right, I'd always support it. Whether we say it enough - whether _I_ say it enough, you guys are doing good work. Lord knows I would have gone after the servers with an axe by this time if it were up to me.

I've got some work for a couple more days here and then I guess the system will be taking a break for a little while. It probably needs a break though.
8) Message boards : Number crunching : Quiting (Message 1039092)
Posted 7 Oct 2010 by Profile Mentor397
i find it somewhat ironic that a guy with less than 2 million credits
can tell a guy with over 31 million off like that.

I figured this was coming in the debate. I was not surprised. Eleven years on and I find out that my opinion isn't good enough. Sorry I couldn't afford to buy all those fancy computers.

- Jim
9) Message boards : Technical News : End of April Report (Apr 29 2010) (Message 998409)
Posted 24 May 2010 by Profile Mentor397
Can you imagine that some folk that really bust their butts to keep stuff running most of their time also have a LIFE at a weekend that enables them to wind down and put up with the other stuff which happens when they are not there?

That's just crazy talk. Heh.

I'm not unbiased, but I give the staff kudos for what they've done and assign only the slightest of blame when things go wrong. Sure, if they stayed there 24/7, things might work smoother, until they snapped and killed everyone for wasting their lives away working for peanuts.

A long time ago, I set my cache abnormally high, like eight days or something. I don't even remember why. I always planned on changing it, but at times like these, I'm happy I didn't. Anyway, I'm still crunching, so I'm good.

- Jim
10) Message boards : Number crunching : Got *much* more work than asked for (Message 856774)
Posted 23 Jan 2009 by Profile Mentor397
This is just as I suspected. We let the machines band together and now they're smarter than us. Our only option is to swear fealty to our new machine overlords and hope we are spared from the coming apocalypse.

On a side note, I almost gave up on CUDA on my first try. I think it might have been growing pains, but it sure as heck slowed my system WAY down. Now, I think I can live with it, but I wasn't so sure before.

- Jim
11) Message boards : Technical News : Moribund Monday (Apr 14 2008) (Message 739421)
Posted 15 Apr 2008 by Profile Mentor397
I finally got around to checking the computer. I just wanted to say that you guys are doing a fantastic job in spite of enormous difficulties.

- Jim
12) Message boards : Technical News : Grembo Zavia (Nov 08 2007) (Message 674709)
Posted 9 Nov 2007 by Profile Mentor397
You might help your cause if you maintained a small cache of work units, and if you had a back-up project. Since your main interest is SETI, you could even consider SETI Beta as your backup; it does have work at the moment. (These points have been made by others. Often.)

The SETI servers are not down at the moment. (I have managed to snare a few work units during the past 10 hours.) As explained by Matt, they're straining under a heavy load brought about by a convergence of adverse circumstances. They therefore cannot keep up with the demand. As Martin points out, demand is the essential difference between your setup and that of SETI@home.[/quote]

He has a point though. Seems to be the long weekends when these strange problems occur. Of course I can't prove that.. just seems that way.

Anyways, there is no point in complaining about these little outages. The servers will be up when they are up. Some things just take time.

I upgraded 1 of my PCs to a C2Q 6600 from a P4 2.53GHz. Then found out that the splitters were down.. lol.. ran out of cached WUs in less than 2 hours.

Anyways, good luck getting that index copied over. Hopefully you can get those splitters back up for a few hours today so I can download another 4 days worth of WUs.


I was lucky. I ran my system out of work deliberately two days ago to make sure my upgrade to the latest boinc was flawless (prolly unnecessary, but I've had a bad experience once). I'd just manage to get the cache full a day before this came up, so I should be good.

I wonder about the people though who complain the most. It's true, I am nearly religiously against other projects (haven't found one I liked, am not going to join another 'just' to keep busy), but why complain about the project not working flawlessly. It's hard to keep things together on the edge of technology, with a very limited budget, and very limited time. What do you expect? Even the computers on the space station go down once in a while.

- Jim
13) Message boards : Technical News : Slightly All the Time (Nov 07 2007) (Message 674704)
Posted 9 Nov 2007 by Profile Mentor397
Matt, tks for the information,

But in fact, there are U/D load problems !

I have about 2000 WU to report each week ! And this only into 1 hour time due to the Intranet security. I reveive from the RDM 1 hour, once a week , open gateway to Seti. But when Seti is very slow, or offline it became problems ! I want to help the research.
Perhaps is it better to close Seti for a few days or weeks to solve all the problems.
All what it sended during server problems are into " fixing missing results ". But this server is out since the big crash in august.
I have now about 8.000 WU waiting for assimilation !!!
Each WU about 50 credits, it become about 400,000 credits !!!

And of course , when I connect and can receive new WU, they are also calculated. The final result is when i start the U / D load, your server receive much more information than it is capable to proceed. Weare more than 1,000,000 with the same problem !!! Of course when the server receive at the same time so much request, it can not proceed because the overload !!!

It is a snowball effect !!! Only Seti team can solve it. Then DO IT !!!!!
Instead of trying to repair "broken arrows " !

No fix is forever. Even if SETI were taken down for a month, it wouldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be a hardware or software crash later.

- Jim
14) Message boards : Technical News : One of Those Days (Oct 11 2007) (Message 658289)
Posted 12 Oct 2007 by Profile Mentor397
I was going to get some programming done today but Dave needed php upgraded on the BOINC server, which was running Fedora Core 6. FC6 didn't have a sufficiently advanced php in its repositories, so this was as good a time as any to yum the system up to Fedora Core 7. This was slow, but worked like a charm.

Except I then realized the trac system (used for BOINC's web based public software development) was toasted due to the upgrade. It took over two hours of hair pulling, scouring log files, removing/reinstalling various software packages, poring through barely informative pages only found in Google's cache.. I don't really understand how what we ultimately did fixed the problem, but we seem to be out of the woods, more or less.

I hate to say it, but trac is written in python, and I've never had any positive experiences with this programming language. Every six months some random python program explodes as it is utterly sensitive to version upgrades, and tracing the problems is impossible as the code is difficult to read and scoured all over the system in vaguely named files. Others keep trying to convince me python is the bee's knees, but I just can't see it. I started out writing raw machine code on my Apple II+, so to me C is the pinnacle of programming languages (not C++). I'll shut up now before I further offend python programmers/developers.

- Matt

I have often considered myself a young dinosaur because I sometimes wonder if things might not need to be changed just because they can be changed (The latest example might well be Vista, but I digress). Anyway, thanks for the effort, sorry about your hair - the parts you pulled out should grow back eventually, and good luck the next time it breaks.

- Jim

15) Message boards : Technical News : Weekend server problems (Oct 1, 2007) (Message 653536)
Posted 3 Oct 2007 by Profile Mentor397

You can set a very low resource share for a backup project, i.e. Seti 100:1 backup, or even 100,000:1. The BOINC manager will ensure the initial backup units are crunched on time, at the expense of making the Long Term Credit (LTD) a large -ve number, so that under normal circumstances BOINC will not download from the backup project unless Seti is down and BOINC decides you need more work.

Or, I could set my cache higher by a couple of days to smooth out the bumps in server-land. That way there, Seti still gets the results of my Cpu efforts. It's not foolproof - there could be a catastrophic failure that results in a Seti shutdown of multiple weeks or months, but for all of the recent bad luck it would have been sufficient.

Of course, I don't mean to sound like the Seti@home staff aren't doing their jobs. I know it's something I couldn't do yet, with my level of education and computer knowledge. As far as I'm concerned they're doing far more than we could have ever expected them to.

16) Message boards : Technical News : Weekend server problems (Oct 1, 2007) (Message 653530)
Posted 3 Oct 2007 by Profile Mentor397
I like what Seti@home is doing, No other project is doing anything like this with so many people.

But sometimes i wonder if we're doing anything helpful..seems like Seti@home is ALWAYS having server problems, and thus people going to a more stable project like Folding@home.

I know nothing is always 100% uptime in the computer world, but wow so many problems..

Anyways, i still cant attach to the project, says its not available.

I'm sorry, I can't help you with attaching, but I think that because Seti pretty much started all of this and because they have the most amount of people crunching that it has never really lost its pathfinder status for the rest of boinc. That being said, I think that the fact that we're 'looking for little green men' puts us off from receiving funding that other more 'helpful' projects can get.

17) Message boards : Technical News : Weekend server problems (Oct 1, 2007) (Message 653245)
Posted 3 Oct 2007 by Profile Mentor397

Having a short/zero cache doesn't seem to imply an increase in the loading on the servers. People may fear that the user base would make repeated wu requests and clobber the servers that way. However, a request/download cycle should be considerable faster than a wu compute time, and sequential mulitple downloads should be faster than a repeated request/download cycle. So perhaps the servers should determine an optimal number of wu's to download for each request, based on recent loading and the client's recent performance.

Doesn't it already though? If you have a fast computer, the system will take into account your past performance and typically download you more WU's if your cache is set for five days (as an example) than it would download for a considerably slower system, running the same amount of time with the same configuration.

Uh, I realize that suddenly I'm going to sound very old fashioned, but when I started way back when, I did it because I liked Seti@home. The science aspect is nice, but I'm not so interested in diseases or climates and therefore haven't found another boinc project I'm interested in. Unless I was willing to kill the other projects when SETI went back up, I'd have to accept a permanent decrease in SETI capacity in order to keep the other projects current. While I'm sure it would be great for credit, it doesn't give me the most bang for what-i'm-interested in. If that made sense.

18) Message boards : Technical News : Small Word (Sep 20 2007) (Message 652172)
Posted 1 Oct 2007 by Profile Mentor397
Lastly, would someone kindly tell me, without delivering a doctoral dissertation on the subject, the name of one BOINC physics project and one BOINC biology project that will work well with SETI@home without wasting too much time, power, and wear and tear to complete work units whose shelf life expires during outages?

I am probably wrong on this, but I've simply set my cache higher. Most outages don't last too long and it gets rid of most of the 'dead' periods when WU's aren't being generated and/or distributed.

In the 'olden days', I simply ran another program. It was a CPU-intensive program that was more an oddity than effective, but it kept my computer busy.

- Jim
19) Message boards : Technical News : Small Word (Sep 20 2007) (Message 650556)
Posted 29 Sep 2007 by Profile Mentor397
Okay, perhaps I haven't been reading this right, but let's pretend that 5 WU's are sent out and the quorum remains two. When two WU's are returned, the other three are cancelled, but what if they are being crunched as they are cancelled? I'm thinking that once again, the faster computers can run circles around the slower ones (which indeed happens already) AND prevent them from doing any work at all.

Eventually, the pending credit thing will even out. It cannot keep rising indefinately. As I write this, my pending credit is 2,182. It will even out, and numbers will rise. However, as we are still technically recovering from a long period of Seti blues, that equilibrium hasn't been tested.

I don't feel bad that my cache is eight days. I've seen others that have it set for the whole ten, and with the difficulties the project is experiencing, I'd like to have a cushion in case something goes wrong, either on my end or on Seti's. That being said, I don't crunch for anyone else and really don't care to. While I'm sure there is plenty of useful science out there, I'm with this project because Seti interests me far more than saving the planet or curing disease. (wow, that made me sound heartless!)

But, up until this past March, my computers have ALWAYS sucked. In fact, the computer before this one was an P3-450. Apparently computers don't like to be dropped - write that down. I knew way back when I signed up that Seti was going to be about numbers for some people. While EVERYONE wants to contribute more than anyone else, there are going to be people who want to tweak the rules so they get their numbers first.

But, think about it. How much pending credit is lost? AFAIK, none. It may take a while, it may take a LONG while, but eventually people get their credit they want. Your computer(s) still does the same amount of work every single day whether your pending credit is 30 or 3000, it just means that you have more out there that you haven't gotten credit for YET. The ONLY justification I can see for crunchers to reset the deadlines is so they get their credit sooner, thereby eliminating the slower computers.

Whew, sorry this is so long. My first post on this board, tee hee! I'm all a-twitter!

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SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.