Posts by PCPete

1) Questions and Answers : Web site : Search suggestions (Message 898036)
Posted 22 May 2009 by Profile PCPete
I noticed today (the first time I've searched the SAH knowledgebase for a long time), that the search engine seems to be a bit... brutal.

If I enter a too-broad search term in simple mode, I get submerged in an enormous tidal wave of message text with no apparent way of collating, grouping, or otherwise organising the results in a simple, concise way. Normally, when I enter a simple search term, I want to be able to specify an organisation or hierarchy of results. That would be a huge help for people like me (in a hurry to find an answer to an immediate problem)!

The other thing I noticed, in using the advanced search, was that there's a limitation of 1 year on the post search results. Assuming that the question I want to ask does exist in the SAH database, if it hasn't been updated in the past year, then I'm not going to find it using advanced search. Unless I use the simple search - and that just returns too much undigestible information!

So it's an all-or-nothing result. For me, I now realise the question I was asking should be asked in the BOINC site, not the SAH site, but still, the question (how to manage multiple PCs on one account) is here, just not easily found!

I hope this gives some ideas for discussion. And I apologise if this feedback's been entered before, or if I've stupidly missed an obvious web control that would have done what I wanted.
2) Questions and Answers : Web site : The link to the unofficial BOINC wiki is braindead (Message 898022)
Posted 22 May 2009 by Profile PCPete
Following the link to the unofficial BOINC wiki ( from the Help page ( results in a "Directory Listing Denied. This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed." error.
This is @ 12:32PM, AEST.
3) Questions and Answers : Preferences : Problems with settings in "Dumb" view (Message 551403)
Posted 23 Apr 2007 by Profile PCPete
Oh dear, I replied too soon :(

Perhaps if I can explain what I've done and what BOINC is doing, someone may be able to point out where I'm going all wrong.

In the Simple view, I have my idle preferences set to "15 minutes".

On the BOINC web preferences page, I have "Work while computer is in use" to NO, Use at most 0% when computer is in use, and use 95% of CPU when computer is idle.

I have the same (or at least, the equivalent) settings set in ClimatePrediction's client page.

On the SETI preferences page, I have SETI now set to 40% (Climate prediction is set to 60%).

However, the BOINC client just runs all the time, no matter what or how I use the computer. The ONLY WAY I can use the computer is to suspend the BOINC client (which I don't want to do, because then I will forget to unsuspend it when I leave the computer).

Now, the problem is, these settings are only updated when I click "Update", or when BOINC connects to the appropriate server for more work/results posting, right? The issue here is that BOINC keeps failing to connect to the server, so it never gets the preferences from the website, and it seems to be completely ignoring the preferences set locally in Simple View.

This is the same damn reason I stopped using BOINC last year - the usage profile mechanism just plain doesn't work the way it should, and I'm left with BOINC suspended on my machine, and I end up hogging work units that someone else could be working on, while I try and get the client software to work the way it is supposed to work.

I would be delighted to provide screenshots, data files, anything, to anyone who can help me sort out why the BOINC client doesn't let me work the way I need to.

By way of example, it took 4 minutes and 22 seconds for this message board page to load - and BOINC is the only application running, apart from Outlook, IE, and my audio applications (which are completely idle, since I can't do anything with them until I stop BOINC from running). This is on a quad-core system with massive free resources and one of the fastest computers in the country. So there is something really simple that I must be getting wrong, and if anyone can help, I would really appreciate it.

Until then, BOINC is suspended. God I hate doing that.
4) Questions and Answers : Preferences : Update questions (Message 551390)
Posted 23 Apr 2007 by Profile PCPete
G'day John, thank you for the information. I'll have a look at the content of the various xml files in the near future.

I just wanted to let you know that the BOINC WIKI link in your sig doesn't appear to be valid... I've tried a couple times now, and it just gets a 404.

But thanks for the rest of your answers, I really appreciate it!

5) Questions and Answers : Preferences : Problems with settings in "Dumb" view (Message 551387)
Posted 23 Apr 2007 by Profile PCPete
There are two related settings: Do work while user is active, and do work after X minutes of idle (or something like that). In any case, these can be edited directly in the global_prefs_override.xml file. If they are removed from that file, the values from the web site should be used.

Thanks John! I wasn't aware of the XML preferences file.

I actually just found another answer: I unchecked the "I want to customize for this computer only", then saved that, then paused the client using the pause item, then opened preferences, checked the box, and then selected another idle setting, saved that, resumed the client, and when I checked the preferences again, the correct idle selection was made.

Further testing seems to show that I should only make selections in the local preferences window while the client is paused; then when the preferences are saved, and the client is resumed, the preferences are correct.

There is almost certainly a better way to explain this, but I'm in a bit of a rush at the moment. I hope this (and your response) helps some other users!

6) Questions and Answers : Preferences : Update questions (Message 551353)
Posted 23 Apr 2007 by Profile PCPete

Would it be possible to get someone to put together a useful description of the communication processes used by BOINC.

I see many, many user references to the "Deferring communication for ..." messages, and even though you can sometimes figure out that the server is overloaded and that's why the comms failed, when it happens every attempt over 3-4 days (as it regularly does on my system), it just gets bloody frustrating.

It doesn't help when comms to a "reference site" seem to succeed, but then it still stalls the update.

THis is even more important when users like me are trying to change preferences on the website to see what happens - only to grind our teeth/dentures in frustration when the "update" fails and is retried (without success) 20 or 30 times in a row over a 12-hour period. Meanwhile, our CPUs overheat and our love affair with SETI withers and dies... OK, over-exaggeration there... :)

So could someone please take the time to tell technical folks out here exactly what the process is when our client gets work units, sends work units, and connects via a user-initiated update. When do the preferences get downloaded? Do they get downloaded even though a work request (upload or download) fails? How does this work, and how can we help to ensure that we don't overload the server?

I hope other folks might also be interested, and there seems only to be lowest-common-denominator descriptions on the help pages and other sites.

Thanks in advance,
7) Questions and Answers : Wish list : Use of multiple displays in Screen saver (Message 551352)
Posted 23 Apr 2007 by Profile PCPete
I use dual monitors, and it would be great if the second monitor could be used by BOINC's screensaver, perhaps to show some textual or other "context sensitive" data during screensave mode.
For example, perhaps a list of the last x workunits performed, or a list of the other computers working with data obtained from a similar part of the sky, or... well, anything!
I realise it's kind of a "corner case" now, but with more and more high-end, high-tech-savvy users using dual displays, it would be a pity to waste those unused pixels, wouldn't it? :)
8) Questions and Answers : Preferences : Problems with settings in "Dumb" view (Message 551351)
Posted 23 Apr 2007 by Profile PCPete
Hi all, I've just reattached to BOINC after a long absence (due to the horrible usage problems with the older version), and while BOINC is much better behaved now, it's still not really intuitive or consistent.
For me, the problem is that in Simple view (or Stupid view or Dumb view or whatever it's called :), the "Do work after idle for:" setting is always set to O (Run Always), no matter what I change it to.
My understanding (and please let me know if I'm wrong) is that the Simple view settings override the settings on the webpage that the BOINC client connects to every few whenevers.
This explains why the BOINC client keeps working no matter what I do - even switching to Intelligent view and suspending the client activity (I only connect to SETI) doesn't actually suspend activity!
This is really annoying, and I don't seem to be able to configure BOINC to run the best compromise for me (i.e. not at all when I'm working, and 100% of all 4 CPUS when I'm not).
The other options in the preferences page seem to "stick", only the idle timeout preference seems to be flaky.
Can anyone help to solve this?
I'm running XP64 (latest SP, latest drivers for everything), 4xAMD Opteron cores, RAID5 drive (non-boot) for BOINC install.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
9) Questions and Answers : Preferences : Changing Hard Drive (macintosh) (Message 550618)
Posted 22 Apr 2007 by Profile PCPete
Copy whole directory and subdirectories to new drive
Reinstall BOINC over new spot

Works! Even on Windoze. That's pleasantly surprising.
However, the procedure is a little different.
After copying (NOT moving!) the BOINC directory structure, when you run the BOINC install, it will prompt to repair or remove. Since the registry entries will all point to the original location, you have to remove the installation, and THEN you can reinstall.
I can confirm this works great as long as you take a deep breath.
Thanks to PoohBear for this nice tip!
Cheers all.

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