Posts by Mentor397

1) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Another Bittersweet Milestone (Message 2097826)
Posted 15 Apr 2022 by Profile Mentor397
Eras don't end in a day, they slowly fade away. Yesterday marked another bittersweet milestone in SETI@home history. We cleaned out the lab. That meant sending the Sun Enterprise series servers that handled SETI@home's databases and web traffic down to the university's Excess and Salvage department. Here they are sitting in the hallway waiting to go.

We had hoped they would end up in a museum somewhere, but unfortunately interest in SETI@home's hardware has faded even faster than the project did.

What we have not (yet) discarded are a couple thousand DLT tapes containing the raw data from the first 6 years of SETI@home. We would like to have the data transferred to a more accessible medium, but we no longer have a functioning DLT IV tape drive, or the funding to pay for a commercial data recovery service. As the group's presence at the Space Science Lab shrinks, those tapes will probably also be discarded as well.

Times change and the world moves on.

It's amazing how quickly people give up on an idea when the people running it give up first.

- Jim
- Mentor397
2) Message boards : Nebula : Taking the long view (Message 2070123)
Posted 7 Mar 2021 by Profile Mentor397
Politics and the work we did on Seti@home is less useful than we thought. I was once proud of my efforts toward Seti@home, meager though they were. We gave up too soon.

- Jim[/quote]
3) Message boards : News : Final data is in the splitter queue. (Message 2042842)
Posted 3 Apr 2020 by Profile Mentor397
Sorry, I was in the hospital and couldn't post earlier. I just wanted to say that I'll miss Seti@home. Good luck to everyone, and thanks for letting me help.

- Jim

[img] [/img]
4) Message boards : News : SETI@home hibernation (Message 2036177)
Posted 6 Mar 2020 by Profile Mentor397
May 16th, 1999. Nearly twenty-one years. I've not been the best - too many periods without internet connection and I've never had great computers to work with, but I've never done anything else. I've never really wanted to do anything else.

In the abstract, I understand why the project is ending, but I'm sure I'll be lost for a long time without it.

Thanks for having me.

- Jim Long
5) Message boards : News : 20 years and counting! (Message 1994421)
Posted 20 May 2019 by Profile Mentor397
I've looked and haven't seen this issue, but I tried to print my Certificate for twenty years and the date was wrong on the Modern and Photo certificates - a day early, but correct on the first one. It's not the end of the world, since I just used the other one, but I figured I would let someone know.
6) Message boards : News : Free Speech and SETI@home (Message 1864971)
Posted 1 May 2017 by Profile Mentor397
I'm sorry you have to deal with this sort of stuff. Good luck.

- Jim
7) 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.
8) Message boards : News : Database Rebuild Status update. (Message 1608020)
Posted 2 Dec 2014 by Profile Mentor397
Thanks for all your hard work.

- Jim
9) 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
10) 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
11) 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
12) 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
13) 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.
14) 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
15) 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
16) 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
17) 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
18) 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
19) 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
20) 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

Next 20

©2023 University of California
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.