Posts by Rom Walton (BOINC)


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1) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : Boinc V7.0.64 Bug? (Message 1390977)
Posted 282 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
This might be a bit simplistic, but it seems to me that if BOINC 7 recognises an RDP connection, it would work correctly if it remembered the state of the GPU at the connection time and resets it when the connection is broken.

So if the GPU was disabled it would remain disabled but if it was enabled it would be re-enabled.


Well, if I remember the situation correctly. Before BOINC learned about how to deal with remote connections jobs were just randomly failing.

It turns how the identifier a science app uses to communicate with the GPU is invalidated once an RDP connection is established. The app would usually crash at the end of its run. That is why we opted to just shutdown GPU apps when a remote session was established, there was no point continuing to run an app that eventually was going to crash and invalidate the work accomplished so far.

I'm actually quite surprised that you have a configuration that continues to work after an RDP connection has been established and released.

----- Rom
2) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : Boinc V7.0.64 Bug? (Message 1390968)
Posted 282 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
I see. That would be a problem. Is this a remote thing or just the switch user option? Can you not tell the difference between a switch user and a remote connection or are they exactly the same thing? If they're not the same thing, can you tell when the original user switches back?

I wonder what happens in BOINC V6 if another user RDPs to my work PC.

If I remember, I'll give it a test next time I'm physically in the office. Of course only one user at a time can RDP to a PC. If another user tries, the first user is thrown out. At least that's how it worked a few years ago. So all BOINC V6 has to do is recognise the disconnection, connection in the right order to still work properly. Or does it go to sleep and can't catch those steps. Hmm! I can see the problems.

Rick


According to the APIs I've found so far a switch user and remote connection are the same thing. I haven't found a way to discern the two conditions programmatically yet.
3) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : Boinc V7.0.64 Bug? (Message 1389614)
Posted 287 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
FYI, I have reverted to BOINC V6 and it does handle RDP in a well behaved way.

Below is an extract of the log showing me connecting, disconnecting 10 minutes later and then reconnecting.

If the way that BOINC V7 handles RDP is not a bug, it's certainly not an enhancement. I guess most users don't use RDP, but I have to.

Rick


-- After connecting
10-Jul-2013 19:22:39 [---] GPUs have become unusable; disabling tasks

10-Jul-2013 19:23:02 [SETI@home] update requested by user
10-Jul-2013 19:23:05 [SETI@home] Sending scheduler request: Requested by user.
10-Jul-2013 19:23:05 [SETI@home] Reporting 2 completed tasks, not requesting new tasks
10-Jul-2013 19:23:09 [SETI@home] Scheduler request completed

-- After disconnecting - Notice the AP GPU task restarting.
10-Jul-2013 19:33:14 [---] GPUs have become usable; enabling tasks
10-Jul-2013 19:33:16 [SETI@home] Restarting task ap_23fe09aa_B5_P1_00173_20130710_30000.wu_1 using astropulse_v6 version 606

-- After reconnecting
10-Jul-2013 19:34:19 [---] GPUs have become unusable; disabling tasks


It seems you already had stated some things related to the questions I had. I'm going to have to think about this a bit.

The basic problem is BOINC is detecting a condition (RDP is in use but disconnected) which does not appear to be a problem for you, but causes science applications to crash on home computers when they use Fast User Switching.

Fast User Switching/Remote Desktop are different names for the same technology.
4) Message boards : Number crunching : BOINC and Domain Controller (Message 967662)
Posted 1542 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
or novell network shares


Just so long as you're not still running IPX/SPX?? :-)

IPX/SPX had one huge advantage not shared by NetBIOS over TCP/IP: it's drop-dead simple.

Our "modern" windows networks were born as an IBM product designed for networks around five nodes, and have been continually kluged to make them "scale" to the size of an enterprise. "Browsers" to cut down on broadcasts, "Master Browsers" to cut down on browser traffic, Domain Controllers to layer better security, WINS to map NetBIOS names to IP addresses, then the DNS kluge to replace WINS (and put internal and external resolution into the same pile) and finally Active Directory.

All of that while IPX just worked.


If I remember my networking history correctly NetBIOS over TCP/IP is really just a hack.

In the begining Windows used NetBEUI and Browse Masters/Domain Controllers (pre-Active Directory) basically provided a mechinism for replicating computer names across logical ethernet segments. NetBEUI networks were also drop dead easy. The only requirement was a unique computer name.

NetBEUI wasn't a routable protocol. NetBEUI was also a very chatty protocol, I remember one installation where we had a thick net backbone and 100 nodes, network utilization at night (machines idle) was something like 15%. Thick net was a 10 MBit network.

IPX/SPX was routable, and primarily used in Novell Netware environments.

Basically both Novell and Microsoft saw the writing on the wall with TCP/IP becoming the standard and changed directions.

Microsoft created WINS as a way to migrate name resolution of computer names from a NetBIOS/NETBEUI centric environment to the longer term DNS name resolution scheme.

I haven't tried lately, but I believe in the Active Directory/DNS world, you can do away with WINS. Both the UNC spec and the SMB/CIFS spec support DNS name resolution. The computer browser lists are handled via UDP I believe.
5) Questions and Answers : Windows : Mass Uninstall Help (Message 937182)
Posted 1665 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
Terminix, could you email me at rwalton @ ssl DOT berkeley DOT edu?

Depending on how everything was installed it might be as easy as deprecating the application within AD, then Windows will uninstall the app during the next Group Policy update.

Thanks in advance.
6) Questions and Answers : Preferences : Screensaver does not shut down (Message 885713)
Posted 1834 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
Could you try 6.6.23, it contained another screensaver fix for machines that have multiple video chipsets embedded within them which was causing the screensaver code to get confused.
7) Questions and Answers : Windows : Bonic Never Suspends - I have activity set to run based on prefs (Message 794255)
Posted 2085 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
I believe I have figured out what the problem is and have posted a new build for those who want to give it a go.

Windows x86
Windows x64

Please post a message here if this fixes your keyboard and mouse activity detection issues.

Thanks in advance.
8) Message boards : Number crunching : Please, STOP wasting our CPU time! (Message 506900)
Posted 2649 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)

I must say I'm not sure that there is any actual research been done at all anymore. It's not like we see any of it or hear anything about it.

Perhaps they did finish the project when the classic SETI ended and this is just a sceem to get money. I mean, they are sending out those e-mails begging for money, like any spam e-mail company.


Hmmmmmmm, so I guess getting that new multi-bean receiver, which is able to see further into space, was wasted effort. Or getting seti_enhanced onine so the new data could be processed was wasted effort.

Shesh.

Conspiracies theories are everywhere.

[rant mode on]

How can any advancement be made without somebody crying foul, they are taking away my credits, or they are taking too much time to process a workunit?

Any before anybody jumps down my throat about the credits crack, think about it this way. The #1 complaint people had when the enhanced app came online was that it took so long. So to cut down on the amount of time it took to crunch, Eric and crew needed to optimize it. That in turn cut down on the the processing time as well as the overall advantage the 3rd party optimized apps had over the stock app in terms of credit, even though the overall effiency of the whole system was better for it.

Each time an advance is made, somebody has to claim foul play, because something doesn't work like it used too.

You ask for something better, and then when they deliver, you turn around and slap them down for it later. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

[rant mode off]
9) Message boards : Number crunching : General Prefs. & Crunch3r BOINC 5.9.0.32 (Message 506865)
Posted 2649 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
I need to point out for people that the 5.9 client isn't anywhere near stable.

It is still a few months from even begining the testing process.

We won't actually start to increment the version of the 5.9.x clints until we think we are done with the feature set and start the stabilization process. So if you are using 5.9 right now, you are using a very unpolished build. Expect that a few things don't work or are only half implemented.
10) Message boards : Number crunching : 64 bit BOINC client & BOINC MANAGER for Windows XP64 (Message 465428)
Posted 2707 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)

@ Rom, We have an error that is affecting this XP64 Client and app. Could You please Help on this?


Crunch3r et al,

For those using VS 2005 you'll need to add some additional code to the S@H app which can be found here:
http://boinc.berkeley.edu/app_debug_win.php#Common0xc000000d

Microsoft redesigned a bunch of stuff to reduce buffer overflows and the like, one of the things they did was enforce parameter validation for the CRT functions used in writing portable applications.

So when you see a 0xc000000d error code with an application that was compiled using VS2005, that is part of the problem.
11) Message boards : Number crunching : Opinions on the new BOINC Simple GUI (Message 454249)
Posted 2722 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
OzzFan,

I've downloaded and installed Firefox 2.x and haven't been able to reproduce the problem.

:(

By chance do you have cookies turned off or something like that?


No, cookies aren't turned off. I just tried it with IE6 and it works fine. Must be a problem with FF2, probably a cache problem.

Just to clarify, since my last post wasn't too explanitory, I go to romwnet.org, scroll down to topic "BOINC Simple GUI is in beta", then I click on "Comments". In FF2, I keep getting that error message that I copied and pasted (I'm still getting it as I type this). Works fine in IE6. I'll keep working at it on my end, as it appears to be a problem with my browser.


OzzFan,

I think I fixed the problem. My ISP's DNS servers are acting goofy which caused my comment spam filter to go nuts.

Since I was logged into the system it didn't check my comments in the spam filter.

Sorry about that.

Feel free to post away.
12) Message boards : Number crunching : Opinions on the new BOINC Simple GUI (Message 453237)
Posted 2724 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
What does my site do?


I keep getting an error when clicking on "comments" under the "BOINC has been released in beta heading" (paraphrased).

This is what Firefox 2.0 displays:

An error has been encountered while processing the page. We have logged the error condition and are working to correct the problem. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Theme design by Jelle Druyts
Header image by FreeWebPageHeaders


Am I doing something wrong?


OzzFan,

I've downloaded and installed Firefox 2.x and haven't been able to reproduce the problem.

:(

By chance do you have cookies turned off or something like that?
13) Message boards : Number crunching : Opinions on the new BOINC Simple GUI (Message 452645)
Posted 2725 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
OzzFan,

What does my site do?

I've had a heck of a time keeping the spammers at bay, but I haven't intentionally locked out live people. Feedback that is either good or bad is still wanted.
14) Message boards : Number crunching : It's need to restart the PC after a few days? (Message 447294)
Posted 2731 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)

On Windows, you are correct. 'Memory leaks' are a big problem with Windows. I usually reboot my Windows boxes about every 3 to 7 days, or when I notice a problem.


This statement depends heavily on which version of Windows you use.

It is not uncommon for my machines to stay up and running until a patch is installed that requires a reboot. The last two times my Windows XP Media Center box was rebooted was due to the breaker being tripped.

It really isn’t fair to say, just because you run Windows, you have to reboot frequently.
15) Message boards : Number crunching : Optimized Clients?? (Message 442903)
Posted 2739 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
I've written a post on this topic as a result of this thread and being asked about it last week. Maybe it'll provide some insight from a different perspective.

BOINC Client: The evils of 'Returning Results Immediately'

Now here are some other numbers you all might be interested in:
On average jocelyn is processing 314 queries per second.
In the last 5 days jocelyn has processed 144.7 million queries.

The amounts of load RRI can generate is non-trivial.

Thanks Rom, it's really useful to have such authoritative input, and I appreciate that you've put in a lot of effort writing it up for the blog.

I've already turned off RRI on the only fast machine I have on my account, and I won't use it on any I may acquire in the future.

But could I ask about slow machines? A machine at 100 RAC would take ~10 days to reach your example of a 20 WU batch report. How is SETI for disk/database space at the moment? Would you prefer us to keep the queries down, or have the responses back to allow purging?


I would suspect that if disk space was going to be a big problem, they would just shorten the deadline.

Eventually the client works itself into a rythem, for slow machines it may report only 5 or so results in a batch. That in and of itself isn't bad since those machines are not likely to connect very often anyways.

16) Message boards : Number crunching : Optimized Clients?? (Message 442873)
Posted 2739 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
I've written a post on this topic as a result of this thread and being asked about it last week. Maybe it'll provide some insight from a different perspective.

BOINC Client: The evils of 'Returning Results Immediately'

Now here are some other numbers you all might be interested in:
On average jocelyn is processing 314 queries per second.
In the last 5 days jocelyn has processed 144.7 million queries.

The amounts of load RRI can generate is non-trivial.
17) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI@Home wants users back. Is BONIC ready for primetime (Message 439672)
Posted 2744 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)

Is there a current, detailed, up-to-date description of the workings of the scheduler available anywhere? Maybe a flow chart? Something written in human-speak and not just source code files?


http://boinc.berkeley.edu/sched.php
18) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI@Home wants users back. Is BONIC ready for primetime (Message 438975)
Posted 2745 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
Angus,

As long as you are micro-managing BOINC it'll never be able to learn about the machines capabilities.

The only way for the scheduler to figure it all out is just to let it do what it wants, and if/when a workunit times out it'll adjust so next time that won't happen. After the shake down period, when it is left of its own, it'll actually be able to schedule and do the things you would expect.
19) Message boards : Number crunching : I loved SETI@home (Message 435311)
Posted 2750 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)

About 3/4 of the 10Mb is debugging symbols so that when (note not if) something goes wrong the developers can get some information back about exactly where it went wrong and how it went wrong.


Slight correction, the debugging symbols were dropped from the installer some time ago. Symbol storage was offloaded to http://boinc.berkeley.edu/symstore.

All things considered I don't think we are doing to bad as far as size goes for Windows. Winzip 10, which just does file compression has a 5MB download footprint.

BOINC handles file compression, network encrypted transfers, debugging facilities for science applications, etc.

Part of the reason for the installer size is the installer has to be prepared for Windows machines that don't always have shared files on the machine already installed. MSI 2.0, C Runtime Library, and stuff like that. The idea being you should be able to just run the installer and have everything just work instead of messages poping up saying you need to go install x, y, and z before you can actually start running BOINC.

The actual BOINC files compress down to 1.1MB if you don't include all the other stuff for file compression, network security, diagnostics, installer technology, and the like.

Just thought I would bring everyone up-to-date on the whole installer thing.
20) Message boards : Number crunching : BOINC Q&A (Message 421438)
Posted 2777 days ago by Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
As far as I know, account managers will always be optional.

BOINC should work equally as well with and without an account manager.


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