charitable computing-WCG

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rath358
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charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:31 pm UTC

I have discovered a website that allows you to download a program that does calculations to cure cancer, fight AIDS, etc. while you are not using it. it is http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/index.jsp there.

I created a team called xkcd, and think it would be great if all of us geeks would put our awesome computers on this.
for this reason, I have created an xkcd team. that can be joined here
please sign up. think of all the people you are helping!!

Does anyone else do this or similar?
please ell me if you join my xkcd team, we have the potential to become one of the best out there!

Mods-- I have posted this in computer science, feel free to move it.

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Nemphael
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Nemphael » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:06 am UTC

I used to participate, but kind of stopped/forgot after I formatted. Ought to start again.

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby sje46 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:47 am UTC

Joined.
I'm a bit concerned. I feel like it uses too much RAM (I only have 240 RAM =/), It's been saying 22 hours 34 min 49 sec for .. . quite a while now. Is that how long a single calculation takes?!?
The resources used up . . .I may be no help at all.
There are preferences. I don't know if I should use 5GB of disk space . . .that's not RAM. IS it saving stuff to my hard drive then? That's a lot of room . .60% of hte processor .. .what does that do?
I jsut don't know how to set the preferences.
I'm going to keep this computer running to see what happens by 8:30 . . .I need to go to bed.
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Gellert1984
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Gellert1984 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:16 pm UTC

Use a system monitor to record how much of your computers resources you generally use then set the program to use slightly less than whats left over.

in my case its using ~25% of my processor while I'm playing mid-range games, if I go play crisis I'll turn it off, if I'm surfing the web I'll crank it to 60%

Also you only have 240mb of ram? Did you still have a guy shoveling coal into the back of that thing? or has he died of old age? :D

Edit:- P.S. my first caculation is taking ~5hrs
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby ethraax » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:50 pm UTC

Gellert1984 wrote:Also you only have 240mb of ram? Did you still have a guy shoveling coal into the back of that thing? or has he died of old age? :D

Well, for someone who spends so much time on a fora with a simple interface...

I remember doing something like this at one point, Folding @ Home, which simulated protein folding (and misfolding). There are several distributed computing programs out there that try to do different things. This one seems to be largely multi-purpose, but overall for a good cause. There are also a couple useless ones that do things like find really big prime numbers.
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Nemphael
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Nemphael » Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:44 pm UTC

Just installed it and joined xkcd. Now for some number crunching!

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rath358
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:42 pm UTC

with older computers, i have found it doesn't go quickly, but if the computer is usually on, it adds up. Right now, I am drooling over the thought of taking hundreds of old computers, stripping them down to the bare essentials, and having them run WCG together. the cool thing about the program for WCG it that is automatically stops or scales down if you are doing something.

to answer your question sje, the default settings are usually ok for processor. The 5gb of disk space is a maximum, and it is probably nowhere near there, and you can check how much disk space you have available and set it appropriately if your hard drive is getting full.
the minimum requirements are available here

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:49 am UTC

hey, we have 7 members already!!! way to go!
If we can get 100, we will be in the top few hundred
If you want to sign up, use this link, and you will automatically join the team. signing up takes only a minute, installation maybe 2, and you will be helping people worldwide for years!
go on, click that link!
sorry for the blatant advertising, it is for a good cause.

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby sje46 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:34 am UTC

Ah, thank you rath :).
I was thinking . . .my university must have hundreds of computers, in the clusters, in the departments, etc. I'm wondering if they could make them all run the program constantly without students messing around with it?
Also, rath, you should linkify that image. Put this in your sig:
Image
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krynd
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby krynd » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:47 am UTC

Well, I'm in. I'm not on my computer that often, but every little bit helps.

sje46, I don't think your university would let you do that. Still, it couldn't hurt to talk to the Dean or whomever is in charge of your IT department. Pitch it as part of some sort of project for a class of yours or talk about how it'll help the university's image (re: the positive PR they'll get when WCG finds out a series of computers are all working on a project. Your university's reputation would likely increase amongst philanthropic/scientific groups, etc). I'm sure if you pitched it properly they'd at least let you use some older computers that they'd probably just throw away anyway.

The only problem would be if electricity and bandwidth costs are looked at as costly, however as I said above, the good PR generated from this would probably offset that. Besides, it's not as though universities don't have a lot of unused computers left on at night...

EDIT: sje46, perhaps you or someone else could modify that image and its link so that it links directly to our team sign-up page?

EDIT2: My Photoshop/GIMP skills fail, that's why I didn't create an image for you.
Last edited by krynd on Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:51 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:50 am UTC

I can totally see them making major money off that...go for it!!

sje46 wrote:Also, rath, you should linkify that image. Put this in your sig:

fix'd

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby sje46 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 am UTC

krynd wrote:Well, I'm in. I'm not on my computer that often, but every little bit helps.

sje46, I don't think your university would let you do that. Still, it couldn't hurt to talk to the Dean or whomever is in charge of your IT department. Pitch it as part of some sort of project for a class of yours or talk about how it'll help the university's image (re: the positive PR they'll get when WCG finds out a series of computers are all working on a project. Your university's reputation would likely increase amongst philanthropic/scientific groups, etc). I'm sure if you pitched it properly they'd at least let you use some older computers that they'd probably just throw away anyway.

The only problem would be if electricity and bandwidth costs are looked at as costly, however as I said above, the good PR generated from this would probably offset that. Besides, it's not as though universities don't have a lot of unused computers left on at night...

EDIT: sje46, perhaps you or someone else could modify that image and its link so that it links directly to our team sign-up page?

EDIT2: My Photoshop/GIMP skills fail, that's why I didn't create an image for you.

I'm not saying that they will let me do it, but I can propose to student senate or something hat maybe it will be a smart idea. We have an image to uphold, UNH. While considered one of the top ten party schools in the country according to a major list, we are also considered one of the greenest (runner up to top ten, if I recall). I think they are concerned about their image, but I am not sure how much it will help.
I don't know much about computers, really . . .
I'm guessing that there are about 1000 computers owned by the University, could be more. COuld be less. There are clusters, where you sign into your user name to get into windows. There are also, in the library, a few dozen computers with no sign-in, and many actions are limited ( I don't even think you can get to the start menu). And, of course, they can make it so that they only compute when no one has been on for ten minutes.
One of the clusters is open 24-7 (as long as it's not vacation), and it probably has a hundred. And, of course, the download is free . . .
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby krynd » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:09 am UTC

sje46 wrote:I'm not saying that they will let me do it, but I can propose to student senate or something hat maybe it will be a smart idea. We have an image to uphold, UNH. While considered one of the top ten party schools in the country according to a major list, we are also considered one of the greenest (runner up to top ten, if I recall). I think they are concerned about their image, but I am not sure how much it will help.

Emphasis mine.

If this is true, they'll likely agree, especially to help offset that "top ten party school in the country" image.

sje46 wrote:I'm guessing that there are about 1000 computers owned by the University, could be more. Could be less. There are clusters, where you sign into your user name to get into windows. There are also, in the library, a few dozen computers with no sign-in, and many actions are limited ( I don't even think you can get to the start menu). And, of course, they can make it so that they only compute when no one has been on for ten minutes.

The library computers' locked-down, always-on (except for when the librarians shut them off) nature look like good candidates for this sort of thing.

sje46 wrote:One of the clusters is open 24-7 (as long as it's not vacation), and it probably has a hundred. And, of course, the download is free . . .

If this cluster was locked down enough that no one could meddle with the running calculations, this would be an ideal cluster. It's larger than your library's cluster, and likely is filled with newer computers (most schools I know of shove their older computers in their libraries).
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Rakysh » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:58 am UTC

I'm in.

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Nemphael » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:07 am UTC

I had it running overnight, but when I woke up this morning and wanted to check how much it had finished, my screen was black and unresponsive to both mouse and keyboard input. Neither power nor reset button worked, so I had cut the power. While I'm unsure if it was WCG, it's the only thing I was running. I haven't ruled out a possible hacker/virus infection but I doubt it. Has this happened to anyone else? It ran just fine while I was using my computer for four hours earlier.

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:17 am UTC

ive never had any problems with it. If you close the window, it still runs, and is less likely to screw things up.
the true answer to your problem: no one will ever know.

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby krynd » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:13 pm UTC

The last entry on the page shows a known bug semi-relevant to your question.

Try checking the log files. They are located in your data directory. Specifically, look for stderrgui.txt. This will contain all the serious messages and crash reports logged throughout your session. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to contain timestamp information (at least on my system. I haven't had any problems with the program, so perhaps to save log space the developers left out timestamp information for non-critical errors?), but it should tell you if a serious error was encountered.

If stderrgui.txt doesn't help you out, try stderrdae.txt (serious errors and crash reports, for the client). Otherwise try stdoutgui.txt (likely to be a large file. Try not to open in Notepad (on Windows) and stdoutdae.txt. stdoutgui.txt logs debugging information (hence its size), and stdoutdae.txt logs all messages from all task sessions (it can help you get a general timeframe on when your session crashed).

Anyway, all that information is likely just pedantic, as your problem was likely just a standard OS hang (especially if you're running Windows. <uselessPersonalObservation relevance="0">For some reason, Windows likes to crash at night more often than during the day when my computer is running</uselessPersonalObservation>. XML is fun. If it happens again, you might want to post on the WCG BOINC Agent Support Forums.


http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/bg/BOINCMassInstall.pdf
http://wcg.wikia.com/wiki/Security
http://wcg.wikia.com/wiki/Mass_install_(disk_image)
Something everyone may want to send to their school's IT department if they plan to do something like sje46 (mass-install on lab computers).
Dangermouse wrote:I hope this doesn't mirror too much of what you've read--and btw, you should read less and do more. No one takes good pictures or runs a marathon sitting on their couch surfing the internet.


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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Gellert1984 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:38 am UTC

Nemphael wrote:I had it running overnight, but when I woke up this morning and wanted to check how much it had finished, my screen was black and unresponsive to both mouse and keyboard input. Neither power nor reset button worked, so I had cut the power. While I'm unsure if it was WCG, it's the only thing I was running. I haven't ruled out a possible hacker/virus infection but I doubt it. Has this happened to anyone else? It ran just fine while I was using my computer for four hours earlier.


I had this problem last night, but not the night before, my computer had been left on for 3 days straight though...
The only time I question the right to Free Speech is when I watch Fox News, probably due to the fact that I don't think they really believe in it. -Elisa Scaldaferri

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rath358
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:09 am UTC

woo! 13 members and 84 results...we're starting to get up there in numbers! (13,000th to 1,600th)
keep spreading the word! =]

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby happy-go-lucky » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:31 am UTC

I was already on WCG but I've joined the xkcd team now :D

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby reishka » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

I joined. I just forgot to post here that I joined. >.>; Oops.

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby sje46 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:42 pm UTC

Despite being the second oldest member in the team, I have no points earned. Because of this, I might as well retire.

Ridiculous.
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby PapaNachos » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:53 pm UTC

I always have mine set to kick in after 2 minutes of inactivity and have never had any trouble with it.

I'm going to go ahead and join the xkcd team as well.

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Blokey » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:55 pm UTC

As Woody Allen said when asked if he could spare 5 minutes for cancer research: Sure, but I don't think we'll be able to get much done!

But if hundreds or thousands spare 5 minutes, that's a different story...


Nice find. I'm in.
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby krynd » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:50 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:Despite being the second oldest member in the team, I have no points earned. Because of this, I might as well retire.

Ridiculous.

<lameHumanitarianism>Remember, it's not about the competition, so much as it is about helping humanity in general.</lameHumanitarianism> Besides, I'm something like the 3rd or 4th member, and have only returned two results (despite having my computer run the program at all times).

It's slow-going, but I figure something constructive may as well use my spare CPU cycles. It doesn't really impact my performance to have it run constantly. OpenOffice and Firefox use almost no CPU cycles (RAM's another issue, however), leaving my processor idle 90% of the time. Of course, I do turn BOINC (the client used for WCG computing) off for games (it does a great job of managing itself the rest of the time).

The only problem I have so far is that the "Time to Completion" is off by a good bit. <confession>I'm currently signed up for two Grid Computing projects: WCG and Ibercivis (because nuclear fusion is cool).</confession>. WCG is usually off in Time to Completion by about 2-4 hours, where Ibercivis is off by a factor of 4 (most tasks are only supposed to take 40 minutes on Ibercivis, but usually end up taking close to 3 hours). I've run the benchmarks several times, however the Time to Completion is still off by a good bit. Anyone else running into this?

Spoiler:
Ibercivis doesn't impact my WCG computing that much. As I said, most tasks are comparatively small (3 hours of actual Ibercivis run time vs 15 hours for a WCG task), and I run them only when WCG's progress bar seems to have frozen (happens from time to time).
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby sje46 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:25 pm UTC

But the thing is that it I think it is impacting my computer speed a lot. And I run my computer like 20 hours a day. I still have returned nothing.
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby krynd » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:46 am UTC

Is the progress bar moving at all? If so, the WCG forums recommends suspending a task, waiting, then restarting the task. Otherwise, I don't know what else to recommend. Perhaps try uninstalling then reinstalling BOINC (and everything BOINC-affiliated)?
Dangermouse wrote:I hope this doesn't mirror too much of what you've read--and btw, you should read less and do more. No one takes good pictures or runs a marathon sitting on their couch surfing the internet.


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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:25 am UTC

sje, if you have a fairly old computer, it might not run too well. There are minimum requirementsthat your computer must meet. otherwise, I would try opening the BOINC manager and look at the progress bar and make sure it isnt paused.


edit:wow, some of you guys (Gellert) have kick@$$ computers. I have my new desktop running almost 24/7, and 2 more on frequently, but I am being blown away.

sje, your statistics say that you have no devices installed. try redownloading it?

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Blokey » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:09 am UTC

Is this considered a worthy enough cause that a mod would be kind/merciful/tasty enough to pin it, at least for a while?

First time I saw this thread I thought it would be about donating computers to charities for sick kids or something. If it were pinned, it might get a better response. Seriously, a less than 5 minute download and install for something like this is so worth it, and there's little good reason not to. This is arguably the first time in my life that I've felt that every little genuinely did help.
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby angelfire » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:12 am UTC

im in
just a question
does it matter which project i add?
or is there a "team preference"

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rath358
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:19 am UTC

The most important thing is to use it. Check all the project boxes because they do not all always have work.
There is an XKCD team. use this link if you already have WCG.
Use this one to register and automatically join the team.

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:28 am UTC

We have officially surpassed 10,000th in terms of run time, and we are really close to breaking 1000th on members. I bet we can get past, say 8000th / 800th by May! recruit, recruit, recruit! =]

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Nosetroll » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:54 pm UTC

Whopiie! I'm in.. Sent a link to my aunt. She's really deep into all these "Save the world"-things. She won't join the XKCD-team, but it's the spreading and helping we're after, right?
Argh! I got a boogie man! It's eating my Brainz!!!

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rath358
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:07 pm UTC

yup. my sig links directly to the main page of the site, so that is probably the best link to send to a non-xkcdian. their site also offers recruitment emails that they will send for you, you just enter the email addresses.

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby ^.* » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:12 pm UTC

Meh that`s just depressing I can`t get near gellert (I`m Lewin Eagle) and this weekend I will lose even more ground cause I didn`t take the time to start my pc again after I got back from a lan.(Currently I`m at my laptop.) An octacore would be nice or at least better quadcore.
But it`s a nice thing. http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/stat/viewProject.do?projectShortName=faah I`m awed when I see a cummulated runtime of 94700 years.
Just some random quote till I find an better signature.
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rath358
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:33 pm UTC

what really surprises me is this

at least 10 users get a year or ore of runtime per day...that's 35+computers, on constantly...

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Gellert1984
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby Gellert1984 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:57 pm UTC

Wow I read through a couple of those names in the above link.

I recognized a few, IBM obviously and the various universities but then I got to things like:-
tripwire (a common name in military fiction for a perimeter breach, not sure if its widely used in r/l but interesting possibilties)
SG-Grid, brings suicide girls and stargate to mind
Coppell ISD - imperial star destroyer

Can anyone see anything else amusing in that list?
The only time I question the right to Free Speech is when I watch Fox News, probably due to the fact that I don't think they really believe in it. -Elisa Scaldaferri

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rath358
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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:17 pm UTC

hmm...a WCG virus...interesting...BWAHAHAHAHAHA

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby angelfire » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:02 am UTC

hmm, just finished 4 calculations
im getting about 600 points per result
and about 100 points per hour

should i be doing better?

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Re: charitable computing-WCG

Postby rath358 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:41 am UTC

thats more or less average. A slightly more usable statistic is hours per result. I get ~6 on my good desktop and ~9 with everything else weighing things down.


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