21) Message boards : Number crunching : Upload Errors (Message 26150)
Posted 22 Jan 2014 by henry
The "can't open log file" is usually the first indication that the upload server's disk is full. The "project temporarily shutdown for maintenance" message is the indication that someone finally wised up and is making some room on the disk.

Due to inattention and/or lack of understanding of how a BOINC server works on the part of the admins, this situation repeats itself regularly at this project. It doesn't happen this frequently at any other project I crunch just this one. And now, as if that's not enough, they want to compound the problem by increasing the number of big files the server has to store by a factor of at least 5 I would estimate, with their looney tunes "multistage tasks" or "mega- tasks" or whatever name one wants to apply to the disaster in the making. Yep, shooting themselves in the foot over and over and over. Pathetic.

22) Message boards : Number crunching : News, Status and Plans, 19th November, 2013 (Message 26149)
Posted 22 Jan 2014 by henry
Well, Pick, I'll tell you what's going on. In fact I'll even tell you what went on. You spotted the last thread someone posted to, ignored the topic and posted your off-topic post here in this thread. That's what went non (past tense). Now what's going on (present tense) is that everybody reading your message is shaking their heads and rolling their eyes and saying, "Pick, Pick, Pick, sick, sick, sick."

If you have something to say please find a thread with an appropriate topic in which to post your message or start a new thread. I'm quite sure you've heard that advice already, possibly directed to some other rude poster, possibly directed to yourself, so why can you not follow it? Do you not understand the concept of topics? Or are you just an inconsiderate stumblebum? Which is it, Pick?
23) Message boards : Number crunching : sixtraktest: Maximum elapsed time exceeded (Message 26142)
Posted 22 Jan 2014 by henry
Is this perhaps preparation for future mega WUs were we get the follow on of a WU from a previous contributor?

Yep, the madness has begun. Why does this project attract the nuttiest of the nutbar admins. Pathetic. A one idea man with a one track mind on a mission to solve problems that are already solved. Hopefully somebody at CERN gets wind of this and tells him he isn't allowed to waste their bandwidth that way let alone the bandwidth of their volunteers.
24) Message boards : Number crunching : News, Status and Plans, 19th November, 2013 (Message 26139)
Posted 22 Jan 2014 by henry
Is that a problem? Why? Because some would not update BOINC and get the VM and they'd flounce out in a hissy fit? So what? Who cares if 100 stumblebums quit because they're too stupid to get a VM installed? The fact is there are far more people seeking Sixtrack work than there is Sixtrack work available. The project could shed 200 stumblebums and be no worse off.

Honestly I don't see your point unless your purpose is to take the smallest mole hill and make the biggest possible mountain out of it just to preserve some holy status quo. Face the future... more and more projects are going to start using a VM for obvious reasons (1 app runs on all platforms) so get with it or get left behind.
25) Message boards : Number crunching : News, Status and Plans, 19th November, 2013 (Message 26127)
Posted 16 Jan 2014 by henry
All options except for the extension pack get installed even with the BOINC installer. The extension pack is just another simple download and install. Any user who can't handle that is probably going to forget to breath and die soon anyway but 99.9% would have no trouble. The actual configuring of the options is done in the VMI (virtual machine image) the project issues, maintains and sends to the user as a BOINC project file... again no user intervention required. On rare occasion a user has an unusual hardware or software configuration the VMI can't work with and on those rare occasions the user needs to configure a preference or 2. But that's easy.

Regarding the bandwidth... My original complaint with it was linked to Eric's plan to implement the ultra-long tasks (10 million turns or was it 100 million he was discussing?) in stages by having host A calculate the first million then sending all the resultant data (a big file) to the Sixtrack project server which then issues that big file to host B as inputs for the 2nd million turns. When host B is done the 2nd million turns it sends the resultant data (another big file) to the server which issues that big file to host C for the 3rd million turns. If you can see the pattern and appreciate the fact that the scheme requires a lot of big files being sent and received with nothing being done to the data in the file between send and receive (i.e. while it's on the server), then you begin to understand the problem I was complaining about and can see that it's a big waste of bandwidth. A much better way would be to just have 1 host do the entire 10 or 100 million turns but put an option in the website prefs that allows slower systems to opt for short tasks. Or even better, provide the mentioned option but have the server decide which systems are fast enough to handle the ultra-long tasks and which are not and send short/long tasks accordingly unless the user overrides with the option in his website prefs.

Stable, properly configured systems have no problem with 24 hour or even 48 hour tasks. Many projects have used tasks that long and even longer very successfully. Even 3 month tasks are not a problem. They have received a lot of bad press due to the 3 month tasks CPDN used to issue (and perhaps still does) but that's mostly because their app is not very robust.

That's not to say Coleslaw's concern is irrelevant or invalid. It is definitely valid, especially in North America where the cost of unlimited data plans is out of reach for the average cruncher. IIUC, many Europeans have unlimited data plans for about the same price that we pay in N. America for severely restricted data plans. What makes Eric's scheme potentially troublesome for us N. Americans is that it's our upload data that is most severely restricted yet Eric wants us to upload big files when there is a far better solution.

I am not against big uploads if there is no other way but when it isn't necessary then it must be avoided.

So please, before anybody else offers solutions like "slow your network speed down" or "nobody's forcing you to crunch this project", please think before you run off at the mouth and make sure you understand what Eric has in mind and understand the implications.
26) Questions and Answers : Sixtrack : no work (Message 26125)
Posted 15 Jan 2014 by henry
What I want to know is if they have any sites announcing when/if they will have new WUs?

If they will have new WUs? The answer is they will have WUs for 2 more years for sure but they will be intermittent.

When they will have new WUs? Never has been such a site and never will be, except for Eric sometimes saying like "more tasks coming next week". If you want to be one of the first to know when they have fresh tasks you need to run a script that fetches the content of the Server Status page and parses the Tasks Ready to Send number. When the script sees that the number has changed from 0 to some big number it can do whatever you want it to do, like send a text message to your phone. Or ring a bell. Or abort all your other tasks and start pulling in Sixtrack tasks.

Is that what you want?
27) Message boards : Number crunching : 13 jan 2014 -- Error while computing (Message 26123)
Posted 14 Jan 2014 by henry
Yes, looks to be the new new sixtrack v450.03 for Linux. The few tasks I've received have all run on the pni app and they've all crashed. So far none have run on the sse2/3 app. Maybe those will be OK. I'll set other projects to NNT and concentrate on Sixtrack.
28) Message boards : Number crunching : 13 jan 2014 -- Error while computing (Message 26120)
Posted 13 Jan 2014 by henry
So far it looks like they crash in less than 60 secs so I can't see anybody losing much production time if they just let them run. If they all crash then you'll eventually run into the tasks per day per CPU limit and won't receive anymore. There is a chance you'll eventually latch onto a few that don't crash. Eric will probably want to know which ones crash and which ones don't and the only way to do discern the difference might be to run enough of them to establish a recognizable pattern.
29) Message boards : Number crunching : News, Status and Plans, 19th November, 2013 (Message 26118)
Posted 12 Jan 2014 by henry
VMs are additional overhead, extra installation and hence extra dependencies, and a bloody stupid idea.

Additional overhead that gets you something you need is overhead well spent. If you disagree then ditch your GUI OS because it requires far more overhead than certain VMs require. A VM would certainly get something this project needs badly.... consistent results from different platforms... which is well worth the miniscule overhead required by modern VMs.

Extra installation by the user is no longer required. The BOINC installer does it for you on Windows.

Stupid idea? You haven't proven that yet. The fact that the BOINC admins are investing a lot of time and effort to support VMs and the fact that the VM concept has proven very useful at at least 1 project suggests you are going to have a very difficult time convincing the rest of the BOINC community VMs are a stupid idea.

It also requires all current users to reconfigure their systems.

So what? History has proven 99% of users are fully capable of reconfiguring. Are you in the 1% who are completely baffled by any and all change? If so then don't worry, we'll hold your hand extra tight as we guide you past the scary, scary monsters that live behind Control Panel.

They're also not going to work on Android and lower-end ARM devices now are they, troll?

I'm a sock-puppet not a troll you doofus. They will work when Oracle ports Virtual Box to Android/ARM. Which won't happen until ARM powered devices are capable of contributing more than a drop to the bucket. (Go ahead, try the "but there are a gazillion of the devices out there" argument and see how far you get with that.)

Android devices already connected here waiting for the WUs for testing....

Wonderful! Then you're about to discover through experience what us non-doofuses are able to deduce.

Larger uploads are simply not a problem. If you're going to cry over bandwidth consumption then limit the network rate. The option has been there long enough.

You missed the point but on the positive side it's so nice of you to stop complaining about extra overhead long enough to tell everybody to not complain about it, hypocrite.
30) Questions and Answers : Sixtrack : Very quick tasks - Six Track - Normal???? (Message 26115)
Posted 11 Jan 2014 by henry
Tasks that end that quickly are said to represent simulations where the particles did not stay focused and hit the wall. They are normal. Some batches of tasks seem to have a relatively high percentage of very quick tasks while other batches seem to have a small percentage.
31) Message boards : News : Status, 13th September, 2013 (Message 26093)
Posted 1 Dec 2013 by henry
So you lot just spam any old nonsense into these threads, huh?

Costa's spam is never old. It's always fresh nonsense!!
32) Message boards : Number crunching : News, Status and Plans, 19th November, 2013 (Message 26086)
Posted 25 Nov 2013 by henry
All professions are conspiracies against the laity, Henry. I shall leave the Gurus to come back on your technical points. I was content to offer you the grunt's pure intellect, unencumbered by factual knowledge - though seemingly this forum is not doing what you want it to and a more formal and private set up might be a positive way forward - but if you are happy with things as they are, then so am I.

I've walked on both sides of that fence, Roger, lay as well as professional. There is a divide there, you could say a conspiracy.

I'm not happy but not sad/angry either. Thanks for your interest in my concerns as well as this project's concerns. I won't rule out a private setup but the benefit of discussions in the forum is that knowledge gets passed down from the gurus to people I broadly refer to as "moving up". I don't know all the details of what I would like to see happen here but I can get things rolling and if there is a serious discussion then others far more knowledgeable than me will join the discussion. That way novices can learn, people at the intermediate level can advance their understanding, everybody benefits. But if it has to be a private thing then so be it.
33) Message boards : Number crunching : News, Status and Plans, 19th November, 2013 (Message 26084)
Posted 24 Nov 2013 by henry
All this is above my head, Henry, but I will make a layman's comment. Were this a professional setup with adequate funding, a state-of-the-art option might be the right one.

True but I'm not asking for anything state of the art or expensive. You can always tell what's state of the art and what is not... if I own one or know anything about it then it's run of the mill.

As I recall, the BIONC idea was to get grunts like myself to participate in some "Citizen Science", using our very ordinary home set-ups. The impact of large packages would be significant for me - here's my reality. I live "at the end of the line" of an old-fashioned rural telephone system. Broadband is unavailable except as a mobile signal via a dongle in a Yagi antenna on the wall of the house - best when the leaves are off the trees! Up/download speeds are too embarrassing to mention. GPU issues have plagued the running of SETI@home, so I no longer use that option.

Nothing I have proposed would exacerbate or alleviate your situation so I wonder if I missed something?

My take is that if you have relevant expertise you should be taking these issues up with Eric by PM. With respect, I can't see the point in "shouting" on this thread. It only frightens the horses.

Just the other day my friend was telling me the Samurai used to poke holes in their horses' eardrums to deafen them so they wouldn't be so easily spooked in noisy battles. It seems to me the sysadmins, devs and other powers that be at this project have also had their eardrums destroyed, by Samurai for all I know, since nothing anyone says here ever earns a response unless one gets downright nasty, loud and aggressive about it. I'm beginning to think Samurai poked their eyes out as well.

The deaf, dumb(frequently) and blind routine has been going on since some time before my puppet-master arrived here in 2008. Yes, I am a lowly sock-puppet. My master was banished forever from this forum though they gladly receive the results of any tasks he crunches for them. If the polite way doesn't get results then there's little to lose by raising one's voice.

I am content to crunch whatever comes along in the hope that from time to time we will get some interesting feedback.

That's nice of you, Roger. Some of us want more than interesting feedback. Some of us want what the project scientists want which is success. The thing is there are many BOINC projects that want success and there is a scarcity of that which yields success... our CPU cycles. It frustrates many of us when projects waste our CPU cycles (and your CPU cycles too) as it decreases every project's prospects for success. My master is active in a number of projects and sees so many project developers and admins working their butts off to optimise their code and operations for the purpose of getting more done with less. Meanwhile, this project, one of the most important projects there will ever be, plods along with anachronisms everybody else abandoned some time ago. Anything approaching "up to date" at this project was implemented only after a few forward thinking volunteers kicked their butts repeatedly, severely and relentlessly and shamed them all over the BOINC world.

Maybe LHC needs to put together a small team of knowledgeable folks as a "think tank" to stimulate evaluation of the best options for the future - and maybe you should be the first recruit?

That's one heck of a good idea! And we/they already have it in place. It's called "this forum" and most of the truly knowledgeable folks that I know of lurk here and I suspect many gurus I don't know about lurk here as well. If the project admins want their help/advice/reflections all they have to do is respond in this forum, keep a dialogue going and implement suggestions. It's a process that works very well at numerous other projects and the only reason it doesn't work here is because they appear to not want any help. For example, they have a problem with what's known as "the tail of the dragon". Other projects overcame that problem years ago and a few of us here tried to point them in the right direction. They ignored that help yet they still whine about the tail.

34) Message boards : Number crunching : News, Status and Plans, 19th November, 2013 (Message 26080)
Posted 21 Nov 2013 by henry
It is shameful that we do not have a one-click installation for the BOINC client
for Linux at CERN (Scientific Linux CERN 6, SLC6).


The only thing shameful is that you refuse to give your head a shake and smell the coffee. You can have BOINC running on SLC6 and have all of us running that if you want to. It would take some work as you would need to recompile BOINC on SLC6 and that might require porting some shared libs. You would then provide a VirtualBox VM for download. The VM would have SLC6 installed as the OS and have BOINC for SLC6 installed as an app. You could install just BOINC client and supply an already coded and tested manager that uses an ncurses interface. This approach doesn't need a wrapper and thus avoids many of the problems T4T encounters.

Or do what your sister project is doing and send a wrapper and a VM with SLC6 installed to existing BOINC clients installed on Windows, Linux, OSX, AIX, FreeBSD and several other OSs. It requires a wrapper but the vboxwrapper is working very well now and this approach would not require you to recompile BOINC.

With either approach you just relax and don't worry about propagation of rounding errors and all that nonsense that you don't have to worry about anymore because all tasks will be running on the same OS.

It ain't 1960 anymore. It's 2013. Get with the times, man!

PM me for more details, I can help.

35) Message boards : Number crunching : News, Status and Plans, 19th November, 2013 (Message 26075)
Posted 20 Nov 2013 by henry
do not listen to trolls please

Don't listen to people who whine repeatedly about lack of Sixtrack work and don't have a clue what "trolls" are saying because they can't read English.

5. Why you put this thread to Chrunch section instead of news if it even has a header News, Plans etc?

Because the first post of any new thread started in News automatically gets put in the News section of the home page. See how long the first post in this thread is? He didn't want that in the home page News so he put it here instead.
36) Message boards : Number crunching : News, Status and Plans, 19th November, 2013 (Message 26071)
Posted 19 Nov 2013 by henry
10,000 years ago men stopped teaching their sons how to hunt and kill mastodons because the mastodons all died off... there is no longer any reason for anyone to know how to bring down a mastodon with a pointy stick.

200 years ago men in India stopped making spears for killing tigers because they found guns work a lot better.

About 60 years ago they stopped producing steam locomotives because diesel-electric units are far more powerful and more fuel efficient.

Now we have a new and better way of achieving compatible results on different platforms. It's called a virtual machine. It's time for you to put away your dream. It was a good dream and a worthy goal 10 years ago but today it's like killing a tiger with a spear. It may be fun, it may give one a sense of accomplishment but it's not something that needs to be done.

Get with the times and get with the virtual machine. We are not here to have fun perfecting anachronisms, we're here to crunch as efficiently as possible.

And now you're talking about 200 MB uploads. Two very important points on that topic:

1) I will be checking my logs closely and the first time I see a 200MB uncompressed upload from this project I will detach this project permanently and so will thousands of other volunteers. Get the zlib libraries and a version of the server code that can use it before you even think of up/downloads that big.

2) I will not be pleased if I see a 200MB result upload and later fail to verify against a result from one of the other platforms. There is no longer any need whatsoever for that to happen. Do the right thing and start using a virtual machine.
37) Message boards : Number crunching : Very few tasks available for a long time (Message 26062)
Posted 13 Nov 2013 by henry
95 and 5% by priority?
doesn't work if you have other projects full of tasks

There is a way to make it work. I told you several weeks ago how to make it work but you said you don't want to do that. Now you get what you configured your hosts to ask for. Trust me... the project managers here aren't going to start creating more work just to please you.
38) Message boards : Number crunching : Upload Errors (Message 26035)
Posted 25 Oct 2013 by henry
As an ex unix sysadmin, I found that 50% of all unix problems turn out to be permission problems...

Interesting. Another BOINC project couldn't be contacted for scheduler reports and work fetches for several hours overnight. The working day has just started in their part of the globe, and they managed to fix it quickly once on site. I just got this reply from their server guy:

Thanks for the heads up Richard!

It turned out to be a permissions change on a directory due to auto-update of mod_fcgi.

If an operating system can't auto-update its own modules without breaking permissions...

That's not necessarily the fault of the operating system. It's more likely the fault of the software updater application, perhaps even params passed to the updater by the incoming package. And I'm not sure fault is even the right word to use as it implies a mistake was made when in fact changing the permissions might have been a necessity or the lesser of 2 evils. There are many factors to consider.

The incident you report is an example of why I don't allow my hosts to auto-update, not ever. I auto-download updates but I choose when to install the modules and I do so only when I have time to watch the system for a while and do at least some minimal checks to verify that important stuff wasn't broken. Anything less is shoddy administration IMHO, especially on a system such as a BOINC server where one wants more than the average measure of reliability. Call me paranoid, pedantic, whatever, I just like things to run smoothly.
39) Message boards : Number crunching : Upload Errors (Message 26033)
Posted 25 Oct 2013 by henry
...not a Unix sysadmin here but as a seasoned Linux user I know you're right. Now a question for you. How does a good sysadmin prevent a permission problem from becoming a bigger problem? Does one accomplish that by changing the system then disappearing for several days? Or does one stick around and monitor the system in case one goofed a permission while making said changes?
40) Message boards : News : Problems 23rd October, 2013 (Message 26024)
Posted 24 Oct 2013 by henry
@henry As others have pointed out your post was uncalled for and the language inappropriate.

The "who gives a damn, it's their CPU time that gets wasted not ours" attitude that has characterized this project from day 1 is also uncalled for and inappropriate. What this project does affects not only this project, it affects other projects too. Anybody who can't see that has Issues.

If that had turned up on the project I moderate [under quite a different name, but quite well known ;)], you'd have found your post hidden and quite likely yourself banned too.

Probably you have already banned one of my sockpuppets at some time in the past. Do I look like I care? No. Has it stopped me from posting there? No. Now go flex your muscles somewhere else, doofus.

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