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Thread: Running BOINC

  1. #1
    Old Timer jasong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Need Sticky that describes different projects.

    Please? I'm going to have to surf my butt off to determine what kind of distribution I want to run the projects at, but a Sticky could help whoever follows me.

    EDIT: This was later made into a Sticky by Ironbits. Word of advice: Don't complain about stuff unless you're willing to be put in charge of correcting it.
    Last edited by jasong; 02-16-2005 at 03:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Target Butt IronBits's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Morrisville, NC
    There ya go - post away

  3. #3
    Old Timer jasong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Give me a few days. I don't know much about these projects, so it'll simply be helpful links.


    Notes: Seti@Home URL
    Last edited by jasong; 02-14-2005 at 10:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Old Timer jasong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    BOINC info

    BOINC's basic premise:

    Many different projects can use BOINC. Projects are independent; each one operates its own servers and databases. However, projects can share resources in the following sense: Participants install a core client program which in turn downloads and executes project-specific application programs. Participants control which projects they participate in, and how their resources are divided among these projects. When a project is down or has no work, the resources of its participants are divided among the other projects in which the participants are registered.

    First you download and install the software. Unfortunately, when I did it, I didn't realize you had to "attach" to projects, took me a while to figure out what was going on. Luckily, I'm here to explain it to you.

    You basically need two things, a project URL and a "key." Beyond the fact that these are absolutely necessary to run the project, I'm not totally sure how they work. I also don't know how my heart and lungs work, but it's pretty evident I get along okay. Now, then:

    To make things easy, I'm giving the websites to install ALL the projects. Unless I majorly screwed up, this shouldn't take you more than a half-hour. Unless you have political or religious problems with a project(hey, it's possible) I would advise installing ALL of them. If you don't like a project for whatever reason, you can arrange for it to have only a tiny fraction of time allocated to it(Only have it crunch a unit about once a year, for instance). If you don't install all the projects your computer could become idle, which is a no-no for an upstanding person like yourself.

    Instructions for attaching to projects for Windows(Linux anyone?):

    First you sign up for a project by opening a new window with the supplied URLs below(so you don't have to use the back button a bunch. See? I think of EVERYTHING. :bs: ) After you sign up you get an email with two things(Backing up this information, possibly including hard-copy records could save a lot of grief, trust me).

    Anyway, here are the websites:

    Astropulse(Not sure about this one, I think it has something to do with SETI. Can't find a download site)
    Climate Prediction: Sign up
    Einstein@Home:Sign up. This one isn't quite ready for primetime last time I checked, but since I signed up early, I'm running it at the moment.
    LHC@Home:Sign up here Not accepting users, last time I checked.
    Pirates@Home: Sign up. Download this to help test new features of BOINC.
    Predictor: Sign up here. Read the page carefully, they were still in what they called "alpha phase" last time I checked.
    SETI: Sign up here.

    If BOINC isn't already running, start it up. On the menus, click on "Settings," then "Attach to Project." Open up your email and if you're lucky you'll find an automatic email from the site you've signed up with. Do a little Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V(If you don't know what this is, how the heck did you find out about DC?) and Voila, you're signed up. I've noticed that cut and paste sometimes puts in unwanted spaces, not sure if this is a problem for BOINC. My advice is that after you copy and paste your two pieces of information, click on the right-hand side of each entry and press delete a few times, then make sure there are no spaces to the left of the entry. It might not matter, but I thought I'd mention it. Anyway, after you click on OK, it should start downloading information(my apologies to dial-up users who follow my advice to sign up for every project). Go ahead and sign up for everything, then we'll worry about tweaking(By tweaking, I simply mean adjusting how it downloads projects. Sorry, overclockers )

    Okay, now we're getting into the limits of my knowledge, we're going to talk about the Priority settings. Basically, it works like this(I think):

    Each project is assigned a number of shares(can be any whole number, not sure what the max is). Let's say Einstein@Home and SETI are the projects. Let's say E@H is assigned 100 shares and SETI is assigned 50 shares. Given a sufficiently long time period this means that SETI will get about 33%(50/150) of your personal BOINC program's assignments assigned to it, while E@H will get 66%(100/150). I have no idea what happens if one project is out of work. Please consider the first two posts of this Sticky if you're wondering why someone as ignorant as me about this is writing this Sticky.

    Anyway, in your personal settings it contains the number of shares the project gets. The GUI simply does the math first and lists the percentages. I'm guessing they did this to improve people's math scores, since it's more convenient to simply do a little bit of algebra than go to all the g********d websites to figure out what your share number is.

    Anyway, that's the limit of my knowledge and it's an hour past my bedtime. G'night.
    Last edited by jasong; 02-15-2005 at 04:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Administrator Bok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Wake Forest, North Carolina, United States
    Blog Entries
    Posted by jasong

    Climate Prediction:
    What is is the largest experiment to try and produce a forecast of the climate in the 21st century. To do this, we need people around the world to give us time on their computers - time when they have their computers switched on, but are not using them to their full capacity.
    [read more about the experiment]

    Climate change, and our response to it, are issues of global importance, affecting food production, water resources, ecosystems, energy demand, insurance costs and much else. There is a broad scientific consensus that the Earth will probably warm over the coming century; should, for the first time, tell us what is most likely to happen.

    What do we want you to do?
    You can download a climate model from this website. It will run automatically as a background process on your computer whenever you switch your computer on. It should not affect any other tasks you use your computer for. As the model runs, you can watch the weather patterns on your, unique, version of the world evolve. The results are sent back to us via the internet, and you will be able to see a summary of your results on this web site.

    Einstein@Home is a program that uses your computer's idle time to search for spinning neutron stars (also called pulsars) using data from the LIGO and GEO gravitational wave detectors. Einstein@Home is a World Year of Physics 2005 project supported by the American Physical Society (APS) and by a number of international organizations.

    Einstein@Home is available for Windows, Linux and Macintosh OS X computers.

    Einstein@Home is currently searching the most sensitive 600 hours of data from LIGO's fourth science run, S4.

    What the program does:

    Most of the scientific computing challenges that the LHC experiments are facing will require access to huge amounts of storage - the LHC will produce 15 Petabytes (15 million Gigabytes) of data per year. These data requirements means that most analysis programmes cannot be run on individual PCs. This is why CERN is leading the development of Grid computing, which aims to link hundreds of major computing centres around the world.

    However, there are exceptions where public computing makes sense for the LHC. CERN's IT Department is interested in evaluating the sort of technology that is used by SETI@home for future use. A program called SixTrack, which simulates particles traveling around the LHC to study the stability of their orbits, can fit on a single PC and requires relatively little input or output.

    SixTrack was developed by Frank Schmidt of the CERN Accelerators and Beams Department, based on an earlier program developed at DESY, the German Electron Synchrotron in Hamburg. SixTrack produces results that are essential for verifying the long term stability of the high energy particles in the LHC. Lyn Evans, head of the LHC project, says that "the results from SixTrack are really making a difference, providing us with new insights into how the LHC will perform".

    Typically SixTrack simulates 60 particles at a time as they travel around the ring, and runs the simulation for 100000 loops (or sometimes 1 million loops) around the ring. That may sound like a lot, but it is less than 10s in the real world. Still, it is enough to test whether the beam is going to remain on a stable orbit for a much longer time, or risks losing control and flying off course into the walls of the vacuum tube. Such a beam instability would be a very serious problem that could result in the machine being stopped for repairs if it happened in real life.

    By repeating such calculations thousands of times, it is possible to map out the conditions under which the beam should be stable.

    (I seem to remember hearing somewhere that their main goal has nothing to do with Alien Intelligence, but they make that claim in order to get people to crunch. Sort of like an oceanographer getting grant money by claiming they're searching for "The Great whale, Moby Dick!" Don't quote me, though)

    What is SETI@home?

    SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.

    What is Predictor@home?

    Predictor@home is a world-community experiment and effort to use distributed world-wide-web volunteer resources to assemble a supercomputer able to predict protein structure from protein sequence. Our work is aimed at testing and evaluating new algorithms and methods of protein structure prediction. We recently performed such tests in the context of the Sixth Biannual CASP (Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction) experiment, and now need to continue this development and testing with applications to real biological targets. Our goal is to utilize these approaches together with the immense computer power that can be harnessed through the internet and volunteers all over the world (you!) to address critical biomedical questions of protein-related diseases.

    Cell Computing
    When I went to the Cell Computing web page, it gave a bunch of user-unfriendly Japanese characters. You'd think somebody would've made a halfway decent redirect page by now. O, well, when they get their act together, someone can cobble in(no pun intended) the description.

  6. #6
    Find a link to all the distributions of BOINC here
    Good luck!

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