The Comeback is Complete!
No doubt about it now.ï¿½ Team Lamb Chop has definitely moved into
the #1 club team spot, and the #4 team spot overall.ï¿½ There seems to
still be a bunch of people jumping ship from Art Bell (women and children
first!).ï¿½ Sorry Art…you’re time has come and gone.ï¿½ Now it is
time to step aside and let the Lamb Chop Express through!
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Who is next?ï¿½ Well that must be Compaq.ï¿½ Team Lamb Chop is currently 712,000 WUs behind them.ï¿½ Yup that looks pretty substantial, but no lead is too large for the Lamb!ï¿½ There is some serious firepower ahead of us, but you know what?ï¿½ Sheer strength and determination can overcome the peddlers of puny Presario power.ï¿½ Estimated Time of Arrival?ï¿½ March 2001. Buy best baby toothbrush. Monitor your child’s dental health.
Any Day Now?
The difference is now down under 10K WUs.ï¿½ The actual number for Art Bell is probably about 4000 WUs higher than their total above (the total is based on the top 9,999 members on their team.ï¿½ Possibly by the time you get to work on Monday, the crushing of Art Bell will be complete! ;-).
*Another* New Beta?
Passed Art Bell?
The reason?ï¿½ Repeat the mantra:ï¿½ backloooooooog…backloooooooog…backloooooooog…ï¿½ It has been at least 3 or 4 months since the Team Pages on the S@H site has had accurate numbers for the teams.ï¿½ The normal daily load on the data servers slow things down.ï¿½ Add on top of that the page requests for individual, team, country, you name it stats…that leaves the stats servers bogged down also.ï¿½ Then realize that the data and stats servers have to talk to each other, and then maybe you have an idea of what is going on over there.ï¿½ The recent addition of the “last 10 results” page on the individual stats created even more havoc on an already overloaded situation.ï¿½ If you want to see how slow things are over there, and the type of problems they have click on this link for the Team Art Bell stats.ï¿½ Set up the sundial and time how long it takes for the CGI scripting to finish.ï¿½ (I have to wait at least this long..even longer to pull the data for the daily stats from the pages).
Because of all this server stress, not all work units sent to the servers are posted to the team totals every day.ï¿½ For example, with the additions to the team yesterday, in addition to the regular work units posted for TLC the team gained 16,343 WUs for the day.ï¿½ The “total” on the team page only increased 5,974 WU for the same period of time.ï¿½ That left 10,369 WU “lost” in the backlog.ï¿½ Extrapolate that for 3-4 months, and you can imagine how far the servers are behind.ï¿½ Because of this backlog, the numbers are quite a bit off of the total on the site.ï¿½ Here is a table showing the Totals the SETI site says each team has vs. the “actual” totals:
Those are quite a bit of differences.ï¿½ The “actual” work units are a total of each individual members work units which are on the team at the time when the stats were pulled.ï¿½ there is an * on the Art Bell number, because that is only the total for the top 9,999 members of the team.ï¿½ That is the total number of members that the CGI team page shows.ï¿½ I estimate that the number is actually about ~6,000 more than what is shown since member 9.999 has 3 work units and there are over 3,000 members who don’t show up on that page.
Passed Art Bell……..not yet!ï¿½ Give it a week or two :)ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ –zAmboni (da stats p1mp)
SETI@Home Gets a Deadline Extension
What does this mean to the SETI@Home project?ï¿½ In addition to the increased fundage, Project Voyager will help promote the project though various media elements.ï¿½ Also the project will extend past the original project end in 2001, and it will expand.ï¿½ They plan on using an Australian telescope to scan the Southern Hemisphere, and also plan on doing deeper analysis of the data.ï¿½ This is good news since with the amount of current members in the project, there are too few work units to go around.
If people are worried about the commercialization of the project, those fears can be alleviated.ï¿½ Project director David Anderson chimed in stating that the screensavers (clients) would not be contain advertising nor will the volunteers be subject from direct marketing from outside parties.
Happy Day!ï¿½ Does this mean I will have to do the stats for a couple more years? 🙂
Gettin’ Closer Every Day
Right now we are only a mere 29,000 work units behind Art Bell!ï¿½ At our current pace, we shall pass Art Bell around the end of next week.ï¿½ kickin’!ï¿½ The funny thing is that because of the backlog of stuff on the S@H site, they report that TLC is only 400 work units behind AB.ï¿½ Because of the backlog though, they still haven’t processed the work units lost when guru and gang left the team at the beginning of July.ï¿½ The numbers I have for the site here reflect the current status of the teams.
Other Team Stuff
VulTure’s Den (#12) slipped up one spot in the past week.ï¿½ Idle SouthPark Admin Crew fell prey to the VulTure slippling down to unlucky #13.ï¿½ Knight has been on the move also this week, with an average bordering on 200 per day he has moved up 3 spots to #18.ï¿½ Greens in Oz has been getting consistant output recently and moved up two spots to #23.ï¿½ Virus‘ arrival made most of the team slip down a notch today…but there were several members in the top 50 who still moved up this week.ï¿½ This includes Angus who moved up 4 spots to #33, Beyond moved up 3 spots to #37, and finally Del B. climbed up one spot to #45.ï¿½ï¿½ –zAmboni
Beta Update Update
On the bench work unit the times were very close, probably insignificant.ï¿½ The times to look at are the “normal” WU times.ï¿½ If the memory bandwidth is a tad more on the lower CPU speed, why is the normal work unit time averages longer?ï¿½ 21 minutes longer in fact!ï¿½ I guess the thing to think about is the difference between the benchmark work unit and normal work units.ï¿½ The benchmark work unit is usually faster, because it does not contain any gaussians (the normal work units all contained gaussians).ï¿½ The reason why it processes faster is that it doesn’t do as many gaussian searches in the work unit.ï¿½ With the version 2.70 beta, even though they made it more cache/memory bandwidth friendly, there are also CPU dependent stretches in processing the work unit.ï¿½ To break things down, it looks like the FFT calculations are more memory bandwidth dependent, and the searching for gaussians/pulses/triplets depend on raw CPU speed.ï¿½ The 20 minute difference in normal WU times, I believe, can be directly attributed to the higher CPU speed running at 923Mhz.ï¿½ With the version 2.71 beta doing even more searches than the 2.70 beta, that difference in normal WU times should be larger.ï¿½ Follow?ï¿½ OK quiz tomorrow!
At first the run times seemed a bit more variable, but they now appear to be again in a “bimodal” distribution.ï¿½ The thing with this bimodal distribution is that the run times are opposite from the beta 2.70.ï¿½ As a refresher, on the beta 2.70 client, there was added searches being done on work units with angle_ranges < 0.1.ï¿½ These work units were significantly longer than those with angle_ranges > 0.1.ï¿½ Now with the beta 2.71, additional searches (and FFTs) are being done on all work units….well *almost* all work units.ï¿½ The following is a plot of run times vs the angle ranges on several work units done with the 2.71 beta:
Why the shorter times for the two work units?ï¿½ Those two work units did not contain gaussians.ï¿½ Eric K. a week or so ago stated that if the telescope scans the sky too fast or too slow (i.e. high or low angle ranges), gaussian searches are not done (check July 22nd news).ï¿½ It is unclear if pulse or triplet searches are being done at this time.ï¿½ Because these work units do not do gaussian searches they are significantly faster than the others.ï¿½
Server Outages This Week!
Be prepared again….as usual…sometimes those server outages take quite a bit longer than expected!ï¿½
One note on the database problems they had before.ï¿½ The backlog that they had before seems to still exist.ï¿½ Results are still laggy in being posted to the team totals.ï¿½ Granted this is only from a day or two since they have had the stats back up…but their numbers and the actual team numbers are still a bit different.ï¿½ –zAmboni
Beta v 2.71 is Out
I personally didn’t see any of the problems with the negative values, and client restarts, and only saw graphic anomalies once…but that didn’t really bother me.ï¿½ The bottom graph now runs a bit weird, but I think it is what is expected.ï¿½ The previous clients showed a kind of choppy movement down the time axis, this one is different.ï¿½ When it wants to show a new block of data it draws a small slice and that slice slides down the time axis a bit.ï¿½ It is hard to explain….but maybe you can visualize it.ï¿½ If not, then have a few beers and then think about it again :).ï¿½ The processing seemed to go smoothly though, and my CPU, I believe, is fast enuff for the graphics to keep up with the processing.ï¿½ (but hey I keep it minimized so it doesn’t really matter!)
More science = good.ï¿½ If you have a faster FFT might as well take advantage of it right?ï¿½ Why did I highlight that last sentence?ï¿½ Well about the performance….this is the same statement that they made with the original beta, and that was what they were sort of shooting for performance wise with the new client.ï¿½ I am running the client right now on a regular work unit and it isn’t running that much slower than with the previous (v 2.70) beta.ï¿½ It is currently expected to finish in about 4:20, which is within the range of the last several work units I finished with the v 2.70 beta.ï¿½ It is tough to compare times since I have messed around with my system settings last night (more about that below), and I cant compare times with previous results.ï¿½ I personally think that the times will not be 50% slower than version 2.04, but YMMV.
Good news….lets hope the official version 3.0 release is soon.ï¿½ –zAmboni
More System Tweaking
I won’t go into how you can use the two utilities, but I will pass on what I changed and how it effected performance.ï¿½ I did a search on the above two programs to see what other people have done with them (actually wanted to find out HOW to use the darned thing!), and came up with this page on how to maximize the performance of the BX chipset.ï¿½ I specifically wanted to find out how to increase memory bandwidth performance, and he had several tweaks to help improve it.ï¿½ Several of the tweaks I already did in my BIOS (SoftMenu III on a Abit BE6-II), such as the vaunted 2-2-2 RAM timing.ï¿½ The five tweaks I tried were the following:
My system base settings were the following:ï¿½ PIII 650E @ 866MHz (133FSB) Memory Timing 2-2-2, Precharge Control Enabled.ï¿½ With these settings I had SIsoft Sandra 2000 Memory Benchmark Scores of 422 CPU / 478 FPU.ï¿½ The two settings you would expect to see the greatest increase in bandwidth would be from the leadoff timing and command timing tweaks…the others I expected to get minor changes…ï¿½ Here are the results of the tweaks:
Definitely the combo of tweaks improved my memory bandwidth, the biggest change happened when changing the DRAM Leadoff Timing to “no delay”.ï¿½ The others were minor.ï¿½ I had a conflict/problem when I tried to change both the settings for Leadoff Command Timing, and DRAM Leadoff Timing.ï¿½ I am not sure what the difference between the two of them are though.ï¿½ It worked ok changed them individually, but when I tried to combine both tweaks, the system immediately rebooted.ï¿½ï¿½ Not a shutdown or lockup, mind you.ï¿½ It rebooted when I hit the “set” button.ï¿½ï¿½ I have yet to do a couple of benchmarks to see if the tweaks result in improved SETI client performance, but give me a couple of days, I’ll get that info to ya :).ï¿½ Unfortunately, the BX chipset doesn’t have a cool “interleave” feature, but it looks like there is some tweaks that *can* improve your system performance.ï¿½ –zAmboni
Lions and Tigers and Stats OH
Yes boys and girls the stats are
Frustration Starts to Set in…
Sometime this afternoon they updated the technical news page on the site stating the following:
To be honest, I think it may be a while before they get things back up and going.ï¿½ The root of the problem appears to lie with the choice of databases when they started the project, and the inherent limitations with that database.ï¿½ To give a bad analogy…If you build your house on a foundation of sand, with enuff weight on top of it, the house will eventually sink.ï¿½ The S&H guys picked Informix for their database when starting the project, it may not have been the best choice, but it was free.ï¿½ Of course when they were planning the S@H project, they didn’t expect the response to the project that they have had.ï¿½ Even with the Informix limitations, they probably thought it would serve them well with the amount of users they expected.ï¿½
The statistics that the SETI guys provide, has been one of the reasons why the project has been such a success as it has, and it also has been one of the big problems.ï¿½ The more and varied the statistics that they provide, the more time it takes to do them, and the less performance overall.ï¿½ Originally the statistics only provided for the top 100 members on a team, top 100 teams in each group, and limited individual member stats.ï¿½ That top 100 jumped to the top 200, and before the downtime, the top 9,999 members/teams in each category.ï¿½ Recently they even added viewing of the last 10 results a member turned in.ï¿½ Right now we don’t have any of these.
How can they fix this?ï¿½ Well I guess the most optimal solution, would be better hardware and a better database to work with.ï¿½ Unless some hardware manufacturers chip in with some donations, the former won’t happen, and at this point in the game switching to a different database would be out of the question.ï¿½ The way it sounds, the team is working on trying to “patch” up things, and try to work around the limitations in the database and their server setups.ï¿½ I don’t know about you, but I keep get this image of the crew trying to bail water out of the Titanic.ï¿½
I am sure that they will get the stats back up…but in what form?ï¿½ I have a feeling that the stats will be limited in their scope though.ï¿½ How limited?ï¿½ Guess we all will just have to wait and find out.
Also in the thread Exchequer points out yet another handy tweak from H-Oda called WPCREDIT which you can edit settings for your memory on just about any chipset (among other things).ï¿½ The program is a bit confusing to use though, but it may help out those without VIA motherboards.ï¿½ You can check it out here.ï¿½ I have downloaded it, and will be trying it out.ï¿½ I will let ya know what I found. –zAmboni
A Tip Top Twofer!
Microsoft Windows ET
Servers ‘R’ Up
Its good that they got the science database all fixed up…the Informix problem is another thing.ï¿½ What does this mean for you and me and everyone else right now?ï¿½ Because the CGI’s are off, 1) you cannot view your account information, and personal stats and 2) I cannot do the stats update until they get it fixed.ï¿½ Bummer.ï¿½ Right now there is almost no point in trying to rush and dump your queues unless you are running short of work units.ï¿½ No use trying to post results when I can’t do the stats :/.ï¿½ I wish I had some more cool news to pass along, but there isn’t any…ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ –zAmboni