BOINC gains CPU capability detection

Starting in the next version of the BOINC client we’ll be able to detect CPU capabilities.

It is important to note that the capability detection is actually done by the operating system and BOINC just queries the operating system for the supported instruction sets. I bring this up because not all operating systems fully support all additional instruction sets supported by the processor. We are being conservative here to avoid illegal instruction exceptions or privileged instruction exceptions.

For Windows the following instruction sets or capabilities can be detected:

  • fpu
  • tsc
  • pae
  • nx
  • sse
  • sse2
  • sse3
  • 3dnow
  • mmx

On Linux we read the data out of /proc/cpuinfo.

I still need to write the code for the Mac OS.

The processor information will be passed to both the science applications and the scheduling server.

BOINC Simplified GUI Efforts

Well the BOINC Default client is about to get a face lift. David and I have been working with the guys at World Community Grid to come up with a simplier GUI than the one in use today.

The simple GUI will be skinable. We will be releasing a specification for how to construct skins at a later date.

It is our hope that skins can be used by both projects and teams to present a better experience for everybody.

What we have nailed down so far is that the skin file will be XML, and it’ll contain references to BMPs, JPGs, PNGs, and GIFs. The skin file will be stored in a subdirectory called ‘skins’.

Here is an example of what a skined BOINC Manager looks like: