ROMWNET Upgrades (2020)

2020 turns out to be a hardware refresh year for ROMWNET.

I’ve upgraded the network to a 10Gbps backplane using a Netgear XS716T linking to the already existingNetgear M4100-26G through a 4Gbps LACP connection.

I’ve added a Asustor AS7010T to the mix for storage and backup archival purposes. I went ahead and upgraded the box to include an additional 8GB of RAM and a 10Gb network adapter. In total, I have 32TBs of storage split between magnetic state and solid state.

Infrastructure Nodes

M350 Universal Mini-ITX enclosure

These passively cooled and self-contained Hyper-V machines host virtual machines critical to network operations. These virtual machines keep the network up and the Internet accessible in case the main cluster goes offline for whatever reason. Critical services include a Firewall, Intrusion Detection System, Mail Smarthost System, Authentication Systems, and a Z-wave Home Automation Controller.


Chassis:Minibox M350
System Board:Supermicro A1SRi-2758F
Memory:4 X 8GB Unbuffered ECC SO-DIMM DDR3 1600MHz
Network:4 RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
1 RJ45 Dedicated IPMI LAN port
Hard Drive:Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Cluster Nodes

SuperChassis E300

These actively cooled Hyper-V machines are configured in a automatic failover configuration for all the remaining virtual machines on the network.

Originally I attempted to re-use the spare M350 chassis I had lying around with the X11SDV, but I discovered that the heatsink alone could not dissipate enough heat to keep the system from shutting off while idling for 5 minutes. So, I tried the SCE300 with the Noctua NF-A4x20 PWM fans which would allow the system to stay up while idling but would shutdown under load.

I ended up using the Supermicro FAN-0100L4 fans which move enough air to keep the system cool while even under load.


Chassis:Supermicro SCE300
System Board:Supermicro X11SDV-8C-TLN2F
Memory:4 X 64GB DDR4-2133 4Rx4 LP ECC LRDIMM
Network:2 RJ45 10GBase-T ports
1 RJ45 Dedicated IPMI LAN port
Hard Drive:M Key M.2 NVME SSD to PCI-e 3.0 x4 Host Controller Expansion Card
Samsung 970 PRO SSD 1TB – M.2 NVME


Overall, I have been very happy with the systems performance and stability over the last few months. My only complaint about the new configuration, over the old configuration, is the fan noise even when most of the system is idle.


—– Rom

Blog Migration

After a seriously long time, I’ve finally upgraded my blogging platform to WordPress. Dasblog was no longer being supported and I started receiving emails from a security firm (known to me) stating that my blog was being used as an open redirection relay for bad actors.

I managed to migrate all my previous blog posts, but was unable to keep the comments, trackbacks, or pings. I haven’t yet figured out how to handle the DasBlog permalink issue yet, maybe I’ll get to that at some point. Sorry for breaking all the existing links.

—– Rom

FOLLOWUP: New BOINC Manager Design


Original post:
New BOINC Manager Design

BOINC Sentinels

Some time back, I started BOINC Sentinels as a platform to experiment with some ideas I had for new user interfaces and improvements to underlying technology for user interfaces.

I made a working prototype of the idea I posted in the original “New BOINC Manager Design” blog post.

It does not have all the functionality of BOINC Manager. I am using Valkyrie and Hunter (BOINC Manager clone) to test out the underlying framework.

In all the cases I know about the new framework is faster and more efficient than the framework we are currently using.

Precompiled versions of the apps:

Just a waning, all of this is incomplete software. I am mostly playing around with ideas and running performance tests.

—– Rom

New project name needed

So I have been working on a little side project on and off for a year or two. Basically I wanted to experiment with different BOINC User Interfaces.

Anyway to make a long story short the project name I started using awhile back is BOINC Monitor. I didn’t announce it or advertise it. I just wanted to sit on it and work on it until I had something to show for it.

At the time I started it the only project that was close was called boincmon on SourceForge, but it was more or less abandoned. Since then Igor Bushin has release a few versions of an application he has named BOINC Monitor. Congrats to Igor!

So now I need to come up with something different.

Anybody have any ideas?

—– Rom

BOINC Screen Saver Issue

Well I believe I have found and fixed the screen saver issue that has been plaguing the BOINC community since shortly after the 6.2 launch.

This bug wasn’t easy to track down, and was something of a perfect storm as far as the code was concerned.

The prerequisites for this bug were:

  1. Single monitor
  2. Graphics application window gets created behind the screen saver curtain window
  3. Graphics application gets stuck in an infinite loop or deadlocks on startup

We had some backup code in the screen saver to check for keyboard and mouse activity separately from the project application but after the graphics application deadlocks that code was no longer being executed.

The reason that code was no longer being executed stems from the fact that the BroadcastSystemMessage() Windows API waits for a success/failure return value from the application to which it was sending, since the graphics application itself was deadlocked it caused the screen saver to lock up.

I didn’t realize that the BroadcastSystemMessage() API would not timeout on a hung application. So I learned something new this weekend.

If all goes according to plan I’ll be releasing a new 6.4 client as well as a 6.6 client with the screen saver fixes today.

—– Rom