GridRepublic a Finalist for …

Matt B. informed me that GridRepublic has been named a finalist for the Web Awards at the SXSW Interactive Festival. This will be some great PR for BOINC and BOINC based projects.

For further details on how to help out you can go to these websites:

Apparently you can vote once per day through March 2nd.

Good Luck to GridRepublic!!!!!!

—– Rom

BOINC Q&A — 01/02/07

Have you seen this GPU programming kit:
What do you think are the difficulties of GPU programming with this and would some work still need to be done by the CPU like on F@H?

I suspect every project would have to be a hybrid and use both the CPU and GPU. At the end of the day the OS needs to know what is going on, otherwise it would just overwrite whatever work you assigned to the GPU with something else.

To be honest, I haven’t studied the S@H or R@H source closely enough to know how easy or hard it would be to port using the various toolkits released by the video card manufacturers.

Hopefully we’ll start to see more traction in this area with the release of 5.8, since it has some basic video card detection code in it.

—– Rom

BOINC 5.8 released for Windows and Mac

BOINC 5.8 has now ready for public release.

Some of the highlights for this release include:

  • Simple GUI (Complements of World Community Grid)
  • Basic CPU identification
  • CPU throttling
  • New CPU scheduler
  • New work fetch policy
  • Improved memory management

We have one outstanding issue with the Linux client at this time. As soon as we have resolved it we’ll release it as well.

We would like to thank everyone for their hard work in making this a solid release.

—– Rom

Recent Happenings

Well I’m still unpacking from my move.

I’m sharing a house with my friend Candace, or rather I should say I’m living in a house in which I have a bedroom and an office and she has a pottery showcase area(living room) and studio(two bedrooms joined together). We share the bathrooms, living room and kitchen. She lives with her boyfriend.

Shortly after my stuff arrived I found out my media center was broken, which is a major bummer, we got it all put together and hooked up to the TV and it wouldn’t boot. I’m in the process of trying to get the moving company to pay for sending it off for repairs.

My media center also used to be the host for a few virtual machines which hosted some of my basic network services, and the virtual machine software I’m using didn’t support using a wireless network adapter. So I had been using a long ass network cable to connect it to my router in my previous house. When Candace saw that setup for the first time I got an evil look and said the word “No”  in a tone of voice where you knew it wasn’t open for debate. I guess that was a little too much geek for her.

So I had to find a solution where I could host my virtual machines and not cost an arm and a leg and what I found was this beauty Mini-Box M300-LCD. So in the not to distant future I’ll be picking one up so I can reclaim my notebook and use it for what it was designed for.

One of the things I really like about this mini computer is that Mini-Box released the technical specs for the LCD display, which means anybody can write some control software for it.

Well after playing around with their stock toolset I decided I needed to write my own. Their stock toolset requires you to be logged into the machine so a system tray applet can run before you can change any of the text on the display.

I’m launching the HID LCD Service Toolset for Windows project, HIDLCDTools for short. My goal is to have some software that runs as a service which you can use to control that LCD display. In my case I will want it to cycle threw the virtual machine software statistics and display useful information.

I’m really excited about doing this.

—– Rom

[Update: Candace felt the picture I had up here wasn’t very flattering, so I removed it at her request.]

BOINC Q&A — 12/01/07

I’ve tried to install BOINC as a service on a computer of my fiance’s mother’s but she has no password on her XP computer account. BOINC won’t install (service) without a XP password. The obvious would be to password the account on the computer and then install but she doesn’t want a password. Is there another way around this issue?

As another later in the thread has mentioned, I would also just create a different account and let it run in the background. is down:
DB Error: connect failed
[nativecode=Can’t connect to local MySQL server through socket ‘/var/run/mysql/mysql.sock’ (2)] ** Array

It appears to be up at the moment. although the address I have for it is is scheduled for some hardware upgrades, after that it is my understanding that we’ll be bringing the bug database in house. I’m trying to get David onboard for using Trac which I think is pretty neat software. I’ve started using it for a pet project of mine.

Is there a fix for the next boinc version later 5.8?
ERROR: buffer too small in MFILE::vprintf() –>continuously logs in stderrdae.txt

This should be fixed now.

I need a better xml administration because all changes you get only by restarting boinc (url changing, skins etc.)

I’m not sure I understand this? Which controls are not updating on a skin change?

1) In the advanced view – Help – first entry starts . Is it possible to configure this URL in skin.xml? i can only configure the domain.

I’m afraid we are in lockdown for 5.8, that is something we can fix for 5.10 though. Or sooner I suppose.

2) If I click with the right mous button on the icon in the taskbar (windows) and select the first entry the page is loaded. Is this URL configurable?

Nope, when your attached to an account manager, that is their URL.

3) My skin on windows looks good, but on Mac the pictures seems not to fit. See in the middle above “Graphics Available”.

I’ll send an email to our Mac dev and checkout what is going on.

4) Would be also nice to be able to change the font color in skin.xml (for elapsed time, time remaining, application name,…).

We could introduce this in the 5.10 time frame.

5) There is something wrong with these files:
If the format is “.jpg” such as documented in Creating Skins the Manager shows only standard, with “.png” no problem.

Does stderrgui.txt have an entry stating it failed to load each of those images defined in your skin? It is only supposed to use the default images if wxWidgets throws an error while attempting to load the image. Which tool are you using to create a jpg file?

The current beta linux clients show about a 10% improvement in benchmarks. Is this as good as it gets, or are further improvements likely in the future?

That was from Tekwyzrd. I’m sure he and others will figure out more generic ways to speed up the client.

—– Rom

BOINC Q&A — 22/12/06

During the install of BOINC as a Windows service, you are required to enter an account which will be used to launch the BOINC service. Why do you need this? I can manually convert the service over to “Local System” without requiring credentials at all and it still seems to work OK.

“LocalSystem” is a special account, it has more permissions on the system then even the administrator account.

My goal in setting up the installer that way was to try and get people to be a little more paranoid about which account they were going to use as the service account.

For instance if you use your computer to track your finances you probably don’t want to be running BOINC using the LocalSystem account. Even if you initially removed permissions from your financial records for the LocalSystem account any process running under that account can take ownership of those files and read them anyway.

We actually talked about the whole trust thing at the conference, how do we as a community know if a new project is trust worthy? How do we know their application is doing what it claims to be doing?

As an off shoot of that conversation, how do we minimize the damages a potential project can cause on a computer system? The most obvious answer is don’t run as LocalSystem/Administrator/root.

The safest way to run BOINC as a service is to create a limited user account just for the BOINC service.

—– Rom

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