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Contribute to science directly by volunteering some of your computer's processing power! - Comments

Geoff's Avatar Comment 1 by Geoff

I've only had time to skim the article. I'm already running seti@home, and have been for ages. Is this different software, or just an increased choice of allocation?

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 11:29:00 UTC | #132489

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 2 by Enlightenme..

Not entirely convinced by rebuttal #1

^Seti@home Geoff?
Are you familiar with David Brin's work at all?

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 11:34:00 UTC | #132492

RichardPrins's Avatar Comment 4 by RichardPrins

Geoff, not sure which client you are using to run SETI@home, but the BOINC client can run SETI@home as well (see the fourth position in the stats at the bottom) as one of the projects it can process...

We've currently got 154 members crunching away, and as that stats graphic shows, as far as teams go, we're at position 492 out of 71,860 teams worldwide.

More info at:

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 12:16:00 UTC | #132530

Shaden's Avatar Comment 3 by Shaden

Remind's me of Stanford's Folding@Home

Of which I've contributed quite a few work units with my PS3 and computer. The only thing I don't like about these is how much power my devices draw. I worked it out to be several hundred dollars a year in electricity.

Now, with the new Intel processors coming out consuming under 10watts (some under 1watt) I would be much more interested in doing more of these type of things.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 12:16:00 UTC | #132529

bentleyd's Avatar Comment 5 by bentleyd

* Supercomputers are prohibitively expensive and are often already busy with other projects such as weapons design, espionage and surveillance of one's own citizenry.

Well, I was interested until you started in on this left wing, peacenik, hippy shit.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 12:20:00 UTC | #132536

Richard Feldmann's Avatar Comment 6 by Richard Feldmann

I also contribute CPU time to Folding@Home. If there's a good team that anyone here is involved in, let me know. I'd be glad to join up.

I'll definitely check out BOINC, as well, but I'm afraid my little GNU/Linux server can't stand much more. :)

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 12:30:00 UTC | #132540

arogop's Avatar Comment 7 by arogop

5. Comment #139713 by bentleyd

I think ScooterNYC says liberal facist.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 12:32:00 UTC | #132542

Devolution's Avatar Comment 8 by Devolution

Can anyone share their experience with using BOINC? Is it a huge hog of memory or have you noticed any problems with your computer since you've installed it?

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 12:53:00 UTC | #132558

AtheistRamblings's Avatar Comment 9 by AtheistRamblings

I'm a big fan of BOINC and I've joined the Richard Dawkins BOING group. However, supercomputers aren't that expensive any more

and in the downtime you get to play Call of Duty 4!

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 12:54:00 UTC | #132559

Wosret's Avatar Comment 10 by Wosret

Well, I'm not running any such thing, and I never turn my pc off anyway. I'll see how much processing power they plan on taking from me. I think my PC is a little bit over average, I built it about 6 months ago. AMD 3800 dualcore athlon processor, 4 gig memory, my board can handle two pci express graphic cards, but I haven't gotten around to picking up a second one yet. I have 1 8600 geforce gts.

So I think I have come processor speed to spare.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 13:00:00 UTC | #132567

RichardPrins's Avatar Comment 11 by RichardPrins

Can anyone share their experience with using BOINC? Is it a huge hog of memory or have you noticed any problems with your computer since you've installed it?

It needn't give problems. You can specify in the BOINC client how much memory/CPU it should use, as well how much disk space, and whether it should run while you're using the computer or not...

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 13:39:00 UTC | #132602

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 12 by rod-the-farmer

Devolution asked about BOINC being a memory hog. Nah. I have been running the SETI tool for many years, just about since if first came out. You can set the BOINC software to run ONLY when you are not doing something else. Pick a timeout of 3 minutes or more, and only when your PC is idle that long will it start crunching numbers again. It stops once you do anything, even move the mouse. My PC has a hyper-threading processor, so I can have part of it run SETI all the time. I agree that it will consume a bit more power. The figure someone gave of several hundred dollars a year seems way too high. Details please ?

I have my own SETI team, so I will continue using that. Not nearly so many members, though.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 13:45:00 UTC | #132607

AtheistRamblings's Avatar Comment 13 by AtheistRamblings

I run boinc as a service on a number of machines, so I don't get the fancy screen savers. Ive set Boinc up to run only when nothing else is running (ie, when cpu/core is in idle). I was also worried by the sounds the fans were making on one dual core machine after a night running boinc so I set the cpu/core usage to 50%, runs a lot better now. Snuck boinc onto my son's PC and he hasn't even noticed.

You can also configure boinc to run only after you haven't touched the keyboard and/or mouse for several minutes.

As well as specifying CPU usage you can also specify how much memory disk space it can take up. I've used Boinc for over a year now and Seti before that and I haven't had a problem. Give it a try and if you think it causes issues on your PC then remove it; it's very easy. I recommend the service install (especially if you have several logins on the machine) the downside is that you don't get the fancy screen savers ... unless they fixed that.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 14:17:00 UTC | #132630

Devolution's Avatar Comment 14 by Devolution

Cool, thanks guys I will give it a try.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 14:39:00 UTC | #132655

kaiserkriss's Avatar Comment 15 by kaiserkriss

I've been running seti since "the beginning of time" and have added climateprediction to one of my other machines.

I have never had any problems related to bonic. Some network guys are not at all happy about it for reasons that seem irrational to me. jcw

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 14:50:00 UTC | #132668

JSW's Avatar Comment 16 by JSW

Scientific progress goes BOINC?

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 15:31:00 UTC | #132690

notsobad's Avatar Comment 17 by notsobad

I suggest you monitor your CPU temperature, especially if you have an older CPU and fan.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 16:13:00 UTC | #132711

carlcamper's Avatar Comment 18 by carlcamper

Just joined less than a month ago. BOINC is very much optimized to use only what it can in terms of CPU and memory. I've been racking up them credits good :D

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 18:53:00 UTC | #132742

AshtonBlack's Avatar Comment 19 by AshtonBlack

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 04:35:00 UTC | #133060

Buddha's Avatar Comment 20 by Buddha

I've been a BOINC member for about a year now running both SETI@Home and ClimatePrediction. I would advise anyone with modest hardware avoid ClimatePrediction as it requires serious number crunching otherwise you may not meet the submission deadlines for the work units. My 1.6GHz Duo Core 2GB RAM laptop has been chugging away for 6 months and is only 25% through it's model run that needs to be finished by July. My other PC that I use for gaming eats through SETI@Home work units in about 3 hours.

My experience of BOINC is that it is very stable and doesn't interfere with what I'm doing - you just need to ensure you have enough RAM e.g 1GB

It's certainly a great way to participate in leading edge scientific endeavour and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 07:08:00 UTC | #133148

The Schuermannator's Avatar Comment 21 by The Schuermannator

SETI@home member since 31 Dec 2000
Total credit 16,220
Recent average credit 19.19
SETI@home classic workunits 241
SETI@home classic CPU time 3,384 hours

Another proud member here... In fact, I recently saw Dr. Seth Shostak of SETI speak a lil' lecture at Florida Tech concerning the possibilities of finding life elsewhere in the universe. If any of you have the chance to see him locally, DO IT! He's a memorable character.

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 08:25:00 UTC | #133186

Geoff's Avatar Comment 22 by Geoff

Enlightenme #2 Only Brin's sci-fi, I'm afraid; Haven't read any of his non-fiction. Coincidentally I'm reading "Foundation's Triumph" now! (I always have a fiction and a non-fiction book on the go, depending what mood I'm in).

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 09:48:00 UTC | #133232

GBile's Avatar Comment 23 by GBile

From the BOINC statistics for the RD Foundation I learn that on januari 25, 2008 a 'singularity' took place in the BOINC-space.
( )
What happened ?

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 11:13:00 UTC | #133249

obscured by clouds's Avatar Comment 24 by obscured by clouds

I just wanted to thank the all new members! Looks like we attracted some heavy crunchers!

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 11:31:00 UTC | #133253

Peter_on_Sax's Avatar Comment 25 by Peter_on_Sax

OK, ok, so I've downloaded the software and signed up to climate and malaria. I had to - couldn't stand the peer-to-peer pressure any more. So now what? Will the climate people tell the malaria people where the mosquitoes will go next? And then, will my PC get merits and go to silicon heaven? And don't try to tell me I'm deluded about silicon heaven! Or answer me this: where do all the little calculators go? well?

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 13:27:00 UTC | #133279

Geoff's Avatar Comment 26 by Geoff

I'm in, but my old account seems to have disappeared. Oh well, we've already gone up one more position!

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 14:37:00 UTC | #133296

notsobad's Avatar Comment 27 by notsobad

I like sci-fi too but why not support something practical?

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 14:42:00 UTC | #133300

Geoff's Avatar Comment 28 by Geoff

notsobad: Wishful thinking, mostly!

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 15:43:00 UTC | #133316

mumbles's Avatar Comment 29 by mumbles

Just installed and joined up. I jumped on the Malaria Control project because I think it has the highest probability of tangible results.

Looking for pulsars and prime numbers is cool and all, but sick people are sick people.

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 21:57:00 UTC | #133366

RichardPrins's Avatar Comment 30 by RichardPrins

The World Community Grid runs a number of disease related projects under BOINC as well. In addition there are a number of protein folding projects.

You can subscribe (attach) to a number of projects at the same time, and the BOINC client will switch between those projects (as specified in Preferences). So if you want, you can have it work for an hour (or two) on one project and then have it switch to another project, etc.

And thanks to all those that signed up! We've moved from ~150 to ~200 members in the team in just one day!

Sat, 08 Mar 2008 13:50:00 UTC | #133541