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Brief Overview Of F@h Beta Team Membership

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:46 pm
by bruce
  • Purpose Of F@h Beta Team
The purpose of the beta team is to test projects and software that has undergone initial testing but isn't ready to be released. That means that your PRIMARY purpose will be to find and report problems, gathering enough information that Development can reproduce and fix those problems. If you primary purpose is to earn points for advancing science, then you're in the wrong place. although certainly you'll be doing that, too. It must be a secondary purpose for you.

Beta Team Members are commonly called Beta Testers (via their Avatar and/or Signature). They are a group of F@h Donors that help the Pande Group test out new Projects and new FahCores. There isn't any limit to the size of the Beta Team hence any active forum member with an appropriate background (details below) can apply for membership.

Note: Information learned through Beta Testing will be available to the public as a read-only Forum that they can browse and link to. However, Non-Beta Members will not be able to post in the Beta Forum.

Relationship Between F@h Points & Beta Tester

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:47 pm
by bruce
  • Relationship Between F@h Points & Beta Tester
YOU WILL NOT GET MORE POINTS WHILE WORKING ON A WU AS A BETA TESTER. It just won't happen because the points will be inline with the standard benchmarking policy. If Project A is in Beta Testing and is worth X points, if it goes public, it will continue to be worth X points. If you are wondering why Beta Testers have such high PPD or total points, it is most likely that they fold 24/7 on dedicated powerful system(s) for many year(s). Please note that as a Beta Tester, your probability of loosing F@h points increases since you will be dealing with new Servers, Projects, FahCores, etc. If you're interested in getting more F@h points, your best bet is to stay with public WUs.

Note 1: In case you're wondering how the WU flow is, below is a brief summary (it assumes that there are no problems anywhere).
Internal Testing (PG Members) -> Beta Project (Beta Testers) -> Limited Public Project (F@h Donors using -advmethods/advanced configuration) -> Completely Public (F@h Donors without any flags)

Note 2: Please note that when a new Beta Project is released for Beta Testing, only a limited quantity of WUs will be assigned. This is because if an issue arises, only a few machines will be effected by it. It also makes it easy to do the changes and roll out the solution so that other machines can verify it.

Beta Forum's Visibility

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:48 pm
by bruce
  • Beta Forum's Visibility
Please note that as a registered forum member, you can only view the Beta Forum and can't make any posts in that Forum. You can track any Beta Project's progress since it entered Beta Stage until it reaches public. If you see an issue and want to offer any help/advice, please PM an Administrator/Moderator rather than making a new thread in the Public Forum since it might so unnoticed. Do note that while you are free to join the Beta Team, we prefer Donors who are regular. If you are a seasonal or an occasional tester, we prefer that you observe the Forum and offer help/advice via PM with an Administrator/Moderator.

Applying For Beta Testing

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:48 pm
by bruce
  • Applying For Beta Testing
The best candidates are those who have been folding for a while and have experience with this forum, F@h clients, FahCores, WUs, Servers, etc. Thus we will check your user history. Those who participate regularly in this forum either by asking questions or helping others tend to get priority over those who rarely post, simply because it shows your willingness to be an active member within the F@h Community. If you just joined this forum and/or have very few posts, your request post should distinguish you as to why you would be a good addition to the Beta Team. Please note that if you don't plan to stick with it, we would prefer that you do not join. If this is your first visit to our forum, you are not eligible for membership to the Beta Team.

Note: If the forum username here is different than the F@h username used by you to fold, please include your F@h username in your request post. Posting your team affiliation is not required and will be ignored.

Role Of Beta Testers

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:49 pm
by bruce
  • Role Of Beta Testers
Beta Testers are expected to report back any unusual behaviors, glitches, errors, FAHlog messages, performance issues, etc. in the Beta Forum. A true Beta Tester actually tries to break the software (but not violate the EULA), use it in many scenarios, system configurations, and tries all combinations of settings, switches, clients, etc. They then have to try and figure out exactly what they did to break it, and report their findings in a detailed manner. Thus providing detailed feedback is very important during Beta Testing. Moreover, Beta Testers must have a fairly good understanding of computers and their inner workings so they know how to fix something when/if it breaks during Beta Testing. They accept the risk of running into an occasional problem, and will be tolerant of those problems. By posting your request to join, you have indicated that you have accepted these conditions of membership. (In your request, please state that you understand and accept them.) This is a brief overview but can learn more as you read the posts in the Beta Forum starting with Beta Team - Rules Of Engagement, provided you have been accepted.

Note: A quick recap of what Beta Testers do:
A) They test work units from new Beta Projects
B) They test new beta versions of FahCores
They don't test new F@h Clients. That is handled separately and generally done as an Open Public Beta: Forum

Methodology Of Beta Testing

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:49 pm
by bruce
  • Methodology Of Beta Testing
When F@h is running on an overclocked system, you may find that the settings you thought were stable, may need to be tweaked further. The reason is that F@h uses optimizations which pushes the system a bit harder than most other burn-in tests. Unfortunately, some WUs give errors that look similar to an unstable overclock. Hence we expect you to distinguish between the two possibilities by switching back to stock settings, and retesting the WU to eliminate overclocking as the possible cause (The Pande Group only tests on stock systems, so they cannot find or fix problems associated with overclocking).

As a Beta Tester, please do not run Beta WUs on any computer that can't tolerate even the slightest instability or problem. You can use any computer for which you have permission to fold on, as stated in the EULA. We do ask that you monitor its progress closely and report any strange event(s) that might need fixing. You can select which computers get Beta WUs and which will continue to be assigned Public WUs. Do not fold Beta WUs on system(s) with which you do not have frequent access to or cannot monitor carefully.

A Word Of Advice

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:50 pm
by bruce
  • A Word Of Advice
If you don't understand anything you read in this thread, please ask. There are some very important statements here, and if you miss them, you may not be accepted as a Beta Tester. If you want to test future clients, posting here will not help because that is not covered in Beta Team Testing. If you want to test newly minted, possibly less-stable WUs with any of the F@h Clients on the download pages, then do post here. Please include a comment in your request stating that you have read and agreed to the above mentioned guidelines. Request posts without this comment will not be eligible for the Beta Team Membership.
Credits: Thanks to PantherX and 7im who were very helpful in reorganizing the information that had been developed over the years.