Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby 7im » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:50 pm

theteofscuba wrote:
7im wrote:
#3 is a nice feature, but unnecessary for fah. And you can run fah and Boinc side by side if you want, so again, adding that feature to fah has little benefit to fah. ;)




One of the nice things of BOINC is that it allows you to crunch for multiple projects when you can't decide which single project to donate to, not that it tries to run more than one project at the same time more than the hardware can afford, it doesn't.

users sign up for multiple projects and BOINC will cycle through each project you crunch for in round robin style fashion so as to not spend too much time on any one single project.

it could be a bennefit to FAH if FAH was ported to BOINC. There are probably plenty of people out there who would add FAH to their list of projects to donate to in addition to whatever BOINC projects they already contribute to. It just seems a lot easier to recruit those BOINC users to FAH using BOINC, than to convince them to abandon BOINC for exclusive FAH contribution running the independent, stand-alone FAH client.

I mean run FAH both independently via the v6 v7 client, and via BOINC at the same time.



And I know people who would leave fah if it moved to using a Boinc client. So, IMO, it's wash. Boinc would not improve the situation.
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby theteofscuba » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:57 pm

7im wrote:
And I know people who would leave fah if it moved to using a Boinc client. So, IMO, it's wash. Boinc would not improve the situation.


Well it wouldn't have to "move" to boinc. it might be possible to do both boinc *and* the independent fah client at the same time.
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby PantherX » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:03 pm

theteofscuba wrote:
7im wrote:
And I know people who would leave fah if it moved to using a Boinc client. So, IMO, it's wash. Boinc would not improve the situation.


Well it wouldn't have to "move" to boinc. it might be possible to do both boinc *and* the independent fah client at the same time.


Provided that you have enough power in you hardware and that both of them are configured correctly to utilize your machine to 100% Otherwise if incorrectly configured, you will be hurting F@H due to the delays. (I heard that BIONIC uses duplicate system so it won't hurt the actual project as somebody else would have already done it)
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby cristipurdel » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:16 pm

theteofscuba wrote:
7im wrote:
And I know people who would leave fah if it moved to using a Boinc client. So, IMO, it's wash. Boinc would not improve the situation.


Well it wouldn't have to "move" to boinc. it might be possible to do both boinc *and* the independent fah client at the same time.


If there would be a fah wrapper for boinc, I would use it immediately, because ...it's just to easy too manage :)
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby toTOW » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:37 pm

Work duplication in most BOINC project is definitely a waste of resources for me ... it's a shame since their projects are interesting, but for me, and I assume for a lot a fellow folders, the uniqueness of result in FAH is a major point that made us decide to fold ...

P.S : this forum is about FAH, so please do not start a flame war between FAH and BOINC or a BOINC apology ...
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby kzaske » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:06 pm

7im;
7im wrote:I also have to disagree with that serious attempt comment. Fah, being the world record holder for the most powerful distributed computing project, is always a serious contender. They have chosen to do one type of molecular simulation, and do it very well. Where as Boinc has tried to be some thing to all people, Fah has been the 1 best thing for a select group of people. Boinc is written by committee, with a lowest common denominator, like a family sedan. Fah was written for performance, like a race car. Family sedans do many things in an average manner. Race cars only do a few things, but do them much better than a sedan.

I remember when F@H was unofficially awarded “the most powerful distributed computer project” title. It was shortly after the release of the PlayStation 3 client, which still accounts for the majority of the processing power available to Folding@Home. If Sony does what the latest press releases say they are going to do that processing power will be gone. (http://www.techjackal.net/internet/2010 ... ll-option/) Will this BIOs update effect F@H? It has been reported to me that it will and that it won't. I guess some of my friends are using a Linux client to run it others are running it on the PlayStation Network. Anyway; according to wikipedia F@H is currently in second place for that title. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_di ... g_projects) I would love to see that change.

7im wrote:As for retention stats, anyone can claim anything, because that isn't tracked anywhere. So you can't really claim the high ground for Boinc, can you? And you said yourself, most quitters cited the cost of electricity. So how is that any different for fah vs. boinc?

Point noted. I am reporting what I have observed occurring as a result of my involvement with several different teams for both projects. I wish there was a way to track this accurately. I can say that I have never seen anyone leave a BOINC team saying it was too difficult to maintain, for F@H it is at least the third most popular reason. Nor have I ever had an error message from a BOINC client (BOINC itself is a shell) concerning the configuration of that client. With F@H I get this error quite often, even after I fixed it following the instructions published elsewhere. Frustrating yes, reason to quit; I don't think so but I have seen that used as an excuse several times. Personally, I feel they would have left anyway.

7im wrote:Fah was not kicked out of Boinc. Fah NEVER joined boinc, so it couldn't get kicked out. Yes, there was an attempt to develop a joint project, but both Boinc and fah clients fell short. Neither client type had enough ability to be compatible with the other. Boinc lacked many features that fah needed, and fah lacked features that Boinc needed. I was around for the development, so my knowledge is first hand, and I'll refrain from specific finger pointing. Your knowledge on the topic seems only to be biased hearsay. Sorry

No reason to be sorry, You were there. I was not. I am reporting what other people that were there told me, accurate? I don't really know for sure. Just as when I tell someone that it was reported to me that F@H never actually joined BOINC, they will happily let me know that there was a time when the F@H client was available within the BOINC project.

7im wrote:
kzaske wrote:You said: “In time, the FAH SMP and GPU clients will mature and be easier to use." How long? It took Seti@Home less than five years to have an easy to use client that could use everything your computer could give, you have not even updated your client since my last post more than six months ago. You are still dealing with the same bugs, shoot, both the GPU and CPU clients’ still use the same configuration files which means they try to use the same Machine ID even if you install and configure them separately!


Ah, yes, that client has not been updated in a while, but you are completely missing the point. The client is the framework, like Boinc. The fahcores do all of the processing, and new fahcores are released many times a year. I've seen 4 new fahcores in as many weeks. As for how long it will take the SMP and GPU clients to mature, I'll let you know in 2 more years, when both of those clients finally reach the 5 year mark. Boinc wasn't any better than fah a couple years in to its development either. I was there for that as well.

And that last part about using the same config files isn't really true. The fah client only uses the config file in the folder where the client gets installed. If you follow the install guides for each client, that never happens. Clients get installed in separate directories. I suppose if someone screws up a Boinc install, it wouldn't work much better either.

As I understand BOINC it is a shell that controls various multiple clients, each client can have one or more cores. I was a BOINC user (volunteer) shortly after it was released. Yes there were problems, lots of them, but I never got a configuration error. As for the installer, I will uninstall and reinstall to see if that fixes the error. It has not done so yet but who knows. I can hope, right?
7im wrote:I am glad to hear you fully support fah, as do I. I too get frustrated at times. I have expressed many strong criticisms in the past, similar to your own. Much of what you say are not new complaints. But as a supporter, we try to work thorough the difficulties, and contribute to the success of the project while they try to improve it. And by the way, the latest GPU fah client (and latest NV and ATI drivers) don't care about SLI or Crossfire. And for reference, NO other DC project uses SLI or Crossfire to do dual GPU processing, but then neither does fah, so that's beside the point.

As you have not been working with BOINC for several years now I understand why you did not know that BOINC does support multi-GPU systems. In the user’s guild there are instructions on how to setup BOINC so that it will not use all the available GPUs. (Follow the link at the bottom of this page: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/GPU_computing). To my knowledge they had a multi-GPU configuration for several years now. They had it when I quit and moved all of my systems over to F@H, about two or three years ago.
7im wrote:If you are not up to the challenge of running a high performance client, then I recommend you follow the warnings on the High Performance client page. If you don't have the technical prowess, and/or the patience and tolerance to deal with early developmental clients, then by all means, run the easier CPU clients, or easier boinc projects. Naturally we'd prefer you give your all to fah, but we understand that isn't for everyone, and wish everyone a happy and less stressful computing experience.

I did follow the instructions. I ended up printing them out and reassembling the instructions then verifying my reworked instructions to match my OS, CPU and GPU configuration. As I stated above, I plan on uninstalling then reinstalling the clients. I am not sure where the error comes from, it happened even when I had the clients installed on different drives. I have both clients installed into different directories and I have checked “client.cfg” and both indicate different Machine IDs. My GPU client is should have a Machine ID of 1 (which is default from what I read) while the CPU Machine ID is set to 3. Still, I get the error message. I am not the only member of my team that experiences this, I just complain about it more. My wife’s computer does this too.
The uninstall/reinstall did not work, I even went out and followed the instructions without modifying them for my configuration. What did I get, a Machine ID error saying that Machine ID 8 is already in use. I don’t have either configured for that ID, in fact I had not yet set that configuration or even entered my team number yet. As this issue is outside of the scope of this thread I have only mentioned it because this is a common error, for most people I was able to help correct the error.

I want to assist in making and keeping F@H the best, fastest, most powerful and easiest to use distributed computing project on the planet. To do that one needs to face a lot of unpleasantness. I will be here cheering on F@H for some time. I hope that my input will be looked at and some action taken to make it more user friendly.

Yes, I approach this from a customer ease of use point of view. I have also tested and assisted in the development of a lot of software from several different companies. The customer (volunteer) has always driven the interface design and usability; if it is not easy to use the majority will get it wrong. I have written documentation ranging from customer centric trouble-shooting documents to support agent processes. As I have said before, the documentation presented on the various F@H sites may be accurate, but it is not easy to use or understand.

This has gotten way to long. :)
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby kzaske » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:11 pm

toTOW wrote:Work duplication in most BOINC project is definitely a waste of resources for me ... it's a shame since their projects are interesting, but for me, and I assume for a lot a fellow folders, the uniqueness of result in FAH is a major point that made us decide to fold ...

P.S : this forum is about FAH, so please do not start a flame war between FAH and BOINC or a BOINC apology ...

I did not intent to start a flame war between F@H and BOINC. I only use it as an example sorry to cause any confusion.
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby 7im » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:24 am

theteofscuba wrote:
7im wrote:
And I know people who would leave fah if it moved to using a Boinc client. So, IMO, it's wash. Boinc would not improve the situation.


Well it wouldn't have to "move" to boinc. it might be possible to do both boinc *and* the independent fah client at the same time.




This was attempted and failed. It's too bad I can't point you at the old forum so you can witness the nightmare that attempt was...
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby John Naylor » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:50 am

kzaske wrote:7im;
7im wrote:I also have to disagree with that serious attempt comment. Fah, being the world record holder for the most powerful distributed computing project, is always a serious contender. They have chosen to do one type of molecular simulation, and do it very well. Where as Boinc has tried to be some thing to all people, Fah has been the 1 best thing for a select group of people. Boinc is written by committee, with a lowest common denominator, like a family sedan. Fah was written for performance, like a race car. Family sedans do many things in an average manner. Race cars only do a few things, but do them much better than a sedan.

I remember when F@H was unofficially awarded “the most powerful distributed computer project” title. It was shortly after the release of the PlayStation 3 client, which still accounts for the majority of the processing power available to Folding@Home. If Sony does what the latest press releases say they are going to do that processing power will be gone. (http://www.techjackal.net/internet/2010 ... ll-option/) Will this BIOs update effect F@H? It has been reported to me that it will and that it won't. I guess some of my friends are using a Linux client to run it others are running it on the PlayStation Network.


The F@H linux client is x86 code so will not run on the PS3's PPC processors. The official PS3 client (which your friends must be using to contribute to this project with their PS3s) runs from the standard XMB so this BIOS update categorically will not affect Folding@home's PS3 clients. :)
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby 7im » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:23 am

kzaske wrote:I remember when F@H was unofficially awarded “the most powerful distributed computer project” title. It was shortly after the release of the PlayStation 3 client, which still accounts for the majority of the processing power available to Folding@Home. If Sony does what the latest press releases say they are going to do that processing power will be gone. (http://www.techjackal.net/internet/2010 ... ll-option/) Will this BIOs update effect F@H? It has been reported to me that it will and that it won't. I guess some of my friends are using a Linux client to run it others are running it on the PlayStation Network. Anyway; according to wikipedia F@H is currently in second place for that title. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_di ... g_projects) I would love to see that change.


Unofficially? I don't see that word in any of the press releases... for example: http://www.ps3blog.net/2007/11/14/foldinghome-gets-a-guinness-world-record-title/

I prefer that you read it first hand instead of listening to other people, especially about the processing power when they change the PS3 bios. Please reread your own links again. All that bios change does is prevent people from installing Linux. It does not prevent people from running the native PS3 OS, and fah runs on that native OS. No impact on fah power what so ever.

Second place to what other project? Boinc is not a project. Boinc is a framework upon which other projects are run. :twisted:

kzaske wrote:Point noted. I am reporting what I have observed occurring as a result of my involvement with several different teams for both projects. I wish there was a way to track this accurately. I can say that I have never seen anyone leave a BOINC team saying it was too difficult to maintain, for F@H it is at least the third most popular reason. Nor have I ever had an error message from a BOINC client (BOINC itself is a shell) concerning the configuration of that client. With F@H I get this error quite often, even after I fixed it following the instructions published elsewhere. Frustrating yes, reason to quit; I don't think so but I have seen that used as an excuse several times. Personally, I feel they would have left anyway.


I agree.

kzaske wrote:No reason to be sorry, You were there. I was not. I am reporting what other people that were there told me, accurate? I don't really know for sure. Just as when I tell someone that it was reported to me that F@H never actually joined BOINC, they will happily let me know that there was a time when the F@H client was available within the BOINC project.


Again, temper this as being my point of view, but the early fah beta client for the Boinc framework was never publicly released. Someone from the boinc side leaked it on the boinc forums. The beta client never made it past beta testing at Stanford. Re-used semantics asside, fah did not "officially" join the Boinc framework. Stanford never released a public version of that kluge. So I'd say my depiction of the events is slightly more accurate than that description about getting kicked out of boinc. If anything, fah kicked boinc to the curb as not being able to support the features needed by fah to release a viable fah client on the boinc network.

Might I suggest a Litmus test. How many fah/boinc points did they earn before fah got "kicked out" ? :lol:

kzaske wrote:As you have not been working with BOINC for several years now I understand why you did not know that BOINC does support multi-GPU systems. In the user’s guild there are instructions on how to setup BOINC so that it will not use all the available GPUs. (Follow the link at the bottom of this page: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/GPU_computing). To my knowledge they had a multi-GPU configuration for several years now. They had it when I quit and moved all of my systems over to F@H, about two or three years ago.


What I know or don't know cannot be easily discerned by a post or two, nor by my publicly inactive boinc account how recently I have used boinc, or have reseached it. My home forum at Ars Technica has one of the most active and powerful Boinc presenses in the world. Note the top spot. http://www.dc-vault.com/ However, we don't seem to be on the same page about this yet. Multiple GPU support is not the same as using SLI or XFire. Again, boinc runs separate wus on each processor. Boinc does not use SLI to process 1 WU using 2 GPUs. Wasn't your original question about SLI support? Eh, nevemind. I think we both agree both boinc and fah run on multiple GPUs, jargon be damned.

kzaske wrote:I did follow the instructions. I ended up printing them out and reassembling the instructions then verifying my reworked instructions to match my OS, CPU and GPU configuration. As I stated above, I plan on uninstalling then reinstalling the clients. I am not sure where the error comes from, it happened even when I had the clients installed on different drives. I have both clients installed into different directories and I have checked “client.cfg” and both indicate different Machine IDs. My GPU client is should have a Machine ID of 1 (which is default from what I read) while the CPU Machine ID is set to 3. Still, I get the error message. I am not the only member of my team that experiences this, I just complain about it more. My wife’s computer does this too.

The uninstall/reinstall did not work, I even went out and followed the instructions without modifying them for my configuration. What did I get, a Machine ID error saying that Machine ID 8 is already in use. I don’t have either configured for that ID, in fact I had not yet set that configuration or even entered my team number yet. As this issue is outside of the scope of this thread I have only mentioned it because this is a common error, for most people I was able to help correct the error.

I want to assist in making and keeping F@H the best, fastest, most powerful and easiest to use distributed computing project on the planet. To do that one needs to face a lot of unpleasantness. I will be here cheering on F@H for some time. I hope that my input will be looked at and some action taken to make it more user friendly.

Yes, I approach this from a customer ease of use point of view. I have also tested and assisted in the development of a lot of software from several different companies. The customer (volunteer) has always driven the interface design and usability; if it is not easy to use the majority will get it wrong. I have written documentation ranging from customer centric trouble-shooting documents to support agent processes. As I have said before, the documentation presented on the various F@H sites may be accurate, but it is not easy to use or understand.

This has gotten way to long. :)


I think we agree on this last bit as well. Fah has come a long way, but the work is never done.

If/when you try your next fah client upgrade, please feel free to PM me a link to your post if/when you run in to problems. I'll be more than happy to help sort through the fahlogs looking for the problem and solution. 8-)
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby cristipurdel » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:57 pm

7im wrote:
theteofscuba wrote:
7im wrote:
And I know people who would leave fah if it moved to using a Boinc client. So, IMO, it's wash. Boinc would not improve the situation.


Well it wouldn't have to "move" to boinc. it might be possible to do both boinc *and* the independent fah client at the same time.




This was attempted and failed. It's too bad I can't point you at the old forum so you can witness the nightmare that attempt was...



From what I understood, distributed.net, which was a long 'rival' of boinc (still is if i think of primegrid), managed to create http://dnetc.net/ wich 'somehow' manages to send work using the boinc framework, while also sending work from their framework
Couldn't this be possible also for folding? So that everybody is ...happy :)
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby 7im » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:07 pm

As I said, we tried that once. It didn't work for fah, and didn't work for boinc. And the time and effort to try again is better spent elsewhere, like SMP2 and GPU3.
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby kzaske » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:18 am

I agree 7im; Folding@Home has come a long way and I look forward to it going a lot further. I would love to see F@H fully support both SLI and CrossFireX. I hope that this is a feature being worked on in the next update, it might be away to get more performance out of OpenCL but I don't know that for a fact. As for the F@H client for the BOINC network, I never tried it. I was waiting for it to come out of beta. I apologize for the use of the term "unofficial." I still want to see F@H back in the number one slot.
As for my comment about not having worked with BOINC for a few years it is based on your comment “And I see things a little differently, having come from SETI I, and early Boinc development on SETI II, and having been with F@h a number of years now.” I apologize if I misunderstood your statement.

John, As for the PS3 client, glad to hear that the BIOs update will not affect it. The friend of mine I was referring to made a point of letting everyone know he was running F@H within Linux on his PS3, I now think he was talking out his lower end.
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby 7im » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:34 am

Cool.

If fah is not #1, then which project is in the lead?
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Re: Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

Postby k1wi » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:32 am

He might be referring to BOINC's total overall FLOPS (4.9PetaFlop) being higher than Fah's 3.874..?

But that's spread out over a wide number of different projects and whether BOINC's reporting NativeFlops or x86 flops I'm not sure.
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