any tips on installing in a cyber cafe?

gravywavy
gravywavy
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Topic 189453

hi, I have the chance to install BOINC on the computers in a local cyber cafe. They have 8 machines, Win-XP boxes, and the manager has allowed me to put the software on one box for the next week. If the users can't tell which box it is, he will let me do the other 7, if not I have promised to removed the software.

Are there any pitfalls I should avoid?

I've installed the software in service mode, I assume this is the best option for this purpose?

Any advice about other options? What will give me the best chance of passing the test?

By the way, the manager says to fail the test the user has to tell which machine it is from the performance, not by numbers appearing in TaskManager, so I don't have to avoid the 97% cpu time effect to pass the test - but should I try to anyway, and if so, how?

~~gravywavy

Gary Roberts
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any tips on installing in a cyber cafe?

Quote:
hi, I have the chance to install BOINC on the computers in a local cyber cafe.....

Yes, definitely run it as a service so that it can run even if nobody is logged in.

Most important question is whether or not the users are doing anything cpu intensive like hardcore gaming or perhaps anything involving maxing out the internet connection. Although BOINC does a good job of getting out of the road, the users may notice in either of the above scenarios.

To be safer, you could choose the preference of only running when there is no keyboard and/or mouse activity but that would be a waste of cycles if the main use of the box is for surfing/email etc.

The things that might get noticed are:

1. When BOINC decides to redo the banchmarks every 5 days.
2. When E@H decides to get a new large data file.

Apart from those two, I doubt the average user would notice even if the service were running all the time and not stopping when the user was active. Maybe you play it safe to start with and then kick the "not when user is active" general preference if all gets accepted well. The preference is actually called "Do work while computer is in use" and I only use "No" on hardcore gaming boxes.

Cheers,
Gary.

Kilcock
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General pref's: If: Do

General pref's:

If:
Do work while computer is in use? = no
Then:
Leave applications in memory while preempted?
(suspended applications will consume swap space if 'yes') yes

I would advice !

This will prevent the client from restarting at the point were results where last saved to disk at every mouse click or so. as such it will avoid a lot of work being redone.

Hmm, nice invitation. hope you feedback on the results.

-Eric

Keck_Komputers
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To get the user activity

To get the user activity preference to work properly on a service install it may be required to change the service creditials to local system and allow interaction with the desktop. However this may violate the terms of your agreement with the manager of the cafe, since this opens a security hole.

BOINC WIKI

BOINCing since 2002/12/8

gravywavy
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RE: Most important

Message 13644 in response to message 13641

Quote:

Most important question is whether or not the users are doing anything cpu intensive like hardcore gaming ...

unlikely on these machines - they are more intended for surfing, typing/printing word, etc than gaming. The dead give away on that is the fact that they are all 1GHz - 1.5GHz machines with no intention to upgrade. You will know better than myself on this, but my guess is that serious gamers will be going elsewhere.

The bandwidth is another matter, maybe a less bandwidth hungry project would suit better, like cpdn (or o@h when it comes along). If it occasionally happens that all 8 machines are downloading new wudf at the same time, that could really slug the connection.

btw, thanks to Gary for this, it was reading your profile & team info that gave me the idea of asking... made me realise, never any harm in asking is there...

~~gravywavy

Gary Roberts
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@Gravywavy, From your

@Gravywavy,

From your description of a somewhat older and more sedate set of boxes and the type of users likely to be using them, I would say go for it, with the science app running full time. Kilcock made a good observation about leaving the app in memory if you were going to have it stopping and atarting all the time due to intermittent keyboard activity. The only possible problem with leaving things in memory is the consumption of swap space if the user starts running multiple web browser instances and multiple office apps with insufficient main RAM. As long as there was at least 512mb and not an onboard video set to reserve too big a slice of that RAM, then you should be OK.

As far as bandwidth goes, I don't think you'll have too much of a problem now that the data files are down to about 6meg. During normal ops it is unlikely that more than one machine would be trying to get a new file at the one time. The crunch comes however at times (like just recently) when a new data set is being introduced. Not so much from the new data but from the fact that in cleaning up the remnants of the old data, I've noticed a tendency to be getting a whole data file for just one result and then that data file being thrown away. I haven't tried to measure it in any quantitative fashion but it is noticeable (for someone like me who tends to delve into these things) :).

John Keck made the observation about local system credentials (yes i believe you need that) and interaction with the desktop. I'm a bit hazy on this but I think that last one wasn't needed where you were happy to just let the service start and stop at bootup and shutdown, which is what I do for boxes I never access directly unless there is a problem. I know nothing of computer gaming and have never played any computer game in the last 10 years so I don't use at all, any of the gaming boxes on which E@H runs. There have been surprisingly few problems even although the users of these machines would probably be very aggro if they knew that the spare cycles were being stolen :). There were one or two instances early on with power users noticing this strange 99% app in Task Manager :).

I have come to the conclusion that games freaks are very sensitive about performance and fortunately for me that really means GPU performance rather than CPU. So overall, everything has settled down nicely. The biggest problem is with boxes being turned off between users or being left off until the night time crowd arrives :). That can be a bit of a problem with E@H's 1 week deadline.

While I've got your attention, I just saw in another thread that you want me to email you. No problem except that I'm heading off to New Zealand on business in a few hours time and will be out of contact for two weeks. I'll drop you a line now and get in touch when I get back home.

Cheers,
Gary.

gravywavy
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RE: ... I'm heading off to

Message 13646 in response to message 13645

Quote:
... I'm heading off to New Zealand on business in a few hours time and will be out of contact for two weeks...

envious! spent 2 months there in 1996 and loved it

but then if you are going on business you may not have as much fun as I did backpacking around both islands

enjoy

~~gravywavy

Ziran
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If you are worried about

If you are worried about bandwidth, you could limit the bandwidth use under general preferences, just to be on the safe side.

Then you're really interested in a subject, there is no way to avoid it. You have to read the Manual.

Kilcock
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RE: If you are worried

Message 13648 in response to message 13647

Quote:
If you are worried about bandwidth, you could limit the bandwidth use under general preferences, just to be on the safe side.


Good idea for the one machine test. say 50 % of total BW.

Don't know if it is a solution for 8 machines. say 50% for users and 50/8 = 6% for each machine.

See more in starting each machine with fresh BOINC clients in time intervals of 3 hours (if 24/7). If machines are more or less of the same speed than the upload times would not all fall on the same moment. Problem however is that the machines will deviate from this arrangement over time.

If combined with:

'Use network only between the hours of'
Enforced by versions 4.46 and greater
(no restriction if equal)

Than you can make 3 computer goups with home/work and .. preferences

We know that it could be done, but it is not implemented, yet.
and yes I know, Rome is not build in a day

Ziran
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With 1GHz - 1.5GHz machines

With 1GHz - 1.5GHz machines you would get a crunch time of 12-18H / WU, right? Do you think a download time of 1 - 1.5H / data set would be unreasonable if your connect to settings allows for it, considering that crunch time? Now lets run some numbers. Lets say you set the limit to 8Kbit / sec. 3600 sec / H = 3.6 MB / H. A 6MB data set then would take 1H 40min to download (14MB = 4H). Considering worst case scenario, how big percentage of the bandwidth would 64Kbit/sec be?

Then you're really interested in a subject, there is no way to avoid it. You have to read the Manual.

Kilcock
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In a worst case scenario, you

In a worst case scenario, you have a modem on a bad line, and pay per minute. In that case you want to use 100% of your given bandwidth !

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