Downloading more tasks than usual

Tiers Jean-Francois
Tiers Jean-Francois
Joined: 24 Nov 11
Posts: 60
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Topic 198383

I don't know if it is the right place to post my question. I apologize if not.

Imagine a situation where I know in advance that I will be away for a week or two with no access to the internet. This doesn't mean my computer will be off during this period of time.
How can I get before leaving more tasks to perform than those automatically dispatched by your server when my computer is on line on a day-to-day basis ?

Cheers and thanks
JF Tiers

Note : this applies also for Seti.

Richie
Richie
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Downloading more tasks than usual

Are you using linux or windows... and Boinc Manager (what version)?
What are your current settings if you open up the Manager and go to Preferences - Computing preferences - Computing tab ... and under the "Other" ?

http://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/File:7.6.Computing_tab.jpg

"Store at least [_._] days of work"
"Store up to an additional [_._] days of work"

Alternatively, you can adjust those settings also at every project website. That's called "web-based preferences". You just need to login there and find a link to "Your account". There is something like Preferences - Computing Preferences...

The last project website where you have made any adjustments and saved them will be "the current preferences" after you force an update to your Boinc client.

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: ... I will be away for

Quote:
... I will be away for a week or two with no access to the internet. This doesn't mean my computer will be off during this period of time.


If your computer will be running whilst you are away, you should work out how long you wil be off line and increase your work cache settings at just one project that you choose to be the 'master project' for making changes to your computing preferences. Settings changes are always communicated to other active projects in your mix so you don't have to visit each one. For more complicated reasons, it's safer to make computing preferences changes at just one project and let BOINC synchronize them across projects.

Quote:
How can I get before leaving more tasks to perform than those automatically dispatched by your server when my computer is on line on a day-to-day basis ?


If you were going to be away for say 7 days, you could change your setting to ask for 7 days work. This is a bit too simplistic because it depends on other factors as well. At the moment BOINC will have a value for 'Fraction of time BOINC is running'. You can see your current value on the 'details' page for your computer on the website. If your usage patterns change, so will that value. Let's say that value is currently 50%. If you ask for 7 days work, BOINC should give you work that is estimated to last for 3.5 days (50% of 7 days). If your computer is likely to run a lot less than 50% while you are away, then you may have too much work. If your computer runs more often, you may have too little.

The other question you should consider is, "How good are the estimates that BOINC uses for the various tasks that will be crunched whilst I'm away?" If the BOINC estimates are smaller than the true crunch times, you may get too much work. If the estimates are too large, you may get too little work. So you might be tempted to get a lot of work to be sure you don't run out and have plenty left over. You have to be careful of the 2 week deadline at Einstein. So getting just the right amount of work is likely to be quite a challenge :-). At least it's an interesting challenge in thinking through all the factors!

Let's say you end up deciding (all relevant facts/estimates considered) that your 7 day trip requires you to have 9 days of work at the current fraction of time BOINC is running. How should you allocate that 9 day total to the two possible work cache settings? When should you make the changes? How should you share the work across both projects? I know nothing about Seti these days but it used to be that Seti work had much longer deadlines than Einstein so maybe you can take advantage of that. So that you don't have a lot of partly 'stale' work on board, you should fill up just before you leave.

The best way to fill up is to use local preferences in BOINC Manager - advanced view. If you haven't used local preferences previously you should explore all the options so you know where everything is. Local preferences will override website preferences and allow you more convenience in making the changes. You can revert to website preference at any stage you wish by using a 'clear' button on the local prefs page.

Before changing any preferences, turn off work fetch for Seti. Then, leave the 2nd 'extra days' setting at zero and set the 1st setting to say 5 days. This allows Einstein (only) to send work for 5 days. Then turn off work fetch at Einstein and allow work for Seti. Change the 1st setting in increments (say an extra day at a time) to get batches of Seti work. If you get long deadline tasks, so much the better because there will be no risk of exceeding the deadline. You keep going in stages until the total work on board gets to at least 9 days as required for your trip. You could get a bit more on top of this if you wished if you do have long deadlines at Seti. BOINC should be able to manage the crunching while you are away so that no short deadline tasks remain uncrunched by the time you return. Once you have filled your cache to the desired level, you can 'clear' local preferences to return to your normal (low work cache) website preferences that you normally use.

While you are away, if you get the chance to 'borrow' an internet connection you could upload and report the completed tasks. If not, you should do so as soon as you get back. Having set the cache to the website preference values, this should prevent you from inadvertently getting a whole bunch of new work before you are ready for it.

This all sounds very complicated, but experimenting with things like this is how to really understand how BOINC works. If you have questions, please ask.

Cheers,
Gary.

Tiers Jean-Francois
Tiers Jean-Francois
Joined: 24 Nov 11
Posts: 60
Credit: 2,057,002
RAC: 0

Hi Gary. Thanks for your

Hi Gary.
Thanks for your answer.

As you say "This all sounds very complicated, but experimenting with things like this is how to really understand how BOINC works.".

I will deep in it and probably make a couple of trials before I leave to make sure I can manage things at the best. I didn't think at all at the limiting dates for sending results, so I will try not to download too much work (the average calculation time with my computer per class of task will give an idea of the limit not to overpass) and, as you suggest, when/if I have the opportunity, try to find a place where I can connect at BOINC to update.

Cheers
Jean-François.

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