My Apologies To The Einstein Crunchers
Greetings Einstein Crunchers,
Last month, October, I decided to re-attache to Einstein@home since SETI@Home is going through, what I would like to call, a spurt of growth. Many of you know that SETI is in the process of receiving 2 new servers to better serve the project and the thousands of volunteers faithfully crunching SETI WUs.
Not long after I started crunching Einstein on my i7 PC, I noticed some strange anomalous behavior. I would see WUs that were "Waiting for memory". I would also notice that after some time, I would see that text was missing from things like web pages and even things on the i7 such as the Windows start button would no longer say "Start" and tabs in my browser and HTML editor would also be blank. When shutting down a program, it would take a couple minutes for the window to go away. Programs would no longer start. BOINC would no longer make a connection to localhost after restarting it. The i7 re-booted all on its own once. I immediately suspected Einstein.
Now, lets go back in time to May (I believe it was) when I built this i7 PC. I noticed strange things happening with my video display. My mouse cursor would suddenly jump from one point to another across the screen. Programs, like my HTML editor, would auto scroll while I would be doing my coding. When on a website, I would be reading a page and suddenly be transported back a page or 2 as if I hit the back button, which I hadn't. I suspected that there was something flakey about my new PCI-E video card. I lived with it for several months.
When I saw the problems I started having, when starting Einstein again, I figured, even though I still suspected that Einstein was at the root of the current problems, that my video card was getting worse. So, a couple days ago, I bought a new one and installed it. The problems I was seeing, before Einstein, went away. Good call on that one, the "old" card was indeed flakey. But, I was still observing the problems that manifested after starting Einstein again. My suspicion of Einstein was getting greater.
I mentioned these problems in another thread, here, and a few members gave me some suggestions to try to alleviate my problems. A few of them had no affect, but, I did get a definitive explanation for my problem. It was indeed Einstein that was the cause.
But, my i7 was also at fault, sort of. I'm not running a 64 bit OS, so WinXP Pro is not seeing all of my 4GB of RAM. Einstein uses a great deal of RAM, due to the size of the WUs, and perhaps other factors as well. Since my 32 bit OS is only seeing 3GB of RAM and 8 Einstein WUs are taking up 2 of those GBs, the i7 was left with 1GB for everything else including BOINC.
And now for the apology: About 45 minutes ago, give or take, I checked on the i7 and BOINC. You see, after about 8 to 10 hours of continuous running, BOINC would start creating havoc with the i7 and I would have to re-boot the PC. When I checked on the progress of BOINC, I saw that 175 WUs were reporting "Computational error"(s). I had 5 completed WUs waiting to report. Suffice to say, there probably are many of you out there waiting for the results of those 175 WUs, and for that I do apologize.
For the time being, I have resigned myself not to run Einstein. As a matter of fact, BOINC is sitting idle right now with nothing to do. I do plan on upgrading to a 64 bit OS (WinXP Pro, not Win7). I may even decide to double my RAM to 8GB. Maybe then I will start crunching Einstein again. But, right now, I do not want what happened this morning to happen again. It is NOT fair to the rest of you waiting for results so you can get the credit for the work you have already done.
My thanks go out to Mikey, Gundolf and DanNeely for the help they gave me. I really appreciate it! :)
And now, it's time to do my normal routine(s), now that the i7 is free to do my bidding, once again. ;)
Have a great day, everyone! :)
Keep on BOINCing...! :)
CAPT Siran d'Vel'nahr XO
USS Vre'kasht NCC-33187
Siran's website: [ ONLINE! ]