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EOC Folding @ Home - Stats News & Updates

Chimp Challenge 2010 Is Here!05.05.10, 2:22pm CST

Hard to believe it's already been a year. Chimp Challenge 2010 has come upon us. Several teams fold under one user name and race to 20 million points!

Scoring started 12pm PDT on Wednesday May 5, 2010. I had to manually set the start scores, which is why until the 3pm CDT update they will have some negative numbers.

The stats page can be found here.

Good luck to all the teams!

Some good news for GPU users02.16.10, 1:14pm CST

This thread over at the folding forum site has some updates about the NV GPU server issues. Basically they are aware of the problem and are working on it.

I think we've had a breakthrough (well maybe that's too strong of a term), but certainly found something that will help. People should be getting more backlogged credits soon. We have to see whether this will fix all of the problems. I'm thinking it won't fix them all, but it is a step in the right direction.

On another note, I've scheduled the CPU upgrade on the server for Thursday around 10am CST. I haven't made a decision on the SSD yet. I ordered an OCZ Vertex from Newegg and I'm going to give it a whirl on my dev server here in the office and see what kind of performance it affords. I've also been trying to tweak MySQL variables, but unfortunately there is just too much other usage on the server for me to get any sort of accurate numbers.

Cleanup is complete!02.10.10, 11:08am CST

Okay, I finally purged out all of Team FTL from the DB and re-optimized the tables. Reduced the history table by a couple gigabytes! Also now that the index is not fragmented the processing time should drop back down to hopefully about five minutes.

Good News Everybody! AMD is sending me a couple 2.5GHz High-Efficiency 45nm Shanghai quad-core processors to replaced the current 2.0GHz 65nm Barcelona quad-cores. (I tried for six-cores, but they didn't have any available.) It might not sound like much, but 500MHz x 8 cores = 4GHz additional processing. Also the 45nm chips have 6MB of L3 cache vs the 65nm which only have 2MB. It should give a nice bump in performance. When they come in I'll call my hosting company to setup a time to install them at the data center. Hopefully downtime should only be like 10-15 minutes.

Purging out a bad team02.08.10, 4:41pm CST

I've been trying to purge out Team FTL from the database today. There's still like 16,000 users and related historical data to delete. The server is really too busy for me to continue it, hopefully later tonight or early in the morning I'll give it another shot.

That team in case you are wondering distributed the FAH client with some game cracks. Needless to say Stanford did not find this amusing and zeroed out the whole team's points.

After I delete all related records, I'm going to have to rebuild the index on the user history table. I have no idea how many hours that's going to take. Again, I'll try to run it in the middle of the night to minimize downtime for everyone.

More timely stats in the future!02.07.10, 11:18am CST

I've been trying to get back into the FAH groove and also try to keep up with current events.

Today, those hard working guys at Stanford have make some updates to their stats DB hardware which is great news for everyone. Here's quote from Vijay's Blog:

We're done with the bulk of our initial update to new hardware. We'll be doing some more work in the future to build up some additional capacity, namely hopefully getting to the point where the stats are never off line. For now I think we're in good shape. The stats are much faster than before, so we've turned back on a lot of the capabilities we previously turned off. Also, stats update are taking about 5 minutes and now are limited not so much by db access than by other issues.

Moreover, we have now set the third party stats to update once an hour (instead of once every 3 hours). It's set to update 10 minutes before the hour, every hour, so checking on the hour should be safe.

I've updated the EOC stats accordingly, I grab the files 7 minutes before the hour and pre-process them (which takes less two minutes). Then things are ready to go for the main update. I'm still working on a 3-hour update cycle, in the near term I have no plans to change that. In the long-term (assuming Stanford can keep going with stable 1-hour updates) then yes I would like to switch over too.

(Note: this part is kind of on the back-burner at the moment.) There's two big upgrades I would like to perform on the server though that will be dependent on hourly updates. First, faster CPUs... I've been talking to my AMD rep to try and get some hex-core processors, or at the very least much faster quad-cores. Second, the stats DB would really need to be moved to a SSD for maximum processing speed. I've been looking into several companies for this. I've also been considering adding a server server at the co-lo facility that would primarily be used just for stats. But that would be an added monthly cost, and right now we all know how hard economic times are.

Also, I've gotten a few emails from people asking about the "Point Bonuses" with the A3 WUs. Everything you need to know can be found over at this thread at the F@H Support Forum. Briefly, there are a few requirements before you can get the bonuses (which you may or may not already have achieved):

  • Run the latest SMP client (v6.29 or above).
  • Configure that client with a passkey.
  • Complete 10 a2 and/or a3 work units...

    • within their preferred deadlines
    • using the same passkey and fah user name combination
    • on one or more of your systems.

  • Successfully return >=80% of assigned [bonus] WU's.

Made a couple changes to the site.02.04.10, 2:08pm CST

First, I made a few changes to the HTML on the site in relation to the sidebar. For some people using fixed fonts the text was wrapping. (I swear I didn't know, if you guys tell me this sooner I can fix it.) I don't think I broke anything, but if anyone starts experiencing any layout oddities, please let me know!

Second, I updated the text on the sig image page. I guess I should have clarified the "alternate method" for images a little more. Basically, if you are on a forum/site that doesn't allow dynamic URLs and/or requires a file with an image type extension to display (i.e. .gif), then you *can* do the following:

  • http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/sigs/sigimage.php/un=HotRod/t=11314/sigimage.gif
  • http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/sigs/sigimage.php/u=32359/sigimage.gif

The file sigimage.gif doesn't really exist (as neither do the directories like u=32359). Basically the web server knows to crawl back to the .php file, and from there the script parses the URL to find the necessary variables to generate the image. The file name doesn't match a variable or anything so it's essentially ignored by the script.

I haven't checked, but I don't think I have the custom colors coded in the directory-structure parsing, I'll have to check on that.

I'm hoping to sit down and work on the stats one of these days. It's amazing how time flies... At least things are still chugging along happily after all these years. One change I'm thinking of doing is dropping "Google" back into the regular team mix, they are not producing *that* much and will put them in ~16th place. Default / Team Zero will still remain with a rank of 0. If I do this then I can eliminate a lot of exceptions in the code for both teams and streamline things and reuse more code and functions.

Besides that... how come nobody told me about the -bigadv flag?!?! *sigh*

New FAH Clients & Cores!01.31.10, 8:13pm CST

I meant to get this up a few days ago but got sidetracked (as always). Anyhow, there are new SMP clients for Linux and Windows Beta.

The new clients seem capable of utilizing at least 8 cores. I have not compared performance running one core vs two (or even 3) with this client yet.

Along with these new clients there is a SMP A3 core which people have reported an increase in PPD. In order to get the A3 core you *must* get a passkey before your client will get an A3 core.

I've been toying with the idea of converting the front page (and other non-stats pages) to a program like wordpress so that entering additional pages would be much simpler. Then hopefully others would be willing to contribute articles & guides and such... We'll see...

Happy New Year!01.04.10, 1:42pm CST

Well, it seems another year has come and gone... 2010 here we are! Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays, they sure went by fast it seems.

On a slightly different note, I've been collecting some of the better fortunes out of my fortune cookies and thought I would share them.

  • Do it because you love it.
  • There are dreamers and there are achievers. The difference between the two is action!
  • Everyone feels lucky for having you as a friend.

The first one is pretty self-explanatory and can be applied to so many situations. So many times I have a random evil grin on my face simply because I think about that forune... do it because you love it... hehe...

The second fortune I like to think of more as people that do things and people that sit around and complain... If you want something done you have to do it yourself!

Finally... do you feel lucky punk? Do ya? That one just doesn't sound like a typical fortune cookie, but with all the series of events that have happened in 2009 it gives me a good laugh. People who are my friends do feel lucky because they know exactly what happens if you get on my bad side!

Speaking of bad side... So one of the neighbor's has been dumping his greywater out in the ditch by the street. That is undoubtedly totally illegal not to mention a health hazard by having used laundry water sitting there in the ditch. They county came by and gave him a citation for it (big whooptie do)... so he removes the pipe by the street... and now the greywater is being dumped on our property! I wrote a rather lengthy and nasty email to the county about it (along with some very detailed pictures)... I got a phone call the other day (from the county) and amongst our discussion of various things he let me know they are planning legal action against that neighbor! For once the county finally pulls through.

I'm still struggling with the appraisal district over some "omitted property" valuations. They seem to only be charging prior years at maybe half the value they should be. Does that seem fair? Everyone else pays taxes at full value and on time... I talked to my local tax assessor-collector about it and he's now in the loop. I sent some emails a week or two ago about some specific properties giving specific numbers and such. I have yet to receive a reply.

I still am planning on launching my free website for property protest data... The appraisal district is really going to love that one. Hehe...

Finally, I've been loosely watching the news about upcoming elections. Our corrupt county commissioner whom has been fined by the Texas ethics commission and there was even discussion about the FBI investigating him (though no charges have been brought forth)... has decided to run for re-election! As of right now I believe he is running un-opposed on the republican ticket! At least we know Starbucks will be supporting him seeing as how he spent over $10,000 there... lol. I've got some good info I need to email one of the local investigative news reporters that hates the commissioner. The info shows no less than four people in the commissioner's office abusing their power (corruption?), and also ties to about half a dozen people in the district attorney's office, also abusing their power (gee, wonder whom could of pressured them into that)...

When people ask me what I've been up to, and I respond by saying, "Trying to stay out of jail." They get a good laugh thinking I'm joking... but man some days I seriously think big government is going to swoop in here throw my ass in jail with a bunch of bogus charges just to shut me up. God I miss the days of being bored and sitting around all day just writing code... what I wouldn't give now...

Glitch With Stanford Server11.16.09, 11:14am CST

I'm sorry for not posting this sooner. Many of you noticed the stats problems these past couple days. It wasn't my fault! Stanford had a glitch with their server. When things like that happen, it is best to check Vijay's Blog or the Folding Support Forum (both links are on the left sidebar).

People have emailed me about missing WUs... I'm sorry I have no control over that. I'm sure it has to do with the above mentioned glitch (again, check Vijay's Blog for details about the issue). I bet it will take a while for them to process the backlog to ensure everything gets counted property.

Now, for the noon update issue. Once again I have concluded that it is not on my side, it is Stanford. They are two time zones behind me, so when it is noon here, it is only 10am out on the west coast. It just happens to be that when they post a new update file, it happens to be half an hour AFTER I process each update. For Stanford, the time happens to fall between 4:30am - 7:30am when their two files see very little updating (for most people & teams there is no difference in points). My guess is the usual nightly cron jobs are running on their server(s) during that time which is why the regular processing isn't getting done completely. I'll email Vijay about it later today and see what he has to say.

Still tracking down the problem...10.30.09, 9:36am CST

Yesterday I transferred the FAH files from the production server to the dev server so I had an exact duplicate of the processing scripts and such. I set it up to process the stats and hopefully today or tomorrow I can see what is going on with the noon update issue.

I noticed yesterday there was zero points for 9am, but after checking the raw stats files I noticed that it was the same file size with the exact same data. Stanford must of been lagging behind or something.

Will post another update once I find out where the problem is. Though with daylight savings starting in a couple days I'm sure that is going to throw things for a loop too. If I recall correctly, the Stanford server doesn't adjust for DST, or it does it a couple weeks late... I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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