That felt good. Where's the pride?

Come join the... uh... er... fold.

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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:27 pm

I'm already comparing two Project 2653 WUs. That's close enough IMO.

Sorry to hear about the crappy GPU WUs. When I was trying to fold on that 3450, I did get some crappy ones too, but it's a 3450 so I couldn't complain much. I bought it because it cost like $25 Canadian after rebate, and I needed a DVI out port for that P5K-VM. Eventually it will become my testing card whenever I encounter PCIe systems. I have a trusty old Matrox Millennium for PCI slots.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:25 am

Ragnar Dan wrote:But I still don't see any reason to run the Windows SMP client except if you're on a machine that can't run virtualization software.

Because it will use alot more RAM and HDD space and is much less transparent and is harder to setup, and is more likely to break. Need I go on?
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:14 am

I have to admit, I'm discouraged by the way things are right now. The fact that the SMP and GPU clients are by far the best way to get points, yet they are (apparently) a lot of trouble and hassle to maintain isn't good. Then there's the reality that folding now will net you a lot more inconvenience than back in the day in terms of heat and noise (esp. since older PCs were all pretty much loud regardless). It's harder to marshal the troops when you know it's gonna be a constant PITA for them.

I'm not sure what the best thing is to tell people, in terms of what to run in order to be effective and make this fun again.

One possibility, which I'm checking out, is the basic Win32 GPU2 client. I just installed it on my Vista x64 system, and it was dead simple. Run the installer, give it your nick and team number, and it runs in the system tray. My Radeon HD 4850 is pegged, and my Core 2 Quad Penryn is at ~33% CPU utilization.

Is this a decent way to go? I dunno yet. I understand Radeons are quite a bit slower than GeForces right now. But is this optimal, or should I be using the SMP client? Or both? Or GPU2 + standard CPU client?

Sorry, I know I ask this kind of thing from time to time, but... I want to be involved and get other people involved. To do that, I think people will want to have a sense that they are using their hardware optimally to contribute to the effort--but they don't want to set up a Linux VM inside of their Windows boxes or to manage three different system services. Is it even possible to use the hardware in a modern PC well--to contribute a relatively strong number of points for the system involved--without lot of setup and babysitting? If so, what's the right path?

Enlighten me. If we can formulate a good answer, I'll set up more of my boxes around here and try to recruit more folks to (re)join us.

If not, well, I suspect that may be Stanford's fault, which raises all kinds of questions about what we should do next.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:45 am

I run 3 consoles. 1 for each on my dual core and one for my GPU.

No problems at all doing this.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:22 pm

Damage wrote:
One possibility, which I'm checking out, is the basic Win32 GPU2 client. I just installed it on my Vista x64 system, and it was dead simple. Run the installer, give it your nick and team number, and it runs in the system tray. My Radeon HD 4850 is pegged, and my Core 2 Quad Penryn is at ~33% CPU utilization.


I agree this approach would net the most points with the least hassle. If all our members with decent video cards ran this simple program we'd be demolishing our current production.

Anyone else see a fault with Damage's idea?
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:33 pm

Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:
Damage wrote:
One possibility, which I'm checking out, is the basic Win32 GPU2 client. I just installed it on my Vista x64 system, and it was dead simple. Run the installer, give it your nick and team number, and it runs in the system tray. My Radeon HD 4850 is pegged, and my Core 2 Quad Penryn is at ~33% CPU utilization.


I agree this approach would net the most points with the least hassle. If all our members with decent video cards ran this simple program we'd be demolishing our current production.

Anyone else see a fault with Damage's idea?

The whole "running as a service does not work in Vista" part is fairly difficult.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:50 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:
Damage wrote:
One possibility, which I'm checking out, is the basic Win32 GPU2 client. I just installed it on my Vista x64 system, and it was dead simple. Run the installer, give it your nick and team number, and it runs in the system tray. My Radeon HD 4850 is pegged, and my Core 2 Quad Penryn is at ~33% CPU utilization.


I agree this approach would net the most points with the least hassle. If all our members with decent video cards ran this simple program we'd be demolishing our current production.

Anyone else see a fault with Damage's idea?

The whole "running as a service does not work in Vista" part is fairly difficult.


Can't you add it as on of the programs in your startup folder?
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:54 pm

I am running vista x64 and while I have had some trouble with the SMP client it seems to do just fine on its own now. I check on it a couple times a day but I have not had to prop it back up in a good while now. The biggest killers to my folding since I started on this rig have been my original GTX 280 SSC failing, and when a windows update temporarily kills my production due to a automatic restart. Currently I am running two GTX 285 cards (RMA stepup of the orginal GTX 280 SSC to a GTX 285 when it failed) with the GPU tray client and they run pretty much on their own with hardly any supervision, the SMP client runs in a console window on my second monitor where it is easy to keep an eye on assuming I don't have a different screen over it.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:55 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:
Damage wrote:
One possibility, which I'm checking out, is the basic Win32 GPU2 client. I just installed it on my Vista x64 system, and it was dead simple. Run the installer, give it your nick and team number, and it runs in the system tray. My Radeon HD 4850 is pegged, and my Core 2 Quad Penryn is at ~33% CPU utilization.


I agree this approach would net the most points with the least hassle. If all our members with decent video cards ran this simple program we'd be demolishing our current production.

Anyone else see a fault with Damage's idea?

The whole "running as a service does not work in Vista" part is fairly difficult.


Not for what I'm proposing, which doesn't involve running it as a service. I just want something simple people can install and expect reasonable stability and decent point production without too much interruption of their regular computing. Call it a gateway drug if you're a hard-core folder, but it needs to be dead simple and easy. The question is whether GPU2 is the best way to go when recommending something along those lines to people.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:12 pm

Slightly off-topic.

Considering asking my boss (I report directly to the owner of the company actually) if I can install a F@H client on all our PC's, most are low-end C2D's, and we've got 57 of them. How would yall go about it?
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:16 pm

My experience of the "special nvidia viewer" GPU client is that the viewer almost always leads to a BSOD. Some programs, depending on how they draw their gui, can lag slightly with it running in the background, and you definitely want to quit (not pause, quit. Pause still eats video ram) when playing games, unless they're old and possible windowed. (Starcraft didn't go nicely full screen, but worked fine windowed)

Media player classic also has some problems, but they were mostly solved by sliding the gpu usage bar back from 100%, ever so slightly. The odd video can take a bit of time to load, and moving the window around a lot may lead to a BSOD, but in general I can play videos and max/min /zoom without any hassle. HD works fine as well, and I think MPC is the worst program when it comes to playback with folding running.

Running the gpu cleint at 100% is probably only practical if you aren't using it. Sliding it back a tad should allow for most of the compensation, and people can close it when they need to.

The least hassle of all, I've found, is setting up the uni core client as a service. I've got 4 running and I don't need to do anything for them. Assuming people have proper cooling, uni core services + slightly controlled GPU2 should work fine.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:28 pm

khands wrote:Slightly off-topic.

Considering asking my boss (I report directly to the owner of the company actually) if I can install a F@H client on all our PC's, most are low-end C2D's, and we've got 57 of them. How would yall go about it?

To be honest, I don't know that the single-core console client is worth the electricity/cooling costs. I would personally wait for a good, stable, service-controlled SMP client before going forth from it. It could mean your job if you have a buggy client that messes up the end-user.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:43 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
khands wrote:... I would personally wait for a good, stable, service-controlled SMP client before going forth...


That was my issue; I wanted there to be a stable SMP Windows client, and I guess when I posted earlier I thought that after 18 months or so they would have gotten that right (or better).
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:15 pm

Aight, I'll hold off on that for a while then.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:36 pm

...and a few hours into my little experiment, GPU2 crashes. Didn't take down the rest of the system; that's the best I can say for it.

This was with a bone-stock 4850 and the latest Cat 9.2 drivers. Nothing special.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:53 pm

emkubed wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
khands wrote:... I would personally wait for a good, stable, service-controlled SMP client before going forth...
That was my issue; I wanted there to be a stable SMP Windows client, and I guess when I posted earlier I thought that after 18 months or so they would have gotten that right (or better).

I haven't seen Stanford to do anything quickly, unless someone is lining their pockets *cough*Sony*cough*
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:10 pm

Damage wrote:...and a few hours into my little experiment, GPU2 crashes. Didn't take down the rest of the system; that's the best I can say for it.

This was with a bone-stock 4850 and the latest Cat 9.2 drivers. Nothing special.

Were you actively using the system at the time of the crash? I recommend closing the GPU client when gaming or browsing (flash video) and running the console version rather than the system tray client.

Possibly a heat related glitch took it down. It seems video card fan controllers err to the side of quiet operation and what might be a slight artifact in a game will likely corrupt the folding data, but the client crashing is a bit odd. I set my video card fan to about 2500rpm using RivaTuner. At that speed it's still nearly silent and it keeps my 9600 GSO at about 60C while folding.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:30 pm

emkubed wrote:That was my issue; I wanted there to be a stable SMP Windows client, and I guess when I posted earlier I thought that after 18 months or so they would have gotten that right (or better).

Sadly, Stanford ignored the KiSS principle and rather than refining the 5.91 SMP client or going back to the drawing board they created the 'All-in-one-der-why' 6.22 client which added a whole new set of issues and an even larger code base. It must have sounded good at the meeting, but out here in the wild it's a train wreck. I do give them credit for re-enabling the 5.91 client which works well with my micro-management dial-up situation, but still has the always on internet issues. I too, wish them a speedy recovery.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:32 am

GPU2 is progressing rapidly in the past few months. I have an HD 4870, 6 months ago when I bought it, the client would crash every 6 hours or so and would have wu errors on about every 3rd wu, erasing a few hours of work. The maximum ppd it would get was around 3k. Now, I haven't had a wu error in several months, ppd is up to 5k on some wu's, and the client can run for days without issues.

Often times its touch and go on client stability by the fact that each Catalyst seems to have its own issues. I chose to stick with 8.12 because it doesn't have any large stability issues, but it does crash when you try to exit the client, (This was fixed in the 9 series catalyst but other stability problems such as the ones Damage saw have come back).

I've been watching GPU2 closely on the Radeon side of things and its support is surprisingly good compared to the mess that is Windows SMP sometimes.

The HD 4870 runs fine in games for me (Again using 8.12) the only issue I have ever noticed is that Fallout 3 produces the slightest lag when interacting with items compared with none when the client is not working. There is the slightest drop in frame rates (Un-noticeable in almost any game except for the likes of Crysis) but the client does a great job of using spare time while playing games, however this is only when using vsynch.

To answer the question, GPU2 is defiantly the best bet on the side of performance for its ease of access but it still has problems, that should be worked out in the next few months, that prevent it from beating the run and forget nature of the CPU console client.

GPU2 can be a run and forget but its not quite there yet.

The current situation is this, about 50% of people can just install run and forget while the other 50% have problems. Of those 50% about 4/5ths can fix their issues with simple tweaks, less than 100% utilization, changing priority, changing Catalyst driver versions, not running when using the computer, etc... The last portion get the PITA experience Damage mentioned.

I'm speaking for the Radeon side though don't know how the Geforce camp is doing.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:08 am

ya know, the PS3 client is the easiest, most painless client to run. Why not do a PS3 client drive?

Also, I have another idea in mind that I think may be helpful. Details soon to follow in the UGN thread.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:53 am

Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:ya know, the PS3 client is the easiest, most painless client to run. Why not do a PS3 client drive?

Also, I have another idea in mind that I think may be helpful. Details soon to follow in the UGN thread.

The problem is the PS3 is not very power efficient. ~200W for 900ppd? My E2160@3GHz is doing 1000-1500ppd+ at 122W. Say if you have a decent GPU your system will most likely be slightly above 200W at the wall, but that does what, 2500-4000ppd? But yes, the PS3 client is probably the closest to set-and-forget apart from the single core client.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:08 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:ya know, the PS3 client is the easiest, most painless client to run. Why not do a PS3 client drive?

Also, I have another idea in mind that I think may be helpful. Details soon to follow in the UGN thread.

The problem is the PS3 is not very power efficient. ~200W for 900ppd? My E2160@3GHz is doing 1000-1500ppd+ at 122W. Say if you have a decent GPU your system will most likely be slightly above 200W at the wall, but that does what, 2500-4000ppd? But yes, the PS3 client is probably the closest to set-and-forget apart from the single core client.


200W is also worst case. The newer PS3s are more energy efficient. I think the PS3 is worth looking into because it's so easy, and a lot of people have them. It's a quick way to get started.

I got started on a PS3. I don't fold on it anymore because of the very reason you mention, but if it gets people interested in the project, and they move on to more difficult and PPD beneficial clients at a later date, then I think it is well worth recommending people try out the PS3 client as a way to get started. Especially for people who have computers that can only run the single core client.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:15 pm

Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:ya know, the PS3 client is the easiest, most painless client to run. Why not do a PS3 client drive?

Also, I have another idea in mind that I think may be helpful. Details soon to follow in the UGN thread.

The problem is the PS3 is not very power efficient. ~200W for 900ppd? My E2160@3GHz is doing 1000-1500ppd+ at 122W. Say if you have a decent GPU your system will most likely be slightly above 200W at the wall, but that does what, 2500-4000ppd? But yes, the PS3 client is probably the closest to set-and-forget apart from the single core client.


200W is also worst case. The newer PS3s are more energy efficient. I think the PS3 is worth looking into because it's so easy, and a lot of people have them. It's a quick way to get started.

I got started on a PS3. I don't fold on it anymore because of the very reason you mention, but if it gets people interested in the project, and they move on to more difficult and PPD beneficial clients at a later date, then I think it is well worth recommending people try out the PS3 client as a way to get started. Especially for people who have computers that can only run the single core client.
My 2nd gen 80GB model is still drawing 200W. I don't know about the new 40GB ones though. And I did admit the PS3 is the easier of the rest save for the single core client, so I was not disagreeing with you being a good beginner's recommendation.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:33 am

Well, we're out of the top 10 now :(

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The good news is that we've been heading up in PPD the past few days. Maybe some of the discussions lately have helped a few more TR people catch the folding bug :D
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:19 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Ragnar Dan wrote:But I still don't see any reason to run the Windows SMP client except if you're on a machine that can't run virtualization software.

Because it will use alot more RAM and HDD space and is much less transparent and is harder to setup, and is more likely to break. Need I go on?

Perhaps fewer comments on subjects about which you have little knowledge along with less attitude would serve you better.

A properly set up VM uses inconsequentially more RAM. Maybe an extra 20 MB or less. HDD usage is slightly greater to hold the VM software, config file, and the ISO, but with HD's being upwards of hundreds of GBs in size, now, and it still being possible to have a total disk usage well under 50 MB if you're using notfred's virtual appliance, that too is insignificant (though I believe a file approximately the size of the memory available to the VM will be stored on HD when it is suspended). Setting up a VM with a full guest OS is simple enough that Tarx's stickied thread in this forum is one of the more read forum threads around, by people from this team and others. As for it being more likely to break, there is no evidence for that assertion. Indeed, everything we've seen on Team 2630 and others posting in threads about notfred's software indicates the opposite to be true.

As for the "transparency" question, it depends on how you mean it. If you mean an ignorant user can see it and screw it up, indeed another OS running through a VM is less likely to be broken than the Windows SMP client dependent on a command prompt window is. Most people in charge of large numbers of machines are likely to be happy about that fact.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:30 pm

I need that program that fixes hung SMP clients. Who has that?
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:31 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Ragnar Dan wrote:But I still don't see any reason to run the Windows SMP client except if you're on a machine that can't run virtualization software.

Because it will use alot more RAM and HDD space and is much less transparent and is harder to setup, and is more likely to break. Need I go on?

Perhaps fewer comments on subjects about which you have little knowledge along with less attitude would serve you better.

A properly set up VM uses inconsequentially more RAM. Maybe an extra 20 MB or less. HDD usage is slightly greater to hold the VM software, config file, and the ISO, but with HD's being upwards of hundreds of GBs in size, now, and it still being possible to have a total disk usage well under 50 MB if you're using notfred's virtual appliance, that too is insignificant (though I believe a file approximately the size of the memory available to the VM will be stored on HD when it is suspended). Setting up a VM with a full guest OS is simple enough that Tarx's stickied thread in this forum is one of the more read forum threads around, by people from this team and others. As for it being more likely to break, there is no evidence for that assertion. Indeed, everything we've seen on Team 2630 and others posting in threads about notfred's software indicates the opposite to be true.

As for the "transparency" question, it depends on how you mean it. If you mean an ignorant user can see it and screw it up, indeed another OS running through a VM is less likely to be broken than the Windows SMP client dependent on a command prompt window is. Most people in charge of large numbers of machines are likely to be happy about that fact.

Ah right, I have no knowledge, thanks, I had forgotten. :roll:

The amount of RAM usage varies quite a bit between WU's. If you allocate enough RAM for the most-demanding WU's they you are using more than a non-VM'd one would since a native client would only use as much as that current WU needs.

Also, with a native client, the OS can have more fine-tuning of the threading because an OS's scheduler would be able to decide what is best by knowing the process directly, instead of just taking what the VM software tells you.

For the configuration side of things, I've had problems with networking in the past for usage on my network. I go between many different networks and VM's and such, and a native client never has to deal with things like bridged networks or NAT. As long as the computer had internet, the client works.

I never said I liked the current client. If you could read, you'd have noticed that by now. That's what I say that there is no good client to use that is worth it from the points perspective. There are trade-offs, being it inefficient usage of resources, configuration, etc.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:07 am

Ragnar Dan wrote:Perhaps fewer comments on subjects about which you have little knowledge along with less attitude would serve you better.
That should be addressed to Meadows. :P

Usacomp2k3 wrote:The amount of RAM usage varies quite a bit between WU's. If you allocate enough RAM for the most-demanding WU's they you are using more than a non-VM'd one would since a native client would only use as much as that current WU needs.
Assuming you have enough RAM, putting say 530MiB for the VM isn't too big of a deal, is it? If you are constantly running Photoshop and other memory hogging applications you are probably not supposed to be running a Folding client anyway?

Usacomp2k3 wrote:Also, with a native client, the OS can have more fine-tuning of the threading because an OS's scheduler would be able to decide what is best by knowing the process directly, instead of just taking what the VM software tells you.
This point is somewhat debatable and is actually an interesting exercise for one that would like to try. Let's take VMware, the vmware-vmx.exe is one process with multiple threads, where 2+ threads inside the process are CPU heavy. Compare that to WinSMP where you have fah6*.exe, 4x FahCore_*.exe, plus the mpiexec/deino stuff running as a system service. Considerably far more memory and threads that are required for the OS to juggle. Add to the fact that the LinuxSMP client is better points wise. You could argue that the default priority of the VM is not low so it may interfere with other apps, but it is relatively easy to set the priority of the VM to idle. I have it set on mine and it seems to be ok so far.

Usacomp2k3 wrote:For the configuration side of things, I've had problems with networking in the past for usage on my network. I go between many different networks and VM's and such, and a native client never has to deal with things like bridged networks or NAT. As long as the computer had internet, the client works.
Once you set it to either bridged or NAT, you almost never have to touch it again. How is that so much of a hassle than you make it out to be? Actually WinSMP is worse networking wise. My machine was once on a wireless connection and at one point it loses connection very often. Once Windows senses that the network is unavailable, mpiexec goes amok and basically trashed what it was working on. Technically before 100% it does not really need to talk to the internet, intermittently losing the network connection is not cool. :( A VM would hide that fact especially if you are on NAT.

Usacomp2k3 wrote:I never said I liked the current client. If you could read, you'd have noticed that by now. That's what I say that there is no good client to use that is worth it from the points perspective.
We never really say we like the current client either? :roll:

Usacomp2k3 wrote:There are trade-offs, being it inefficient usage of resources, configuration, etc.
There are always tradeoffs, even single core clients. It is a choice made by the donor. Everyone has their reasons why they want or do not want to run Folding. No need to impose your values by trashing others? :oops:
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:23 am

I need to offer an apology. After re-reading, it seems like my diatribe was misconstrued. I think we are actually arguing apples and oranges, and I definitely don't mean to be critical of anyone or anything (other than the clients that Stanford has been putting out).

In my mind a good, stable, service WinSMP is what needs to exist, and doesn't.
Anything short of that is a concession of some sort. The current WinSMP lacks things like service-mode (for all the corporate-type computers that sit at login, or home computers with multiple users) and is just not reliable. The VM is better than the current WinSMP, but not as good as what the winSMP should be. That's all I'm getting at.
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Re: That felt good. Where's the pride?

Postposted on Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:06 pm

I'd say we're in agreement about that. :)
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