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Questions and Answers : Preferences : Run only when my computer is idle
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Profile mo.v
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Message 28836 - Posted: 21 May 2007, 2:27:48 UTC
Last modified: 21 May 2007, 2:32:15 UTC

The easy thing about adding memory is that you just plug in the extra card, turn on the computer again and you\'re ready to go. No need to configure or reconfigure anything.

There\'s an instruction video here, though I\'m afraid there\'s a bit of advertising first.

http://www.pcworld.com/video/id,355-page,1-bid,4/video.html
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Message 29047 - Posted: 29 May 2007, 1:56:10 UTC - in response to Message 26338.  

I found that CP was using 110 Mb of memory out of 512, which seemed a lot to me, and (I think) caused heaps of disk paging, which meant that this computer sometimes feels like it\'s working under wet concrete, with the hard disk 90% active for seconds at a time.

I changed the setting for memory use from 50% to 15%, which I hope will improve things somewhat.
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Message 29049 - Posted: 29 May 2007, 3:27:19 UTC

The reason it\'s running so slowly, is that you don\'t have a separate graphics card, so you don\'t actually have 512Megs. Some of that, perhaps a lot at times, is being used to run the display.

The latest version of the program is designed to write to disk a lot less often, but the trade off is that it uses more memory. (version 5.40)


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Message 29050 - Posted: 29 May 2007, 3:54:50 UTC - in response to Message 29049.  

My graphics card utility says it\'s using 5 MB at the moment.

I still have two tasks/process instances of hadcm......exe. I was hoping that my changes would reduce it to one only. Is there some other way of ensuring that only one process is loaded, and using 57 MB instead of 114 MB?

Do I have to reduce the use of the page file to zero?
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Message 29052 - Posted: 29 May 2007, 4:47:04 UTC

BOTH processes are needed; hadcm3transum, and also hadcm3trans.

Or are you talking about running two models at the same time?
In which case, in the Projects tab, click on the project name, then click on the No new tasks button.
Then, in the Tasks tab, click on one of the model names, then click on Suspend to the left of the model names. (Or you can just Abort it.)

You can also go into your General preferences (on your Account page), and change the number of processors from 2 to 1.
Then click on OK at the bottom of the page, followed by Update in the Projects tab of your manager.

Two models will take twice the amount of memory, and you should have 1Gb of ram to do this.

Reducing the page file to zero will probably crash the model(s) when they run out of both ram and swap space.


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Message 29053 - Posted: 29 May 2007, 5:13:22 UTC - in response to Message 29052.  

Thanks for the help. I reduced the number of processors figure to 1. I\'m not really sure how it appears that this PC has 2 processors, as it is not dual core and there is only one processor.

Unfortunately I had to abort one CP project, which was 15% through after 750 hours.

And I have actually got a project from Einstein now, whereas I have had nothing but CP for months.
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Message 29060 - Posted: 29 May 2007, 11:54:47 UTC - in response to Message 29053.  

Thanks for the help. I reduced the number of processors figure to 1. I\'m not really sure how it appears that this PC has 2 processors, as it is not dual core and there is only one processor.

What you have is a HyperThreaded processor. It\'s a single processor that allows dual processing. It can give some benefit on some projects, but you need the memory for it. This can be turned on and off in the BIOS.

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Message 29361 - Posted: 29 Jun 2007, 3:21:03 UTC - in response to Message 28836.  

The easy thing about adding memory is that you just plug in the extra card, turn on the computer again and you\'re ready to go. No need to configure or reconfigure anything.

There\'s an instruction video here, though I\'m afraid there\'s a bit of advertising first.

http://www.pcworld.com/video/id,355-page,1-bid,4/video.html



I have at last upgraded my memory from 512M to 2G. It may be too early to tell, but I think it has made a huge difference.

Thanks.
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Message 29371 - Posted: 29 Jun 2007, 20:51:01 UTC
Last modified: 29 Jun 2007, 20:52:43 UTC

I\'m sure you\'ll notice a difference. You appear to have a dual-core and it seems a shame to have this capability while being short on memory. With 2Gb you can run 2 models side-by-side if you want, and still have memory to spare.
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Message 29424 - Posted: 2 Jul 2007, 1:37:31 UTC - in response to Message 29371.  

I\'m sure you\'ll notice a difference. You appear to have a dual-core and it seems a shame to have this capability while being short on memory. With 2Gb you can run 2 models side-by-side if you want, and still have memory to spare.



Why, yes, indeedy, it did make a difference. Everything is working better--including my 2 models.

Thanks, best wishes, whatever.

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Message 29837 - Posted: 4 Aug 2007, 12:38:40 UTC

Hello, my apologies if this question has already been addressed, there are a large number of posts to wade through and I may have missed the answer... OK my Cliamteprediction task crashed, and a theory being considered is that my processor got overloaded with work. In order to minimise the risk of this happening in the future I tried going into my BOINC GUI preferences and selecting Do work after idle for - (1 minute was my choice). A litte while later I noticed my laptop fan running, went back into preferences and noticed that the setting had been reverted to \"always\". Now I wonder if I need to go my my online accounts for each of my projects, and change settings there as well?? Any suggestions, please!
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Message 29839 - Posted: 4 Aug 2007, 15:25:25 UTC

Hi Andrew

I see your model crashed with the dreaded exit code 22 which I think is due to a flaw within a few models. The models now being handed out are as far as I know less likely to suffer from this. I don\'t think it\'s recommended to restore a backup to try to continue with one of these models, but I hope this can be confirmed by someone else.

Which version of boinc have you got? I have v. 5.8.15. After I\'ve changed my preferences I need to click \'Update preferences\' at the bottom of the page, then select/highlight the same project (in this case cpdn) in the Projects tab of boinc manager and click Update. When boinc has contacted the server, the change should propagate to all projects.

But I don\'t think this crash was caused by your computer being overloaded with work. Disable the screensaver anyway, if you haven\'t already done so. It slows the model crunching down and on some computers can interfere with normal use. You can still see your globe when you want by using the graphics button in boinc manager.

However, in the case of laptops as opposed to desktops, you need to keep an eye on whether it\'s keeping cool enough when running at 100% CPU. You could download the free trial version of Everest to check the temperatures. It\'s advisable to raise laptops slightly off the table top for extra cooling when running them for long periods.

From the point of view of the lifespan of the fans, it\'s arguably better to keep them fully working all the time rather than frequently changing speed. How important this is for you will depend on how often you use the laptop.
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Message 29840 - Posted: 4 Aug 2007, 15:28:27 UTC - in response to Message 28800.  

Anyway, I found out the problem. The BOINC client reads from a prefs overrides file when exiting the prefs screen (I don\'t know if this is a fail safe or its normal behavior, but it does it every time for me, which I discovered after I checked the message log).

global_prefs_override.xml only exists if you have manually created it. It is not there in a standard installation.


Yes it is, you do not have to manually create it, I never created that file and it was there upon installation, I simply found and edited it.

Thus, if you wish to turn off \'runs while user is active\' you must first make sure BOINC isn\'t running (exit the program), then go to the install directory (C:\\Program Files\\BOINC) and open the file \'global_prefs_override.xml\' in notepad.
Find the line \'<run_if_user_active>1</run_if_user_active>\' and change the 1 to a 0.
Save the file and then open up BOINC, it should now work properly :)

You don\'t need to stop BOINC if you want to change global_prefs_override.xml:

  • You can switch to the BOINC simple view, click on the \'Preferences\' link and change your local override settings in the dialog box that opens up.

  • You can edit the file manually, switch to the BOINC advanced view and use the \'Advanced - Read local prefs file\' menu item to load the new settings.



No, if you try to edit the file while BOINC is running then it will revert back to the old version (before your changes) upon exiting BOINC (such as when your computer shuts down). To prevent this the file must be edited while the program is NOT running.

Also, trying to edit the file from within the program fails, because it is bugged.
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Message 29845 - Posted: 5 Aug 2007, 8:57:45 UTC


The over-ride file is created by the user \"using\" (or fiddling with), certain of the many optains, quite often without them knowing that they\'ve created the file. That\'s part of the problem.

There is a \"clear\" button or option somewhere which will get rid of the file, so that only the prefs on the server determine what happens.

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Message 29863 - Posted: 6 Aug 2007, 9:21:55 UTC - in response to Message 29839.  
Last modified: 6 Aug 2007, 9:22:57 UTC

Mo, Thanks for your advice. Here are notes of what I have done...

Screensaver is “none”

BOINC = 5.8.15

Do work only after idle for 27
Switch tasks every 73

Update preferences 9.09 UTC today

Status is \"scheduler request pending\"

Preferences now is BOINC manager as 0(run always)

I changed the time preferences to those odd numbers so that it would be easy to see that the numbers have been successfully updated. I wonder if \"sceduler request pending\" suggests that my BOINC client is having problems communicating with climatepreiction.net? Ill try changing my preferences at World Community Grid, just to see if we can tease out where precisely the problem is. Oh and Goolge \"everest\"...

Thanks again

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Questions and Answers : Preferences : Run only when my computer is idle

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