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Art Masson
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Message 56808 - Posted: 9 Sep 2017, 11:50:53 UTC

Hi Dave...Have you heard anything further? It's now been almost a month (Aug 12) since a credit update has occurred....
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Profile Dave Jackson
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Message 56810 - Posted: 9 Sep 2017, 18:40:17 UTC - in response to Message 56808.  

Hi Art,
Nothing further since the 4th. Andy is I know trying to track down what is throwing an error in the credit script but to date has not come up with anything. And of course, it being the weekend will not be back on the case till Monday.

Not sure but I suspect it is also Andy that will be trying to sort out the problem with zips not going through for some AFR tasks at the moment as well as all the usual maintenance jobs he has. Except when work things get in the way, I check things five or six days a week but have got some busy times coming up so as I said, the first news it is fixed may well be when you see your credit going up.

If Andy emails myself and or moderators group with an update it will get posted here within a couple of days at the most.
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rothloup79

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Message 56830 - Posted: 12 Sep 2017, 13:07:56 UTC

the BOINC stats credit overview for this project shows that no one has gotten credit since 08-14.

https://boincstats.com/en/stats/2/project/detail/credit

So I'd just wait for the project admin to catch up and distribute credit as per usual to everyone.
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Marcus Cooper

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Message 56833 - Posted: 12 Sep 2017, 16:01:12 UTC - in response to Message 56830.  

Despite my i7 running 24/7 I've had no credit since the 14th August. A little disappointing
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Profile Dave Jackson
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Message 56834 - Posted: 13 Sep 2017, 6:26:41 UTC - in response to Message 56833.  

Despite my i7 running 24/7 I've had no credit since the 14th August. A little disappointing


As outlined earlier in this thread, there has been a problem with the credit script which has started throwing an error when Andy tried running it manually. He is in between other work trying to work out what is causing the error so it can be fixed. As credit is based on the trickle up messages sent by BIONC to CPDN and these are all present and indeed backed up, all credit will be granted once the problem is resolved.

Also as I said earlier, I am reluctant to keep emailing Andy about this as time spent reading emails is time not working on this and other priorities at CPDN.

Dave
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Marcus Cooper

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Message 56836 - Posted: 13 Sep 2017, 12:42:11 UTC - in response to Message 56834.  

Thank you Dave.
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Profile fasanzaf

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Message 56857 - Posted: 17 Sep 2017, 21:37:03 UTC

Well, it is ending this Sunday that makes the fifth week without credit update.

On the one hand it is said that the scripts can not be executed on working days
the script now takes so long to run, there are not enough hours in a day...
, otherwise they can not be watched by those responsible during the weekend, so there does not seem to be a clear solution for a pending credit update work snowball that is growing and growing...

Any news on this?
Thank you in advance for any information.
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ian

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Message 56865 - Posted: 18 Sep 2017, 16:38:37 UTC

I seem to think we have been here before. i.e. various excuses on the credit front.

Yes any project has problems but why does this one not post them to the boinc notices as do others that I run. The classic one was when in the last few months we received a message via the boinc messages that we should change the site reference and then, only by delving into these message boards, did one find out that that message was erroneous.

Fully agree that the science is the important bit - but PR with those doing the number crunching seems to have zero priority on this project.

As an Oxford alumnus (Pembroke 1969 - 1972) I am really beginning to think that this lack of respect to those who volunteer is damaging to the image of the university.
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WB8ILI

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Message 56872 - Posted: 18 Sep 2017, 20:48:46 UTC

Ian -

You have to understand the nature of this work. This is not a "mission critical" computer endeavor. This not like credit card processing, or bank account processing, or medical record processing. If things are "messed up", it can wait until whatever.

When the staff leaves Oxford on Friday at 1700, nothing happens until Monday (unless it one of the numerous Monday holidays in the UK, in which case it is Tuesday).

If it were "mission critical" the staff would be alerted at 0300 by cell phone that there was an issue and they would be required to work until they "fixed it".

If it were "mission critical" the scientists (the PhD types) would not take three years to publish a paper on their findings from these computer simulations.

I spend a significant amount of resources (hardware, electricity) hoping, in the "big picture", to make an effect on civilization's future. I tend to hope in the long run, that my efforts are worthwhile.

The credit thing will eventually be corrected. At least, it always has been in the past.
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Profile Iain Inglis
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Message 56873 - Posted: 18 Sep 2017, 22:43:05 UTC

A message was sent to the project staff asking for an update. Current thinking is apparently that the sheer number of tasks in the credit calculation queue (i.e. all non-archived tasks) prevents the script completing. This means that the script has to be significantly redesigned.

Be assured, however, that contributions are being recorded and credit will be fixed but may be a larger job than just debugging a script.
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Darmok

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Message 56875 - Posted: 19 Sep 2017, 0:01:02 UTC - in response to Message 56873.  

Iain, this sounds very plausible. From all the years, I have rarely seen so many and different tasks with so much data to analyse and credits to provide. I agree also with Ian but with my point of view. Yes, the PR with crunchers is almost non-existent on CPDN if compared to pure research sites like SETI or Einstein where crunchers provide the final Yes or No result. With CPDN, my understanding is it is a beginning, results asking so many more complex questions. Personally, I have a lot of respect for Drs. Allen and Otto and staff for dealing with these world issues, and I will always provide them with my support.
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Profile fasanzaf

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Message 56884 - Posted: 19 Sep 2017, 15:50:28 UTC

So maybe we even have to apologize for asking about our credit for the work done, WB8ILI?
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Profile Dave Jackson
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Message 56886 - Posted: 19 Sep 2017, 17:24:07 UTC - in response to Message 56884.  

So maybe we even have to apologize for asking about our credit for the work done, WB8ILI?


No need to apologise. Those of us feeding back information from the project agree that they could be a lot better at keeping us up to date about how things are going when this or other problems occur. I suspect that if not alerted, credit is far enough down their list of priorities not to be noticed unless there is an automatic alert when the script fails.

To me the problem with the credits reminds me of the person in a village in the middle of nowhere on asking how to get to another village is told, "Well if I wanted to go there, I don't think I would be starting off from here."
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Message 56887 - Posted: 19 Sep 2017, 22:23:46 UTC - in response to Message 56886.  

No need to apologise.

Of course not, Dave. I was asking someone who seems to ignore that, within this BOINC paradigm, we, volunteers are the ones who are giving them time and resources for their scientific projects.

I am proud of my modest contribution to science, which is reflected in those credits. I do not think this is asking so much. Absolutely zero PR.
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MartinNZ

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Message 56888 - Posted: 20 Sep 2017, 4:06:07 UTC
Last modified: 20 Sep 2017, 4:07:35 UTC

We all realise the limited budgets that research teams get, especially under the current environment, but it seems to me that part of that budget should be to maintain feedback to the BOINC number crunchers. They are part of the team, and without them the CPDN teams around the world would not have been able crunch the numbers they have. Like it or loath it, for some the BOINC credits are part of that feedback. BOINC Credit allocation is a thorn that has been cropping up for years, so perhaps it is time it got sorted?

CPDN keeps us going because we care about the issues, or perhaps some just like crunching numbers. Whichever, some like to have a bit of feedback, and however tortuous the route may be, the BOINC software provides a means for this.

As someone who has operated in business for over 40 years, I understand how important it is to keep customers sweet and part of that is giving useful feedback. The CPDN project can do that when you look at your account to see the success rate of tasks, or through the built-in BOINC credit system. Although credits may not be best suited to the CPDN use of BOINC, it seems that are not going away and that some number crunchers find them useful.

It is not only the CPDN teams that have to budget. Some years ago I posted an estimate of how much it costs me to compute for the project and at the time it was 1180 kWh p.a, roughly 20% of my home office electricity use. (And you have to smile at the first line of THAT post!) In NZ that would cost around NZD 350 pa in additional electricity costs. Currently there are around 14.5k computers with recent credit. Now, not everyone would be processing as much as I do, so let's halve the amount it costs, that's still NZD 2.5 million every year that users spend just on electricity alone. Then there may be added broadband costs, hardware etc.

I know it's difficult, I know it is not core to the project, I know your budget didn't have a line for looking after BOINC credits, but I think it is time that someone took the bull by the horns and allocated more resources to fix the issue. It's just good PR to do so.

As a footnote, I don't worry about credits, what I like to see is my number of successful tasks continue to grow. So I will happily plod along checking every few days that tasks are not falling over and what's happening on the BB.

Keep up the good work everyone :-)
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Grahamt

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Message 56898 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 8:56:15 UTC

Having read through this thread, my conclusion is that the people running the project don't care enough about us number crunchers to communicate directly with us. All the information we get - whether about credit or problems with the project - seems to come from volunteers/moderators (for which many thanks).

CPDN work is, of course important, but as some people here have pointed out, it's not mission-critical. So I think I'll take my CPU cycles somewhere where they're more appreciated. I'll let my current CPDN units complete, but I'm not going to fetch any more. This won't make much of a difference to the amount of work done for CPDN, but it will make a difference to me.
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Profile Dave Jackson
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Message 56901 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 12:37:34 UTC - in response to Message 56898.  

All the information we get - whether about credit or problems with the project - seems to come from volunteers/moderators (for which many thanks).


It may be posted by volunteers but the information all comes from the project people, usually posted within a day or less of them informing us. I guess part of the problem is, when there is no news how often does it need to be said that the problem is being worked on? Possibly more often than it is said as especially when there may be three of four threads where the problem has been posted, the one with the information the user is looking for may not leap out, especially for a new or not very web savvy cruncher.

If I know the problem is being worked on, sometimes I am reluctant to tie up programmers' time with emails asking for updates. I know others sometimes feel the same. - Difficult to get the right balance.

As outlined below, it is thought that a major change may be needed in the way credits are calculated so I am not holding my breath on this one. At least one idea of how to resolve it has been mooted using an older script that works in a slightly different way however I don't know enough to guess how long trying this out might take or even if trying it out is desireable given how much the amount of data involved has increased.
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Jim1348

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Message 56903 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 13:06:27 UTC - in response to Message 56898.  

CPDN work is, of course important, but as some people here have pointed out, it's not mission-critical. So I think I'll take my CPU cycles somewhere where they're more appreciated. I'll let my current CPDN units complete, but I'm not going to fetch any more. This won't make much of a difference to the amount of work done for CPDN, but it will make a difference to me.

I am a bit unsure of how real-time it is. They used to just give analyses of past events, such as how likely a drought or flood ten years ago was due to Global Warming. Now I think they have moved more to current events, but it is not clear to me whether they are making predictions that would be of use in helping to prepare for future events. Maybe that is because I have not been reading their postings enough, or maybe they are not making them.
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Profile Dave Jackson
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Message 56904 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 13:27:59 UTC - in response to Message 56903.  

but it is not clear to me whether they are making predictions that would be of use in helping to prepare for future events.


At least one of the projects listed as coming soon is trying to make predictions.

http://www.climateprediction.net/weatherathome/fmec/
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Jim1348

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Message 56907 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 15:08:35 UTC - in response to Message 56904.  

Thank you. I know they had to calibrate their models first based on past events, but I am glad that they are ready to move on, to some degree at least.
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