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The Mac Donation - New Mac Support (?) Thread

The Mac Donation - New Mac Support (?) Thread

Questions and Answers : Macintosh : The Mac Donation - New Mac Support (?) Thread
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old_user35795

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Message 23877 - Posted: 8 Aug 2006, 23:22:18 UTC
Last modified: 8 Aug 2006, 23:32:35 UTC

All,

Okay, as a last-ditch effort, if there are still enough people checking this board, can we discuss the possibility of getting donated Mac hardware to CPDN?

I find climateprediction.net to be far and away the most interesting distributed computing project. It\'s far more important and compelling than, say, ... okay, I won\'t insult anybody else .... those other projects.

I shed tears when CPDN suddenly pulled the plug on Mac support. Combing through the posts here, it seems like the biggest impediment to renewed Mac support is the lack of Mac hardware for the developers to use in Oxford. So, my suggestion is that we consider pooling our resources to solve that problem. Let\'s give them the Mac(s) that the developers want.

Of course there are a lot of questions, among them:

1) Is CPDN interested in this proposition?

2) Are other (former) Mac CPDN users interested?

3) If we got them Mac(s), how firm a commitment can CPDN make that Mac crunching will once again be supported?

4) What kind(s) of Mac(s) are necessary? (And what models could be supported ... I think I am hearing Intel on this one...)

5) If we move forward, should we focus on collecting contributions for buying CPUs, or on lobbying Apple (or somebody else) to give them what they need, or on some combination of the two?

I guess questions 4 and 5 are getting a little ahead of the game. Could somebody from CPDN weigh in here with some thoughts? Or could a moderator contact them to ask? If we got them the hardware, will they have the time and ability?

A show of hands from other users? Is there interest? Are there enough of us left? Can we do this?



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Message 23910 - Posted: 11 Aug 2006, 23:32:44 UTC - in response to Message 23877.  

Oh man... is it that bad? No interest at all?
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richard schumacher

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Message 23917 - Posted: 12 Aug 2006, 14:23:29 UTC - in response to Message 23910.  
Last modified: 12 Aug 2006, 14:35:45 UTC

Oh man... is it that bad? No interest at all?

I\'m in if Project personnel are interested.

In the meantime I encourage all not to let their Macs sit idle. Mine will grind away at einstein@home http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/
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Christian Hoklas

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Message 24004 - Posted: 17 Aug 2006, 22:56:34 UTC

Maybe it would be a good idea to send out mails to the members of Mac-related teams, as probably only few people still check back at this place? I think the founder of each team is able to access the required mail addresses. And I think the users have the possibility to decide, whether to receive mails regarding the project. So no harm is done to anybody not willing to be bother by this project.
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Message 24037 - Posted: 19 Aug 2006, 10:03:44 UTC - in response to Message 23877.  


Okay, as a last-ditch effort, if there are still enough people checking this board, can we discuss the possibility of getting donated Mac hardware to CPDN?

Yeah!

I find climateprediction.net to be far and away the most interesting distributed computing project.

Same here.

1) Is CPDN interested in this proposition?

2) Are other (former) Mac CPDN users interested?

Guess these are the 2 questions to resolve :->
So how do we get in touch with \"anybody up there\"?
Anybody able/willing to cast some light on that?

skip


5) If we move forward, should we focus on collecting contributions for buying CPUs, or on lobbying Apple (or somebody else) to give them what they need, or on some combination of the two?

I\'ll be happy to look into lobbying Apple, who kows my \"admintingly old) contacts mights still prove thre worth ...
I\'ll will also chip in though, if if ever comes to that ...

Could somebody from CPDN weigh in here with some thoughts? Or could a moderator contact them to ask?

So I guess it comes down to how to find somebody who knows somebody who can ask? :-)

A show of hands from other users?

Here\'s mine!

Is there interest?

YES.

Are there enough of us left? Can we do this?

Well at least I am trying.
Let me know if there is anything (else) I can do!
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Message 24044 - Posted: 19 Aug 2006, 12:42:02 UTC
Last modified: 19 Aug 2006, 12:45:18 UTC

Hi,

The problem for CPDN on Mac is not that they don\'t have the kit, although it was for a while, in that they only had a Mac Laptop. I sold them a G4 late last year, at a knockdown price I might add.

The problem lies with compiling the programme. It uses old Fortran, some of it 30 years old, from the Met office data base. The compiler that they needed to use was to expensive to buy, with no guarantee that it would work any better than the one they had.

In addition, they only have two people, looking after the project, Carl and Tolu. They were also developing the side projects for the BBC as well as looking after the normal stuff and I think trying to sort out the problems on the Mac version was probably taking up to much of their time.

So I think what they need is:-

1/ a top of the range MacPro 3. It will have to handle very large ammounts of data and not take forever to compile and re-compile as required. Say £5,000

2/ The latest compilers for IntelMacs plus other software needed. say £2,500

3/Funds to employ a Mac specalist for one year. Say £30.000

4/ Plus additional admin costs. Say £2.500

That\'s £40,000 total. I think that should do it. Of course funding to employ someone for an addtional year may be required later. But we don\'t have to worry about that yet.

Maybe the National Lottery Fund would help?

I did try to contact Apple about supporting the project, but nothing of course.

K.






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Frances Stewart

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Message 24166 - Posted: 3 Sep 2006, 2:02:25 UTC - in response to Message 24044.  

Hi,

The problem for CPDN on Mac is not that they don\'t have the kit, although it was for a while, in that they only had a Mac Laptop. I sold them a G4 late last year, at a knockdown price I might add.

The problem lies with compiling the programme. It uses old Fortran, some of it 30 years old, from the Met office data base. The compiler that they needed to use was to expensive to buy, with no guarantee that it would work any better than the one they had.

In addition, they only have two people, looking after the project, Carl and Tolu. They were also developing the side projects for the BBC as well as looking after the normal stuff and I think trying to sort out the problems on the Mac version was probably taking up to much of their time.

So I think what they need is:-

1/ a top of the range MacPro 3. It will have to handle very large ammounts of data and not take forever to compile and re-compile as required. Say £5,000

2/ The latest compilers for IntelMacs plus other software needed. say £2,500

3/Funds to employ a Mac specalist for one year. Say £30.000

4/ Plus additional admin costs. Say £2.500

That\'s £40,000 total. I think that should do it. Of course funding to employ someone for an addtional year may be required later. But we don\'t have to worry about that yet.

Maybe the National Lottery Fund would help?

I did try to contact Apple about supporting the project, but nothing of course.

K.







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Frances Stewart

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Message 24167 - Posted: 3 Sep 2006, 2:08:25 UTC

I did a lot of crunching for CPDN until BOINC came along. I was really disappointed to learn that now that I have BOINC set up on my iMac and my MacBookPro. that I can\'t get run CPDN. I understand and appreciate the difficulties that the folks at Oxford are having and their need to focus on the most prevalent platforms. I\'d really like to see Apple become involved and fund this. I\'d be happy to send an e-mail requesting that but I don\'t know who it shoud go to. If Apple and other possible commericial sponsors don\'t come throught, maybe we shoujld fund this ourselves. I can\'t afford everything that might be needed but I\'d be happy to help. How about setting up something for us to contribute to?


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Message 24180 - Posted: 4 Sep 2006, 3:06:32 UTC


I\'ll be happy to look into lobbying Apple, who kows my \"admintingly old) contacts mights still prove thre worth ...


I think that if anyone has any contacts at Apple they should approach them with a view to intoducing them to the CPDN Managers. Apple have shown a willingness to aid in the development of applications for OSX in that they supported the development of the Folding at Home mac OSX version of their worker.

K.

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Les Bayliss
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Message 24181 - Posted: 4 Sep 2006, 3:12:32 UTC

As the software for cpdn is owned by the Met office, I suspect that only the Oxford people are licensed to work on it.

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Message 24182 - Posted: 4 Sep 2006, 9:36:01 UTC
Last modified: 4 Sep 2006, 9:44:36 UTC

\"Where there is a will, there is a way.\" as the cliche has it.

Would the Met Office really hold back permission to a responsible organisation ? I don\'t see it. It is however, another convenient hurdle for an uncommitted CPDN.

K.
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Message 24363 - Posted: 20 Sep 2006, 19:08:56 UTC - in response to Message 24182.  

If one looks at the top computers at SETI@Home now, six of the top ten are Macs. And those are mainly G5\'s. As the MacPros and Core 2 Duo iMacs get up to speed, they will be rising through the ranks. I\'m sure there will be latest and greatest PCs coming too; but I think it\'s a virtual certainty now that an attempt to accomodate Mac users would be more \"profitable\" for a distributed computing project than in the past.

Has anyone pinged the people at CPDN about Mac support lately ... or should the absence of a reply here be taken as a lack of interest?
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Message 24364 - Posted: 20 Sep 2006, 19:44:10 UTC

I\'m not a MAC user but come across the occasional tidbit on the Boards.

Not lack of interest, it\'s a matter of lack of resources.

Support for anything new, as Mac versions, is tenuous at best. The support staff is authorized to hire another person --> but Carl is leaving at the end of the year and is heavily involved in a new development project.

As a matter of curiosity, do you have stats for Mac numbers/percentage of total machines in SETI, as well as the top-ranked machines?

"We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo
Greetings from coastal Washington state, the scenic US Pacific Northwest.
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Message 24372 - Posted: 21 Sep 2006, 17:45:30 UTC - in response to Message 24364.  
Last modified: 21 Sep 2006, 17:50:26 UTC

As a matter of curiosity, do you have stats for Mac numbers/percentage of total machines in SETI, as well as the top-ranked machines?


Oh, it\'s on boincstats.com. Mac users are a definite small minority. It\'s the 4th most common operating system: XP (760k OS\'s), Win2000 (120k), Linux (82k), Mac (48k), Win2003 (35k), etc...

I\'ve been tracking the performance of my iMac Core 2 Duo (2.16ghz) against other machines. On SETI@Home each work unit gets done 3 or more times... so you can see how long other CPUs take (although I think it\'s not an absolute comparison if the other CPUs are throttled to only give x% to SETI).

Anyway, just anecdotally, I\'ve done 60 work units of various lengths over the last couple of days and on none of them has a Wintel box even come close to the iMac. In fact, the iMac has been the fastest on every work unit so far except one ... and that was a Mac Pro that crunched it faster.

Typical results for the same work units:

iMac: 8,200 seconds CPU time. Linux Dual P4 3.0 ghz box: 29,670 seconds.
iMac: 6,800 secs. XP Athlon 3400+ box: 17,530 secs.
iMac: 7,990 secs. Win 2003 P4 1.6ghz box: 23,750 secs.
iMac: 7,160 secs. XP Athlon Dual-Core 4600+ box: 13,640 secs. XP P4 2.6ghz box: 27,550 secs.

So nobody gets me wrong ... I\'m not picking a PC fight.

My point is simply that the crunching capacity of the Mac base that\'s out there is getting *much* better, hence, they would be a lot more productive for CPDN.

But I just love CPDN, that\'s why I want them to support Macs again. I don\'t want to fold proteins and have my CPU ultimately contribute to the intellectual property of some pharmaceutical company or something like that. CPDN is just far and away the most compelling distributed computing project.

Hey - didn\'t Richard Branson announce jillions for climate change study today? Does he like Macs? :-)

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Message 24422 - Posted: 26 Sep 2006, 3:50:12 UTC


Thanks for the reply.

"We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo
Greetings from coastal Washington state, the scenic US Pacific Northwest.
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Questions and Answers : Macintosh : The Mac Donation - New Mac Support (?) Thread

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