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The FlyerTalk BOINC Team: Donate your computer's idle time for research!

The FlyerTalk BOINC Team: Donate your computer's idle time for research!

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Old Apr 19, 14, 11:16 am   -   Wikipost
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[Team FlyerTalk Combined BOINC Stats on BOINCstats.com]
[Team FlyerTalk Combined BOINC Stats on AllProjectStats.com]

Donate your unused processor cycles for research!

Get started:
  1. Download BOINC here
  2. Find one or more projects whose goals interest you from this page* (here's another, more comprehensive, page with some descriptions, and here's a Wikipedia page as well--pick from the projects with the green "yes" under the "BOINC based" column)
    • *If you have a compatible ATI or NVIDIA graphics card, choose at least one project with the appropriate logo to take advantage of your GPU's extra horsepower
Then:

Without an account manager
  1. In BOINC, click "Add Project" and choose the project from the list. If a project is not listed, enter the URL of the project's website
  2. Log in to your account on each project's website, search for a team named FlyerTalk, and click join
  3. Repeat for any additional projects you have joined

OR: with an account manager:
(An account manager allows easier control of multiple projects and/or multiple computers)
  1. Register with an account manager (BAM, GridRepublic)
  2. Log into the account manager and select projects to join (detailed steps for BAM, GridRepublic)
  3. Join the FlyerTalk team for each of your projects in the account manager
  4. From within BOINC, click "Add Project" and choose to add an account manager. Enter the details of your account manager, and everything else will start automatically!
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Old Feb 22, 10, 7:41 am
  #1  
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Lightbulb The FlyerTalk BOINC Team: Donate your computer's idle time for research!

BOINC (Wikipedia) is a program released by the University of California, Berkeley that serves as a central point for joining and managing various projects that use distributed computing.

You may have heard of the original worldwide phenomenon known as [email protected] (Wikipedia), which uses the power of millions of personal computers which each analyze tiny chunks of signal data from radio telescopes for potential signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life. Whose computers? Yours! Put simply, it's a lot cheaper for a research organization to split the work up between millions of small computers (especially ones they don't have to pay for!) than it is to pony up the millions of dollars for their own supercomputer/computing cluster!

The typical home PC spends the vast majority of its time doing nothing. Today's powerful processors are barely taxed by surfing the web, working in a word processor, or even watching an HD video. [email protected] set out to out those unused clock cycles for something worthwhile and started a computing revolution.

Of course, searching for aliens is the most interesting (from a PR standpoint) and marketable use for this kind of distributed computing technology, but although [email protected] was the first to prove that massively distributed grid computing was feasible, many other projects (with arguably more immediate importance and benefit for humanity) have sprung up since, including ones that predict protein folding (which has implications for treating and curing diseases), increase the accuracy of climate change models, detect gravitational waves of neutron stars, and many other valuable and worthwhile scientific pursuits. (You can see a list and descriptions here.)

In order to help advance the frontiers of scientific research, all you need to do is download the BOINC software, enter the URL of the project(s) you want to join (you can get the URL from the above-linked list of projects), and register your account (enter an email and password).

However, a little friendly competition never hurts—and it might even motivate some people to contribute a little more. So, BOINC projects usually publish statistics for both individual users and user-created teams. Teams can be made for anything: companies, organizations, fans of a particular TV show, or (what some of the most popular ones are) members of online communities!

I did some searching, and BOINC has only been mentioned a few times on FlyerTalk (here, here [and a few posts below that], and here), and there appears to be no BOINC-wide FlyerTalk team (there is a FlyerTalk team affiliated with World Community Grid and Climateprediction.net, but not with any other BOINC projects, to the best of my knowledge; there is also a FlyerTalk team on the [email protected] project, which is similar but unrelated to BOINC). So, in order to make it easy to join the project of your choice and still be with your fellow frequent flyers, I've created a BOINC-wide FlyerTalk team, which will exist for any BOINC project (current or future).

To join the team, once you've set up your account with the project(s) of your choice, go to that project's website, log in to the "Your Account" section, look for the "Find a team" link, type in "FlyerTalk," click the result, and then click "Join this team." It's that simple! (I may get a script going in the future that allows you to join the FlyerTalk team with one click; if anyone has access to their own web server with PHP enabled and wants to help out, check out this site for an idea.)

If you participate in a large number of projects, it can be easier to set up an account manager, such as the one at http://bam.boincstats.com, and then join all of your projects to the FlyerTalk team at once. An account manager also allows you to remotely control your projects on many machines at once, which is useful if you have BOINC running on a desktop or two at home, at work, on your laptop, and perhaps surreptitiously installed on a friend's or relative's machine.

Also, if you have a compatible graphics card, joining a GPU-enabled project is a great way to help boost our Team FlyerTalk position! I've been letting my GPU crunch on Collatz Conjecture (the only project that works with my particular ATI GPU), and it's been helping us out substantially.

Instructions for how to do this are in the link above, but the first key is to open your BOINC client, look at the Messages tab or window, scroll to the top, and look about 10-15 lines down for a mention of a compatible GPU. You should see either "ATI GPU," "NVIDIA GPU," or "No usable GPUs found." If you have a GPU, then attach to one of the projects listed in the above link and watch your recent average credit soar!

I'm making the link to this thread as the "URL of team web page," so if you have any questions, this is the place to ask it!

Happy processing!

Last edited by jackal; Apr 19, 14 at 1:33 pm Reason: Graphics URLs changed
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Old Feb 23, 10, 10:53 pm
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I'm doing the malariacontrol.net project and it's not picking up FlyerTalk yet so I'll give it a second.
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Old Feb 23, 10, 10:58 pm
  #3  
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Can we start a program that will actually find Delta Biz class awards at low levels? I figure it will take a few thousand computers to actually find anything.
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Old Feb 23, 10, 11:14 pm
  #4  
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I've been involved with one or more BOINC projects since 2003.

Currently doing:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

World Community Grid

[email protected]

The Lattice Project

I just checked on two or three of these projects and FlyerTalk is not yet recognized as a team. I'll check back in a few days.

On a side note, though, I see that I already belong to a FlyerTalk team on World Community Grid.
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Old Feb 23, 10, 11:16 pm
  #5  
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It's taking a bit longer than I hoped for the various BOINC projects to import the new team from BOINC.

A few Google searches had indicated that most BOINC projects import the list from boinc.berkeley.edu about once a day. It seems that may not be the case.

I'll post a note here when I notice it's gone through.
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Old Mar 27, 10, 6:41 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
It's taking a bit longer than I hoped for the various BOINC projects to import the new team from BOINC.

A few Google searches had indicated that most BOINC projects import the list from boinc.berkeley.edu about once a day. It seems that may not be the case.

I'll post a note here when I notice it's gone through.
A few days ago, I started getting a barrage of emails from various BOINC projects telling me that my team had been created. Looks like Team FlyerTalk is up and running on a good number of BOINC projects, including [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]

So, feel free to join and make the world a better place!
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Old Mar 27, 10, 6:47 pm
  #7  
 
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Joined. Thanks for the bump to remind us
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Old Mar 28, 10, 12:44 pm
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Thumbs up FlyerTalk team on BOINC [email protected]

I logged into my [email protected] preferences and changed my team to FlyerTalk, leaving L'Alliance Francophone. Our team (BOINC-wide, [email protected]) could use more of y'alls.

I searched for "flyertalk" on the [email protected] Forums and got 0 hits. I'd start a thread there, but I leave the honor to the OP.
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Old Mar 28, 10, 11:07 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Can we start a program that will actually find Delta Biz class awards at low levels? I figure it will take a few thousand computers to actually find anything.
This is a fair amount of work but actually a pretty darn good idea!
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Old Mar 30, 10, 8:24 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Richard Chen View Post
I logged into my [email protected] preferences and changed my team to FlyerTalk, leaving L'Alliance Francophone. Our team (BOINC-wide, [email protected]) could use more of y'alls.

I searched for "flyertalk" on the [email protected] Forums and got 0 hits. I'd start a thread there, but I leave the honor to the OP.
Home computer runs slow as is without BOINC, so while I used to run BOINC on it, I really don't think I can afford to do it without going mad. (Hey, it's a 5-year-old PowerBook!)

I set BOINC up at work last week, but I need to reinstall it as a service so it runs when I'm not there. (And no, I won't get in trouble--I'm the IT guy!) I'll likely play with [email protected] a bit more, though, since I'm curious what some of my dual-processor machines at work can do with that (that's the only project I'm aware of so far that uses more than one core on a single work unit).

As for a FT thread on the [email protected] forums, what are you looking for there?
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Old Apr 17, 10, 9:48 pm
  #11  
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Team FlyerTalk is up and running! We now have teams on most of the popular projects, and I'm adding us as a team on some of the other projects that are not (for whatever reason) importing BOINC team data. [Cholula, I've made sure all of the projects you participate in have a FlyerTalk team, so feel free to search again.]

As of now, we are #2,633 out of 87,001 teams in recent credit and in 7,421th place overall. That puts us in the top 10% of teams! (I've included a graphic of our team stats in the first post of this thread.)

We're on our way up. Come join us!

Last edited by jackal; Apr 17, 10 at 9:53 pm
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Old Apr 18, 10, 12:32 am
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by jackal View Post
... (And no, I won't get in trouble--I'm the IT guy!)
If I were you, I'd install it on every machine in the office! Ah, dreams.
Originally Posted by jackal View Post
As for a FT thread on the [email protected] forums, what are you looking for there?
I only wanted to start a thread to promote our group .
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Old Apr 18, 10, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by Richard Chen View Post
If I were you, I'd install it on every machine in the office! Ah, dreams.
Well, most of the machines are old 2005-era Dells (Dimension 3000s and 1100s) and so would be barely worth the trouble. I did install it on the few halfway modern (less-than-3-years-old) machines we have. One of them even has a new video card that a couple projects ([email protected] and Collatz Conjecture) recognize and use.

Originally Posted by Richard Chen View Post
I only wanted to start a thread to promote our group .
Ah. Well, I'll see what I can conjure up! Time has been limited, though--I've barely been on FT in the last several weeks! Feel free to take up the reins on that project.

Also, I added some new graphs in the first post--check them out!

Last edited by jackal; Apr 18, 10 at 2:06 am
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Old Apr 18, 10, 7:30 pm
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Where is
http://www.malariacontrol.net/team_d...hp?teamid=2338
on the team stats?

I know Malaria Control is over capacity (they are always running out of work so I had to add some other projects)
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Old Apr 18, 10, 8:06 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Richard Chen View Post
I'd install it on every machine in the office!
I did that a few years ago for [email protected] with our 2000-processor render farm (with permission). We were far in the lead for a long time until Intel decided to dedicate their test farm and passed us.
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