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November 29, 2000

#1 or Not?
Some people have noticed on the Berkeley site that it is listing TLC as the #1 team overall right now.� Why is TLC standing at the #1 position on the Berkeley site right now, but not in actual work units of the team?� Well I have to bring up something that Eric Korpela said a couple of days ago:

At some point, in an attempt to speed up the stats processing we started caching group database entries in memory for large periods of time between database updates.� It worked, we are able to keep up with the stats fairly well.� Unfortunately this introduced a bug when people joined groups.� The database entry would be updated, but this update would be lost the next time a cached entry was written to the database.�
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I’ve fixed the problem, additions to the group will get their preexisting workunit totals updated in the database once a week.

Well what does this mean?� From doing the stats I’ve noticed that the Berkeley servers would get screwed up in their totals when a person joins or leaves the team with work units.� What *should* happen is for the Berkeley servers to subtract those work units from the team’s total if a person leaves, or add them to the total when a person joins.� But what happened is that those modifications would get cached in memory but it got lost.� That is why over a period of time the the Berkeley numbers tend to be a bit different than the acutal WU totals from the team.� I have a graph showing how much this variation can be (click on the pic for a bigger version):
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�

But the problem they had is supposed to be fixed and the moved work units should get updated once a week.� They updated everything several days ago, BUT!� when guru left the team, the Berkeley servers did not subtract his work units from the team totals….so right now the TLC totals on the Berkeley servers are about 200,000 + Work Units more than they should be.� Because the numbers are higher than they should be, the TLC total on the Berkeley servers are higher than the Sun numbers, and therefore they show us to be at #1� (follow me? or have I lost ya? :).� If things go as Berkeley says they should, they will dump their cache sometime in a week and the team numbers would be what they should.� We’ll have to see.

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CPU Upgrades
Unfortunately, it wasn’t me that had a CPU upgrade, but the Berkeley servers did.� The servers were down for a while yesterday while they switched a couple of CPUs from one server to another one.� The outage was a bit longer than they expected due to some undocumented changes they needed to make to the servers, that they didn’t know about :P.� Here is what they had to say about the upgrade on the newsgroups:

We moved two CPUs from the science database server (which isn’t the same as the data server that serves work units) over to the user database server because the former was doing fine and the latter was struggling. The effects of this hardware move remains to be seen – we’re still recovering from the extended outage.

Why was it extended? Because according the E450 manual the CPUs are plug-n-play. I just moved some CPUs around in Ultra2s and that was indeed the case. However! Without any mention in the documentation, you not only need to move CPUs in E450s, but you need to transplant analogous voltage regulators as well. So we thought we lost a couple CPUs in the process until a rep at Sun shed some light on the situation.

– Matt – SETI@home

Just for funlike, I have been working on some new stats for the top 200 teams, and the code that I have times how long it takes to download the data for the top 200 teams.� I had times for the download before the upgrade, and did a similar timing last night (24 hrs later than the first) after the upgrade.� The verdict?� Before Upgrade – 7159 seconds (119 min).� After Upgrade – 4322 seconds (72 min).� The CPU upgrade appears to have improved the download about 40%!� But again that is only one set of benchmarks and….but it is definitely an improvement 🙂

FYI
Just saw this on the newsgroup.� They have posted a S@H newsletter #5 today.� There really isnt that much interesting sciencewise, but it does go over the hows and whys of their telescope positioning.� Check it out!

Team Stuff
Wanted to drop some names on ya tonight.� First off is a new TLC member that may be familiar with many of you.� Today Mike Ober joined Team Lamb Chop in the #51 position.� If that name isn’t familiar to you, Mike is the author of the pretty good caching program Seti Driver!� Welcome aboard Mike!� If you haven’t checked it out already, take a look at Poof‘s Seti Driver Guide.

On the talk of guides, I was thinking last night (yea doesn’t happen that often), and I will probably be updating the way outdated review of both SetiSpy and SetiWatch.� Look for it sometime soon 🙂

The combined Antimoses/Krell effort, codenamed Antiguru, moved into the team #2 spot today.� The combined effort cranked out 10,000 WUs in the past 24 hrs…..Kick A**!

A noteworthy milestone occured yesterday.� Longtime TLC member Vomesh passed the 50,000 WU mark!� Congrats!

�

November 27, 2000

Third Time Is a Charm?� Or Will It Be the Fourth Try?
As what many people expected to happen did happen yesterday.� After TLC passed Sun Microsystems a second time guru left TLC for what looks to be the final time.� This places TLC behind both SGI and Sun for the time being.� It may take some time to pass them both again (prolly a couple of weeks).� But passing Sun a third time may not be the final time.� guru has placed his account on the Rnoggin team, and most likely when TLC passes Sun for the third time, he will join the Sun team knocking us back down again.� Why all the jumping around with different accounts?� An explanation may be found in this thread here.� Just because a person joins a team, and participates in the forum doesn’t mean their loyalty lies with that team.� guru’s rejoining TLC was basically only to push us past Compaq in the standings, and to further his own idea of fun and competition.� Fortunately, Team Lamb Chop has over 3300 different strings holding it up…pulling one string will not sway the team that much.� Eventually TLC will be #1 and remain #1 no matter how much team jumping one person can do.

On the subject of fun and competition, word has it that Krell, and Antimoses has joined forces in the form of Antiguru.� Their efforts are joined to help knock down guru in the top users category.� With their combined resources, that shouldn’t take too long.

Intel Shrubbed Over
One of the things I forgot to mention last week is that The Knights Who Say Ni! took over the #7 place overall passing Intel in the process.� Good Job Shrubbers!� Keep it up!

Seti Driver Guide Updated!
Mike Ober has been updating Seti Driver since the release of the version 3.0 client, and is currently up to version 1.6.2.0.� There are some new features, and other changes from the other versions of Seti Driver.� Poof has updated the Seti Driver Guide to reflect these changes.� If you want to learn something new, or touch up on some old features, go take a gander now!

Other Updates
I have been through some of the old stuff, and have updated both the news, and weekly stats archives.� Also posted tonight is the current version of the weekly stats!� You know that you have been waiting for them, go take a look at them now!

Also I have added a link to Krell’s Team Lamb Chop Club 1000 and Club 10000 pages.� More stats for all of ya, and a few surprises also.� Check it out for yourself!

New Beta
Something new this afternoon in the mailbox was a notice that there is a new beta (v3.02) released for the version 3 GUI clients.� Here is the meat of the email that I received:

Well, folks, another bug was uncovered where results during triplet and pulse finding are being added to the result file without checking to see if the result file is growing out of bounds. This could be potentially disastrous, but probably isn’t.

There are other bugs that unique people are reporting, about screens freezing, or missing colors in the FFT display. If you encountered any weird behavior, please let us know, and let us know as many details as possible (type of system, type of OS, other software running on your system, etc.)

This is the last build I want to do in a long time. If this version fails to pass our standards I’ll cry.

�

November 26, 2000 Update

#1 Part 2

Team Lamb Chop 2,629,509
Sun Microsystems 2,625,704
Bush Results Pending: Due to Legal Action
Gore

Team Lamb Chop starts their second stint in the #1 overall position.� We will have to wait a bit to see if this sticks or not, but cross your fingers….It just may be ours!.� Congrats to all of the Team Lamb Chop members!� It has taken each and every work unit produced from all of you to have made this happen.� (Updated at 8:54pm ET)

�

November 26, 2000

Attempt #2

Name WUs Difference
Sun Microsystems 2,622,618
Team Lamb Chop 2,609,748 -12,870

Updated 11/26/00 2am ET

�

November 23, 2000 After Dinner Update

Happy Turkey Day!
For those of you celebrating in the US I want to wish you all have Happy Thanksgiving.� After Dinner now go hit the stores and invest in some new systems ok?� 🙂

Noone Said It Would Be Easy
I had a feeling that overtaking Sun wouldn’t be that easy…they pulled one of their tricks yesterday, but I still think they may have at least one more trick up their sleeve.� Be prepared for anything 🙂

On SETI@Home Servers
There has been a lot of talk lately about the Berkeley servers both on the newsgroups and in the distributed forum.� The talk has centered around three things: 1) The capacity of the servers (i.e. they cant handle both regular team/country stats *and* the last 10 work unit viewings at the same time)…2) The connectivity of the servers (Servers were down for a while a couple of days ago because of internet problems on the Cal-Berkeley campus)…and 3) The S@H team totals do not match the actual team totals (Work Unit wise).

In the past couple of days the S@H staff has addressed some of these concerns and have clarified some things also.� I’ll let them do the talking and include some comments also:

Matt Lebofsky on the Last 10 results page:

Well, some of you noticed that we put the “last 10 results page” back up. Sorry to psyche y’all out, but it’s back down again.

We resurrected it over the weekend (without announcing it) to see if we could handle the load, now that our science database was running smoothly. However, this clobbered the webserver more than anything. This caused regular webserving (including the pared-down user stats page) to get all funky.

To add insult to injury, we brought the science database down today for maintenance and so result lookups are impossible right now.

Now a pre-emptive answer to the question:

Q: “Why don’t you just make another web server machine to handle the extra load.”

A: We don’t have another machine to do so. This machine needs to be (a) able to handle the load, so it needs a lot of MHz and memory, (b) a Sparc/Solaris system or else we’d need to install Informix binaries for a different platform (which we don’t have) and port the CGIs as well. If we had an extra port 80 open on a hefty machine, I’d do so in a manner of seconds.

When they had the last 10 work unit page back online, they basically had shut down regular updates of the team stats (top 200 teams in each category, and also country, etc. stats).� At the end of the statement it sounded like if they had the hardware to do things they would do so immediately.� This caused several people on the newsgroups and on the Ars distributed forum to call for donations to get them the hardware….But there is hope!� It sounds like Matt’s comments were more out of frustration than anything, and it sounds that they have things that may be in the works already.� Here are some more comments after the first ones…

While the offer is incredibly generous, I should have made clear in my posting that we are already working on fixing the problem with resources on hand – namely we’re still cleaning up the database and streamlining it, and we also have some dead machines that could be brought back to life as sister web servers.

What I *don’t* have to play with is a living, breathing, Sparc/Solaris system already on the network, and already configured for our network, and with enough cpu/MHz to handle the job. So there’s no *immediate* solution at hand, but there are some short-range solutions.

Of course, besides being informally in charge of web services, I’m also have to deal with the beta testing of the future 3.01 client. Ugh. And it’s a holiday weekend. So don’t expect anything too soon.

The dream still lives that the SETI@home web site will be a robust utility for users to check stats and various scientific results (including after the data in reduced).

And more later on in another post:

As always, there’s much hope on the horizon in many forms, including a streamlined database, more hardware, and better client/server services. Stay tuned.

Eric Korpela Chimes In:

One thing were looking at in solving this problem is spreading out the science work to multiple machines.� One of the ideas in circulation is that we either parallelize the database across multiple machines, or that we make clones of the database to do post processing on.� In either case it’s likely that the machines we would be using would be fairly low cost intel boxes running solaris or linux.� (2 to 4 processors, 0.3 to 1Tb of disk space, ~$10k per).� It’s likely that we’ll be trying out a test system in the next month or so when our new science programmer comes on staff.� Once we’re sure what we need, we’ll let everyone who wants to donate equipment or $ know what we’re looking for.

The bind in the user database performance is harder to fix.� The user database is currently running at 100% CPU and 80% I/O capacity. That’s the main reason we’re having trouble keeping the stats updated and the reason user stats lookups� take so long. We have the means to fix the I/O bottleneck, but we’d need to add a couple of CPUs to the machine (a currently dual processor Sun Enterprise 450) to get the CPU performance issues under control.� I certainly wouldn’t object if someone wanted to donate them, or the funds needed to buy them.

The problems with the web server machine are a little less severe because we could probably set up a parallel server once we get one of our broken machines repaired.

Matt On Connectivity Issues:

Just FYI, the server outage last night was not a SETI@home outage, but a U.C. Berkeley outage. The entire campus was dropped from the internet for about 2 hours last night. And then with an outage that long, there’s a huge spike of activity when we return. To add insult to injury, there’s always a huge spike in the morning (california time) thanks to everybody waking up, checking their screensavers and sending results back.

Anywho.. My point being is a lot of these SETI@home server outages are not SETI@home outages at all, but random hiccups in the general U.C. Berkeley network. Since we aren’t a commercial operation with gobs of cash to throw at an ISP who will guarantee an unbreakable 100-baseT connection, we have to make do� with what we have.

Eric On Stats and Work Unit Totals:

At some point, in an attempt to speed up the stats processing we started caching group database entries in memory for large periods of time between database updates.� It worked, we are able to keep up with the stats fairly well.� Unfortunately this introduced a bug when people joined groups.� The database entry would be updated, but this update would be lost the next time a cached entry was written to the database.�

I’ve fixed the problem, additions to the group will get their preexisting workunit totals updated in the database once a week.�

I guess it must have worked.� On today’s update, the SETI team totals now match (or is close to) the total of the individual members on the team.� This fix has been long in coming and hopefully it will stick this time ;)� –zAmboni

�

November 23, 2000

�

Sun Microsystems 2,612,540
Team Lamb Chop 2,524,550

Updated 12:20am 11/23/00

I guess Team Lamb Chop’s spot at #1 didn’t last too long.� Sun moved back ahead of TLC when davycroc switched his account from the rnoggin team over to Sun.� I usually feel kind of uneasy when things come too easily…and I had that feeling when TLC jumped to #1.� Hopefully the race for #1 will not take on the circus atmosphere of the Presidential race recounts in Florida.

�

November 22, 2000

�

Team Lamb Chop 2,514,268
Sun Microsystems 2,511,328

Updated at 4:34pm 11/22/00

�

November 21, 2000 Part Deux

The Origin of SGI’s Indigo Feeling
Sometime on or about 6pm ET Nov 21, Team Lamb Chop passed up SGI and moved into the #2 position overall.� Hard charging TLC has left SGI in the dust…They were last seen scratching their heads searching for some more octane.� Where does that leave TLC now?�� Not too far behind of Sun for the #1 spot.� Sometime tomorrow TLC should pass the Sun people and shine sitting at #1!�� Here are the numbers at the time of today’s stats update:

Team Work Units Difference
Sun Microsystems 2508586 14898
Team Lamb Chop 2493688

SGI

2493463 -225

Updated at 6:07pm 11/21/00

�

November 21, 2000

Countdown Update

Team Work Units Difference
Sun Microsystems 2507088 22377

SGI

2491775 7064
Team Lamb Chop 2484711

Updated at 3:45am 11/21/00

Ok sports fans…the time is getting near.� Sometime within the next 12-24 hours Team Lamb Chop should pass SGI for the #2 overall position.� On top of that…we may have a Thanksgiving date for destiny on passing Sun Microsystems for the #1 spot!� Unfortunately, the SETI servers cant keep track of all the work units shifting places from team to team, and the SETI site still has TLC quite a bit behind the teams above, and even behind Compaq :(.� The #2 and eventually #1 spot may not be “Official” for a while, but heck the team totals that I pull every day is “Official” enough for me!

Sneak Peek
I have sort of silently been working on an automated way of pulling stats, and tonight I have a little something for you to take a look at for now.� This is part of what I have been working on and you can see the early results.� I do want to let you know that the numbers shown on the pages are no way up to date, and they are just numbers that I pulled while randomly working on the pages.� Some of the averages are just plain wrong, so don’t believe them either :).� There will be some tweaking and some final work that needs to be done before I go online with the full blown stuff.� While you take a look at the page, the column titles are clickable to bring up sorted results based on the column title.� One word of warning for those with show connections…the pages right now weighing in at a hefty 220K size right now.

Weekly Stuff
Even thought it has been up for a couple of days already, I wanted to point out the weekly stats, have been posted.� One thing to note about the weekly stuff, is the top user graph has not been updated.� This is due to the S@H servers and their lack of updates on some of their pages.� Along with the top users page not being updated, the milestones, group top 100s, and many other stats pages have not been updated since last Wednesday/Thursday.�� I have a sneaking feeling this lack of updates are due to them putting the last 10 work unit pages back online.� I remember a couple of months ago people asking for expanded team stats (more than the top 200) and other things, and Eric K. replied saying that some added stats may mean that they would not get updated as frequently.� One of the reasons why they shut down the last 10 results was the huge load they put on their servers constantly…and when they reinstated the pages, they stopped updating the other stats on a daily basis.� IMO, I would rather see the other stats updated more regularly, than seeing the last 10 work units go back online, but again that is my person opinion :P�

Shouldn’t have talked too soon: Just noticed that the last 10 WUs are not online anymore.� Server workload problems….but they shut that down and didn’t turn on the other stats stuff either :/.� Who knows just what is going on over there 😛

�-zAmboni

�

November 20, 2000

Countdown Update

Team Work Units Difference
Sun Microsystems 2503969 48938

SGI

2488242 33211
Team Lamb Chop 2455031

Updated at 10:35pm 11/19/00

�

November 19, 2000

The Countdown Begins

Team Work Units Difference
Sun Microsystems 2501956 63779
SGI 2485221 47044
Team Lamb Chop 2438177

This is a snapshot of the work unit totals for the top three teams as of 12:00 AM (Midnight) Sat/Sun.� With a difference of under 65000 WU between TLC and Sun, this *should* mean less than a week until TLC shall pass Sun for the #1 overall position.� I shall keep you updated on the progress over the next couple of days

Six Digit Range
The rarefied air of the six digit WU range gained another member tonight.� Support AIDS Research has broken the 100,000 WU mark barrier.� They join (the artist again known as) guru as the two TLC members who have reached the six digit realm.� SAR is now holding at 100,000 for the moment.� I guess they want to relish the kick ass milestone :)� Congrats!

GUI 3.01 Beta Update
From some reports on the newsgroup the beta 3.01 GUI client has some problems that still need to be ironed out.� Some people are having trouble trying to upload results when they first switch over.� Other people are not having problems uploading to the servers, but say that the client is quite sluggish when the graphics are showing.� The first 3.0 GUI beta had this problem also when it was released.� I am not sure if it is a similar problem or something new.� They still may need to iron some things out before the next 3.0x client is released for public consumption.

Last 10 Back Online
A feature that many people have been hollerin’ for ever since they took it down is back online.� The option to view the last 10 results submitted to the SETI servers is now available again.� This can be accessed from the individual’s Account Information page on the SETI site.� The page has been updated to include a summary for the information on the new v3.0 science (pulses, triplets).� A word of warning though, is the “last 10” page isn’t the fastest loading page.� Many of you may find that page to be of little use depending on how many work units you do per day.� For those who return over 10 work units per day, you will only get a snapshot of the last 10 WUs that were submitted to them…� Personally I can get all the information I need by using the features of SetiSpy, and having it save a copy of things of significance that was sent back to the SETI servers.

Caching Programs and v3.01…Not a Good Mix?
I have seen this issue pointed out on the Ars Distributed Forum a couple of days ago, and it may be of significance when the 3.01 client is released.�� Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but caching programs like SetiQueue and Seti Driver are used as a middleman between the SETI servers and the SETI clients that are used on the user’s machine(s).� Things are OK right now because all of the officially released clients (v3.0 and lower), use the same address to send and receive work units.� Because the version 3.01 and later clients will use a different address to communicate with the S@H servers what will happen when using these caching clients?� The easy answer would be to have an update with SetiQ and Seti Driver, but this would only be good if one has all their clients being either 3.0 (and below) or 3.01.� What happens if you have a mix of clients running?� How will the caching programs know just where to connect to the servers?� I guess this could be done within the caching programs, but may be a problem.� (Come to think of it, this may be a problem with those people who are testing the 3.01 clients and using SetiQ or Seti Driver….the caching program is trying to connect to the wrong address).� I haven’t heard any official word from the caching program writers, or from the S@H guys.� Will keep you updated on what I hear.� –zAmboni

�

November 16, 2000

Where to Begin?
First off I would like to apologize for the lack of an update on the page here yesterday.� The web hosting guru Jason upgraded some software on the server and then reinstalled using about a week old copy of the site here.� That got fixed, but through a small typing error we were locked out from accessing the site :P.� All is well now and we are back in business :)� I also would like to thank Marc_1 for lending some space on his server to put up a temporary stats pages for those who needed their daily fix.

Forced Upgrade to 3.01 now?
For a little background I suggest reading the news from yesterday under the “Important Notice!!!” heading.� But before I get to that I want to report that there is a new beta out for the Windows GUI.� Dubbed 3.01, this fixes a problem which they caused it to be pulled originally, plus adds something discussed in the news yesterday (#2) in the quote below:

1) There was a graphic bug that made the FFT graphs on the bottom half of the page disappear. We thought the was fixed but obviously wasn’t.
2) We needed to install code for a potential new server that will help us shut down ancient clients (i.e. 1.x).

but the important thing included in the beta email was the following which will apply to *all* people who have previously downloaded any of the version 3.0 clients:

For non-Windows people, there will be a version 3.01 for you soon with the new server code. We probably won’t need to beta those versions.

Everybody *will* need to upgrade to 3.01 eventually because all versions 3.0 and earlier will cease to function when we throw the switch.

What this basically says is that there will be a version 3.01 CLI client, and version 3.01 clients for any other unix type systems.� These clients will contain the new server code which will help them in the shut down of all of the pre version 3.0 clients.� But of course right now I don’t know if there will be any changes or tweaks other than the update in the server code in the non windows versions, but we will have to wait and see.

AsC is Back!
Hrmmm…After a day’s absence from Team Lamb Chop, Admins spend CPUs have returned to the fold.� There seems to be more than one person responsible for the kick ass production from AsC ( I guess that is why they are called Admins :).� The team leaving seems to be the doing of a rogue Admin who hijacked the team, but they are back now, and I hope that everything is in order at the AsC compound.

Stack ‘o WUs
This was sent in by JTrinkle showing his little Stack ‘o SETI goodness.� He has put together some “systems” (without cases 🙂 that is dedicated to crunching WUs. (Click on the pictures for a larger view).

Here are the specs of the systems shown in the picture:

on top is a BP6 w/2 c366@550 running Win2K w/128 meg RAM.

inside the crates are Gigabyte 6BXC motherboards with 32 meg of Ram and WD 340 meg HD’s running Win98SE. they each have STB Velocity 128 AGP video card and Linksys NIC’s. The Power supplies are of the 200W ATX variety.

The top crate and the one in the foreground are Celeron 566’s running at 850 on ABIT Slotkets (to adjust the voltage)

the bottom 2 in the stack are Celeron 600’s, one running at 900 and the other at 927.

The Hard drives are mounted in 3.5″ to 5.25″ adapters. Everything but the Motherboards are zip tied to the sides of the crates.

The motherboards are secured by 1″ #6 machine screws with lockwashers using 3/8″ wooden balls found in craft stores.

I’m in the process of loading VNC on them all at the moment to keep track of them.

the whole thing cost approximately $1,300 to build (I got a lot of good deals on Angora) and gets between 25-27 wu’s/day.

Finally…
I posted the weekly stuff for the team tonight.� 26,000+ work units in 7 days by SAR?� That’s sick.� Joining the top 1000 S@H club is recent addition Antimoses.� Also, guru is now the #10 overall in the entire S@H project.� That is quite an accomplishment!� Lastly, you may notice a small change in the MIlestones chart.� I finally got around tonight to doing small VBA script which will pull that data and put it in a chart for me.� It was starting to be a pain in the butt to get the data by hand :).� Speaking of VBA…hopefully I will have some better stats action for the overall teams in the next couple of days.� I am slowly working on it, and I better get it done soon since I only have two days space in my current Excel spreadsheet for data!� –zAmboni

�

November 13, 2000

Important Notice!!!
Ok this probably explains some of the problems with the SETI website in the past couple of days, and there will be a solution.� And this definitely important to those people who are using older clients, which will be feeling the wrath of the “mandatory client update”.� Now to the explanation from Matt Lebofsky:

Hey, Folks. Despite being in the throes of SETI@home server issues at the moment, here’s a brief note, strictly FYI, about an interesting client/server problem we’re facing and our proposed solution. This missive exists as a piece of entertainment as well as a warning.

We are currently planning to enforce a mandatory upgrade to version 3.X for all platforms and running into a few problems in the process, the worst being the many thousands of Windows clients earlier than 1.06 which are still active and returning results on a regular basis.

We never enforced an upgrade to 1.06 (or 2.X for that matter), which is why these clients are still able to return acceptable results. Now we have version 3.X, with vastly improved security and increased science, and we would like all users to obtain and use this version.

Most of our Windows users are using clients that, when we decide to make the new version available, will obtain messages from our server about the new version. First there will be warning messages saying there is a new client on the web site. After this “grace period” (an arbitrary amount of time we feel is appropriate), a different message from our server will cause the client to complain to the user that their current version is superceded and will stop attempting to contact the server, rendering it useless.

This functionality would be enough to allow for a smooth and painless transition, but we have discovered it doesn’t work for some versions earlier than 1.06. What happens with these clients, more or less, is that they get stuck in a loop trying to contact our server, forever unable to get through and submit their current result.

This wouldn’t be too terrible, except there are thousands of these old clients currently running. Once we turn the version warnings on, they will all eventually try to return their result and get stuck in a mode where they are contacting the server every few seconds, thereby clobbering it with requests. In other words, they will be DOS’ing their own server.

We thought up several solutions to this problem. Our main problem is that we have one server at one IP address which all clients contact. If one client is flooding the server, then nothing can get through. So we have to move the point of contact elsewhere.

So all new clients will be contacting the same server via a different host name. The new name evaluates to the same IP as the old name. When we decide to strictly enforce the upgrade, we’ll remove the old name from the DNS maps. To the old clients, the server will seem to have disappeared. None of the traffic from these clients will ever reach the server.

While this will greatly clean up the traffic hitting the server, users who have not made the upgrade will no longer be getting polite warning messages – they will be faced with ugly numerical error messages and quit. However impolite, this is still our best solution to the above problem.

A Loss At The Top
For those who have taken a look at the stats already, you probably have noticed.� Today TLC lost team member Admins spend CPUs.� AsC jumped ship to move over to the MacAddict team.� As some people have known AsC has a history of spending times with different teams hopping from one team to another.� Honestly, I was surprised that AsC lasted as long as they did on TLC.� A factor in them leaving may have been the recent addition of guru to the team passing them as the #1 spot on TLC, plus the recent ascension of Supports AIDS research passing them in the ranks also.� Good luck to them wherever they end up.� It was a good ride while it lasted.�� In the past, this change would have been a big blow to Team Lamb Chop…but now it seems only a ripple.� The 78,000 WU that AsC left with can be replaced in just a week or so production from the team.� Pretty amazing isn’t it?� Right now TLC still holds onto the 3rd place overall and only is a minor setback in the quest for #1!

200K and Still Rising!
Kudos goes out to guru.� Yesterday he broke the 200,000 Work Unit mark.� Those are some pretty kicking numbers for *ANY* S@H member.� with those 200K plus work units he is positioned at #11 overall in the entire S@H project.� Congrats!

Server Problems at the SETI Home Offices?
Over the past couple of days the data servers seem to have been on the fritz…up and down and back up again.� There has been little word from the guys over there, but things may seem to be working OK now.� On the other hand I was having problems pulling the stats today from their servers, so there still may be some type of problems.

Explanation of v3.0 GUI Pulling?
There was an explanation on the newsgroups (which eluded my news browser) on the reasons behind the S@H crew pulling the v3.0 GUI version for Windows.� This explanation was included in a post by Robert Cesar:

Hi Everyone,

I’ll let you know what I know about the bug in the Windows 3.0 version. It seems to be one of those pesky thread contention things again.� The obvious symptom appears to be that the colored FFT graphs stop being displayed.� We’re not yet sure what happens to the computation thread when this happens.� We’ve also had a few reports of systems hanging which could be a manifestation of the same problem, but we haven’t been able to recreate that problem.� The solution might be to go back to synchronizing the display of the FFTs with the computation if the screen isn’t being blanked.

If you aren’t seeing any problems with 3.0 you can continue to run it. If you haven’t yet upgraded, we hope to have 3.01 out soon.
Sorry it took me so long to get this message out.

Eric Korpela

Fun and Frolicking with TLC
If you haven’t seen the new TLC related page, I suggest you check out Krell’s pages over at http://www.setistats.org/� The main part of his pages is a list of the 10,000 and 1,000 WU clubs for TLC.� He has also included some more interesting things to the page recently.� There is a “challenges” page for those who want to throw down the gauntlet against other TLC members and to see who can put their WUs where their mouths are.� He also has news and a “fan page” spotlighting different TLC members.� Unfortunately with some redesigns some of the pages aren’t working correctly right now…but check back to see them!

New #10
Down the charts a bit there was a change in the #10 overall team.� SETI.Germany moved past IBM recently into the #10 spot.� Also with the switch from TLC to MacAddict, MacAddict is poised to pass Art Bell for the #5 team overall sometime in the next couple of days.�� –zAmboni

�

November 8, 2000

Bush or Gore?
As one poster on the Ars Lounge so eloquently said several weeks ago “I have the same dilemma when I go to the video store on Friday nights”.� All I can say, is that at least I can get some results posted and finished the same day that I get the data.� Also I stand by my results and even Dan Rather can have complete faith on my projections!� At least guru made his position known today…changing his name to guru (I voted for the other moron).

Breaking News: There are reports from the Kitt Peak Observatory they have located a Broward County ballot box floating in low Earth Orbit earlier today.� Details are sketchy on a timetable for its retrieval or if the Florida recount will be put on hold because of this.

SetiSpy v3.0.2 Available!
Roelof has come through again with some more improvements to his already excellent SetiSpy utility.� There are something like 19 changes/improvements over the previous version you can check out here.

Where o’ Where is the v3.0 GUI?
It is prolly off gallivanting with some lost ballot boxes or something.� About the only news about the “problem” with the v3.0 GUI comes from the SETI main page stating:

NOTE: We have taken the windows version 3.0 off the download site while we chase down a problem. We will soon release version 3.1. For those who are already running version 3.0, it is fine to continue running it. We will use the results and you will be given credit.

I have a feeling that the problem has nothing to do with the science involved in the client, and is mainly due to WinX problems with the GUI interface.� Probably something along the lines of crashing or spurious client restarts.� Will we get a real explanation?� Only the shadow knows!�� –zAmboni

�

November 5, 2000

Chowdah!
Move on over Compaq, Lamb Chops on the way through!� Bolstered by the retun of guru to the team, TLC was able to pass up Compaq for the #3 overall position today.� Where does this put us in the grand scheme of things?� OK here is a table showing things…

�

Team WUs 11/5/00 WUs 11/6/00 WU/Day Ave Overtake Date(?)
Sun 2461517 2465225 3708 12/9/00
SGI 2440185 2443631 3446 12/6/00
Team Lamb Chop 2162767 2178241 12108 * n/a
Compaq 2168555 2171523 2968 n/a

(* Note:� The number used for the Ars WU/Day Average is the “production” numbers for the team.� This production number takes into account the work units added to the team from people joining, and also work units lost from members leaving.� This number should be the number of work units “produced” by the team each day.� Sun, SGI, and Compaq have a relatively stable member based, and their WU/Day average should mirror their “production” numbers.)

Something lost in the addition of guru to the team is that TLC now has passed the 2 Million work unit mark.� Dat is pHat.

S.A.R. Back On Line?
A couple of days ago in this forum thread Support AIDS research posted that they may be idle for a while.� The reason was basically bandwidth issues.� The bandwidth used for several thousand work units can add up pretty quickly…The company that SAR works for is outside of the US, and for the bandwidth needed for US access, that added up pretty quickly and the expense department noticed :).� (inside the country it was ok).� After a day or two of slow production, it seems that SAR may be back on track.� Take a look at the thread, the team does come through with some pretty good suggestions for a resolution of the problem…nice to see everyone pull together to help out!

v 3.0 WInX GUI Pulled?
Several people noted in both the alt.sci.seti, and sci.astro.seti newsgroups that the version 3.0 Windows GUI client is no longer available for download.� They have changed the download page and now only shows the version 2.04 GUI client for download, and it appears that the version 3.0 GUI client has also disappeared from the ftp sites.� There has been some talk on the newsgroup about possible bugs in the GUI client, but I hadn’t read many of the posts to see what other ppl have been seeing.� Apparently there must have been merit to those reports, enough for them to pull the client.� As of right now, there is no word on the SETI site or on the newsgroups to the exact problems that the v 3.0 GUI client may be having…or a possible time for a fix.� –zAmboni

�

November 4, 2000

The prodigal son returns
As alot of you are already aware, we’ve had several changes take place on the team in the last couple of days. First is news that Support AIDS research is having issues movng unit through their internet connection. Because of this, their output has dropped from several thousand work units per day to, well, several work units per day. Of course, there is a thread in the forum dedicated to trying to help SAR get over this ‘minor’ problem.� (updated note- I see that they posted several thousand again today. Hmm..I dunno, perhaps they have figured out an answer to their problem).

The one other thing that everyone is talking about is the return of Guru, who leaps up to the top of the charts, easily taking the #1 spot with just under 185000 work units.� This puts the team dead even with Compaq (as far as I can tell.. zAmboni has the real numbers), meaning we have either passed them, or will be past in the next day or two. Of course, since Guru has left the team twice previously, there’s alot of speculation if he will stay with the team, or leave again at some point in the future. We all hope he will stay, but only time will tell.�

Thank you, please pull ahead
The picture says it all. Thanks for everyone’s support! –Rat

November 1, 2000

New Month, New #2
Rising up the ranks like a bat out of hell, Support AIDS research moved into the TLC #2 spot moving past svdsinner.� SAR posted a whopping 4500+ WUs today.� Simply Amazing.� Just how high can they go?� For fun tonight I wanted to check out SAR’s production compared to other people in the top 1000 overall in the S@H project.� I took results from the top 1000 members over a period of about 2 days +/- a couple of hours.� Here are the results:

Rank Name Work Units WU Change Days to Overtake
118 Support AIDS research 43001 9007 N/A
11 guru� 176989 3054 51.7
5 SGI: System Admin & Lab Team 405131 2210 122.5
7 Sun:NSPD� 240028 1685 61.8
265 University of Modena and Reggio Emilia 27042 1566 N/A
34 Tumsan Oy� 94205 1535 15.7
41 Fermilab Farm Burn-In 83831 1392 12.3
60 Quint Martin� 64718 1212 6.4
244 ET, Where Are You?� 28503 1099 N/A
3 Intel System Software Performance Labs� 463122 1093 122.0
1 SETI@sun 783833 933 211.0

SAR is currently kicking EVERYONE’S butt right now the chart above shows the top 10 members in terms of WU over that 2 or so day period (plus the #1 member).� I also did a rough estimate on how long it would take SAR to overtake each of the members in the chart (I approximated the time between data pulling at 2.3 days).� At the rate SAR has had over the past couple of days it would still take ’em at least 2.5 months to reach the top 10….and it would take the good part of a year to reach #1.� And this is all at his current astonishing rate!

Oh by the way….I posted the weekly stats stuff also :)� –zAmboni

�

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