16 September 2017

16th of September

Farm Status
Intel GPUs
Five running Seti work, three off

Nvidia GPUs
Three running Seti work, one off

Raspberry Pis
All ten running Einstein work

Other news
There was a Bluetooth bug discovered that effects pretty much everything - Computers, phones car audio even. Microsoft patched Windows last month and the Linux guys had fixes out a couple of days ago. As a general rule I disable WiFi and Bluetooth in my computers when I install them. I prefer wired connections and not getting irradiated. Wired connections are also faster and reliable.

Debian donation
I was in contact with the Debian build farm team regarding the armhf architecture part of the farm. I was going to try and get a couple of machines together to donate to them. The seem to have a bunch of Marvell DB-78x00-BP based computers, but after they wanted them as rack mount that pretty much killed off the idea. Rack mounts are too big and heavy to ship around the world.

I did try and make contact with the local Australian Marvell sales representatives. According to the Marvell website they have one in Melbourne. I sent an email but haven't received any response from them. I may still make a financial donation to Debian instead of hardware so the build farm can be expanded. My reasoning is that they have a long backlog (it looks like 35 days) to build apps so the armhf versions come out much later than the other architectures.

Seti push
Weather-wise its been warm during the day so the Nvidia GPU machines have been running overnight only. I passed 48 million credits for Seti last week and decided everything can run Seti until I hit 50 million. This coincided with Asteroids having a week-long outage for maintenance work.

03 September 2017

3rd of September

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All off

Nvidia GPUs
All off

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work

Farm news
Its supposed to be 28 degrees today so I have shutdown most of the farm apart from the Pis.

I got the replacement fans for the Fractal Designs case. The cable is shorter than the ones already in the case. I had to swap the rear fan to the front and put the new fan in the rear of the case so the cables can reach the fan headers on the motherboard. The top fan is rattling so its probably going to fail soon. I didn't replace it at the time because I would have to remove the motherboard or heatsink to get to the fan mounting screws.

Breakthrough Listen/UCB in the news
There was an article in the news about the Seti search. While it doesn't mention Seti@home it does mention Breakthrough Listen, UC Berkeley and the green bank telescope that we're processing data from.

Article: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/09/more-than-a-dozen-new-cosmic-radio-bursts-detected-from-deep-space/

Add stretch-backports to a Rpi

If you want to use stretch-backports on a Raspberry Pi you can't easily because the Raspberry Pi foundation don't have a repository for it. You can, if you have a Pi2 or Pi3, use the standard Debian repository.

To add the Debian repository type the following commands into a terminal window or ssh into your Pi and type them in:

sudo apt install dirmngr
gpg --keyserver pgpkeys.mit.edu --recv-key  8B48AD6246925553
gpg -a --export 8B48AD6246925553 | sudo apt-key add -
gpg --keyserver pgpkeys.mit.edu --recv-key  7638D0442B90D010
gpg -a --export 7638D0442B90D010 | sudo apt-key add -
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add a line like this:
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ stretch-backports main contrib non-free

Do a "sudo apt update" command to refresh the list of available packages.

To add a package that is in backports you can do a "sudo apt install -t stretch-backports xxx" where xxx is the name of the package you want to install.

27 August 2017

26th of August

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Seven running Einstein gravity wave work. One off

Nvidia GPUs
Two running Seti work. Two off.

Raspberry Pis
All ten running Einstein BRP4 work.

Power outage
When I came home on Friday I was greeted by a rather quiet computer room. The power had gone off around midday. While the power had come back on only the Raspberry Pi's had automatically restarted.

After restarting the PCs there doesn't appear to have been any damage apart from a couple of work units that got computation errors on one machine. The file server has a UPS so it shuts down automatically after a period of time.

Pi news
I have been updating the Raspberry Pi's to the latest release (Stretch). I reimage the SD card with the Stretch Lite image, boot up with a screen and keyboard attached to the Pi and run raspi-config. After that I can plug it into the network, install the boinc-client and ntp on them, tweak some configuration files and put a firewall on.

I have done all ten number crunchers and they are back doing Einstein BRP4 work. I still need to update the supporting Pi that has a Pi Drive. The Pi Drive means I have to move the root partition across before installing anything on it.

I read an article where they interviewed Eben Upton regarding the Pi3. Eben is the co-founder of the Raspberry Pi foundation. In the interview he is quoted as saying the Pi3 "feels like a 3 year device" suggesting we'll have to wait another 2 years before the next generation of Raspberry Pi becomes available.

Other news
Still waiting for 140mm Fractal fans to replace a failed one. The shop hasn't given me an ETA so I will need to chase them up next week. I am down one machine in the Intel GPU group.

The weather has been warm during the day so only two of the Nvidia GPU machines are running at the moment..