staff blogs

distributed.net staff keep (relatively) up-to-date logs of their activities in .plan files. These were traditionally available via finger, but we've put them on the web for easier consumption.

2015/04/10

Stats maintenance [resolved]

Filed under: stats @ 22:38 UTC

We’re currently in the process of doing some backend database, webserver, and OS upgrades to our stats servers, so we’ve temporarily disabled access to it until we’re done. Once we’ve verified that everything appears to be working, we’ll brings the stats pages back online. No project data will be lost during this maintenance, and we’ll restart stats processing once it’s done. Thanks for your patience.

Update: This maintenance has now been completed and everything is back to normal.

2015/04/08

Another double milestone day! (April 6, 2015)

Filed under: project status @ 06:41 UTC

We completed our 60 millionth stub today! Separately, we welcomed our 18,000th volunteer.. more than double the number of volunteers since November last year. Thank you for all of your help so far. Keep telling your friends; there is still a lot of work for us to do!

400 days of OGR-28 (March 26, 2015)

Filed under: project status @ 06:40 UTC

Today we mark 400 days of working on OGR-28. More than 17,000 of us have joined together on our quest to find the most optimal Golomb ruler with 28 marks. So far, we have tested more than 13 billion Gnodes and completed more than 5.5% of all the packets necessary. There is still a long way to go, with 990 million packets outstanding.

We offer our congratulations to the Snapshot Supernova project over at the Zooniverse who have discovered four supernovae in little over a week. This is an incredible achievement, as 40,000 volunteers classified 1.9 million images. Moo!

2015/02/27

OGR-28 status update

Filed under: clients,project status @ 18:14 UTC

When I last wrote a blog update just before Thanksgiving, I noted that there were just over 9,000 of us working together on OGR-28, and asked that you tell your friends about our work. I am humbled at the response. In a little over 3 months, some 5,000 people have joined us. We are grateful for all of your contributions.

We can now support Android 5 (Lollipop) with the help of our friends at the yoyo@home BOINC project. If you have a new smartphone or tablet, be sure to check them out.

We have also verified that dnetc works on the Raspberry Pi 2, thanks to our friend Pete Wilcock. It’s a great little computer and a good place to start with Linux if you have any concerns about practising with it on your primary computer. If you are handy at coding in NEON, we would love to hear from you. Pete has also run some experiments with dnetc on the Amazon cloud service. Look him up :)

A little over a week ago, we passed the first anniversary of the OGR-28 project, and just a few days ago, we passed 5% completion. Stick around; there is still quite a bit of work to do!

Moo!

2014/11/14

OGR-28 status update

Filed under: project status @ 02:21 UTC

Dear friends,

I wrote back in February that we estimated the first two subspaces of OGR-28 would take us about 90 days to complete. I must apologise; it has taken us 3 times as long.

As we reached the end of these two spaces, we had a day where we completed over 1 million stubs. Of course, most of them were very small indeed. There will be more days like this to come.

We can consider the project as a range of “hills” and “valleys”. At the beginning of the climb, the steps are slow and difficult. Having passed the peak, we can take steps downhill quickly with little effort. We started the project with 32 hills to climb. We have completed the first one. Good news! The other 31 aren’t so tall!

There are just over 9,000 of us working together on this research. We are grateful for all of your contributions. Tell a friend; let us see if we can get to 10,000 before Thanksgiving. :)

Moo! 

2014/05/12

Stats server move completed

Filed under: stats @ 01:41 UTC
10329317_10152438369079559_6546375932605207384_n

two rackmount servers, one rackmount UPS, and two dozen donuts being transported to a new home

10256497_10152438369149559_4471413956885523602_n

standard and deviation, before the move

As previously announced, we had to move our stats servers to a new hosting location due to changes at our old hosting provider.  Logistically it was quickest and easiest for us to simply physically move the two servers to their new location in Houston, so we completed that move today.  Zone file entries have been updated, so http://stats.distributed.net/ should now take you to the new location once any cached DNS entries have been propagated.

The downtime was a little longer than planned because of an unexpected routing failure that began at our old location earlier than our planned start of the move.  We also waited until stats has fully processed all of its backlog before officially publicizing its new IP address at its new location.

Part of the transport occurred by private plane, and although the outbound flight was tracked on FlightAware, the return flight was unfortunately not publicly visible due to an air traffic control limitation.

No dnetc work submitted during the downtime was lost, and our stats pages should now fully reflect the last day of work.

 

2014/05/10

Stats server downtime for relocation

Filed under: stats @ 15:20 UTC

Our stats server is currently offline as we prepare it for relocation.  We expect it to be back online tomorrow around 2014-05-11 at about 22:00 UTC but it is possible that we may need to delay its restart time.

During the downtime we will be physically relocating our servers 160 miles, from Austin, TX to a new hosting location in Houston, TX offered by FlightAware.  Part of the transport will be conducted by private plane, which might be visible on the FlightAware flight tracking website around 2014-05-11 at 17:00 UTC.

We’d like to thank Midas Green Tech in Austin, TX for the use of their hosting facilities over the years, but their business is transitioning away from physical hosting and towards virtual hosting so our move was an unfortunate necessity. If you are in need of any cloud hosted services, we encourage you to check out their offerings and mention that  you heard about them from distributed.net

As always, all dnetc work transmitted during the downtime will be fully counted once our stats website is brought back online.

2014/02/25

The OGR-27 project has been completed.

Filed under: project status @ 16:09 UTC

Dear friends,

distributed.net is proud to announce the completion of OGR-27!

It is almost five years ago to the day that we began on this exciting journey. Almost 20,000 of you joined us.. without whom, it would have been impossible.

We have proven conclusively by the exhaustive search of all possible rulers that the previously predicted 27-mark ruler is indeed the most optimal one. We were confident that we would find a more optimal ruler during this search, but it was not to be.

We expected it to take us seven years to complete this awesome task but thanks to your efforts recruiting your friends and co-workers to our effort and a little help from Moore’s Law, we did it in five.

The best known ruler is 27/3-12-26-25-29-2-9-36-10-68-1-4-17-53-35-8-16-28-6-14-13-71-18-19-23-7 (length 553). Represented the other way, this is marks at positions 0 3 15 41 66 95 97 106 142 152 220 221 225 242 295 330 338 354 382 388 402 415 486 504 523 546 553.

In total, we verified 302,621,586 unique stubs (2,526 with 3-diffs, 179,120 with 4-diffs, 6,457,815 with 5-diffs and 295,982,125 with 6-diffs), requiring each to have been completed at least two times independently and with an identical node count. Additionally, due to a client implementation bug in some early clients, we required all stubs to have been verified at least once by a client greater than v2.9109.518. This delayed us by a few weeks towards the end of the project but was necessary to ensure that no work was skipped.

The shortest ruler was sent to us 11 times, with one user completing it twice. I will be writing to this user directly for some help picking lottery numbers!

dnetc-ogr27-shortest

We will be sending some distributed.net swag to the lucky winners and hope that you will join us as we move on to our next challenge!

Moo! 

2014/02/18

Getting Ready For OGR-28

Filed under: project status @ 23:23 UTC

Dear friends,

Behind the scenes, we are getting ready to move over to our newest project: OGR-28. This is to discover the most optimal Golomb Ruler with 28 marks. We anticipate that it will take about as long as OGR-27 has. It has some features in common with OGR-27: some of the packets will be very large (up to 1500 Gnodes), and there are three stub spaces. We expect that the first two stub spaces will take about 90 days to complete. Ask me about that last part in a few months time. :)

For the stats freaks among you, the number of stubs for each stubspace of OGR-28 is below:
Stubspace 1: 115676
Stubspace 2: 5823649
Stubspace 3: 518152118

It won’t be necessary for you to upgrade your client software, since OGR-27 clients are ready for OGR-28. If possible, though, I would recommend that you do have the most recent version. If you are running Windows 7 or 8 and your computer is less than four years old, that’s this one: http://http.distributed.net/pub/dcti/current-client/dnetc-win64-amd64.zip :)

If you are running something else, have a look on our download page: http://www.distributed.net/Download_clients

Once again, we will be sending some distributed.net swag to the lucky users who found the Optimal Golomb Ruler this time!

Moo! 

2014/01/22

OGR-27 project almost completed

Filed under: project status @ 09:28 UTC

We’re very close being able to declare OGR-27 finished, but we have just a few more stubs remaining before final completion. The previous stubspaces 27.1, 27.2, and 27.3 are now officially complete.  We expect the last results in 27.4 to be received some time in the next two weeks, and then hope to begin sending out the first OGR-28 stubs within a few hours after that.

As a reminder, no new dnetc client binaries or configuration will be necessary since all existing OGR-27 (OGR-NG) clients are already capable of working on OGR-28 once we begin sending out those workunits.

Look forward to us making another blog post containing some final statistics about OGR-27 within the next two weeks!

(edit: a previous version of this post had some overly optimistic dates)

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