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.

2010/06/28

mikereed [28-Jun-2010 @ 13:18]

Filed under: clients @ 13:18 UTC

Howdy folks,

We’ve just transferred some new clients from the pre-release page to the
official release page: Download Clients

Solaris/SunOS [x86]
OpenBSD [x86/ELF]
OpenBSD [AMD64/ELF]
OpenBSD [Sparc64]
NetBSD [Sparc64/ELF]
FreeBSD [7.x/x86/ELF]
FreeBSD [8.x/sparc64]
FreeBSD [6.x/x86/ELF]
Linux [x86/CUDA-2.2]
Linux [AMD64/CUDA-2.2]
Linux [x86/Stream]
Linux [CellBE]
Linux [AMD64/ELF]
Linux [x86/ELF/uclibc]
OS/2 [x86]
Mac OS X/Darwin [x86/CUDA-2.2]
PC-DOS, MS-DOS [x86]
Windows 64bit [AMD64]
Windows 32bit [x86/CUDA-2.2]
Windows 32bit [x86/Zipped]
Windows 32bit [x86/Installer]
Windows 32bit [x86/Stream]

Moo!

2010/03/10

mikereed [10-Mar-2010 @ 00:28]

Filed under: stats @ 00:28 UTC

:: 10-Mar-2010 00:28 GMT (Wednesday) ::

Our stats system is down while we attend to some unscheduled maintenance. We
hope to have it back online shortly.

Thanks for your patience and continued support! ]:8)

2009/09/29

mikereed [29-Sep-2009 @ 22:59]

Filed under: clients @ 22:59 UTC

:: 29-Sep-2009 22:59 GMT (Tuesday) ::

Friends,

We’d like to let our ATI Stream users know that we’ve posted an
updated Stream client beta for Windows. A Linux beta will follow
shortly. As with all our pre-release software, clients can be found at
http://www.distributed.net/download/prerelease.php. This version of the client
fixes compatibility issues with Catalyst drivers 9.9. However, there are still
several known issues with this beta. Known issues include:

The Stream client will not be used to its full potential unless
its priority is set =2 or higher. To achieve this, enter the client’s
configuration mode, and go to options 3,3 and change the value to “2”.

Graphical User Interface (GUI) lag is still heavy. While this isn’t an
issue with dedicated crunching systems, if you run the Stream client on your
primary computer, the lag may bother you. As a workaround, use the screen
saver mode to overcome this. A link to directions to enable the screen saver
can be found at the end of this .plan.

Sometimes, upon exiting, the client will not save the work unit currently
being crunched. This is cumbersome if you have been working on a large work
unit, say 64*2^32, as all work will have to be re-processed. As a workaround
here, you can enable the “checkpointing” feature. To do this, enter the
client’s configuration mode, and go to options 2,4 and choose a path and file
name for your checkpoint file.

There are on-going issues related to remote desktop connections to Stream
clients. It has been reported that using third party remote connection
software (VNC) overcomes these issues.

We are working on ironing out the remaining bugs in the Stream client. If you
have software development experience, a compatible ATI Stream video card,
and think you may be able to help with these bugs, please send an E-mail to
help@distributed.net.

We want to thank all of our early adopters for their help testing our
beta clients. Currently, the Stream client produces the fastest key rates
of any desktop hardware component. It is truly an exciting time here at
distributed.net!

Related Links:

* http://www.distributed.net/download/prerelease.php (Pre-release download page)
* http://bugs.distributed.net/show_bug.cgi?id=4222 (Bug for not saving work units)
* http://faq.distributed.net/?file=52 (Information on the checkpoint function)
* http://www.distributed.net/docs/tutor_clients.php#cl_confg (Screen saver set-up instructions)

2009/08/14

mikereed [14-Aug-2009 @ 22:30]

Filed under: clients @ 22:30 UTC

:: 14-Aug-2009 22:30 GMT (Friday) ::

Dear friends,

We have been testing distributed.net clients for nVidia CUDA-compatible cards
for a while. Several users have noted that they are quicker than standard CPU
clients at processing RC5 packets. Yesterday, CUDA cards contributed about 3%
of the total work processed for the RC5 project. This may appear small, but
over time, it is significant.

At about the same time as nVidia launched the CUDA system, AMD came out with a
competitor which it calls Stream. Thanks to some excellent work by our friend
Sla Chupyatov, we now have a client ready for testing on Stream systems.

If you run Windows 32-bit or Linux and have an AMD R600 or higher
graphics system (HD 2xxx or better) with the Catalyst 9.7 drivers (or
higher) installed, you can help us test it. We are interested to hear
your feedback. Clients are available from our pre-release page at:
http://www.distributed.net/download/prerelease.php. Please, continue to report
any bugs or issues to our bug database at: http://bugs.distributed.net/.

We would like to thank all of our dedicated early adopters for helping us with
testing.

PS: In order for your pre-release AMD client to achieve optimal key rates,
the priority should be set to “2” using the built-in configuration menu (3:
Performance related options).

Moo ]:8)

2009/07/04

mikereed [04-Jul-2009 @ 12:26]

Filed under: project status @ 12:26 UTC

:: 04-Jul-2009 12:26 GMT (Saturday) ::

Dear friends,

Since work began on OGR-27 in late February, more than 2% of the total work
necessary to prove OGR-27 is not optimal has been completed.

The first three stubspaces are nearing completion, and should be closed in
a matter of days. During this time, we will be periodically recycling the
remaining stubs from those three stubspaces, so it is important to avoid
excessively fetching more work than you can complete in about a week.

We have just started distributing work from the fourth and final OGR-27
stubspace. It is also the largest stubspace representing the remaining 98%. The
stubs in the final stubspace are more likely to vary greatly in size, compared
to those in the earlier stubspaces; however we expect them to generally be
smaller on average. If our estimation turns out to be proved correct, we should
be able to complete the remaining stubs at a faster rate than for the previous
stubspaces. As we are expecting that we will discover a better ruler for OGR-27
than the one we currently know to be optimal, we may not need to exhaust the
entire stubspace before discovering it. However, after the probable discovery
of a better ruler, it is possible that there remains an even better ruler or
rulers yet to be uncovered.

In addition, thanks to some excellent work by Craig Johnston, client versions
2.9105-510 and above contain three new OGR cores. Depending on your CPU type,
the new cores may provide a significant speed improvement over the cores
used in previous client versions. These speed enhancements will shorten
the time required to search the final stubspace. You are welcome to try a
pre-release client containing these new cores, which you can download from
http://www.distributed.net/download/prerelease.php. As always, please report
bugs using our bug database available at http://bugs.distributed.net/.

So load up those CPUs with fresh OGR-27 work, while enjoying an improved
noderate, and together we’ll crunch through the final stubspace with fury!

Thanks again for your participation!

Moo ]:8)

2009/01/29

mikereed [29-Jan-2009 @ 03:24]

Filed under: project status @ 03:24 UTC

:: 29-Jan-2009 03:24 GMT (Thursday) ::

Dear friends,

We are proud to announce that we have now completed 75% of the work necessary
to prove OGR-26 is optimal. The project is expected to complete within the next
few weeks, and we have already started preparations towards that project’s
successor. More details will be provided in the near future.

As you know, we recently published some pre-release clients that allowed our
early-adopters running high-speed hardware platforms to make use of larger
RC5-72 packets. As a part of this testing, our users have helped us to discover
that there is a bug in our stats tabulation code that counts these larger
packets as only one stats unit. We are fortunate that no stats credit has been
permanently lost. We will be correcting the bug and re-tabulating the affected
logs shortly.

As part of introducing large RC5-72 packets, we needed to update our proxy
systems to handle them. Unfortunately, a bug present in proxy build 346
invalidated a small number of work units by distributing blocks from subspaces
other than “CB”. This was spotted and resolved very quickly and we do not
expect that very many users received these invalid RC5-72 packets.

We thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm. We particularly
appreciate the work of early-adopters that are willing to help us test our
pre-release software and give rapid feedback.

Moo! ]:8)

2009/01/23

mikereed [23-Jan-2009 @ 01:30]

Filed under: clients @ 01:30 UTC

:: 23-Jan-2009 01:30 GMT (Friday) ::

The CUDA client betas have expired. They will no longer function if you try
to run them. We will be releasing new versions in due course, but I am unable
to estimate at the present time when that will be. We thank you for your
continuing support.

2009/01/12

mikereed [12-Jan-2009 @ 22:57]

Filed under: clients,project status @ 22:57 UTC

:: 12-Jan-2009 22:57 GMT (Monday) ::

Dear friends,

We are pleased to announce that we passed 50% of OGR-26 completion on January
4, 2009. We thank you for your help in reaching this milestone.

We have just promoted a new set of clients from the pre-release page to the
official release page. These include clients with a faster OGR core which takes
advantage of MMX instructions for a 30% speedup. As usual, you can find them
at: http://www.distributed.net/download/clients.php

The list of updated platforms includes:

* Linux [ARM/ELF] v2.9102.508
* Linux [ARM/eabi] v2.9102.508
* Linux [CellBE] v2.9102.508b
* FreeBSD [7.x/x86/ELF] v2.9102.508
* FreeBSD [6.x/x86/ELF] v2.9102.508
* FreeBSD [4.x/x86/ELF] v2.9102.508
* NetBSD [x86] v2.9102.508
* NetBSD [MIPSEL/ELF] v2.9102.508
* OpenBSD [x86/ELF] v2.9102.508
* OS/2 [x86] v2.9102.508
* PC-DOS, MS-DOS [x86] v2.9102.508
* Windows 32bit [x86/Zipped] v2.9102.508b
* Windows 32bit [x86/Installer] v2.9102.508b
* Solaris/SunOS [x86] v2.9102.508
* BeOS [Haiku/x86] v2.9102.508
* BeOS [x86] v2.9102.508
* Acorn RISC OS [ARM] v2.9102.508

Our work on clients for graphics cards is continuing. Our CUDA client for
nVidia cards is in public beta testing, while a core for new ATI cards is due
to enter closed testing shortly.

We also have new clients in public beta testing. You should only run these if
you have the time and inclination to monitor them regularly, as they may be
removed at short notice.

* Mac OS X/Darwin [x86] v2.9103.509
* Mac OS X/Darwin [PPC] v2.9103.509
* Linux [ARM/ELF] v2.9103.509
* Linux [ARM/eabi] v2.9103.509
* Acorn RISC OS [ARM] v2.9103.509

Moo! ]:8)

2008/12/18

mikereed [18-Dec-2008 @ 18:56]

Filed under: stats @ 18:56 UTC

:: 18-Dec-2008 18:56 GMT (Thursday) ::

Our stats system has not been updating since December 13th. We are working to
resolve this and will post a further update in due course. We apologise for
any inconvenience this may cause.

2008/11/20

mikereed [20-Nov-2008 @ 17:06]

Filed under: stats @ 17:06 UTC

:: 20-Nov-2008 17:06 GMT (Thursday) ::

Our stats system is down. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
More to follow.

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