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1) Message boards : Number crunching : 2021 Challenge Schedule (Message 146583)
Posted 290 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor
Thanks for the schedule, looks good to me.

Do all the challenges really end one minute before the hour or is this just a notation for "clarity" for those who -for some reason beyond me- might misinterpret, e.g., "thru 19 January 00:00 UTC" as "includes the full day of 19 January"? Even one minute can make a difference, I managed to report one task each in the final 10 seconds of the last two challenges. :)
2) Message boards : Problems and Help : Hi. Ich habe 2 GPU im Notebook erhalte aber keine Wu. (Message 144782)
Posted 335 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor
Intel-GPUs werden tatsächlich nicht unterstützt, die NVIDIA-GPU theoretisch schon. BOINC hat deine GPU allerdings nicht gefunden (sie würde sonst in den Rechnerdetails unter Koprozessor aufgeführt). Die beiden wahrscheinlichsten Gründe dafür:

1. Ein falscher/unvollständiger Treiber wurde installiert (z.B. über Windows Update). Es empfiehlt sich, immer den Treiber direkt von NVIDIA herunterzuladen und zu installieren.

2. BOINC wurde als Dienst installiert. In diesem Fall einmal BOINC deinstallieren und neu installieren, dabei darauf achten, dass das Häkchen bei "Service Install" nicht gesetzt ist.

Wenn BOINC die GPU dann erkannt hat, musst du eventuell noch in den Projekteinstellungen das Häkchen bei "Use NVIDIA GPU" setzen.

(For those who don't speak German: His question was if those GPUs are not supported. I pointed out that while the NVIDIA GPU is supported, his BOINC client did not recognize it, and described two potential solutions.)
3) Message boards : General discussion : BOINC Pentathlon 2020 (Message 139816)
Posted 525 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor

Dear fellow volunteer crunchers,

5 May 2020, the starting day of the eleventh BOINC Pentathlon, is less than two weeks away. Even in difficult times, SETI.Germany invites all Volunteer Computing enthusiast teams to participate in the five disciplines over two weeks and to gather in front of their computers - everyone in front of their own computer, of course. Maybe some of us will go through a different illness than the Pentathlon fever or spend much of their time keeping important businesses such as healthcare or food supply running. Let's not forget the former and thank the latter by crunching a work unit for all of them!

While the process and rules remain largely unchanged from last year, a maximum of flexibility is needed for choosing the projects, as maybe one project needs the computing power more urgently than others or a project may be unavailable on short notice. To make the Pentathlon nevertheless as exciting and trouble-free as possible, not only the Marathon project, but all five projects are chosen by a small group of the organizers this year.

The teams can sign up until 2 May using this form. We're looking forward to welcoming you, because:

It will be exciting again at the BOINC Pentathlon!
4) Message boards : Number crunching : So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Message 138611)
Posted 574 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor
Thanks for all your efforts over those years, Mike and Jim. A full list of all the new stuff and improvements that you implemented would well be as long as that list of things to be done to keep the project running. You took over a well-run project, you kept it this way all the time and you now leave behind a well-run project, the best starting point possible for the future admins.
5) Message boards : Number crunching : Tour de Primes 2020 (Message 138533)
Posted 576 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor
Another Tour de Primes is in the books, here's a quick look at the primes we found each day per subproject:

A lot of fluctuation, and the day with the fewest primes (Feb 18) was also the only day without a GFN-16 prime. While there is not that much of a dip in the "Tasks completed each day" graph for that day, there is a rather large gap between the b values of the last GFN-16 prime on Feb 17 (b=83007704) and the first GFN-16 prime on Feb 19 (b=83728230), so we just happened to search a range with nothing to be found on Feb 18.

Chooka wrote:
Oh man..what are the chances!
mattozan gets 2 x 1st's and pschoefer was the double checker for both. PPSE & GFN-16.

And I would just have needed to be first for either of these primes or the PPSE I doublechecked in the evening to finally win one of the jerseys. In all those years since 2009, I never came as close. At least I also got my first ever mountain stage prime as initial finder as a consolation prize.

Michael Goetz wrote:
I hope you had as much fun as I did. I hope you all will be back next February for the 2021 Tour de Primes!

Most definitely!
6) Message boards : Number crunching : 2020 Challenge Schedule! (tentative) (Message 136088)
Posted 639 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor
A great selection, there's a bit of everything and it covers many of the projects that were not part of the 2019 Challenge Series. I also like the return of the short challenges, and that there is ample time between the challenges. The GPU challenge in June will be hard for those on the Northern Hemisphere, but we had this before and those on the Southern Hemisphere had GPU challenges during their summer time for years.

The only thing I'm unhappy with is that the May challenge heavily overlaps with the annual BOINC Pentathlon timeslot (May 05, 00:00 UTC - May 18, 24:00 UTC). It would be great if that challenge could be rescheduled towards end of May.
7) Message boards : Number crunching : Transit of Mercury Across the Sun Challenge (Message 134414)
Posted 698 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor
Will you be able to see the transit with the naked eye, using appropriate protection as you would for a solar eclipse? Or is Mercury too small?

EDIT: Nope, it's too small to see the transit without some type of telescope or binoculars or something else to magnify the image.

There are claims that sunspots as small as 10-12 arcsec have been seen with just the naked eye and the usual solar eclipse goggles. Mercury can reach up to 12 arcsec during a transit and has an even higher contrast than the darkest sunspots, so it might just be possible. However, 12 arcsecs are only reached if the transit happens in May (like the last one in 2016), while it's more like 7 arcsec for a transit in November.

Fun fact: Most people who are familiar with our Solar System's planets might think that Venus or maybe Mars is the planet closest to Earth. However, it turns out that -on average- Mercury is our closest neighbor.
8) Message boards : Number crunching : Suggestions for 2020 Challenges (Message 134098)
Posted 708 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor
There hasn't been a non-LLR CPU challenge since January 2017, so 321-Sieve should definitely be on the list for next year. Similarly, the small and medium-size GFN projects haven't seen a challenge for a while. Even if you want to run another large GFN challenge on the primeless Ns, there's still enough room for a second GFN challenge, especially if AP27 is shut down leaving PPS-Sieve as the only other GPU option.

I'd also like to see a return of the 3-day challenges. There are still several short-task projects left and a 5d+ challenge just gets boring pretty fast when even leftover machines from the last decade can still finish several tasks per day.

It might also be a good idea to leave the project open for one or two challenges in the second half of the year. That makes it easier to take unforeseen circumstances -e.g., a new project like PPS-DIV this year- into account without crowding the calendar even further or stepping on anyone's toes.
9) Message boards : AP26 - AP27 Search : sporadic crashes on AMD GPUs (access violation) (Message 133107)
Posted 737 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor
For the ongoing challenge, I also threw my AMD GPUs at AP27. While they finish most tasks slowly but reliably, every GPU had at least one task crashing after a few seconds with error code -1073741819 (0xC0000005) STATUS_ACCESS_VIOLATION. A few examples:

1025750645 (RX 590)
1025834999 (RX 580)
1025739021 (R9-280X)
1025941747 (another R9-280X)

This should rule out a hardware problem, but all machines are using the same version of the driver software (19.8.1 on Win10 1903), so I can't tell if the problem is in that specific driver or the AP27 app itself.

Is anyone else seeing those crashes on their AMD GPUs?
10) Message boards : Fermat Divisor Search : Fermat Divisor Search (Message 132630)
Posted 752 days ago by Profile pschoeferProject donor
Second phase is searching 5<=k<=49 up to 9M. This part will take longer.

Does that include k=27? If so, are we doublechecking the results of the ongoing PRPNet effort or just skipping to n>7.5M for that k?

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