Project Update – BoincTasks and The Cloud

If you have just landed here on this post please take 5 minutes to read about the World Community Grid, BOINC, and My Project so you get the idea of what I am trying to do. Don’t have time? well In a nutshell I’m using my PC to help scientists map cancer markers, fight AIDS, study clean energy solutions and uncover genome mysteries. Once I get it running perfectly and with as minimal energy use as possible I’m going to remove it from the electricity grid and power it with renewable energy be this solar, wind or by another device of my making. This post is part of an ongoing series covering what I have done so far. The first post of the series can be found on My Project page. Thanks for visiting.

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BoincTasks and The Cloud

As I mentioned in my last post I was looking for software to throttle my CPU if it got too hot (what I deem as hot not Tj Max), and should it need to, close BOINC safely and shutdown the PC if the temperature is no longer controllable. As you know I found this on efmer.com in the form of TThrottle, but I also found BoincTasks.

BoincTasks is a manager for your BOINC client, what is interesting to me is the fact that I can control more than one computer from a base unit (ie my PC in the living room). Although this is the only PC running WCGrid now when I do expand (and I will) I can’t have PCs standing all over the place in our living room (they will be going in our attic).

As long as I install BoincTasks and TThrottle on every PC I set up to run WCGrid (and SETI again eventually) as long as they are connected to my home network I can monitor the tasks they are running, if they have an Internet connection problem, and more importantly I can monitor the temperatures of every CPU and GPU installed. Now that is freaking outstanding and I had a serious Nerd Attack at this alone.

But that’s not the only thing. This is better and solves one of the rules I set myself for this project which was rule 3 “It must run completely alone with minimal human interaction needed ie fully/semi automated and should only need checking every couple of days (or monitored via a mobile device)” Ladies and Gentlemen, BoincTasks has its very own cloud.

Each device can be set to report to the cloud which I can then log into on my phone! When I’m logged in I can see all the computers, what tasks they are running in real time (2 sec delay maybe), any looming deadlines so I can adjust tasks if necessary, the temperatures of the CPU and GPU, memory allocation. You name it BoincTasks and its Cloud have it. I would have paid for software that could do that, instead they give it away for free at efmer.com all they ask is for a donation if you want or can.

I am chalking this up as a major win for my project, and I want to give a huge thank you to the people at efmer.com for what they provide for no cost. I am extremely grateful and will be donating the second I get some money across onto my PayPal account.

Project Update – Operating Temperature + Protecting your PC

If you have just landed here on this post please take 5 minutes to read about the World Community Grid, BOINC, and My Project so you get the idea of what I am trying to do. Don’t have time? well In a nutshell I’m using my PC to help scientists map cancer markers, fight AIDS, study clean energy solutions and uncover genome mysteries. Once I get it running perfectly and with as minimal energy use as possible I’m going to remove it from the electricity grid and power it with renewable energy be this solar, wind or by another device of my making. This post is part of an ongoing series covering what I have done so far. The first post of the series can be found on My Project page. Thanks for visiting.

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Operating Temperature + Protecting your PC

Mrs Nang has a thing about fires, she doesn’t want one so it took me a lot of persuasion for her to give the go ahead to run the PC 24/7.

All Intel processors are equipped with self regulating failsafes to stop your processor from going above a set safe temperature limit, this temperature is what’s known as Tj Max. Each processor is different and has a different Tj Max. For my i7-2600 the Tj Max is 98C. The following is my understanding of the Tj Max and how it works if I’m wrong let me know.

Temperatures below Tj Max are considered safe operating temperatures, should your processor reach Tj Max it will begin to throttle the CPU, what this means is that it will regulate the incoming power and the speed (clock) of the processor slowing it down and reducing the load in an attempt to dissipate the increased heat to bring the processor back below its Tj Max and into its safe operating temperature.

If this fails to bring the processor back into safe operating temperatures (let’s say your processor cooling fan imploded) it then has a set temperature usually 15-25C above Tj Max which will cause the processor to shut down immediately. Intel also says that even if your processor reaches this point and shuts off it will not damage the processor.

Although this calmed Mrs Nangs fears a bit she stills wasn’t a happy bunny and I thought it was wise to put another fail safe in place just in case and because processors aren’t cheap especially when you have no money to replace them. So I went on the hunt for some software that could do the job. I didn’t have to look far. I was looking for throttling software for the CPU. The idea is that you set a max temperature that you want the CPU to work at, the software then monitors the temperature and throttles the CPU to maintain that temperature should it need to.

The first place I looked I managed to solve 3 problems all at once. BoincTasks and TThrottle from efmer.com work in conjunction with BOINC to make a whole host of things possible. I will discuss BoincTasks in another post because it’s just awesome. TThrottle does exactly what I want it to do.

  1. Throttle the CPU when it reaches the max temperature I set.
  2. Allows the addition of a rule that will close BOINC and shut down the computer when the CPU reaches a higher set temperature of my choosing.
  3. Does 1 and 2 for the GPU as well.

I really am impressed with TThrottle and when you combine it with BoincTasks it is the perfect software for my project and especially for when I expand it with additional computers. If you want to run BOINC at full whack 24/7 I really suggest downloading them both and adding some failsafes to your PC. The software is free but you can send a donation if you can/want to. I will be doing so once I have balance on my PayPal.