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[MilkyWay@home] Making Milkyway@home Better

post #1 of 2
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(also on homepage for the MilkyWay@home project)

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Recently Milkway@home has seen some major crashes, and there have been stability issues popping up. There have been plenty of rumors running around the message boards as to what the issue is. There has been discussion, from both Milkyway crunchers and staff, of buying a new server. The Milkyway staff has been discussing this issue for awhile, and we've recently come to some conclusions.

There's a strong consensus that the Milkyway server hardware is not to blame. It appears that the OS is buggy, being fairly old and forced to run modern database software (among other things).

In order to update the OS (and other software), we would need a new server so that the old one could continue to run during the install and upgrade process. We have access to funding for a new server, but the issue is that we do not have the staff to oversee the installation of BOINC/MW and the eventual migration. Especially since our computing support staff has seen major cutbacks in the recent past.

The donations from Milkyway crunchers have already funded one student's work on Milkyway@home during the last summer. In addition to funding that student, donations have just recently funded a Milkyway development machine which will soon be capable of compiling all of the Milkyway client software across multiple architectures simultaneously. We take your donated money seriously, and will ONLY use it to fund students or Milkyway-related hardware purchases.

So while we appreciate the recent drive by our users to donate or raise money for new hardware, it is actually support staff that we need the most. Direct monetary donations to Milkyway will be the most useful to us, and can be made through our donation page.

We are looking to hire a part-time computer scientist to clean up the server, work on server stability, and create a better experience for our crunchers. This person might also assist in migrating us over to a new server, when the time comes. We only need to raise a few hundred more dollars to meet the salary goal. We also need to raise money for next summer's salaries.

ALSO, we will be creating a hardware donation page similar to SETI@home's. Matt A. needs a few GPU's to continue his dev work, and he is also looking to build a twin to the new Milkyway dev machine. I'll let him provide the details, and all of this will be posted on the new page. Look for it in the next few days.

Donations of old GPUs will always be useful and welcome to Milkyway@home. When the hardware donation page is up, we will provide an address to which these may be sent. I believe that all donations will be tax-deductible.

Thank you for providing your valuable cycles to us, as they provide us with the ability to crunch enormous amounts of data and make Milkyway@home one of the top BOINC projects. This is all we really need to keep Milkyway@home running and successful. But if you would like to help make Milkyway@home BETTER, please consider making a small donation to help support our staff.

Cheers,
Matthew N
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1TB Seagate Barracuda 16x LG DVD-RW Windows 7 x64, Ubuntu 10.10 x64 BenQ 18.5 wide LED 
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post #2 of 2
Glad that they are thinking about upgrading their servers. MW seems to be hit or miss, not as bad as seti though. Thanks for posting Gamer11200
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1Tb Western Digital HDD 1Tb Western Digital HDD Slim Slot stealthed Heatkiller 3.0 CU, Heatkiller 7970 CU with back... 
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Phobya 400mm radiator, EX 360mm radiator, misc ... Swiftech MCP35X2 Pump, Frozen_Q 250mm Liquid Fu... Windows 7 Ultimate Asus 1080P 
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