Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

"Nightlife" Harnesses Idle Fedora Nodes For Research

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the deserves-an-award-for-the-name-alone dept.

Red Hat Software 171

A. B. VerHausen writes "If you've given up on SETI, now you can let your idle computer help with other kinds of scientific research. Red Hat employee Bryan Che started a project called Nightlife. He wants people to 'donate idle capacity from their own computers to an open, general-purpose Fedora-run grid for processing socially beneficial work and scientific research that requires access to large amounts of computing power.'" Che hopes to have more than a million Fedora nodes running as part of this project.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

SETI (5, Informative)

pryoplasm (809342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584793)

There is also folding at home http://folding.stanford.edu/ [stanford.edu] that might help someones life more than software ever will.

I am all for open source, but there are some better places to donate some spare cpu cycles

Re:SETI (1)

abolitiontheory (1138999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584917)

Agreed here. I don't have much hope in the mission of SETI, but Folding@Home's research is basically like throwing a gigantic brute force attack at unsolved protein mysteries. It feels like hacking, in a way. I love that idea, instead of just processing bombarded information from outer space.

Re:SETI (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585835)

unsolved protein mysteries
You mean like the chicken and the egg debate? Why pot noodles are so addictive? Or how that mouldy block of cheese managed to solve the game of solitaire that you'd left lying out on the kitchen table?

Re:SETI (1)

mofag (709856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585931)

I would support folding at home if they supported nvidia GPUs. I don't think they have revisited the possibility of supporting nvidia since the 8800 came out and CUDA. I could let them use my Q6600 but I would just find the whole thing very frustrating and a waste of potential so I will probably just continue to leave my PC idle overnight.

Re:SETI (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585143)

Not to mention climate change prediction at home via climateprediction.net [climateprediction.net] .

Re:SETI (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585449)

I guess that's irony; letting your computer consume large quantities of environmentally unfriendly produced electricity in order to calculate climate change.

Re:SETI (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585849)

It's better to think of it as job security.

Re:SETI (0, Flamebait)

ljgshkg (1223086) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586085)

But for most people, they don't turn on their computer just for that anyway. They just let it run as screensaver when they're away for a while, or they let it to make use of unused CPU cycles while they're working or doing other stuff. It's not like they're using extra electricity.

Re:SETI (4, Informative)

deroby (568773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586575)

Errr, yes they are !

When Folding@Home runs in the background my cpu is 100% all of the time (well, one core is in each case). When it's not running, I average around 10% I guess.
The difference is that in the latter case the cpu runs pretty much idle for 90% of the time and needs some electricity to keep going, while the former situation has it working at full throttle all the time, consuming so much more energy that the generated heat needs to be actively removed from the portable. I'm not saying it draws 10 times the amount of power, but it's going to be considerably more !

All that said, I often wonder what would be more efficient : 10.000 specialized cpu's in some server-farm / data-center churning away on a given problem, being mostly limited to that single problem and costing heaps of money and energy, or 10.000.000 versatile grid-clients that more or less produce the same output, probably eating just as much energy, if not more.

Re:SETI (1)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586585)

But for most people, they don't turn on their computer just for that anyway. They just let it run as screensaver when they're away for a while, or they let it to make use of unused CPU cycles while they're working or doing other stuff. It's not like they're using extra electricity
Except that they are. Modern CPUs have quite a bit of power-saving support built in. If the processor is idle for a long period of time, it will practically shut itself down. Don't get me wrong, I like the Folding@Home project, but it does cause a noticeable increase in your electric bill.

Re:SETI (4, Insightful)

Krigl (1025293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586349)

I'd personally still prefer Folding@Home - climatology is way too complex, with lots of unexplained and speculative stuff. I'm not a scientist, but I'd guess this needs more basic research of underlying principles before brute force number crunching starts yielding useful results (any climatologist here?), not mentioning this project screams "junk science" out loud. And if they want internet community to get interested maybe someone should enlighten them about possibilities of different picture formats than 22 MB .bmp for high resolution histogram of global temperature change [climateprediction.net] .

Folding@Home is useful and brings actual results - you'll get a chance to throw your own pack of frozen pea against Africa's hunger, instead throwing it into wastebasket of "well, it seemed as a way to go then".

As for SETI, well, yes there's a lot of space research fans here and way more Star Trek and Star Wars fans, who just secretly wish aliens to exist because it would be so cool if they existed even if without a chance to get into a hot threesome with Spock and E.T, but let's face it - aliens don't exist. And if they do, hoping to get some proof from SETI is like going to the sea coast once in your life, step on the shore with closed eyes and reach into the water in hope you'll get a grasp of bottle with a message from boat wreck survivor.

If you gonna donate spare cycles, donate them on something useful instead of something cool or guilt relieving.

Re:SETI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23585499)

how does his idea differ from BOINC?

Re:SETI (3, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585863)

Nightlife is usually what you do before you boink.

Re:SETI (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585697)

You realise folding at home is software right?

Re:SETI (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585865)

I thought the most interesting part of this is that he thinks he can get a million people to do this.

Fedora is mostly a hobbyist OS (as opposed to RHEL), and I bet a lot of Fedora machines are desktops. If that number is at all realistic, the number of Linux users worldwide is way underestimated.

Re:SETI (2, Informative)

Danathar (267989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586161)

If you don't know what the guy is talking about, then don't comment.

Condor is WAY different than BOINC or Folding@home.

BOINC is middleware but NOT general purpose grid computing. Condor is a distributed batch oriented system that allows people to submitt jobs and get them done. You can configure BOINC to run as backfill to Condor when Condor is not being used.

It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (4, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584807)

It's the not-so-idle electricty bill that'll turn up when I let people use my PC's spare cycles all the time.

That's why it's off, in stand by or auto throttling the processor. That's why letting people use your "idle" cycles is not as simple a charitable proposition as it sounds.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (5, Interesting)

abolitiontheory (1138999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584865)

What's the actual difference in energy costs, though? Not saying you're stupid or selfish for not donating, just interested in the real figures, if you've got any. I throw my system into hibernation most nights, and try to turn off the monitor at least when I go away for a couple hours during the day. What have you found your general savings to be?

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (5, Informative)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584899)

In my experience it's around 5 dollars a month more to run my computer all the time rather than shutting it down or putting it into hibernation at night.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586001)

Presumably it was just idling when you left it on overnight though - what would the costs be if it was run flat out all the time? I leave my PS3 running folding@home all the time, I'm not too fussed about the extra cost - have done over 100 units now after having it for just over a month. If it were in my bedroom rather than the living room then I'd probably switch it off in the evenings because of the fan noise (it's not bad, but it's not silent either).

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (2, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584933)

Real figures?

I don't know, but given that people have PSUs rated from 250W - 1KW these days, I would have thought fairly significant, assuming a pretty high utilisation of "spare" cycles.

I know we've managed to cut our electricity bill in half lately by moving to energy saving bulbs and making sure we actually switch stuff off at the socket when it's not in use.

Also, there's that whole "not using more than you need" thing to do with electricity having to come from somewhere, and that simewhere usually being a source of CO2 and other nasties.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (5, Interesting)

abolitiontheory (1138999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585039)

... making sure we actually switch stuff off at the socket ...
I keep trying to think of a funny and poignant way to point out that we Americans don't have the slightest notion of this concept, because its not built into to our electrical system. I'm sure you could get switches at the sockets if you intentionally looked for them, but I was 21 before I ever knew of this concept, from going over to England to visit family. It's one of those small details that sticks in your head, kind of like slang words or Cadbury chocolate. American chocolate is rubbish.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585181)

Come to think of it, you're right, I haven't noticed power switches on power sockets whenever I've been in the US (quite a lot over the years). Guess you don't notice the absence of little things like that.

Ghirardelli do an ok bit of chocolate. OTOH, Hersheys is like some sort of brown soap.

Actually unplugging everything would be more hassle, having the switch right there on the socket is a good thing, IMHO. I'm not obsessive about this and have a home server and a router that are UPS'd and on all the time. If anyone can get any use out of the spare cycles on my 266MHz ARM box then they're welcome to 'em...

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23586703)

Come to think of it, you're right, I haven't noticed power switches on power sockets whenever I've been in the US (quite a lot over the years).
And I've lived here since I was born 20 years ago, and every house I've lived in since I learned what a power socket was has had switches. Not necessarily on all of them, but they've all had them.

For example, in my room at the apartment I live in now, there are four outlet locations. One of those locations is controlled by the switch next to the door. It's also the one my wireless router and desktop are plugged into, so after the second time I accidentally cut power to them by trying to switch on the light as I came into the room, I taped it in position.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (2, Informative)

analog_line (465182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585231)

A power strip with a switch does the job just as well as a switch on a socket. In fact, that's what I thought he meant until I read your post.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585431)

Americans don't have the slightest notion of this concept, because its not built into to our electrical system.
Actually, no-one other than the British do, AFAIK. Haven't seen a switch in a socket in Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Italy or the US. Maybe Ireland?

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585555)


I'm sure I've seen them in other places...

Maybe Singapore (OK, so they use british standard sockets).... Hmmm.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

farmerj (566229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585725)

Yep the Irish power sockets are the same as the British ones. A lot of our fittings and standards are based on the British ones.

The main exception I can think of offhand is the phone sockets, the British ones use a BT socket [wikipedia.org] , while the Irish ones use a RJ11 socket [wikipedia.org] .

In the past this has caused a wee bit of consternation, as many retailers that service both the UK and Ireland sold phones with BT sockets in Ireland, leading to many WTFs as people tried to connect them :-)

Re:Switched Outlets For a Switch (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585791)

Allow me to add Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Italy and Germany to the list of places where switched outlets are used. I've seen the switches primarily on high current outlets for major appliances, such as washers and dryers.

I'd postulate that the switch at EVERY outlet in the UK may be related to WW II air raids and blackouts.

Re:Switched Outlets For a Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23586875)

I'd postulate that the switch at EVERY outlet in the UK may be related to WW II air raids and blackouts.

AFAIK the current switched square pin UK outlets date from well after WWII (late 1960's? early 70's?). Until then there were two types of round pin outlets (big and small, probably 3 and 5 amp?) and some of these did not have switches. My parents were still using a small round pin unswitched outlet to run an electric clock until a few years ago, and I guess there are still a few old houses using these (although you'd probably have to replace them if you wanted a mortgage on such a house).

Also, not *all* current square pin outlets have switches. Although rare, I've come across a few (I think my Grandmother's council flat had all unswitched outlets, probably to save a few pennies).

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585867)

Actually, no-one other than the British do, AFAIK.

Australia has switched wall outlets; New Zealand shares the same plug/socket format, so they probably do too. It might have something to do with having 240V mains power (vs. 110V) and/or more stringent safety regulations e.g. we have earth pins on all outlets too.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23586019)

Has nothing to do with the 240V mains. Finland has them too, but no britain-style sockets for us.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Bede EW (1002882) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585907)

Australian sockets do...

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586711)

Actually, no-one other than the British do, AFAIK. Haven't seen a switch in a socket in Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Italy or the US. Maybe Ireland?

New Zealand does (Thanks, Discovery Channel!)

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (0, Offtopic)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585823)

American chocolate is rubbish.

Uhm... Nothing like an off-the-cuff bashing of something American to score points...

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Beltonius (960316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586207)

Even if it's true? A summer in Germany spoiled me on both American bread and chocolate. It's a good thing I wasn't drinking at the time or I don't know how I would've dealt with a lot of American beer either.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586693)

English and American chocolate is very different for historical reasons.

Historically, making milk chocolate was beset by one problem: getting fresh milk to the plant. Before refrigeration and railways it was nigh on impossible. The two countries had different approaches: in the UK sugar was added to the milk as a preservative, in the U.S, the milk was essentially allowed to sour.

By the time refrigeration arrived, the nations' tastes were set. The U.S continues to make much of its chocolate with soured milk, while the UK has very sweet milk chocolate.

So when as an Englander I first tasted a Hershey bar the overwhelming impression was of off-milk or vomit. This was, ummm... offputting.

But it is just what people are used to.

It's not the chocolate I'm worried about (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586975)

English and American chocolate is very different for historical reasons.

My point was not the differences in chocolate, it was the declaration of all American foo as "rubbish" and the subsequent high moderation...

So when as an Englander I first tasted a Hershey bar the overwhelming impression was of off-milk or vomit.

Come to think of it, I have a very vague recollection of how vomit tastes like... Always having it fresh in memory must be an English thing ;-) Sorry, could not resist.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586363)

I think you meant to say that "I personally didn't have the slightest notion of this concept before I went to England". In all the places I've lived, there were several receptacles that were controlled by wall switches. Considering that I've lived in six different states, I'd say that's a fairly reasonable sample size for one person.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585281)

What do you pay per KWH? The rule of thumb is that each 10W on your PSU will cost about 90 KWH per year, running around the clock. So a 250/10 == 25 25*90 == 2250 KWH per year. If you pay say, 6 cents per kwh: .06*2250 == $135 per year or $11.25 per month to run that 250W PSU 24 hours per day. I leave other wattages as an exercise to the reader.

Real numbers (2, Informative)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585691)

I use the newer 80+ rated PSUs and I don't oversize them like so many others do. My desktop machine AND a server that also has an 80+ PSU in it (and 10HDDs) together use just about 300Watts as measured by my Kill-a-Watt device. That's not an insignificant amount but that was also with all of my drives spun up - normally drives not in use goto sleep (unRAID).

The PSU ratings of those two machines together are probably somewhere right around a kilowatt and yet I use a fraction of that at full chat. My desktop has a 45nm C2D (E8400) clocked to 3.8Ghz, an 8800GTS (die shrunk too), a single HDD, multiple cooling fans.

My point is that just because a PSU is rated for something doesn't mean it's going to be using that even when you have fairly thirsty components onboard - using the rating is a bit misleading as it's a maximum output. The fact that I use highly efficient supplies helps a great deal, they don't cost much more. My power bill isn't insignificant mind you but these aren't the only two computers I run either :-)

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585191)

Well, as you can use your CPU cycles to help research, I guess you can also help by not wasting energy too. Both are common efforts and achieve better results as more people join. If blackle [blackle.com] has any numbers that only by changing the background (I have all my windows with dark background anyways, just because I don't get so tired of my eyes at the end of the day), you can help. I think, that as a common effort to achieve different goals, you are free to chose either one, independently on how much it cost to each individual.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585247)

Err, blackle is nonsense in the modern world, IMHO.

LCD/TFT screens don't work that way. There is a bright light that's always on, and the colours and darkness come about by blocking portions of said light, not by generating more of it.

Of course, once OLED comes in that'll change again.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585339)

Yes I was just setting an example. There are several places I know they still use CRTs, and I'd guess in that case it makes a little sense to use black. But if by turning your computer off, you are completely avoiding consumption, then makes much more sense, than any pseudo-screensaver.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Krigl (1025293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585607)

There are several places I know they still use CRTs

Like my room until this February, when it suddenly died, being replaced by even more shitty (but also more expensive, hence the progress) LCD, which happily showed first dead pixel just on Tuesday.
Actually, here in Czech Republic, there's still significant number of people still using CRTs (or Pentium 166/233 notebooks, USB pensticks with 128 MB, comps with read-only CD drive etc., hell my machine still has just CD-RW, but it has floppy drive)

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585435)

I've wondered about this. If the light is always on and you need electricity to not let part of it through then white should in theory waste less power than black. Also setting your backlight lower during the screensaver would help too.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23585677)

You are just applying a large voltage across the crystals. There is no current draw. That's why displaying black and white on an LCD uses virtually the same amount of power.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585785)

Also setting your backlight lower during the screensaver would help too.

Or turning your screen off (or "power saving mode") instead of going to screensaver. Screensavers also don't make a ton of sense in the modern world. Burn-in is much less of a problem on modern monitors, and computers can power down the screen instead of going to screensaver.

In truth, I still use a screensaver as a sort of warning system. The screensaver comes on 3 minutes before the computer sleeps, so if I want to keep it from sleeping, I have a couple minutes to stop it. But if you're using some kind of cool 3D screensaver, I'd guess that it might use more power to display it than to just keep showing your desktop.

Re:LCD/TFT Screens Don't Work That Way (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585653)

Fpanels turn off the backlight after a period of inactivity, typically 15 minutes. They must to earn an energy star symbol.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (4, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585525)

What's the actual difference in energy costs, though?

I just hooked a Killawatt to my Athlon 64 X2 4800+ system. Idle, it uses 67 watts at the wall outlet. Simultaneously transcoding two videos with mencoder reads 130 watts.

If this runs 24x7, the extra 63 watts would use 1.5 KwH per day, which would cost me $71 per year with my incremental electricity cost of about 13 cents per KwH. That costs almost as much as a subscription to Netflix.

Another consideration is that when idle, the system is almost silent. Under load, both the power supply fan and CPU fan crank up and get rather loud.

Actual energy costs (1)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585661)

What's the actual difference in energy costs, though? Not saying you're stupid or selfish for not donating, just interested in the real figures, if you've got any. I throw my system into hibernation most nights, and try to turn off the monitor at least when I go away for a couple hours during the day. What have you found your general savings to be?

A modern dual core processor can use about an extra 100 watts of energy when processing than when idle. This is from using a watt meter on a few computers of mine and checking it out. Shutting down or hibernating will save you 200-300 watts total I'm guessing. Personally I have a couple of services running on my computer all the time so I can't shut it down completely, plus I like being able to just turn on the monitor and start working/gaming/surfing. So if you are going to leave your computer running you can save 1 kilowatt-hour every ten hours just from the extra power pulled to do the processing versus having the CPU usage low. Prices [doe.gov] vary, but if your CPU usage totals an extra 20 hours per day then that's an extra 2 kilowatt-hours per day or about 20 cents, totalling up to $75 or more a year in electricity bills. That also increases carbon emissions if your electricity comes from fossil fuels.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585739)

What's the actual difference in energy costs, though? Not saying you're stupid or selfish for not donating, just interested in the real figures, if you've got any.

My computer, sporting a Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (4 core), is plugged into a UPS that displays the current load. Between idle CPU and 100% usage by BOINC, there is a 75W difference. So for me, the cost is more or less the same as leaving a light bulb lit up all day long.

0.075kW * 24h/day = 1.8kWh/day
1.8kWh/day * 365days/year = 657kWh per year
Depending on your electricity cost, the price can vary. Over here, it amounts to about $50 a year.

YMMV depending on your CPU and electricity cost.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23586149)

This project is based on Condor (as mentioned in the summary). There are some numbers here http://www.bo.infn.it/calcolo/CondorWeek2006/Osborne-Cardiff.ppt
on the total cost of having Condor running jobs during idle cycles. See section "Full Economic Costing." The figure was less than one penny per CPU hour.

Energy costs (1)

arnott (789715) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586361)

Here is the heat and energy considerations [berkeley.edu] for running boinc. Boinc is a middleware for projects like seti@home and folding@home. According to that study the difference is roughly $3/month between idle and active computer usage.

Re:Energy costs (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586671)

And how about compared to turning it off when you're not using it?

"Under these assumptions, running BOINC costs about $3/month more than leaving your computer on but idle, and about $8.80/month more than leaving it off all the time.

There may also be an environmental cost. If your electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, the extra electricity usage produces greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. If this is the case, we recommend that you not leave your computer on just to run BOINC, or that you reduce your overall energy use to compensate. "

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Tyr_7BE (461429) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586709)

It depends on the machine. I measured my old (7 years old or so) Dell with a kill a watt the other day, and with the machine idle it was pulling in 80W. The monitor was another 50W. This is doing nothing, the computer just sitting there and looking at you waiting for instructions. That's about the same as keeping a very bright incandescent lightbulb on 24/7. Then again, this is technology from 7 years ago with a 15" CRT monitor, so YMMV with a newer machine.

I did the same test with my 3 year old iBook. Sitting idle it drew 50W or so, but when I put it to sleep the consumption went down to 2W. So it is worth it to suspend your machines when you're not around.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586743)

Applications can take all CPU time and still work in power-save mode, trackerd did just that. If nightlife programmers did their job, only additional cost would be extra spinning of disk (if it would stop otherwise) and extra work of NIC.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (2, Funny)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585121)

Don't see it as free, see it as a really easy way to give some money that you know will go into CPU cycles quickly and efficiently.

And to donate your company's money as well ;-)

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586777)

Don't see it as free, see it as a really easy way to give some money that you know will go into CPU cycles quickly and efficiently.

And to donate your company's money as well ;-)
In that case, you are better off switching your computer off and sending the organization a check for whatever it would cost to run your computer at max load 24/7. Not only will you give them a much more useful work for the dollar (if the million nodes they wanted instead just have them just one dollar, they could easily buy a supercomputer), it will also save the environment by not using electricity by a million inefficient home desktop machines.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587031)

You mean, write the check, put it in a letter and put a stamp on it ? Of course one million people will not donate one dollar to this project, but they will more easily give 2$ in electricity money.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585991)

not as simple a charitable proposition as it sounds.
Would the fact that it's costing you more money than you thought make it more charitable?

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586587)

Weel, that would depend if it's just the money or the associated energy use and atmospheric pollution that's on your mind.

Re:It's not the idle capacity I'm worried about (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586669)

to provide some numbers:

According to my UPS, my computer (3.0ghz core2 duo E6850, 2GB ram, 8800GTS 640MB, 500GB hard drive, including modem and switch) consumes about 180W at idle (monitor/speakers/etc. off, torrents running). Running FaH (same as before, including torrents, but with FaH running on both cores), it sits at about 220W. Powered off, it registers at 5W. Running flat-out, it registers about 350W.

Assuming it's running flat out 8 hours a day, that leaves 16 hours of off, idle, or FaH each day.

Price of electricity here is 6.5 cents per KWhr, so that gives us this for the basic monthly cost:

8*0.35=2.8KWhr = 18.2 cents per day or $5.46 monthly

Now for the other 16 hours a day :

off : 16*0.005=0.08KWHR = 0.5 cents per day or $0.15 monthly
idle : 16*0.18=2.88KWhr = 18.7 cents per day or $5.61 monthly
FaH : 16*0.22=3.52KWhr = 22.9 cents per day or $6.87 monthly

total costs :

off : $5.61/month
idle : $11.07/month
FaH : $12.33/month

Why Fedora? (2, Insightful)

sysusr (971503) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584831)

If they settled for Windows, the sheer volume of available machines would far outweight any (probably minor to begin with) advantages to using Linux.

Re:Why Fedora? (1)

sysusr (971503) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584845)

Sorry, I'm an idiot. Please ignore me while I sit in the corner and watch...

It's a bit nebulous (4, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584839)

Err... I've read TFA and all I can see is that some guy would like to use spare Fedora cpu cycles for some sort of project but he doesn't know what and he's not really sure how. My immediate response is come back when you've got something concrete.

Re:It's a bit nebulous (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584921)

Err... I've read TFA and all I can see is that some guy would like to use spare Fedora cpu cycles for some sort of project but he doesn't know what and he's not really sure how. My immediate response is come back when you've got something concrete
Hmph. Sounds just like a PHB when they propose a new development project. "Well, see, we want to use [ SAP | Lotus Notes | Teamcenter | other complex technology here ], but we're not really sure how we'd use it. For fsck's sake, if you don't already know HOW you would use something, you probably DON'T NEED IT!

Re:It's a bit nebulous (1)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586795)

Hmph. Sounds just like a PHB when they propose a new development project. "Well, see, we want to use [ SAP | Lotus Notes | Teamcenter | other complex technology here ], but we're not really sure how we'd use it.

For fsck's sake, if you don't already know HOW you would use something, you probably DON'T NEED IT!

As the old addage goes; when the only tool you have is a hammer suddenly every problem looks like a nail.

Re:It's a bit nebulous (1)

grizdog (1224414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584959)

Yes... I'm sure he has nothing nefarious in mind, but if he did and you signed up and gave him access to your machine, you would only have yourself to blame.

I have a better name ... (4, Insightful)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584877)

how about calling it "red computing" to remind people of how much energy it'll cost them. On modern computers, you have roughly 20-100W difference between idle/working CPUs.

Re:I have a better name ... (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585343)

If we would just build more power plants, this wouldn't be a problem. I need more power for my cluster, anywho. And, if I ever complete my cluster powered by 1000 Mini-ITX boards, watch out world!

Bwuhahahahahahaha!

(This message has been brought to by Pave The Planet.)

Re:I have a better name ... (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585673)

That's the right way really... build more power plants (preferably solar power plants), then if there is spare energy at peak production times, we may use it to trigger some grid computing by otherwise idle processors. Nothing wasted that way...

Bot nets not good enugh? (1)

brewstate (1018558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23584935)

So the windows zombies aren't good enough. You gotta ask Linux users huh...

Re:Bot nets not good enugh? (1)

hostyle (773991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585537)

The worlds greatest Linux botnet, coming to a Fedora install near you soon!

mount fsck fsck ... (1)

corporal_clegg (547755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585027)

so uh it is a Fedora-based computer-dating service designed to to use spare Fedora cycles to match *nix nerds with potential mates?

Re:mount fsck fsck ... (1)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585115)

There isn't the computing power in the world for that...

Already done by others (4, Informative)

pwilli (1102893) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585075)

BOINC [berkeley.edu]

is a client that allows you to choose out of many projects like Folding@home or SETI. The client also runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS without problems.
There are many configuration options available to control the amount of CPU-power, cores, hard-disk space, RAM, the times it runs, how it should behave is someone else is using the system, etc. and the best is, anybody could set up a project that uses the client (although you'll probably have ahard time getting people to choose your project if it isn't something very interesting).

Check it out!

Isn't just this Boinc? (2, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585081)

The Seti-at-home crowd, long ago, realized that it was more than Seti@home, thus created BOINC [berkeley.edu] . So whats new here?

Has he not heard of Boinc? (3, Informative)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585101)

http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ [berkeley.edu]

  "Use the idle time on your computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) to cure diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research. It's safe, secure, and easy"

  And you can do it NOW. With almost ANY computer.

He's either not done his research or he's an idiot.

Re:Has he not heard of Boinc? (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585603)

Maybe he can make BOINC easy to install on a linux system. Seems like you have to read docs to get "folding" or "seti" running now - many wont do that.

Re:Has he not heard of Boinc? (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585817)

As easy as 'apt-get install boinc'? Or you can click things in synaptic. Ubuntu ftw again.

Re:Has he not heard of Boinc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23585887)

actually you are since you didn't even read the article. Moron.

Re:Has he not heard of Boinc? (1)

akozakie (633875) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586341)

Exactly. Another useless fragmentation of effort. Where's the idea of "the Grid"? A single entity, like the Internet, where you can put your computations and get a lot of cycles, and if people actually find your research interesting - well, you get more cycles[*] than supercomputers can give you. Look at the numbers for BOINC or folding@home - for quite some time now they are consistently getting more FLOPS than TOP500 #1 supercomputer at the time.

[*] If that is all you need. Supercomputers still are way better if your problem doesn't split nicely into portions - grids are more or less useless in this case.

I completely understand why folding@home didn't join BOINC - they have specialized GPU and PS3-based clients. They are less popular than PC(Win+Mac/x86+Mac/PowerPC+Linux), but boy are they worth it! There is 5 times as many f@h PC clients than PS3, but the PS3s give almost 80% of TFLOPS. The GPU clients are rare, but they give even more power per client than PS3.

So, by being specialized, folding@home gets loads of computing power (slowly getting to 2 PFLOPS!) that BOINC couldn't really get at. But what exactly is this Nightlife for? Fedora-specific grid? Geez... Just make a team in BOINC, help make BOINC better, if you like. Don't fragment the grid!

Re:Has he not heard of Boinc? (1)

Wormholio (729552) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586463)

And there is now a BOINC package in newer releases of Fedora.

BOINC works on any Linux, and Mac, and Windows, so the computing power of a cluster is potentially much more than a Fedora-only project.

Re:Has he not heard of Boinc? (1)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586917)

And there is now a BOINC package in newer releases of Fedora.

Fantastic!

Now, I've just got a couple glitches to work out in my Fedora 9 installation;

  1. Video drivers
  2. Wireless LAN
  3. Getting KDE to function and allow access to all the Fedora software utilities properly
  4. Allowing me to use groupinstall/groupremove for KDE/Gnome without mucking up my entire graphical environment
  5. Providing me a KDE utility to graphically change video settings would be spectacular
  6. Fixing the GNOME graphic settings utility to allow for advanced changes like video timings, output selection, etc. would be a real boon as well
  7. Convincing the package manager to look at the DVD instead of the Internet every time I ask it to install another package

On the plus side; since my Fedora installation is all but useless, I might as well donate some spare CPU cycles to something. I've got lots of them; I can't use the computer to save my life

Re:Has he not heard of Boinc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587209)

From my reading of it, BOINC is for very loosely coupled code -- it can be hours or days before you get results back. Condor (the basis of this software) works for more closely coupled code. While it may have changed, it is hard to code for BOINC projects and it is much easier with Condor.

Mac users can do something like this already... (3, Interesting)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585147)

Since Mac OS 10.4 and later come with Xgrid [apple.com] already installed, it's very easy for your spare processor cycles to be donated to science [macresearch.org] . A few clicks in your System Preferences, and you're done.

World Community Grid (4, Informative)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585165)

Personally, I prefer World Community Grid [worldcommunitygrid.org] . I've been a member of the Slashdot team there since 2005 sometime.

-l

Re:World Community Grid (1)

tolgyesi (1240062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585765)

I checked it out. Cound not find info about system requirements (platforms), just marketing blurb. Must register and agree to a software license before knowing anything, including posting to their forum.

Re:World Community Grid (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585935)

Cound not find info about system requirements (platforms)
Boinc [berkeley.edu] is the current client, requirements are here [berkeley.edu] .

Re:World Community Grid (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586241)

I run it on Linux, though there is Mac and Windows support as well. It's just a BOINC process. I use the Debian packages and added the WCG project and voila, I'm crunching numbers for science and humanity.

There are some folks who argue saving the energy is better (if you can't afford it, I agree!). However, I think it would have been worse for these projects to have never existed and/or to have built their own massive server farms. Spreading the energy burden around the world sounds to me like a better proposition than, say, building another coal plant to supply their growing farms.

I have wind power. Natch.
-l

In 3..2..1 (0, Offtopic)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585501)

I love Nightlife...I love to boogie.

Re:In 3..2..1 (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585961)

I love Nightlife...I love to boogie.
boogie woogie?

Che Fedora! (3, Funny)

WheresMyDingo (659258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585547)

Greedy capitalists, share your idle cycles! Power to the people!

Wasted cycles... (1)

killmofasta (460565) | more than 6 years ago | (#23585813)

Most distrubuted applications claim to use wasted cycles...BUT...

I have yet to see SETI@HOME actually have a 'event' worth the trillions of cycles wasted on it. ( Stewert YOU MAKE BAD PASTA! :P)

Folding@home is sure to make someone else very rich from their drug patent. Your doing someone elses research.

GIMPS and OGR are worthwhile because you cannot patent either primes, or goluomb rulers...You can? OK I Patent 2,3 and 11!

Re:Wasted cycles... (1)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586081)

Folding@home is sure to make someone else very rich from their drug patent. Your doing someone elses research.
I don't know about you, but if someone gets very rich creating a treatment for Alzheimer's or the like that I may get one day, I'm okay with that.

Onother grip project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23585885)

CPU Share [cpushare.com] might also be interesting, as it is a CPU market place were you can sell your idle resources for real money.

BOINC != grid computing....Condor is (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23586121)

To all you people saying "why don't you just use BOINC"

Why indeed? Why not use BOTH. (As Condor can be configured to use BOINC when it's idle)

With BOINC data is PULLED from them to you when YOU request it. In grid computing with Condor data is PUSHED to you.

Big difference.

Not responsible computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23586209)

In a world of ever increasing fuel prices this "social" computing need is an obscene waste of electricity. Please, contribute to higher fuel prices by letting some social darwin correlate dumb things that don't belong together.

Spare cycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587197)

Spare cpu cycles are best used for spam. At some point even spam might achieve results....
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?