Monday, July 22, 2013

BOINC on Android!

I will admit after the Raspberry Pi frustrations I was skeptical about feasibly running any projects on any non x86 processor.  Though through all the endless searching for how to get things working properly on the Raspberry Pi I did come across a few groups working hard and getting decent results getting certain BOINC Projects to run on Android Devices.  I did not give it much thought at the time, because I had no Android Devices.

Fast Forward to today, having somewhat recently come into possession of a Nexus 7 through a promotional offer with my TV and Internet Provider, I have been enjoying the wonderfulness of Android devices as my first tablet backed by a good sized and fairly well rounded App store.  (Sorry nook, did you ever think that is why you can't really survive?)  While a few times the thought has crossed my mind that I should look into setting up BOINC on the Nexus 7 mostly I wrote it off as a bit too busy for that distraction right now.

Then I got a wonderful email from World Community Grid. With a Subject line of "World Community Grid: Now on Android!"  You can bet I did a little dance on the inside.  Now it took some time for me to realize WCG does not have their own Android App but rather there is a BOINC app available with a handful of compatible projects available for you to select.  I have not had much time to play with it yet, but some initial positive opinions.

There are two great power conscious options available.  One is the one that I would have been shocked and almost considered removing the app right away if it was not there, and FYI it seems to be preset to not be selected.  That is: "Run while on Battery."   Like I said this one is automatically not checked, meaning it won't run while you do not have it plugged into the wall.  This is a great thing because my Nexus already has enough little things running in the background where if I don't power it off, but simply let it sleep, 4 days later the battery is nearly dead, or completely dead, if it is not plugged in.

The second nice option, and I am sure it has a reason beyond just nice to have it is:  "Do not run when battery is below: XX%."  While this may mostly be aimed at being tied with the above option, this one is automatically set to 90%, which seemed a bit high, but call it suggestion bias, I figured I likely shouldn't bump it lower than 70% in case it actually flirts with that line by drawing so much power.

Either the nexus has a far more powerful processor than I thought, or they have special tasks in either size or crunching needs tailored to ARM processors, as in the time it took me to write this post ( about 20 minutes so far), I downloaded 4 tasks, and 1 is 7.5% complete and another is 5.5% complete.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Oh Yeah, it is Summer

While I don't even closely watch my Statistics any more, if anyone happens to keep a close eye on my statistics, they will likely see that for the last week and a half they have been rather dire.  By that I mean I am not sure if I have completed a single task in the last week and a half.   The honest truth is I shut everything down to go on a short holiday for July 4th, and never started everything back up.  Now it is not hard to start things up, heck it basically is a single push of a button.

Why have I had such a mental delay in starting things up?

Well I have had a strong focus lately to get my budget back on track ( between the move and getting settled along with a new improperly gained sense of entitlement on a few things now that I have a job that pays me substantially more than I did as a Teaching Assistant)  has been absolutely horrid.  So I am trying to scare myself into straightening things out for a few months at least through my brothers wedding to no longer be living beyond my means, and get back to living well beneath them.

What does this really mean?  Well for one it has meant less tea, and less crunching of boinc projects on all of my computers.  I find all of those far easier to justify when the weather is cold out side.  As if I am paying to heat my place anyway, I might as well have a few things generating heat that are doing good things for society.  In the summer though it feels like I am using up even more money crunching because not only are the machines heating up my place through their use of electricity, but I also am using electricity to cool the very same rooms that my machines are heating up...

I hope to start up my tower again soon so I can start making progress on tasks again, but I am not making any promises and it may turn into something that I only run at night when it is cooler outside.  Decisions... decisions, why must they often face off against each other?

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