[RC5] Adverse effects of participation? - Yeah right...

Mike Oberle moberle at afnetinc.com
Wed Jan 26 07:09:49 EST 2000


Once upon a time when PCB technology (materials) were in their infancy there
were problems associated with socketed components becoming loose due to
thermal expansion/contraction. Frankly, I haven't seen that happen in the
last 10-12 years.

There was also a time when HDs didn't have auto-park heads. Spinning a drive
up and down caused more platter degradation than leaving the drive spinning.
I haven't seen that sort of failure in the last 8-10 years. It wouldn't hurt
to spin the drive down.

Running any client 24x7 doesn't contribute to failure any more quickly than
an idling machine. Idling means only that the CPU is passing mostly zeros
through its registers. The CPU is still pushing instructions, most of them
simply do nothing.

Semiconductors are not like a car engine. Although some components can
suffer dendritic growth between circuit traces in a poorly manufactured
device, silicon typically does not "wear" in any sense we can detect.

I think the odds that dnetc.exe killed your laptop is slim to none, and Slim
went home.

moberle at gtemail.net

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-rc5 at lists.distributed.net
[mailto:owner-rc5 at lists.distributed.net]On Behalf Of Darren Tay
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2000 6:20 AM
To: rc5 at lists.distributed.net
Subject: [RC5] Adverse effects of participation?

Hi all,
Please bear with me, but I feel the need to be reassured that I have
"nothing to lose" in participating... Some authoritative answers to this
would help.

THE Question:
Will running dnet 24/7 have any adverse effects on computer hardware?

Last month my old Pentium150 laptop died suddenly. (HDD could not be
detected) It had been running dnet and doing almost nothing else for the
last year of its life.
A friend told me that's what I get for running dnet 24/7. plausible?

I think it is an accepted fact that a hdd could be run to death if it were
at full spin 24/7, no?
(Afterall, hdds are spec-ed with MTFBs)
What other components can be worn to death from running dnet?
I've always believed the CPU to be immortal since it has no moving parts.
True? Provided cooling is stable, which brings us to the cooling fans...
these tend to clog with dust.. Anything else?

What can I do to make sure the hdd spins down to powersaving (and
low-wearing mode), when the computer is left alone to crunch rc5?
Could we have user-definable disk-access frequency in the client?

I've been having difficulty getting some household members to approve of me
letting 3 old laptops run dnet 24/7 in my bedroom.. They think it can only
be bad for the computers.
I'm hoping to hear nice reassuring stuff from you guys!

Thanks and best regards
gluino at bigfoot.com

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