[RC5] RC5-72 Clarity?

Marcin Sochacki wanted at gnu.univ.gda.pl
Mon Jun 4 15:11:10 EDT 2007

On Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 01:25:44PM -0400, Christopher Hicks wrote:
> I understand how you got there, but I disagree.  For instance, some
> ports are no longer maintained or current so folks are stuck running
> old cores on old clients to keep strange machines running.

The point about old, unmaintained ports is fair, but I think their
contribution is insignificant when compared to the number of
machines running d.net in background without owner's knowledge.
Eventually, someone with an exotic platform will apply to d.net team,
maybe grant them access to the machine and let them recompile the code
with new cores available.

> > With today's huge power draw of the CPUs, we should first think
> > about the environment.
> I figured throwing out the TV and letting my computer take over was
> good for the environment.  How about you?  Have you moved into a
> smaller house?  Have you traded in your automobile?

I live in a small flat, don't watch the TV a lot and I'm in Europe,
where cars' engines have probably half the capacity of US ones, on
average :) Including mine.

> Dictating to other people what their priorities for thinking should be
> doesn't often lead to desired results.  But if people want to have an
> earnest debate about the enviromental impact of what we're doing, its
> not hard to make some rough estimates.

It's not like dictating everyone what to do. Nobody will stop you from
frying your CPU at 100% usage for no purpose, but with running a big
project like d.net also comes a responsibility for its potential impact.

Some people do care about the power usage, but on the other hand they
want to donate their cycles to some project. If the project has at least
a tiny real life application and could advance mankind in some way, most
of the time it will better convince them to join, than just pure
crunching for stats and fame.

> The energy consumption due to dnet is small compared to the amount
> being wasted by the computer and many other things all the time.  Not
> running dnet isn't going to make a dent in your electric bill unless
> you're running a few racks of machines in the basement and then you're
> still in the single digits of percentage.

With several racks of machines it surely will be more than you say.
Current CPUs burn from at least 50 to 100 watts at max usage and just a
couple of watts when idle.

for a discussion and some calculations. E.g. the first guy figures
running the BOINC client costs him $36.50/year -- not much, but not a
dime either. Also remember that electricity is more expensive in many
countries outside US, e.g. in Europe. When running d.net in a big
organization, like an university, this comes up to quite a number.

> > Few people have the latter and I vote that if energy is
> > spent for crunching, then it must have a useful purpose.
> Your standards of usefulness and my vary widely.  If we're making
> "musts" I hope we will be more precise.

Let's say that if the only purpose is "fun" or "stats" then it's not
worth running for me in the long term. Obviously I'm in no position to
dictate d.net project maintainers what to do, I just hope they will
consider this vote and do whatever they feel is optimal. Your proposal to
leave RC5-72 as the least preferred project is fine too.


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