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Improvements to my Finished BOINC Tasks section in my website and today’s Cosmology@Home rank

Improvements to my Finished BOINC Tasks section in my website and today’s Cosmology@Home rank

Hi everyone,

Today afternoon, I worked on setting up a sorting option allowing you to sort my finished BOINC tasks by date and by host, or one of them in the Finished BOINC Tasks section of my website.

The result looks like this:

BOINC Finished Tasks 1

You can, for example, select the tasks that’s been processed today, for my AMD Ryzen machine, and you’ll get this:

BOINC Finished Tasks 2

Note that I’m not an expert at HTML or CSS, but I’ve managed to bring this functionality to my site for all of you to enjoy.

This new code is available at the BOINCToWeb Repo that you can see by clicking here.

Position #8 at the Cosmology@Home challenge!

That’s right! I’m already at position #8 in the Cosmology@Home challenge:

Cosmology@Home Rank

And that’s why I also made the Finished BOINC Tasks section at my website, so everyone can keep track of my completed BOINC Tasks 😁, as I sometimes get asked what hardware I use to crunch tasks that allow me to go up in the leaderboards 🙂.

That’s all!

New Gridcoin BOINC Challenge: Cosmology@Home – Installing VirtualBox and configuring the project

New Gridcoin BOINC Challenge: Cosmology@Home – Installing VirtualBox and configuring the project

Hi everyone,

Today, a new BOINC challenge for the project Cosmology@Home started. This challenge was issued by Team Gridcoin:

Cosmology@Home Challenge 1

I went ahead and added my machines to this project, only to realize I need VirtualBox installed:

BOINC Virtualbox not installed

So in order to crunch tasks for this project, I went to install VirtualBox as well as configure the project. Here I detail you the installation and optional configuration process, which is really simple:

Installing VirtualBox

1. First, we go to the VirtualBox Website, https://virtualbox.org and click the Download VirtualBox button:

Downloading Virtualbox 1

2. Because I’m using Windows, I’ll download the Windows version:

Downloading Virtualbox 2

3. We’ll click Save:

Downloading Virtualbox 3

4. And after the download finishes, we will click on Run:

Downloading Virtualbox 4

5. We press Next:

Installing Virtualbox 1

6. We’ll leave this as it is and press Next:

Installing Virtualbox 2

7. We’ll press Next again:

Installing Virtualbox 3

8. Now, we’ll click Yes:

Installing Virtualbox 4

9. Now on Install:

Installing Virtualbox 5

10. It will ask us to install some driver software. We’ll click Install:

Installing Virtualbox 6

11. When the installation finishes, uncheck the Start VirtualBox checkbox and press Finish:

Installing Virtualbox 7

Configuring the project

I recommend doing these steps if you have a really bad lag or unresponsiveness in your PC. I had to apply a customized version of the configuration posted in the Cosmology@Home FAQ section as the VM would get stuck in my AMD Ryzen machine, so I configured it to use half the PC cores.

Here’s how to configure it:

1. Go to the Cosmology@Home Limit CPU section in the FAQ and copy and paste the app_config.xml template:

Configuring Cosmology@Home 1

2. Open your favorite Text Editor and copy the contents you copied recently. I used Notepad++ here. Then, change the <avg_ncpus> section to specify the amount of threads you want the VM to use. I first limited it to 4 cores and kept going up until I could maximize my PC resources while keeping it stable. In my Intel machine, I tried this configuration to test it:

Configuring Cosmology@Home 2

3. Save the config in the Cosmology@Home folder. If you installed BOINC and left the directories at their default location, then this directory/folder is C:\ProgramData\BOINC\projects\www.cosmologyathome.org. Save the file as app_config.xml:

Configuring Cosmology@Home 3

4. You’ll see the syntax is highlighted. It should be like this meaning it saved as an XML file:

Configuring Cosmology@Home 4

And that’s it! We’ve finished the configuration.

Testing the installation and configuration.

Now, we need to launch BOINC and perform a project update. For this, exit BOINC if it is already running and launch it again. Then select the Cosmology@Home project and press Update:

Running Cosmology@Home 1

You should see in the log that it is downloading tasks:

Running Cosmology@Home 3

And that they are running:

Running Cosmology@Home 3

You can also check VirtualBox and see that the task VM is running:

Running Cosmology@Home 4

And here’s how the CPU of one of my Intel machines looks like:

CPU Threads used by Cosmology@Home

Eventually, I upped the CPU threads to 8 so that it can use every resource in it. The only exception is my AMD Ryzen 7 2700X machine which is limited to 8 threads out of its 16.

If you followed this guide and are running Cosmology@Home tasks, congrats! And I wish you luck in the competition!

I’m at position #27 right now 😁:

Cosmology@Home Challenge Position 27

As a bonus, I made a section on my personal website where you can see the tasks I’ve finished processing:

BOINC Finished Tasks 1

This required some coding in my BOINCToWeb software I wrote to accomplish this. I’ll talk about the code changes and additions in another post.

I also remember all of you that you can see the tasks I’m crunching by clicking here:

BOINC Running Tasks

That’s all!