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noderaser
 
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2009-12-21 06:53:06

Does anyone know of BOINC clients or standalone projects that exist for "Classic" MacOS, or OS X 10.0-10.2? I realize that the computational resources offered by systems limited to such operating systems may be pretty insignificant, but I'm sure there are still a bunch of them kicking around.
Rakarin
 
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2009-12-25 15:16:19

noderaser wrote:
Does anyone know of BOINC clients or standalone projects that exist for "Classic" MacOS, or OS X 10.0-10.2? I realize that the computational resources offered by systems limited to such operating systems may be pretty insignificant, but I'm sure there are still a bunch of them kicking around.


I don't know of any distributed platform for OS9. None at all. As far as I know, BOINC for OSX was the first for the Mac.

Because of some significant architecture changes in the first few OSX's, particularly 10.3, programs are not always compatible between versions. Usually, 10.3 is a lowest point for compatibility because of some significant changes to the permission structure, task switching, and some other things. (I forgot the whole list, but the differences between 10.2 and 10.3 were significant.) I am still running 10.4, as I have a G5, but updates for that are fizzling out. It also seems like Folding@Home no longer supports it.

If you can find an older version for BIONC for 10.2 that works, my guess is SETI and WCG would be the most likely to work, though with WCG probably the older projects.
noderaser
 
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2009-12-26 03:24:18

Perhaps we should compile a list of BOINC projects that are compatible with PPC processors, since the list of those seems to be declining these days...
Rakarin
 
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2009-12-26 20:44:16

noderaser wrote:
Perhaps we should compile a list of BOINC projects that are compatible with PPC processors, since the list of those seems to be declining these days...


Yeah. Folding@Home work is pretty sparse these days. The Pande Group said last year they are not obliged to provide work for what they deem a diminishing return. Within BOINC, Docking seems to have dropped PPC support. WCG still has it, and will probably be one of the last to support it. (IBM... PPC support... IBM... PPC support... Hmm....) Einstein will for a while longer, as they have a large base. Seti always will. Seti supports everything.
noderaser
 
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2009-12-27 04:14:41

Not all of the WCG subprojects support PPC, however; Flu, Childhood Cancer, Rice, Conquer Cancer, Dengue and AIDS support PPC, while Muscular Dystrophy, Clean Energy and HPF2 are Intel only. Other projects that I have run in the past are Einstein, Rosetta, SIMAP and Lattice. In addition to WCG, I am also currently running Enigma on my G4, but even though G3s are "supported" and receive work they error out.

Maybe we should compile a floating list of current projects that support for fellow PPC users?

The last DCP my OS9 webserver did was SETI classic. For the next 2 years after that, it pretty much idle 24/7 save for the web-serving duties. It was a PM6100/66 with a G3 233 MHz upgrade card. It won't run OS X because of the NuBus architecture. I have since moved on to a "pro" web hosting service, although some day I may pull out an SE/30 or Mac II to run as a webserver... Just because I can, although I would prefer that said server be something that could do DCP while contributing to my power bill. I hate to see older computers go to waste, since it's a hobby/side business of mine to keep them running as long as I can. But, it seems most of the crunchers who actually give any input to projects are the hardcore types who have farms of dedicated crunching systems running nothing but the latest technology.
yoyo_rkn
 
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2010-01-10 16:38:18

Hello,
2 more projects with PPC support:

http://www.rechenkraft.net/yoyo/apps.php
http://distributed.net/download/clients.php

yoyo
Germany largest distributed computing community - www.rechenkraft.net
Rakarin
 
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2010-01-10 23:38:24

noderaser wrote:
Not all of the WCG subprojects support PPC, however; Flu, Childhood Cancer, Rice, Conquer Cancer, Dengue and AIDS support PPC, while Muscular Dystrophy, Clean Energy and HPF2 are Intel only. Other projects that I have run in the past are Einstein, Rosetta, SIMAP and Lattice.


I have an Einstein unit crunching now, and I got one or two PPC SIMAP units this time around.

With WCG, what I was implying with just a light dusting of snark was that IBM is one of the PPC standard developers. If I remember correctly, the G3 architecture was IBM. G4 switched to Motorola. Motorola spun off another group which became Freescale (I think technically "Freescale Semiconductor Inc." then just "Freescale Inc.&quot. Freescale still makes G4 chipsets. * IBM then made the G5 and Power5, then Power6, and now Power7. If IBM is a major investor, projects will have PPC support. That would be like AMD or Via supporting PPC design and eschewing x86(_64) design.

Anyway, back to what you said. If you look at the projects, they make some sense. Clean Energy was a short term project. The HPF and MD projects are cyclical, and the nature of the computation can change between cycles. PPC architecture has two things to remember. First, it is not known for strong floating point computation. The desktop models (G3/4/5) are stronger on integer than floating point, since most desktop work (business, web, etc.) is integer. Low power chipsets like Via also sacrifice floating point, as it is a larger and generally hotter (as in more heat, that's literal) section of the silicon field. Second, most programming talent is with x86 design. PPC is vector based. The main thing it means is it is designed to distribute short instructions across all elements of a data set (SIMD: Single Instruction, Multiple Data). The pipeline is short with a quick release. x86 design is a longer pipeline, where you take data elements, hold on to them, and really beat the tar out of them, doing a lot of processing before release. (Geeky tangent: vector design is the same as video cards. This is why Macs were originally so good for image editing. Image transform functions are essentially vector.)

So... For the short term projects, I can see only doing x86. It is the largest and most powerful platform now. The PPC macs are fewer in number, less powerful unless talent is applied to do the design right, and dropping due to age and atrophy. (Remember, the number of Macs really didn't grow until after the Intel switch.) For long term projects, yes, I expect IBM to help with PPC design. For short term projects, I can understand why the return would be too small for the investment.
Rakarin
 
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2010-01-11 04:39:36

Rakarin wrote:
So... For the short term projects, I can see only doing x86. It is the largest and most powerful platform now. The PPC macs are fewer in number, less powerful unless talent is applied to do the design right, and dropping due to age and atrophy. (Remember, the number of Macs really didn't grow until after the Intel switch.) For long term projects, yes, I expect IBM to help with PPC design. For short term projects, I can understand why the return would be too small for the investment.


I forgot to add:

There is also a bit of code sharing. I know Dengue Drugs uses the same engines as Fight Aids. Both study docking for viral protease inhibitors. Childhood Cancer might as well, as they study docking to growth receptors. I'm not an expert in the field, but I would think the same programs could be used. The flu project was short term, but I would imagine it would use the same programs as Dengue and AIDS. Having the code available, even if it has to be modified, helps keep projects on the PPC platform.
noderaser
 
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2010-01-12 04:04:00

I noticed that distributed.net still offers software for Motorola 68k processors, running on BSD... Since the listed date for those clients is 2003, I wonder if that's still compatible with the work the project is doing? The 68k client for AmigaOS seems to be fairly current. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of OS/processor for that project, since they seem to offer support for a number of lesser used processors and platforms. I think it would also be interesting if larger BOINC projects like WCG would publish this data as well. Unfortunately, I don't think the percentage of these lower processors/OSes is significant enough to outweigh the investment required to support them, but it would be nice.
Rakarin
 
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2010-01-12 04:12:27

noderaser wrote:
The 68k client for AmigaOS seems to be fairly current. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of OS/processor for that project, since they seem to offer support for a number of lesser used processors and platforms.


Amiga is PPC. You might want to look at my article here:
http://boincstats.com/forum/forum_thread.php?id=5161

My account on OSNews is "Mike.K.", and I reference distributed computing. The XMOS processor is interesting, but it's all integer calcs. However, it could gain enough interest to possibly get something like the Zii StemCell, which originally had something like this in their advertising, or other processors (Cell BBE, Cell 8x, yes, I dream on). Still, some projects could benefit from a good integer boost (I think SIMAP). Also, the motherboard has three PCIe 16 slots for video cards. Three GPU clients, or one with SLI / Firestream? (Can we say, huge honkin' power supply that makes the lights in the next house over dim?)
noderaser
 
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2010-01-13 07:15:00

AmigaOS supported m68k through version 3.9. Apparently, there are enough users with that OS & processor combination for distributed.net to keep a client updated for it, or there is a very dedicated volunteer.
Rakarin
 
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2010-01-13 14:02:02

noderaser wrote:
AmigaOS supported m68k through version 3.9. Apparently, there are enough users with that OS & processor combination for distributed.net to keep a client updated for it, or there is a very dedicated volunteer.


My guess is "very dedicated volunteer". Amiga users can be even more loyal than Mac users.
The m68k is a very old processor. The G3 came out in '97 according to Wikipedia. The returns on crunching on such an old processor are not very high, sorry to say.
[KWSN]John Galt 007
 
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2010-01-13 14:36:04

I have my 1gHz G4 running AP26 at Prime Grid...5+ hours per task, but it runs 24/7...
[KWSN]John Galt 007
 
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2010-01-13 15:27:47

John Galt 007 wrote:
I have my 1gHz G4 running AP26 at Prime Grid...5+ hours per task, but it runs 24/7...


I just checked...I am running 10.4.11 for the Mac OS and BOINC version 5.10.45...
noderaser
 
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2010-01-14 03:07:40

My desktop is a Mini G4 1.42 GHz running OS X 10.5.8 and BOINC 6.10.17.

OS X support for PPC is already done for; 10.6 supports Intel only. Thus, my concern that PPC support for BOINC projects will be drying up soon. I can't forsee not running BOINC, and I can't afford a new Intel Mac.
Rakarin
 
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2010-01-14 13:56:39

noderaser wrote:
My desktop is a Mini G4 1.42 GHz running OS X 10.5.8 and BOINC 6.10.17.

OS X support for PPC is already done for; 10.6 supports Intel only. Thus, my concern that PPC support for BOINC projects will be drying up soon. I can't forsee not running BOINC, and I can't afford a new Intel Mac.


I have a G5 with OSX 10.4. I personally don't foresee support going away too soon. SETI and Einstein have large user bases with established code. WCG has Power architecture coders. Other older projects have PPC code. We should be good for a few more years.
noderaser
 
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2010-01-16 04:00:32

Let's hope so, although the smaller projects that I tend to prefer generally don't have the resources to put out an Intel OS X version, let alone a PPC one... Surprised that WCG doesn't have all of their projects running on PPC, since it's run by IBM. Even though they don't create the science apps themselves, you would think that they would be enough of a resource for the project developers to get it going.
[BOINCstats] skivelitis
 
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2010-05-01 21:35:56

I have an old iMAC 500Mhz Power PC G3 with 640mb RAM running 10.2.8. Is there anything at all I can crunch and which BOINC version would I use?



noderaser
 
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2010-05-02 01:36:11

Upgrade the OS to 10.3.9 (any copy of 10.3.x, plus downloaded updates) and you can run 6.6.36. I notice the Wiki System Requirements page lists the current version as running under 10.3.9, but the downloads page has the current version (6.10.21) only for 10.4+. You could run 10.4 on that iMac using XPostFacto if you wanted (not officially supported by Apple) but 10.3.9 should be just fine unless there are applications you want to use that are Tiger only.

The major projects that still have some support for PPC left are Einstein, Rosetta, Enigma and some of the subprojects of WCG. There are certainly others, but those are the major players that come to mind.
Dotsch
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2010-05-03 08:21:34

MacOS 10.0 to 10.2 had a lot of problems in the math libs, which produced inacurate resutls. This problem was fixed in 10.3. So far I know was this the cause, why all projects support 10.3 or newer.

Btw. don't worry about the MacOS PPC support. If anytime the support for BOINC will be dropped, I will provide thrid party clients. Also the same with SIMAP and SETI...
In the moment 10.4 is the minimum OS release I had compiled for...
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