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Profile Wormholio
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Message 4549 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 15:20:53 UTC

I have created a new version of starboard to try to determine the cause of the periodic pause (the BOINC burp, if you will) in the screensaver graphics about every 10 seconds.

The fact that the burp is in the graphics even when the application is "waiting" suggests that the problem lies in the graphics thread rather than the compute thread. So I have changed back to the standard graphics rendering loop used by BOINC 5.7.5 (and all other versions for a long time back), removing the version I was testing. This means that the frame rate and CPU fraction used by the graphics thread are not available for reporting in the error log.

I had some further ideas for changes to this section of code anyway, but first we will test without any modifications.

I have also made checkpointing less frequent - every 5% of progress in the compute thread, just because I like that better anyway.

The small changes in appearance should have no bearing on the burp.

If these changes cure the problem then we can test separately to see which of the two changes was the real cause, but I now suspect it is not the checkpointing.

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Message 4552 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 16:46:14 UTC
Last modified: 10 Jan 2007 | 17:03:01 UTC

I'm watching this WU right now.

I've seen that little hiccup a couple times (maybe 3) and it's always happened when the percentage was at a multiple of 5 (25,60 and 80 so far).

It's this computer. Only change in it from this post is that I pulled the bad stick of RAM so it only has 512 (minus whatever the on-board graphics take).

I've got a second one running now.

I turned on the task_debug in the cc_config file about half way through and restarted BOINC. I caught it in a hiccup twice. I didn't see the percentage, but it wasn't check pointing at the time. It was sending a RPC for a work request.


[edit to fix horrible typos]

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Message 4553 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 16:58:11 UTC

I only had a small hiccup at the beginning of the graphics, after the init and they started falling.

I have all 3 of my results suspended now with graphics open.
Smooth as silk.

Even when I restart one of them when suspended.

Resuming my other projects, leaving the Pirates suspended by user, I only see small hiccups when another project is downloading work. I hear the same hiccup in my streaming music, though.
____________
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Found a way to surface and to speak my truth aloud. Be powerful. Stand fast and proud

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Message 4554 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 16:59:23 UTC - in response to Message 4552.

I've seen that little hiccup a couple times (maybe 3) and it's always happened when the percentage was at a multiple of 5 (25,60 and 80 so far).

That is when it writes a progress report to the error log, and now when it checkpoints. The brief extra effort to write to disk could indeed cause a slight pause. Every 5% out of 455sec on your WU would be every 23 sec or so. It's possible that it was checkpointing every 10 sec before, which would certainly be overkill.

The other test I'm interested in is whether there is a burp when the graphics run while the app is "waiting/suspended" in memory.

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Message 4555 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 17:04:58 UTC - in response to Message 4554.

The other test I'm interested in is whether there is a burp when the graphics run while the app is "waiting/suspended" in memory.

I don't see them.

I even tested writing a large file to the disk that BOINC lives on, it did hamper Winamp, but not the graphics. Got all three in status Waiting.
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Found a way to surface and to speak my truth aloud. Be powerful. Stand fast and proud

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Message 4556 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 17:44:21 UTC

I didn't really notice any hiccups and I was encoding a DVD movie with a preview window while I was running the wu. That ought to be pretty graphics intensive.
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Message 4557 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 17:55:58 UTC
Last modified: 10 Jan 2007 | 17:58:03 UTC

I also didn't see the Boinc Burp every 10 seconds either, Both while running, Or while the wu was suspended. Both S/S's were 10 second Burp Free . Also did notice it was back to the original green also. :)

G^R
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Message 4558 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 18:02:50 UTC - in response to Message 4556.

I didn't really notice any hiccups and I was encoding a DVD movie with a preview window while I was running the wu. That ought to be pretty graphics intensive.

*Playing* a DVD movie is more graphics intensive, encoding it is probably just CPU-intensive.

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Message 4559 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 19:58:07 UTC
Last modified: 10 Jan 2007 | 19:59:24 UTC

I was able to catch a wu at ~35% ... watched it 'til 98% without any hiccup (was looking for secret msg.s and forgot to suspend ... aaarrgghhhhhh)

P4 3.0GHz HT WinXP with 6-7 work-related applications running (shhhhhh)

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Message 4561 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 20:12:56 UTC

just got two more, no boinc burps while running two graphics windows at the same time from 10 - 55%, or both or one suspended, or with one preempted at 30%

(kinda got lost in the screen and forgot I was at work, but it was a cool escape for a few minutes!)

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Message 4562 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 20:28:41 UTC - in response to Message 4554.
Last modified: 10 Jan 2007 | 20:30:21 UTC

The other test I'm interested in is whether there is a burp when the graphics run while the app is "waiting/suspended" in memory.



With Pirates suspended and Malaria Control running it was smooth. No burps that I saw. With the Malaria Control graphics open, there were a few, but almost unnoticeable.

With the Pirates graphics windows open and the WU running, I cycled through some photos of mine in whatever the built in windows picture previewer is. Every time I went to a new picture the graphics paused for a split second. Same is true for when Malaria Control was running and Pirates graphics were open and the WU was suspended.

I don't really have anything more graphics intensive that that to use to test.




I can also reproduce my earlier observation about the scheduler RPC. If I manually force one (I tried for Pirates/QMC/Malaria Control) I see the burp.


It's this WU.

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Message 4563 - Posted: 10 Jan 2007 | 21:34:30 UTC

It's been running rather smooth on my computer besides the initial pause when it writes the initial log.

I usually have a bunch of things opened as well since this is my "do everything" PC and everything is running fine.
____________

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Message 4564 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 1:52:17 UTC

No blips or burps here, smooth as glass. Apart from the secret messages as in the previous version, it looked like I was watching a simulation of DNA streams coming down the screen... very nice!

MJ
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Message 4566 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 2:18:36 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 2:19:17 UTC

Still running smooth without the 10 second Burp. Also see the Day and Date along with the secret messages also, Nice !

G^R
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Message 4567 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 2:21:55 UTC - in response to Message 4564.
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 2:23:04 UTC

Apart from the secret messages as in the previous version

With the really secret word being CAT ;-)

But hey, did it show the time and date before?
____________
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Message 4568 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 2:25:49 UTC - in response to Message 4567.

Apart from the secret messages as in the previous version

With the really secret word being CAT ;-)

But hey, did it show the time and date before?

Yes it did.

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Message 4570 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 3:42:59 UTC

Wait a minute. I just watched, and suspended a couple of times, this WU. Had it running alongside 3 QMC tasks, and not a burp or anything. Even left the graphics up to the finish, and it cleanly exited the graphics screen.

I swear I saw some "G"s in there too. Gattaca?


____________

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Message 4571 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 4:00:28 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 4:07:07 UTC

It's just random letters T, G, C and A, representing DNA aminoacids. I guess CAT was just luck, not a secret word :)

EDIT: I just saw an "ARRRRGH!" and "SILVER".

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Message 4572 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 4:16:45 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 4:24:06 UTC

Way cool SS. I've been watching it using the 'Show Graphics' button, but not as a SS. The only hiccup so far was when it first starting rendering the graphics. So far so good. I found out it will not run when I Full Size the window though, never makes it work, just a blank screen and it will lock up, but once the window crashed I found out the wu was still running and was able to show the graphics again (came up in the small window again). Can also resize the window to almost FS and it still works, but once it covers the entire screen it locks up (the SS, not the wu). {Edit} If I move the window around it pauses a moment then starts falling again.

I've seen the message!! APL4M...{Edit} A Pirate's Life For Me. Just seen Dead Men Tell No Tales.

{Edit} It's Yo Ho A Pirate's Life For Me. Also, when you reopen the window, it takes a moment to show the falling script, and it also stops briefly before it starts to rotate. Probably my graphics card and 1.6 P4 Mobile...

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Message 4573 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 4:43:56 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 4:46:07 UTC

I saw all of the secret messages looking in the .exe file. But won't say them so I don't spoil your fun searching .)

@Captain: at least rot13 them, or better XOR with a binary number; they are way too easy to find on the binary .D

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Message 4574 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 5:31:29 UTC - in response to Message 4549.

The small changes in appearance should have no bearing on the burp.

If these changes cure the problem then we can test separately to see which of the two changes was the real cause, but I now suspect it is not the checkpointing.

These burps I can no longer see, even on a very old PII laptop!

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Message 4575 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 5:36:36 UTC - in response to Message 4573.

I saw all of the secret messages looking in the .exe file.

Is it possible to link the messages to the hosts xml or txt files? It would bring smiles to see your info displayed on-screen.
____________

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Message 4576 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 5:46:15 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 5:47:37 UTC

Just hooked up Pirates to my older P4,Windows ME,256 Rambus, GeForce2 GTS (64 megs), Running with 5.2.13, And all seemed to work fine, Wasn't as fast as far as wu completion (Almost Doubled), And the speed of the S/S itself. But to be expected with this setup. It did seem pretty smooth to me (With no Burps). I also did see Cat 2007 :)

G^R
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Message 4577 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 6:03:00 UTC - in response to Message 4575.

I saw all of the secret messages looking in the .exe file.

Is it possible to link the messages to the hosts xml or txt files? It would bring smiles to see your info displayed on-screen.

Probably it is. Most project screensavers show your info on screen so why not stick that into matrix text :)

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Message 4578 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 8:51:47 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 9:35:23 UTC

With my two normal systems the graphics run very smooth and without any burps, breaks or anything.
But I installed boinc and pirates on my old Laptop P3 497MHz 128Ram ATI Rage Mobility AGP with 4MB Graphics-Ram. There the graphics is awesome, every half a second a letter falls (climbs down) one row.
Having the graphics open increases the used time. I will try to find out the exact amount of "overtime" with a horded WU.

WU 370182 had the graphics open for a whole lot of the time and took 1,5* of the normal time.

By the way: Whose genetic code is this. Its not of one of us dragon kind! Is it the code for becoming pirate?
____________
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Message 4579 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 9:14:28 UTC

Heh, BOINC 5.8.2 nows shows the full name for the application: starboard - XScreenSaver GL graphics suite 5.09

It doesn't fit in the column. ;-)
____________
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Message 4580 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 9:42:41 UTC

She be running mighty smooth here now Cap'n.
____________
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Message 4587 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 13:04:42 UTC - in response to Message 4575.
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 13:10:27 UTC

Is it possible to link the messages to the hosts xml or txt files? It would bring smiles to see your info displayed on-screen.


Already in the works...
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Message 4589 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 14:19:25 UTC

So i've done a complete WU on my slow laptop with graphics opened and it took 1993 sec. instead approx. 1280 sec without graphics (WU 370183)
____________
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Message 4590 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 15:38:30 UTC - in response to Message 4573.
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 15:39:10 UTC

I saw all of the secret messages looking in the .exe file. But won't say them so I don't spoil your fun searching .)

@Captain: at least rot13 them, or better XOR with a binary number; they are way too easy to find on the binary .D


As the crew already know, I reward exploration and inquiry. Your reward for your investigation is that you now know all the messages (at least for this version of the app). Thank ye for keeping the secret.

As for encrypting the messages, I did one better than ROT13. The messages are in fact encrypted with double ROT13. Perhaps we need 3ROT13? ;-) If I do more to hide the messages you will do more to dig them out. That might be fun, but some other day...

I have other plans for the hidden messages. As previously mentioned, I've aready started on the code to put user/host/WU info in the strips. And when we get graphics monitoring back then the frame rate and CPU fraction will go there too. But of course it can't be too busy, can it?

Further than that, the app can also look for the messages in a file which was sent out with the WU, so a project could easly change the messages without having to recompile. And maybe, just maybe, it would look in your project directory for a list of messages which the user could set for a particular host (or cluster).

The date and time, by the way, is that of when the strip was created, and does not change. The strips can last a minute or two before new ones are generated, so don't go cuttin' it close for a meeting based on the time in your screensaver. :-)


____________
-- Eric Myers

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Message 4591 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 16:14:58 UTC - in response to Message 4590.
Last modified: 11 Jan 2007 | 16:15:48 UTC

As the crew already know, I reward exploration and inquiry. Your reward for your investigation is that you now know all the messages (at least for this version of the app). Thank ye for keeping the secret.

As for encrypting the messages, I did one better than ROT13. The messages are in fact encrypted with double ROT13. Perhaps we need 3ROT13? ;-) If I do more to hide the messages you will do more to dig them out. That might be fun, but some other day...

Ohh double ROT13 explains it all... :D 'memfrob' is a GNU extension on the C library that XORs the string with a number (I think it's 42!), that would be good for a start (and no much extra coding needed).

I have other plans for the hidden messages. As previously mentioned, I've aready started on the code to put user/host/WU info in the strips. And when we get graphics monitoring back then the frame rate and CPU fraction will go there too. But of course it can't be too busy, can it?

Adding debugging information for the framerate right into the screensaver would be very useful. Just put it separated and clear, not inside the matrix strips. And not only CPU fraction and framerate, you could add more info like countdowns for the simulation (those 60sec and 10sec intervals I didn't understand much about).

The date and time, by the way, is that of when the strip was created, and does not change. The strips can last a minute or two before new ones are generated, so don't go cuttin' it close for a meeting based on the time in your screensaver. :-)

I noticed it didn't change, but I thought it was WU starting time.

[edit] I miss the forum preview feature.

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Message 4594 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 16:32:45 UTC - in response to Message 4591.

PovAddict wrote:
I miss the forum preview feature.

So do I. I've worked a little bit on bringing it back, along with forum attachments, keywords, and quoting the name in a reply. It won't be as hard as I thought it would, but it also is not simple. We'll get it back eventually.
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Message 4598 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 17:58:10 UTC

I'll add one lengthy log (but I do also miss the possibility to attach a picture I'm talking about):

I was checking graphics thread CPU consumption, when app is paused (for few hours already) and the graphics window is overlapped (because my assumption was that a maximized and overlapped window suddenly consumes more CPU):

* minimized - 0%
* tiny (and overlapped): 2-4%
* fairy large - 1/4 screen area (and overlapped): 3-5%
* enlarged to nearly full screen (and overlapped): up to 11%

So finally I did not confirm this.

Is there something in the graphics code, what causes huge spikes in CPU consumption? Maybe 30-150 seconds up to 85%. Sometimes I've seen something like fog... huge characters in foreground, but the CPU spikes were elsewhere. Otherwise the graphics is running smooth. The only pauses are caused by ProcessExplorer when periodically displaying the statistics.

-----

I've got it. If the graphics window is enlarged over some size limit and is overlapped with other windows' round corners, CPU consumption of the graphics thread (priority 4) is suddenlly huge, with fair amount of time spent in kernel (maybe 95% of it). Either is it some performance constraint of my graphics (P-M, i855 notebook, ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 +64 MB VRAM, WinXP), or some drawback in the overlaps-related code - either the app, or drivers. It's not the overlapped area or number of overlapping windows, but the round corners. (Possibly one window with round corner is equivalent to edges of 6 rectangular windows?)

I've (NOT!!!) attached one image - app window is slightly overlapped with 5 round corners and it happens.

Thread's typical stack:

ntoskrnl.exe!KiUnlockDispatcherDatabase+0x77
ntoskrnl.exe!KeSetEventBoostPriority+0xaf
ntoskrnl.exe!ExReleaseResourceLite+0xf3
win32k.sys!GreReleaseSemaphore+0xa
win32k.sys!GreExtEscape+0x4ea
win32k.sys!NtGdiExtEscape+0x336
ntoskrnl.exe!KiFastCallEntry+0xf8
ntdll.dll!KiFastSystemCallRet
GDI32.dll!NtGdiExtEscape+0xc
atioglx1.dll!DllMain+0xd16c2
atioglx1.dll!atiPPHSN+0x356f6a

Sometimes it is different:

ntoskrnl.exe!KiSwapContext+0x2e
ntoskrnl.exe!KiSwapThread+0x46
ntoskrnl.exe!KeWaitForSingleObject+0x1c2
win32k.sys!xxxSleepThread+0x192
win32k.sys!xxxRealInternalGetMessage+0x418
win32k.sys!NtUserGetMessage+0x27
ntoskrnl.exe!KiFastCallEntry+0xf8
ntdll.dll!KiFastSystemCallRet
USER32.dll!NtUserGetMessage+0xc
starboard_5.09_windows_intelx86.exe+0x1fc6f
starboard_5.09_windows_intelx86.exe+0xde2f
starboard_5.09_windows_intelx86.exe+0xdcd3
starboard_5.09_windows_intelx86.exe+0xdb12
starboard_5.09_windows_intelx86.exe+0x23a00
starboard_5.09_windows_intelx86.exe+0x23e2b
starboard_5.09_windows_intelx86.exe+0x45a27
kernel32.dll!BaseProcessStart+0x23


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Message 4599 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 18:05:01 UTC

When I resume the application, there is no headromm for the "science app" code thread - the graphics thread simply takes all, what is left from other services and running programs with normal (i.e. higher) priority. Science thread gets its 0.3% or so. When I make the graphics window smaller or remove some overlaps, suddenly is everything all right.
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Message 4607 - Posted: 11 Jan 2007 | 19:38:26 UTC - in response to Message 4598.

(because my assumption was that a maximized and overlapped window suddenly consumes more CPU):

* minimized - 0%
* tiny (and overlapped): 2-4%
* fairy large - 1/4 screen area (and overlapped): 3-5%
* enlarged to nearly full screen (and overlapped): up to 11%
...

I've got it. If the graphics window is enlarged over some size limit and is overlapped with other windows' round corners, CPU consumption of the graphics thread (priority 4) is suddenlly huge, with fair amount of time spent in kernel (maybe 95% of it). Either is it some performance constraint of my graphics (P-M, i855 notebook, ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 +64 MB VRAM, WinXP), or some drawback in the overlaps-related code


Bravo for checking out how the graphics load varies with window size. I've seen similar behaviour on the machines I develop on, and when the windows are too big (and the default size is too big) then it takes all the CPU. But I did not investigate anything about overlaping windows or corners (and all my corners are always square). Very intereting....
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