turning corporate refuse
into scientific research

News Updates for 2008

Units Two, Twelve and Fourteen have been upgraded.

Unit Twentyfour is now online. This is the maximum I'm going to try to maintain with the existing 2 UPSs.

Unit Twentytwo is now online.

Unit Twentytwo is giving me some trouble, so I've moved on to Unit Twentythree. I've just about hit the max limit of my UPSs, so I'm going to start upgrading existing units. To that end, I've just been given seven more PCs as Saddle Creek disposes of old equipment. I've rated all the units based on the Boinc Manager's CPU benchmark. The slowest will be the first to be upgraded. Except for Unit Seven. I've gotten fond of the little feller who by all rights shouldn't be able to do what I have it doing. Ratings update: #15,081 out of 419,558 members.

Units Twenty and Twentyone are now online.

Unit Nineteen is now up and running.

Units Seventeen and Eighteen are now online. Both are old servers and are the first of four. I also was given three more PC's. I'm running around 60% on the 2 UPSs, so I may be close the limit on the number of machines I can run. I've started tracking the CPU benchmarks so I'll know which under-achievers need to go. Ratings update: #19,194 out of 414,639 members. I'M NOW IN THE TOP FIVE PERCENT!!!!!!

There's a new Unit Eight and it's tearing up the work load!

Unit Eight has been recalled to work. Another broken laptop with a bad motherboard gave up it's LCD screen to Eight. Now that Eight is whole once again, it's been put back in service. I'm sorry to see it go, but I know it's doing more import work as someone's laptop. Ratings update: #21,470 out of 413,454 members.

The PC Pool Details page now includes an expense list so you can see what it takes to do this if you're interested in trying this yourself. Due to lack of content, the Wishlist is taken down. Due to a lack of interest, the Guestbook is taken down.

The PC Pool Status panel is now interactive. By clicking on the name of the machine, you can see a snap shot of the system status. Also, the indicator lights monitor the status file. If it is more than 4 hours old, the status light will turn yellow. If it is more than 24 hours old, it will turn red. Ratings update: #25,836 out of 411,944 members.

Units Fifteen and Sixteen both needed replacement Hard Drives, but they have now joined the Pool.

Units Thirteen and Fourteen have joined the Pool. Wow, FOURTEEN!

Unit Twelve has joined the Pool after getting a Hard Drive.

Unit Eleven has joined the Pool after replacing the CD-ROM drive. I'm ranked #30,800 out of 410,507 members.

Saddle Creek Corporation has given me 8 old PC's!!! Unit Nine and Ten are up and running!!

The fiber transceiver failed again, so it has been replaced with another unit. Hopefully, this one will be more reliable. On a positive note, I've been given a second UPS and 2 more server racks to fill. Look out #10,000, I'm coming after you!!

OK, all networking has been restored. It seems that the fiber transeiver just needed to be power cycled. I'll keep an eye on it, though. It may need to be replaced.

The network issue seems to have been caused by a fiber transceiver that failed. A temporary fix is in place while permanent replacement hardware is located.

In line with my mission statement to only use otherwise unusable PCs, Nine has been recalled and put back in service. I have purchased a 10 year old network controlled power distribution unit. This will allow me to remote reboot a couple of the PCs that have issues rebooting on their own. And lastly, the network is down. I'm not sure what is going on, but my friendly neighborhood network engineer is going to assist me in getting back online.

A NEW MILESTONE! I am in the top 10 percent! I'm now at #39,735 out of 401,318 members.

Well, Eight has had another problem with it's hard drive. I swapped it out for the drive that came out last time, and reinstalled Ubuntu and the BOINC client. Again. The drive checked out when hooked up to a USB controller, so maybe it'll stay working this time. I also have inherited another laptop. Nine is in the house!!!

A NEW MILESTONE! I have halved my ranking! I'm now at #106,135 with 84,795 Points.

Five seems to have just decided to stop processing work units, but a quick reboot seems to have fixed it up. Eight, on the other hand, suffered a complete Hard Drive failure. I swapped it out for the drive from the old laptop with the broken motherboard, and reinstalled Ubuntu and the BOINC client. It seems to be working well, but I'll have to keep an eye on it. I'm now ranked at #123,555.

Four is going full speed processing 4 work units at the same time! Seven is up and running.

The Xubuntu install on the APC device is, well, interesting. I seem to be having issues with the window manager. On the plus side, Saddle Creek Corporation has given me an out-of-warranty server!! This should really pick up the pace on my ranking. It will be the new Four. Sorry old Four, but, oh well. This week's ranking is #150,408.

I have gained an interesting piece to replace Seven. It was a blackbox device from APC used to monitor UPSs and other power distribution equipment. I've already replaced the Hard Drive and cooling fan, so it shouldn't be too hard to get it set up. The Power Supply seems a bit flaky, but I'll just have to watch and see how it does in it's new home. Also, I'm now ranked #167,728.

Some more website tweaks this week, plus Linux updates on all the PCs. This week's ranking is #193,005. I'm moving up!

Just a few website tweaks this week, everything else seems to be running just fine. I'm now ranked #223,469.

After much struggling with the network router, I now have secure remote access to the PC's. (Thanks, Scott for your invaluable help). Also, I have added a widget to the Research page where you can see the progress of the research being done by Refuse For Research.

The re-soldering of Seven's motherboard didn't fix the issues. It does appear is if Seven has a cracked or damaged motherboard. :-( Five and Seven are officially retired.

Many fiddly details and design changes to the website are complete. The big hurdle was getting all the pages to pass XHTML validation. Whew! The most visible change is the addition of the status panel on the PC Pool Details page. I also had a chance to re-solder the auxiliary power connector for Seven. It will be interesting to see if this was really the problem.

I get 2 more functional PCs and one more broken one. I have a full house! But, Seven is refusing to boot, Five has a blown CPU and a broken CPU socket so the cooling fins won't lock on and Four just plain won't start up (I think it's a bad power supply). I stripped Seven down to the motherboard and I see a possible cold solder joint for an auxiliary power connection. This may be the source of the trouble.

I have my internet connection!!! I am able to setup the BOINC client and request work. All clients seem to be busily whirring away at their new jobs. Nine days from concept to first go live. There is a large list of tasks to do before I'll be satisfied though. The Guestbook is now online. Please sign in.

Seven has a cracked motherboard that causes the unit to fritz out if you flex it or touch it. So, I just won't touch it. Also, this website goes live.

Seven and Eight power up and I install XUBUNTU. I also start digging into Seven to see just where the problem lies. It looks more like a video card problem than a broken screen.

Four has been declared DOA. For now. Hope does spring eternal. BONUS - I was handed 2 broken laptops!!!

XUBUNTU has now been installed on One and Two. I eagerly await my network connection.

The base rack install is complete and I got 2 of the PCs to power up. Whoopee!!

I went dumpster diving and got most of the core equipment needed to get started, and three PCs.

The idea for Refuse For Research is born.