[The Lounge]: David Anderson has entered at 7:59 pm
[James Dorsey] 7:59 pm: Timbo - I think he's been talking to Sony about BOINC clients on PS3. It could be a good PR exercise for Sony to be associated with volunterr desktop grid computing. So, er, good point...
[UBT - bobuk] 7:59 pm: wc
[James Dorsey] 7:59 pm: One minute early!
[Timby] 7:59 pm: Good evening David
[David Anderson] 7:59 pm: Hi there, how's everything in the UK?
[Rockinfroggi] 8:00 pm: Welcome David
[melter65] 8:00 pm: Welcome the good Dr.
[UBT - Timbo] 8:00 pm: Yup - have seen the interest on the PS3 side - maybe BOINC will be a better application for the PS3 than what it's been desigend for (so far)...!
[UBT - Timbo] 8:00 pm: Welcome Dr Anderson !
[David Anderson] 8:01 pm: Should I tell about the Sony/PS3 situation?
[UBT - Timbo] 8:01 pm: Thanks for fitting us into your schedule today. Glad you could make it.
[David Anderson] 8:01 pm: No problem!
[James Dorsey] 8:01 pm: Yes please David.
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[david] 8:01 pm: please
[David Anderson] 8:02 pm: Well, last August or so, Sony approached me about porting BOINC and S@h to the PS3
[Rockinfroggi] 8:02 pm: Ouch
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[David Anderson] 8:02 pm: They had recently finished porting Folding@home, and deveoping a new GUI for it.
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[David Anderson] 8:02 pm: Sony themselves had done all the work, probably 2 man-years of programming etc.
[David Anderson] 8:03 pm: So we agreed that having BOINC on the PS3 would be good, since it would allow many different apps to use the PS3, not just one
[James Dorsey] 8:03 pm: How difficult is it to cross compile clients and applications for PS3? Is there an existing mechanism, or can only Sony do it at the moment? Might they release a toolchain for us to use if one isn't currently available?
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[David Anderson] 8:04 pm: There are two different enivornments on the PS3: the native OS (which is Unix-like, but not Unix), and Linux
[David Anderson] 8:04 pm: The native OS is what ships with it.
[David Anderson] 8:05 pm: The only way to develop apps that run on the native OS is using the special SDK that Sony sells to game developers (for $40K or so)
[David Anderson] 8:05 pm: So it would be very hard to port BOINC or a BOINC app to the PS3 native mode without Sony's help.
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[UBT - Timbo] 8:05 pm: $40k is a bit steep !
[melter65] 8:05 pm: Typical!:down:
[James Dorsey] 8:05 pm: Could they be persuaded to develop a non-commercial license?
[David Anderson] 8:05 pm: The recently-announced "PS3GRID" project from Spain runs on Linux.
[David Anderson] 8:06 pm: So, we spent a few months working on the idea of BOINC on PS3, but the lawyers got involved
[David Anderson] 8:06 pm: Sony didn't like the fact that BOINC is LGPL, and they wanted a separate license
[David Anderson] 8:07 pm: Negotiations dragged on for a long time, and they seemed to lose interest.
[UBT - Timbo] 8:07 pm: I think they could afford to give you the SDK because in return, there'll be a lot of BOINCers who'll use teh PS3 for crunching more efficiently than using say a PC...and Sony won't have to drop teh price to shift the warehouses fullof unsold PS3's...
[David Anderson] 8:08 pm: I've asked them to donate an SDK, either to BOINC or one the projects that potentially could use it (Einstein@home or PS3GRID). That was a couple of weeks ago, haven't heard back.
[David Anderson] 8:09 pm: Dealing with big companies (Sony, Microsoft etc.) is always hard, and takes a long time
[James Dorsey] 8:09 pm: David - can you explain Sony's problem with LGPL? I thought LGPL allowed inclusion of proprietory code. Or am I getting confused again?
[UBT - Timbo] 8:09 pm: Would be useful IF Sony can get involved as they have marketing muscle, to help BOINC grow out of the niche of techies who are mainly involved and to get real volumes of people involved.
[David Anderson] 8:10 pm: It does. However, the LGPL is very complicated and vague, and some companies feel that if they distribute any LGPL software, they open themselves up to lawsuits that could cause to lose ALL their intellectual property.
[James Dorsey] 8:11 pm: The belt and braces approach to IP. It's understandable. Could you maybe try to persuade the EFF's lawyers to try to help you persuade Sony that it's not a problem?
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[David Anderson] 8:12 pm: I doubt it. But it's possible for me to let Sony use BOINC under a separate (free, BSD-type) license. That should solve the problem. I think the issue now is that they have a budget crunch.
[UBT - Timbo] 8:13 pm: If the discussions with Sony went back to before PS3 was launched, then maybe they were looking for a killer app, BEFORE their PS3 native games were available....and now PS3 native stuff is coming through, maybe they've cooled off about BOINC as BOINC is not seen anymore as a motivating product for them to get people to (I´m a spammer) the PS3...?
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[David Anderson] 8:14 pm: The other big factor is that Sony doesn't make a big profit from selling PS3 hardware; they make more money from licensing fees for games. Similar for MS and Xbox
[David Anderson] 8:16 pm: Where's Rom Walton? I thought he was going to attend
[UBT - Timbo] 8:16 pm: Yup - profit from games are a siginficant factor in the cost of the proprietary hardware. A bit like ink jet printers....printer is $50 (below cost) and the cartrdges are $49 each !!
[James Dorsey] 8:17 pm: OK. Giving Sony BOINC under a different license allows them to ship BOINC. The other half of the problem is that we can't compile apps unless we have a spare $40k down the back of the sofa. Any ideas about this?
[UBT - Timbo] 8:17 pm: David > I haven't heard from Rom...he was invited....thought he might be a "late show" ??
[David Anderson] 8:18 pm: Sony realizes that. I think we'll be able to get an SDK or two out of them. Of course, we need projects to use them. It's a big investment doing this, and not all apps can use the Cell effectively. I think S@h and E@h are the best bets.
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[UBT - Timbo] 8:19 pm: If anyone has any direct questions for David, please feel free to post them...!
[David Anderson] 8:19 pm: A year or two from now, cheap PCs will have 80-core CPUs that will be faster than Cells, so we still need to focus on PCs too
[James Dorsey] 8:20 pm: Well, if you want to send me a PS3 SDK, I'm happy to compile apps sent from other projects...
[yoyo] 8:20 pm: David, what do you think about an automatic update feature in Boinc or may be activated via BAM?
[David Anderson] 8:21 pm: It's more than compiling. They have to be radically revised to use the Cell effectively (which is like an 8-core CPU, and each core has its own 256KB (!) private memory)
[UBT - Timbo] 8:21 pm: The multi-core route is certainly the way to go....wonder what teh OS licenses will cost to fully support EVERY core though....!
[David Anderson] 8:22 pm: Auto-update: World Community Grid requested this feature, and I've implemented about 90% of it. But then it turns out they don't absolutely need it, so it didn't get finished.
[UBT - Timbo] 8:22 pm: auto-update of BOINC should be on the wish list !!
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[Joshrandom] 8:23 pm: As long as you can switch the auto-update function off.
[David Anderson] 8:23 pm: The main issue with auto-update is how do you make it secure. Our plan is that 1) it's optional, and 2) updates come from a specific project (like WCG) for which the client has a code-signing key.
[UBT - Timbo] 8:24 pm: ...esp now that BOINC v5.10.x won't be supporting the older Win 95 and NT 4.0. Wonder how many older PC's are still generating credits using an older client? True, it won't be many (i've just upgraded 2x NT4 machines today, by coincidence !!)
[David Anderson] 8:25 pm: Supporting a range of OSs is a challenge. We have to concentrate our resources on newer rather than older. Vista is going to occupy most of our time for the next 3-4 months
[UBT - Timbo] 8:25 pm: I run some CentOS based web servers whoch uses YUM to auto-update all teh main applications and kernel...that works very well !!
[David Anderson] 8:26 pm: I'll look into that. But it might work on some Linux but not others. That's often the big problem, and why we often end up implementing things ourselves
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[David Anderson] 8:28 pm: As long as I'm here, let me announce some good news: our NSF grant was renewed for another three years, so BOINC will continue for at least that long!
[UBT - Timbo] 8:28 pm: Have to say that I really like the new featuers in 5.10.7 (Windows version). Much nicer "feel" and the attaching to projects, with the new drop down and select window is real cute...! The user selectable graphical statistics gets my vote as well.
[UBT-mark3346] 8:28 pm: Congrats on getting the cash
[James Dorsey] 8:28 pm: Great news! Congratulations David.
[Joshrandom] 8:28 pm: Yes congratulations.
[UBT - Timbo] 8:29 pm: GREAT NEWS ON NSF !! So, we can at least look forward to celebrating up to our (maybe) 6th Birthday !!
[UBT - Mikee] 8:29 pm: That an exclusive then? Congrats!
[David Anderson] 8:29 pm: It was a big relief. Otherwise I'd be out on the street pushing a shopping cart in a few months
[James Dorsey] 8:29 pm: There's already enough of that in Berkeley...
[UBT - Timbo] 8:30 pm: ....I'm sure that everyone appreciates the work you guys put in "in teh background" to keep this thing moving along (and I don't mean the shopping cart !)
[David Anderson] 8:30 pm: Yes, quite a bit (sounds like you've been here?)
[James Dorsey] 8:30 pm: I worked at UC for two years... Off topic...
[yoyo] 8:31 pm: I think the wrapper approach should somehow improved. Some projects have problems with it. But this seams to be an easy way to integrate a legacy application into a DC grid.
[David Anderson] 8:31 pm: Oh yeah, I knew that.
[David Anderson] 8:31 pm: Wrapper: I think the design is OK, but it confuses people a lot. As usual, the documentation is the weak link
[UBT - Timbo] 8:32 pm: David > A quick question....last year, a few of the team thought about whether there is an opportunity to visit Berkeley and maybe meet up with your guys...Nothing fancy, but are their "tours" around the closet ???
[yoyo] 8:32 pm: there was something similar here in germany together with einstein@home.
[David Anderson] 8:32 pm: If anybody visits Berkeley, they not only get a tour of SSL and "the closet", but I (I´m a spammer) them a beer at one of our local "microbreweries"
[James Dorsey] 8:33 pm: ALBATROSS!!!!!!!!!
[David Anderson] 8:33 pm: That's a good one, especially for dart players
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[David Anderson] 8:34 pm: Back to 5.10: we added the "select project" menu because we realized that a lot of people don't know what a URL is
[James Dorsey] 8:35 pm: Back OT, how do you think we can widen participation in BOINC? Is there anything teams and projects should be doing that we're not now?
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[David Anderson] 8:36 pm: That's the $64K question! There are many ideas. WCG has their "partners" concept where they get other organizations (like United Way) to do PR for them
[UBT - Timbo] 8:36 pm: David > If you've had problems with Sony over the LGPL, I guess you'd have the same problem trying to get Apple, Microsoft and otehrs to include the BOINC Manager as part of the OS installation.
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[David Anderson] 8:36 pm: I've thought of getting the Discovery Channel to do a program about BOINC and the various projects, or maybe a series of mini-programs
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[UBT - Timbo] 8:37 pm: ....Widening interst in all things BOINC is why our team has been so successful in recruiting people - we support every project and allow people to pick and chosse the project they like the best.....but it's still a problem getting people to understand what BOINC is and how to get it working on their PC.
[David Anderson] 8:37 pm: Yes, and there are other factors; MS and Apple want to push their own technologies (like XGrid and .net) that in a way conflict with BOINC
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[James Dorsey] 8:39 pm: But XGrid and .net are nowhere near as "portable" as BOINC. That's why BOINC is attractive to researchers. We need to push the system independently of Apple, MS and Sony. How?
[Timby] 8:39 pm: DAvid would it be worth talking to the various people who produce the computer mags in each country and including on the free disk a copy of the latest manager and instructions how to use it?
[David Anderson] 8:39 pm: The projects need to generate more PR, get into the newspapers and on TV. Someone needs to make a big discovery (and it's unlikely to be ET)
[UBT - Timbo] 8:40 pm: I think we do need to increase public awareness of BOINC....teh current "way" seems to be when a new project starts up that "taps" into a particular conscienceness, such as FightAIDSathome, or SETI for that matter...!
[David Anderson] 8:40 pm: That's a good idea (bundling with mags). Does anyone have any contacts?
[UBT - Mikee] 8:40 pm: As such a widly used 'thing' I've never seen an in-depth article in any popular mags - anyone tried to approach them?
[Joshrandom] 8:40 pm: David, has the Discovery channel approached you about this, or visa versa, because something like that could be very interesting, not least for those of us who are already crunching.
[Timby] 8:41 pm: We can no doubt get the contact names for the UK based mags that want to participate
[UBT - Timbo] 8:41 pm: LHC@home delivered some good PR, because eventually there was/is a "result" from all the crunching that went on....a huge new machine at CERN !!
[James Dorsey] 8:41 pm: You could send a request on the boinc_projects list for admins to ask thier users for the contact details of computing publications in their countries?
[David Anderson] 8:42 pm: A couple of years ago Nova approached me, but it turned out to involve only their web site, not TV. No contact w/ Discovery Channel yet.
[UBT - Timbo] 8:43 pm: Surely the BBC, (because of their involvement with CPDN) could be a great way of gaining publicity....their project didn't "fly" until teh TV program was broadcast...!
[David Anderson] 8:43 pm: Part of the reason we made the simple GUI "skinnable" is so that the Discovery Channel (e.g.) could make their own "branded" version of the client
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[UBT - Timbo] 8:44 pm: Any news on Folding@home and a BOINC version of their application?
[David Anderson] 8:45 pm: I talk with Vijay Pande a lot about this. It's unlikely to happen. They have their own software that works great for them, and they have lots of volunteers. No incentive to change.
[Timby] 8:45 pm: The whole Boinc culture seems to be mainly revolving around people who "play" for want of a better word with PC's we tend to sumble on to the Boinc scene by accident, if there was a "push" via publications in each country with the appropriate details of what and how it may in conjunction with TV and or radio encourage more people to have a go ??
[David Anderson] 8:47 pm: BOINC needs a PR person. I don't do much of this, too busy programming. Any volunteers?
[David Anderson] 8:47 pm: PR is hard work, you need to be systematic about it, and you need to know something about it
[UBT - Timbo] 8:47 pm: Mark > One of the reasons for having a donation page on our team website was that if enough people donated, we could then advertise the team....but then to continue funding it, we'd need to make a subscription charge to acess the better parts fo teh forum...but this is really counter-productive....so ideally we 'd need to find team sponsors so we can advertise...!
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[Timby] 8:49 pm: That counts me out David, seriously though most team members do try to encourage others to take up the challange
[UBT - Timbo] 8:49 pm: David > PR would need to be done on at least a continenetal basis, with someone in US, another in Europe, one is Asia, etc...multi-lingual skills required...because BOINC has crunchers in virtually every country...(but could do with more !!)
[David Anderson] 8:49 pm: Google is donating free advertising to Grid Republic, which is using it to advertise specific projects. Maybe they'd do the same for BOINCUK.
[James Dorsey] 8:50 pm: The PR thing is a problem. We're all geeks to a certain extent, and it doesn't come naturally to us. Do you think the NSF might be willing to fund professional help in this area?
[UBT - Timbo] 8:50 pm: BOINC UK ?????? Wash thy mouth out....we don't mention THEM here !!
[David Anderson] 8:50 pm: The internet provides lots of sources of free PR, but again, it takes time to locate and use them.
[David Anderson] 8:50 pm: Oops, i mean UBT
[melter65] 8:51 pm: Easy Timbo!!:D
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[UBT - Timbo] 8:51 pm: phew...!
[Timby] 8:51 pm: Its the wine !!!! or champers lol
[UBT - Timbo] 8:52 pm: David > If BOINC has at least another 3 years in it, what more can we do as a Team to help promote more "uptake" of BOINC, apart from what we already do as the (fanfare) #1 UK Team (officiallym, according to BOINCstats.com)
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[David Anderson] 8:54 pm: I think your idea of targeting PC magazines is great. Write letters to the editor; offer to write articles for free; etc. We should do this systematically, i.e. post a list of magazines on the wiki and encourage users to write them
[Michael H.W. Weber] 8:54 pm: hi
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[UBT - Timbo] 8:55 pm: Hi Michael and welcome
[James Dorsey] 8:55 pm: Is there anything else going on with BOINC that you'd like to talk about, apart from the constant battle for participation and the Sony thing?
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[Timby] 8:56 pm: A lot of the UK based mags like to give a free CD/DVD with software, so I would suggest we as a team could target those with the greatest readership?
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[David Anderson] 8:56 pm: One thing I'm working hard on these days is "Berkeley@home" - an "umbrella" project (sort of like WCG) what would include apps from many different scientists at UC Berkeley, and would be promoted by UCB itself to its alumni (there are > 400K of them) as well as to the general public.
[David Anderson] 8:57 pm: This is a way to "piggyback" onto an existing PR structure
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[UBT - Timbo] 8:57 pm: OK, so we can easily get hold of a lsit of PC Mag editors and get them to include the BOINC installer (or a link tot he latest download). Maybe we could get a script written that auto-joins people to our team?
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[David Anderson] 8:58 pm: It would be possible (fairly easy) to make a custom installer that pre-enrolls the user in a team, or attaches them to a particular set of projects.
[ajh] 8:58 pm: PC Pro magazine would be a good target as they are aimed at business IT, and hence they may have easy access to large numbers of 'spare' PC's.
[Timby] 8:59 pm: It would be a great starting point to write to the editors and include details of the chat we have had with the good Dr
[David Anderson] 8:59 pm: A magazine would typically be most interested if they had their own team, and their own skin for the GUI, etc.
[UBT - Mikee] 8:59 pm: ComputerActive has the greatest circulation and they do a lot of 'How to' projects
[David Anderson] 8:59 pm: I.e., think about "cross-promotion", we help them and they help us
[rebirther] 9:00 pm: @David A. What do you think about commercial projects using Boinc?
[Timby] 9:00 pm: I like the idea of a skin for the mags
[Alan Pull] 9:01 pm: I like the idea of a script which enrolls new members for us.
[David Anderson] 9:01 pm: I heard about Gridfinity, it's fine with me but 1) I doubt they'll get anywhere (several companies tried this idea already, and it bombed) and 2) I'm not going to list them on the BOINC web site
[David Anderson] 9:02 pm: Well, we have some action items; I'll make a wiki page for info about magazines, and will look into the auto-join installer idea
[James Dorsey] 9:04 pm: Would you consider doing this kind of thing on a regular basis? Maybe just a couple of times a year?
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[David Anderson] 9:04 pm: and if any of you has a spouse/friend/relative who is a PR professional, tell them about BOINC and get them to help us!
[UBT - Timbo] 9:04 pm: Anything that helps to a) circulate the idea of using a home PC for BOINC has to be good, no matter the "media" that is used to convey the message...and b) anythign that help to make it easy for people to sign up, as long as their hardware will work without overheating !!
[David Anderson] 9:04 pm: Yes, I'm happy to do this any time. And I'm serious about the microbrew.
[Timby] 9:05 pm: I think a start for the PR would be the teams who are most proactive and are prepared to push the concept, such as ourselves
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[James Dorsey] 9:05 pm: Good. I'm back in the Bay Area in early October. I shall seek you out and drag you to Triple Rock...
[David Anderson] 9:05 pm: Tim, thanks for organizing this, I better get back to parental responsibilities.
[UBT - Mikee] 9:05 pm: Don't suppose you'll pay for the flight for us as well would you?;)
[David Anderson] 9:06 pm: no frequent flier miles??
[Timby] 9:06 pm: Would the funding stretch to a charter fligt for say 30 people ??? Lol
[Alan Pull] 9:06 pm: I might be a good idea to have an article aimed at the head of a small company to reassure them that BOINC is good for humanity and poses little or no risk to thei r company installation
[UBT - Timbo] 9:06 pm: Yup - a UBT specific "skin" as part of a "customised installer" with "auto-join" (for that team) that maybe people can download from specific team websites would be good....
[David Anderson] 9:07 pm: OK, let's work w/ Rom to make a custom installer for you
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[David Anderson] 9:08 pm: I better sign off, nice chatting with you all, thanks for everything you're going and have done
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[Timby] 9:08 pm: David, its been a pleasure to chat all though most of the conversation was well over my head!!!
[UBT - Timbo] 9:08 pm: David > Thanks for spending your time here....I know you had other committments today, so it was a pleasure to hear from you and allow us to interfere with your Saturday off....! It's greatly appreciated....many, grateful thanks...!
[David Anderson] 9:08 pm: bye/CU
[david] 9:08 pm: many thanks for your time David
[Joshrandom] 9:08 pm: Thanks David, bye.
[yoyo] 9:08 pm: bye
[UBT - Timbo] 9:09 pm: ...and all the best to all the BOINC dev's and admin's....!
[Alan Pull] 9:09 pm: thanks david - bye
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