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Old 2003-12-05, 01:30   #177
ewmayer
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Cute avatar - is that you, Luke?
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Old 2003-12-05, 03:38   #178
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Quote:
Originally posted by M29
Why does Prime95 itself have to be the screen saver?

An independent program could be written that queries Prime95.ini, for example. It could also query PrimeNet.
For ease of installation, there should be one program instead of two. Also some of the pretty patterns that the screensaver draws will very likely be based on internal program data, maybe a random sample of the FFT data. Also, what if Prime95 was installed on a different disk drive (D: instead of C:) or in a nonstandard directory other than "Program Files\Prime95" -- how will the standalone screensaver program find it?

Also if they are two separate programs running at the same priority, the screensaver will steal 50% of the CPU time from Prime95, exactly what we don't want. But if the screensaver runs at a lower priority than Prime95 (and usually screensavers don't), then maybe it won't run often enough to draw graphics cleanly without jerkiness and interruption. Basically, we need Prime95 to run uninterrupted for N iterations and then have a screensaver_draw() hook at the appropriate point if the corresponding flag is set and let the drawing take place smoothly and quickly.

Also, I believe some corporations may have rules about allowing users to run unapproved software, but in practice allow users to run their own screensavers... and in fact often insist that a password-locked screensaver start up within 10 minutes of someone leaving their desk, for security reasons. So under such a regime you could run GIMPS according to corporate guidelines only if the numbercruncher and the screensaver are one and the same program.

We should look at what SETI@Home does... I believe they have a command-line version and a screensaver version. And I believe the screensaver version has the numbercrunching code integrated in it rather than being a separate standalone program, probably for some of the reasons mentioned above. They are retaining this for the new BOINC platform. If necessary, we could send them an e-mail asking about their reasons for this design decision.


A command line version is always preferable, but there are some cases (where you have permission to run Prime95 on a computer but don't fully control the computer) where a screensaver version is a must, as mentioned above. Another example is when you convince a friend or family member to let you run Prime95 on their computer, but at the same time they insist on running a screensaver (any screensaver) and won't be reasoned with because it's their computer.
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Old 2003-12-05, 04:28   #179
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Curse you, Donkey Boy! How did you ever guess it was me
Quote:
Originally posted by GP2
For ease of installation, there should be one program instead of two.
Or one installation program. There could be one .EXE and several .SCRs.

Quote:
Also some of the pretty patterns that the screensaver draws will very likely be based on internal program data, maybe a random sample of the FFT data.
Can get pretty pictures from the intermediate save files.

Quote:
Also, what if Prime95 was installed on a different disk drive (D: instead of C:) or in a nonstandard directory other than "Program Files\Prime95" -- how will the standalone screensaver program find it?
Finding the Prime95 directory would not be a problem for the Screen Saver author.

Quote:
Also if they are two separate programs running at the same priority, the screensaver will steal 50% of the CPU time from Prime95, exactly what we don't want.
The Screen Saver should not be CPU bound, or else the author should be shot!

Quote:
But if the screensaver runs at a lower priority than Prime95 (and usually screensavers don't), then maybe it won't run often enough to draw graphics cleanly without jerkiness and interruption.
Why does a Screen Saver have to be doing nothing but drawing pretty pictures? I can think of dozens of things a screen saver could do that do not involve intensive graphics or computations.

Quote:
Also, I believe some corporations may have rules about allowing users to run unapproved software, but in practice allow users to run their own screensavers... and in fact often insist that a password-locked screensaver start up within 10 minutes of someone leaving their desk, for security reasons. So under such a regime you could run GIMPS according to corporate guidelines only if the numbercruncher and the screensaver are one and the same program.
Most such corporations prohibit any such programs that access the net, screen saver or not. Worse, corporations that require password protected screen savers are the most paranoid ones. We're just SOL.

Quote:
If necessary, we could send them an e-mail asking about their reasons for this design decision.
SETI did not take GIMPS' advice before they launched and I see no reason why we should take theirs now. We have plenty of our own experts.

I see a lot of talent on this forum. I have every confidence the they could come up with a number of different screen savers, clean, automated installation procedures, and almost zero grief for George. In fact, George might even enjoy it!
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Old 2003-12-05, 13:51   #180
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I like prime95 the way it is right now. I don't need no graphics.
After completion of the first exponent most or maybe all users will want to turn the graphics off, so they wouldn't loose cycles.
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Old 2003-12-05, 15:55   #181
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Ahm Tony Mon-tana, an' ah don' need no stinkin' grafeeks...
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Old 2003-12-05, 16:22   #182
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrHappy
I like prime95 the way it is right now. I don't need no graphics.
After completion of the first exponent most or maybe all users will want to turn the graphics off, so they wouldn't loose cycles.
Sure... the non-graphic version is preferable.

I'm not saying, replace the regular version with a screensaver version... I'm just suggesting, have a screensaver version in addition to the regular version.

The screensaver version would be purely for the purposes of "getting a foot in the door" in certain circumstances where Prime95 would otherwise be shut out from running on a particular computer.
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Old 2003-12-05, 22:40   #183
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Great idea. With a client like that i could get the "foot in the door" on aditional machines.
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Old 2003-12-05, 22:57   #184
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Quote:
Originally posted by E_tron
Great idea. With a client like that i could get the "foot in the door" on aditional machines.
Indeed. It's much easier to send someone a link to a "cool screensaver" than a DC program.
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Old 2003-12-05, 23:23   #185
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I'm afraid a "cool screensaver" would stay on such computers only as long as a new cooler screensaver is received :-(

Of course, if the client could install itself and KEEP CRUNCHING after the cool screensaver has been turned off or replaced, it would be GREAT!

Luigi
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Old 2003-12-05, 23:41   #186
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Borg sol.exe on m$-machines with prime95 and we should perform way up in the Peta-Flop region during lunch-break
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Old 2003-12-05, 23:54   #187
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Quote:
Originally posted by ewmayer
Ahm Tony Mon-tana, an' ah don' need no stinkin' grafeeks...
Seems like I took a direct hit.

Quote:
Originally posted by GP2
purely for the purposes of "getting a foot in the door"
Got it. Thanks.
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