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Old 2017-01-28, 21:28   #1
MiniGeek
 
Jan 2017

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Default Questions on security and resource pull

Hello!

I am a high school student who recently got a meeting booked with some super high up people in my school district to try to convince them that Broward County Public Schools should join the hunt for prime numbers through GIMPS.
I have two main questions that I would really appreciate if someone smarter than me would answer:
1. How can I assure the Chief Information Officer that installing Prime95 on all of the school district's computers is safe? (As a public school system, we need to make sure that all of the student data is secure. That stuff includes addresses, pictures, and social security numbers. It's not just grades.) I know that many other schools (often universities) run the software, so input from people running those projects would be super helpful and appreciated.
2. Should we be worried about the pull on our computer resources? I've run Prime95 on my own laptop for about a year now, and I find myself having to pause it from time to time because of overheating or it just eating up so much of my CPU that I can hardly use other apps. I have a teacher encouraging me to make this a conditional "Prime95 will only run at night when no students are around" kind of thing, and I'm wondering if everyone else would agree to that. We've got students using 3D modeling apps like Rhino 5 and Adobe apps all the time, along with a number of other apps. Network performance is also a concern. Is there any way that our network would be impacted in a noticeable way because of this?
2.5 If the answers to any of my questions in 2 are yes, how do I fix these issues? Is there a recommended way to limit the times that the software does and doesn't run?

Thank you so much for any input. I'm super excited for my presentation.
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Old 2017-01-29, 00:40   #2
Batalov
 
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Note that this not our old member Mini-geek.

It would be best to create a different username to avoid confusion.
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Old 2017-01-29, 01:13   #3
carpetpool
 
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"Sam"
Nov 2016

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniGeek View Post
Hello!

I am a high school student who recently got a meeting booked with some super high up people in my school district to try to convince them that Broward County Public Schools should join the hunt for prime numbers through GIMPS.
I have two main questions that I would really appreciate if someone smarter than me would answer:
1. How can I assure the Chief Information Officer that installing Prime95 on all of the school district's computers is safe? (As a public school system, we need to make sure that all of the student data is secure. That stuff includes addresses, pictures, and social security numbers. It's not just grades.) I know that many other schools (often universities) run the software, so input from people running those projects would be super helpful and appreciated.
2. Should we be worried about the pull on our computer resources? I've run Prime95 on my own laptop for about a year now, and I find myself having to pause it from time to time because of overheating or it just eating up so much of my CPU that I can hardly use other apps. I have a teacher encouraging me to make this a conditional "Prime95 will only run at night when no students are around" kind of thing, and I'm wondering if everyone else would agree to that. We've got students using 3D modeling apps like Rhino 5 and Adobe apps all the time, along with a number of other apps. Network performance is also a concern. Is there any way that our network would be impacted in a noticeable way because of this?
2.5 If the answers to any of my questions in 2 are yes, how do I fix these issues? Is there a recommended way to limit the times that the software does and doesn't run?

Thank you so much for any input. I'm super excited for my presentation.
So now I know two high schoolers on this forum. Nice.
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Old 2017-01-29, 02:50   #4
Prime95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniGeek View Post
2. Should we be worried about the pull on our computer resources? I've run Prime95 on my own laptop for about a year now, and I find myself having to pause it from time to time because of overheating or it just eating up so much of my CPU that I can hardly use other apps. I have a teacher encouraging me to make this a conditional "Prime95 will only run at night when no students are around" kind of thing, and I'm wondering if everyone else would agree to that. We've got students using 3D modeling apps like Rhino 5 and Adobe apps all the time, along with a number of other apps. Network performance is also a concern. Is there any way that our network would be impacted in a noticeable way because of this?
2.5 If the answers to any of my questions in 2 are yes, how do I fix these issues? Is there a recommended way to limit the times that the software does and doesn't run?
Here's the biggie: Running prime95 24/7 will add on the order of $50 to the school's electric bill. Assume a 50W increase (you could measure this on a few computers if you have a kill-a-watt) and $0.12/kwh: 50W * 24 hours / 1000 * $0.12 / kwh * 365 days = $52.56. Plus, in Florida, it will add to air conditioning costs.

Network impact is truly negligible.

Prime95 shouldn't have much impact on students running other apps. If so, see undoc.txt for ways to run prime95 at certain hours or only when specified programs are not running.
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Old 2017-01-29, 03:50   #5
Mini-Geek
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"Tim Sorbera"
Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batalov View Post
Note that this not our old member Mini-geek.

It would be best to create a different username to avoid confusion.
I'll admit, it gave me a moment of confusion already! I did a kind of a double take when I saw some thread posted by "MiniGeek".

Welcome!
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Old 2017-01-29, 03:54   #6
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
Prime95 shouldn't have much impact on students running other apps.
But note that HyperThreading (aka SMT, aka HT) can affect other programs because there is no way to prioritise the relative threads at the CPU level. This is a tricky problem to solve though since there is no good solution. Options appear to be:
  1. Turn off HT in the BIOS, but this will stop other programs from taking advantage of the HT system
  2. Define a list of programs that P95 should check for and stop when they are running, but this can miss new programs and have unnecessary pauses when the other program is idle
  3. Use the hours-to-run setting, but if someone is running an overnight job then this fails
  4. Some combination of the above, but it quickly gets complicated and confusing
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