20100619, 17:08  #23  
Jul 2006
Calgary
1A9_{16} Posts 
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If you can't try Linux then MSWindows XP is the oldest Microsoft OS you could use the current prime95 on I think. Good luck. Last fiddled with by lfm on 20100619 at 17:12 

20100619, 20:19  #24 
453_{8} Posts 
lfm,
Thanks for the information, I learned a lot and I appreciate it! I found this forum page (scroll down to post #3): http://mersenneforum.org/showthread....ight=prime.zip Check out what it says about Windows 3.1 and the file prime.zip. Is that obsolete information? (The link didn't work, but maybe there's a different way to download the file.) Also, see Uncwilly's post #5 in our thread here. Am I being way too optimistic thinking that it sounds like it's possible to coordinate different machines to help each other out? I've been reading up on "Lone Mersenne Hunters," which I guess is what I'd be doing. Could it be that things work differently in that corner of the project (i.e., that you can set up old PCs to do work assisting newer ones in the same room)? The more I read about it, the more the GIMPS project grows on me, so I may just go ahead and offer some systems to the general pool of work, but I'm still intrigued by the idea of setting up the old machines in my office to directly help the newer ones in finding the next Mersenne prime by doing prep/auxiliary work. Like you said, I'm paying the power bill. ;) Thanks for the good wishes. Rodrigo 
20100620, 00:02  #25  
If I May
"Chris Halsall"
Sep 2002
Barbados
5×7×317 Posts 
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The reason is while it is theoretically possible, the reality is that all the low available exponents which qualify for the prize money have already been factored well past what an older machine can do efficiently. This means that either your faster machines will wait literally years for your slower machine to do the appropriate factoring work, or else you'll have to focus on extremely high exponents which will take you so long to complete that someone else will almost certainly have found a qualifying Mersenne Prime (MP) well before you do. (Understand that the prize money is a "one off" for the first discoverer of any prime number which qualifies.) Quote:
But it is important for you (as a "newbie" (absolutely no disrespect intended with that)) to understand the realities of the situation.... Last fiddled with by chalsall on 20100620 at 00:05 

20100620, 00:05  #26  
Jul 2006
Calgary
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20100620, 06:07  #27  
6809 > 6502
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Aug 2003
101×103 Posts
2^{4}·3·227 Posts 
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Get a 100m digit number assigned to their duo core machine. Start that machine on the P1 (because it will have the practical speed and memory). Once it finishes that start it on the LL test. Start a couple or 3 Pentium (I or II) machines on the factoring that remains to be done. (This will take months to do on all 3 machines). If a factor found, stop all machines that are working on that number, transfer the needed files to the fast machine and report the results. Repeat. As noted by others, this is not the best use for those machines. Based upon the machines listed, I would suggest the following: P75, leave off, put to use in the range that NRtarheel suggested, or look at OBD (linux would be a good choice.) P233, put to use in the range that NRtarheel suggested, or OBD P II, put to use in the range that NRtarheel suggested, factoring the exponents shown here at 64 and 65, or OBD The other 2, do 100m digit numbers assigned by primenet for LL, if that is your desire, (that is where the prize is). 

20100620, 06:33  #28 
"Jacob"
Sep 2006
Brussels, Belgium
11101110011_{2} Posts 

20100620, 20:52  #29 
2·3·29·41 Posts 
chalsall,
I appreciate the frank but gentle talk! It helps me to understand faster and better. The way the project operates is starting to come into focus. Let me know if I'm getting this right: The work on any given exponent is sequential rather than concurrent  meaning that, for any given exponent, you (or I) need to finish steps A, B, and C before steps D, E, and F can take place. And, having the slow machines do the simple prep work means that the faster machines twiddle their chips in the meantime. That said, is it possible to, for example, have the Vista machines do LL tests on lower available exponents while they wait for the older systems to do the basic factoring work on very high exponents  anticipating that when they finish with that, then the modern machines can take over the heavy crunching work? That way "everybody" would be doing something useful all along. Looks like the practical problem would be getting all of these PCs to finish up and be ready together in such a neat and tidy fashion. Plus, I guess this is where the strategy point that you raised comes in  I'd be committing all my machines to do a longrange operation while somebody else was finding the next MP at a lower range. Am I getting it? :) Rodrigo 
20100620, 21:00  #30 
3·2,203 Posts 
lfm,
Thanks for following up. Your reply helps to crystallize my thinking. Here’s what I have in mind when I takla about assisting newer PCs in the same room: I could request two exponents. To get started, I could have one of the modern PCs do LL testing on one exponent that’s ready for that stage, while for the second exponent the other modern PC does (for example) P1 work and the older PCs do the simplest tasks (is that trial factoring? or else some suitable rearrangement of the preliminary work as the project veterans would recommend). Then, when all of that is done, the two modern PCs would start LL tests on the second exponent, and the older PCs could begin preparatory work on a third exponent. That way, all the PCs in my office would be working together (though at different times) toward the same goal on the same exponents. There could be tweaks to this. For instance, I understand that having two cores doesn’t really help to speed up an LL test, so I could have one core do P1 on one exponent while the other does LL on another exponent. I could end up handling three or more exponents at the same time among all these PCs. How does that sound? I will trust you and the other good folks here to tell me if this is crazy, or feasible. There does seem to be the issue chalsall brought up, that slower machines aren't as efficient at TF on larger exponents. If I did have them do TF, then  relative to leaving them offline  would that be 1) a fatal obstacle to my notion, or 2) slow down the GIMPS project as a whole, or 3) constitute merely a suboptimal use of these machines? Probably the most sensible thing is, as you suggest, to get my feet wet by running the Vista machines for a while. But I’m trying to develop a sense of the possibilities here. :) Rodrigo 
20100620, 21:08  #31 
2·7^{2}·67 Posts 
Uncwilly,
Please see my replies to chalsall and lfm, and let me know if any of this makes sense. The arrangement that you suggest to carry out my idea sounds attractive, but I don’t yet have a firm grasp on the order of complexity for the various tasks that need to be performed for a given exponent. That would help me to see how each of my machines would fit in. Here's where my understanding of it stands now: From the way I read the page http://www.mersenne.org/thresholds/ it looks like, for a given exponent, the two Pentiums (75 and 233MHz) could do TF, the Pentium II (400) could do P1, and the two dualcores could do DC or LL. (I’m not sure how the first table, dealing with the size of the L2 cache, affects this.) Let me know if I'm missing some important factor (so to speak). Lastly, what is OBD? That’s a term I haven’t come across yet (or missed). Thank you! Rodrigo 
20100620, 23:42  #32  
"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA
2^{2}·3·641 Posts 
Rodrigo,
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All the considerations about dividingup work that we've described above are exactly the same for LMH. "Things work" exactly the same for them  it's just that LMH has a different focus. LMH participants are _NOT_ trying to win prize money. Instead, they are trying to help clear the way for future prizeseekers. Quote:
What you can't do is arrange it so that your old machines directly help your newer ones  except for the manual intervention and editing Uncwilly and I mentioned above. (OTOH, someone else's old machines could be helping your newer ones, unbeknownst to you.) Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 20100620 at 23:51 

20100621, 06:06  #33  
6809 > 6502
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Aug 2003
101×103 Posts
2A90_{16} Posts 
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Using the number I mentioned above, it would take the machine ~7 years to do P1 on that number, using default settings. Quote:
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http://www.mersenneforum.org/forumdisplay.php?f=50 http://home.earthlink.net/~elevensmooth/Billion.html Quote:
All of his answers are sound. I was initially answering your question of "could", not if one should. Others have been saying that it is not practical to do what you ask, this is true. Cheesehead and Jacob can tell you more about total throughput to benefit GIMPS. 

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