rogue BOINC project: Test4Theory, don't join

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Joined: Oct 24, 2012
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ID: 31137
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Message 2876 - Posted 25 Oct 2012 10:27:59 UTC

I am a moderator at the Test4Theory project aka T4T, some of you already know me. We all know and accept the fact that every new project has problems in the beginning and we all know that good projects do what they can to fix those problems. One of the cardinal rules in the BOINC community is that a project absolutely must not steal CPU cycles you have allocated to other projects. T4T has broken that rule. The admins know they are stealing and have refused to do anything about it for over 6 months. Why? Because they like the extra CPU cycles and because they don't know how to get more CPU cycles through honest means.

Recently they proposed testing a new application that would alleviate the problem but they will not install the new server code their new application requires. Without the new server code the application will not function properly which will allow them to say "sorry, the new application failed the test so we must continue with the current application". Yes, they have sabotaged the test application.

At one time I thought they were making an honest effort to fix the problem and be a "good project". Now I see I was wrong. They have no intention of changing their ways and their lies, lame excuses and theft of CPU cycles from other projects will continue. I am ashamed to have been part of their project. I don't want my name associated with T4T any longer and I present this information to the BOINC community so that you can avoid being another one of their victims.

Exactly how do they steal CPU cycles? Their application is actually a wrapper that starts/stops/suspends a virtual machine that does the actual crunching. The wrapper starts the virtual machine but does not suspend it in spite of the fact BOINC manager indicates it has been suspended. Everything appears normal and you don't even know the virtual machine is still running unless you look very carefully. Most volunteers assume the project is honest so they don't check and look carefully. The virtual machine runs at normal priority which means it does not relinquish the CPU for your other BOINC projects or for most of your personal computing needs the way a normal BOINC task does. So do the math... the task doesn't suspend and it runs at normal priority... that adds up to a lot of CPU cycles stolen from your other projects.

A fix for this problem has been available for many months but they have steadfastly refused to implement the fix citing one lame excuse and lie after another. Avoid T4T like the plague.

I've placed this information on many project forums and will place it on many more. Some of you might call that spamming but I think what T4T is doing is atrocious and I am convinced it is necessary to spread the word as quickly as possible which means as many forums as I can. I am not a spam bot, I post manually. Obviously I can't return to all the forums to discuss the issue so if you want more info/discussion please drop in to the T4T forums. This is NOT a ploy to get you to join T4T in fact I am advising that you NOT join T4T.

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Message boards : Number crunching : rogue BOINC project: Test4Theory, don't join

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