Folding from a login screen?

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by Falleron, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Ok, I have the potential to add quite a number of XP machine to my account. Problem is that for the majority of the day these machines are just sitting waiting for someone to log on. My question is: How can I get these machines to crunch data while sitting on the login screen? Once I have a definate answer to this problem I can take this up with my network admin person. Even though I have administrative privaledges I need to run this by the powers that be.

    Appreciate any help.

    PS. We are talking about roughly 50 P4's here. Not a small number.
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    England
    #2
    Folding as a service

    Falleron... If I remember correctly, there is a utility in the NT resource kit called SRVANY that allows you to run any Windows application as a service. I haven't used it recently, but did use it successfully a few years ago, and am fairly sure that it would work without problems on XP.

    Perhaps you could use this with the console version of Folding. The only thing to check is whether or not the console window would be visible when users are logged... Presumably you wouldn't want this to be the case.

    When I get a spare second I'll have a little experiment and see if it can be done. I had just passed you in the rankings (36th now), but I don't think I can compete with 50 P4 machines...
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Go to http://www.microsoft.com/technet

    Enter Q137890 in the search box, and you will see a knowledge base article that describes creating a user defined service. I'm not sure how relevant it all is... I don't remember doing all the registry stuff when I did it... but it does direct you to the SRVANY program at the bottom of the article.
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #4
    Is logging the machines in and then locking the screens not an option?

    That's what I do on some of the PCs here that need to be secured when not in use...
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    mc68k

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    #5
    here's a solution suggested in the folding FAQ on stanford's website.

    it applies to the screensaver version: http://folding.stanford.edu/faq.html#run.nobody

    here's another solution that has been suggested frequently:

    this applies to the console version (faster):
    http://ter.dbestern.net/fah_service.php

    scroll down to: Install, using the graphical tool
    the tool automates the service process that was mentioned eariler in this thread
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Locking the computers is not an option since people will come in and out + expect to be able to use the computer.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for the help. I will keep you updated as to what happens. Only problem I can see is that the network manager might not want me to start messing around in the registry. I will try my best though. After all, I do help maintain the network + so should hopefully be able to show them it is a worthwhile cause.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    mc68k

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    #7
    thanks for the effort. 50 P4s would be so cool. here's to hoping u can pull it off. :)
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Entirely TOO FLAT Ann Arbor, MI
    #8
    Here's a really good solution, if you can manage to deploy it across the whole lab...
    Get Firedaemon (which is like the SRVANY doohickey in the reskit but is much simpler) from firedaemon.com; there's a little how-to for running folding@home as a service. I have 4 wintel puters running f@h as a service this way. :D

    Edit: Man, what is with me and key words of sentences being left out... my english is slowly being defenestrated.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Thanks everyone. I have tested the Folding@home solution as listed on their web site on my VPC running XP. Now that I understand how it works I can now go to the relevant people + run it past them. I'll keep you posted over the next week or so.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Ok, another quick question. Ok, so I know how to make Folding work while sitting at a login screen. However, I dont want the folding process showing. I want a black / blank screen. How can I do this? I am not interested in seeing the progress.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    mc68k

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    #11
    is this on a mac? if you don't want any output to the screen from the folding process then type in:

    ./OSX-3.24 & > /dev/null

    any information will still be kept in FAHLog.txt, but there will be 0 output to the screen.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    No, these computers are running XP (using the folding instructions for running from a login screen - http://folding.stanford.edu/faq.html#run.nobody). Is there a setting for this? If I could say to the network admin person that they will just sit on a blank screen it will be better. I dont want folding to be too intrusive.

    On a separate note, I have managed to add another 2 computer today. They should start to contribute in the next few days.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Sorry to bother everyone on this, but, does anyone know how to set the Windows screensaver to run using a blank screen? I have no problem getting folding to run from the login screen but I dont want folding showing. I need a blank screen showing. Until I can do this I cant go to the network manager to discuss the possibility. The other possibilitity is to use the energy savings somehow to cut the monitor off. Any ideas?
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    mc68k

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    #14
    thats what i would do on either a mac or a pc in your situation. just have the monitor cut out b4 the screensaver comes on.
     
  15. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #15
    Say screen saver come on 2 min after machine is idle. Turn off screen 1 min 30 sec after machine is idle.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    That would be an acceptable solution. However, how can you set the windows registry so that the screen turns off at the login screen but not when you have logged in? The instructions for setting up folding (by changing the registry) only apply to the login screen. I need something similar to that. It would just annoy people if they kept having their screens turned off after 1 or 2 mins.
     
  17. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #17
    I'm quite sure in XP there is a 'sleep' feature which after ____ minutes the screen turns off. I'm pretty sure this would also work for the login screen. Try it and come back.

    Thanks for trying to put it on these machines. :D
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I am sure there is a way. I just dont know where to look for information on editing the windows registry. I am Mac person mainly. The instructions on the folding website (for setting up login screen processing) only seem to apply to the login screen. I need to find the power settings that only apply to that situation again. This would sort it out for me.

    Appreciate anyone with ideas. I will be testing this solution under VPC before I take a complete solution to my network manager. Cheers
     
  19. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #19
    You can't just edit the win xp preferences?

    I mean wouldn't that be simpler than registry settings?
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Dont think that will work. The XP preferences only apply when you have logged in. I need the registry settings so that they preferences apply to the whole system (well, at least where the login screen is concerned). I will give it a go though.
     
  21. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #21
    I was doing some research on this topic for our PC lab and came across this wonderful little app over on Team Mac OS X's site:
    fahsvc.exe

    Very easy to setup and seems to work well. Hopefully this will help any tentative PC folks wanting an easy way to run folding.

    Kudos to NoahJ for writing the app. :)

    PS. Remember the MacRumors team number when setting up the client config: 3446. ;)
     

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