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Final Trickle of SETI@home Tasks, Moving to MilkyWay@home, Struggling with Avira

Sunday I confirmed that my phone continues to mess up when displaying how charged the battery is as well, as it again showed that it was half full just before saying it was almost empty. Still don’t want to send it back yet again during this period, however, so I’ll see what I’ll do after the state of emergency will be lifted, though I do hope that will be soon enough to allow me to send it in the third time within six months, which should result in a replacement.
Something else that broke under warranty on that same day and which I also won’t be sending back is one of the light bulbs bought at the end of 2017. It’s the one that was used in the little part of the hallway that’s in front of the bathroom, making me look even more suspiciously at that light switch, but in this case it didn’t stop working completely and I’m not seeing burn marks. Instead, it started flickering, only giving a little shaky light, and when dad removed it I saw bad cracks in the plastic on its lower part. I have no idea how that happened, but I’m quite sure it’ll make them refuse to replace it under warranty if I would send it, and charge me for the shipping and possibly even more than that, since the only way to send it would be to ask for them to send someone to pick it up, with them paying for the delivery if the problem would be confirmed.

That same night, my computer again did what it usually does one week after the clock goes forward, moving it forward by one more hour. Since I couldn’t be on-line then, I only did a manual time check to correct the issue the next day. However, that again seemed to confuse BOINC, the progress of the two SETI@home work units running at the time, and in fact being almost completed, seeming to freeze, the BOINC processes remaining running after I tried to close it and the icon disappeared from the notification area, and those work units ending with errors after I forced the processes to close and restarted BOINC. It keeps happening and I keep forgetting it, so I never try to close it first and see whether that would avoid the problem, but this time it was even worse because it means I’ll be left with a low number of consecutive valid tasks and therefore unable to get many at once if SETI@home will eventually return from hibernation, or even if a large number would somehow be resent at once one of these days and I’d connect at exactly the right moment to get them. Awful timing, as if the end of the volunteer computing part of the project wasn’t bad enough in itself…
Another annoying thing is that I would have reached a total credit of 7.5 million if I’d have committed to it and turned the old computer back on as well right after the announcement. It didn’t seem likely at the time and I decided against making that effort when I assumed I’ll still fall short, but Tuesday, when my computer finished and reported the last new work unit, I just reached 7475000 and that old computer would have certainly generated at least 25000, and in fact probably around 30000, and I also have a few thousand more in the work units that are pending validation. In addition, several more work units came my way since then, having been resent, and I guess some more will come from now on as well. Most are likely to be overflows, as those require three identical, or sufficiently similar, results for validation, but even some of those may reach the threshold later during processing and generate more credit, unlike those that instantly complete, with 30 spikes recorded right away. The last one received and completed so far, today, which seems to have somehow failed to save even though I did save it on the Internet Archive and saw it there when I checked right away, was such an instant overflow, but there was only one other like it among the other seven received so far while, for example, the last one completed and reported before I went to bed this morning was an example of such a “late overflow”.
But there’s nothing I can do about the total credit or consecutive valid tasks for SETI@home anymore, while on the other hand finding the next project to attach to was something I could and needed to do. And at least that seems to have gone really well right away, since Monday I attached to MilkyWay@home again and there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of tasks and they use very few system resources. The limit seems to be 100 stored tasks, whenever BOINC connects it gets as many new ones as the results it reports, each takes a little over one hour to complete and only requires 4 MB of RAM, and that’s if you include the 1 MB used by conhost.exe, as each work unit runs that as well. As for the data written to disk, that’s also very little.

Monday I also finished Words of Radiance and wrote the quick review for it… And then uninstalled ESET Antivirus and started a trial of Avira Antivirus Pro. That wasn’t planned for that evening, but explorer.exe froze again and that confirmed that the problem was actually the new result of the incompatibility between Vivaldi and ESET, at least when certain common scripts, like those used for advertisements, exist on the visited pages. Since that time I didn’t force Vivaldi to close before trying to restart explorer.exe, it was frozen when it started again as well, and then Vivaldi wouldn’t start again after I did force it to close. That hadn’t happened again during this trial, but now that it did and I needed to reboot because of that, I had to also get rid of ESET and switch to something else, since I doubted it was going to continue running after a reboot when the trial had already ended.
Unfortunately, Avira remains a bad choice, and while I’m not seeing some of the problems from five years ago again, at least so far, and I haven’t yet checked whether DOSBox still makes it unable to scan until the next reboot, the detailed logging and some of the options that existed then are gone as well, and it uses an intolerable amount of system resources. Most obviously, ever since I installed it, and even after I unchecked the option that mentions using WMI, an instance of WmiPrvSE.exe has been running and constantly using 3% of the CPU, at times even 5%, and when that doesn’t go up to 5% its other processes make up for the difference, as it uses about 5% in total on its own even when I’m not at the computer, BOINC tasks losing a good three minutes per hour. But if five years ago I was considering ending the trial and switching to something else after a week and nevertheless stuck with it for the entire month, I guess I’ll do so now as well, just to get through another month before having to move to something else.

This week’s run was yesterday. Since I didn’t need to go anywhere else after running, the alarm was set to ring at 2 PM, but I woke up at 12:20 PM and decided to get up then, having the usual stuff, with the sweet thing being a large doughnut with jam and the last square of some chocolate with cappuccino flavor, and also having almonds again. The reported temperature was around 23°C, it was sunny and there was little wind, though I felt a few gusts in a few places, probably because of the effect of the buildings. Still had the mask and the regular shoes, not wanting to risk the running ones under these circumstances, but otherwise wore the running t-shirt and tights again and went out just after 2:30 PM.
The time was 49:06.72, but the lap times are a problem because I probably got overconfident, didn’t pay as much attention to the route as I should have, seeing as it’s a new one, and forgot one part of it on the first three laps, only realizing it on the last one. Fortunately, I could just do it four times then, and after the first time I also checked the time, seeing 39 seconds each time, meaning that I can just add 39 seconds to the time of the first three laps and deduct 1:57 from the fourth, resulting in approximate lap times of 12:02, 12:07, 12:19 and 12:38. I could have been faster on that fourth lap, quite clearly getting under 49 minutes, but I kept wondering how come I had been so fast on the first three, since I seemed about to beat the record and that couldn’t be possible on such a route and wearing a mask, and decided that I was going to take it a bit easier and avoid that until I’ll figure it out. But at least I figured it out in time to actually cover the intended distance.
Had to stand aside and briefly stop to allow cars to pass on laps one and, I think, three, though there’s a small chance the second time was on lap four. It was definitely on lap four when another car was approaching, but in that case I sped up to reach a spot where I could step aside and it went past me pretty much immediately, so I only had to slow a little and this therefore probably had no noticeable effect on the time. Another moment that probably had no noticeable effect was on lap one, when I had to squeeze past some people but I believe I just about maintained my pace as I did so. However, I did lose time towards the end of lap four, at the start of the final straight, as a car had just parked on the sidewalk in that spot and another person was walking past it, on the narrow piece of sidewalk that was left, so I had to slow down a lot and wait for my turn. Otherwise, my lower legs, possibly just the right one, though I’m not sure anymore, gave me a few warnings on laps three and four, but they got better quickly.

Before finishing this, I’ll also mention that I keep smelling smoke in my room. It started Tuesday, but I didn’t pay much attention because I had burned some biscuits in the microwave and thought that the smell perhaps got in here and then didn’t clear, since I had already closed the window by then and didn’t open it again. Then a large area a short distance away from the city burned that night, and while the news just mentioned the pollution having covered the north part of the city, I assumed that the fact that I could still smell it the next day was because of that, and for that same reason I only opened the window for a short time. But yesterday the window was open for hours and I didn’t notice that smell again when I got back after running, and any smells should be most noticeable when you come from somewhere else, yet I only started noticing it again after closing the window. Smelled around the computer, even removed that drawer and checked the UPS, but it doesn’t seem to be coming from there… And today it was just when I did open the window that I felt it, seeming to be going away after I closed it, so I really can’t say what the source is. What I can say is that it’s troubling…

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