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Message boards : General discussion : Hidden computers - How come?

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Message 8170 - Posted: 25 Jan 2008 | 17:17:26 UTC
Last modified: 25 Jan 2008 | 17:19:06 UTC

I've noticed that you can hide your computers that you have attached to the project. I have also noticed several people doing this - especially those that have a high RAC.

Whats the thinking behind this option?

I honestly can't come up with a good reason, if it gave out a lot of personal information - sure. But, it really doesn't, it just gives some basic specs and what setups you have going on. Which, would seem like it would be useful to other people.

It would seem useful for a private-fellow, however a lot of these people have profiles telling about themselves that are hiding their computers, so I'm really not getting it at all lol.

I would be curious to hear anyone's thoughts.

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Message 8172 - Posted: 25 Jan 2008 | 23:41:40 UTC - in response to Message 8170.

I would be curious to hear anyone's thoughts.


Often those near the top are competing for the top and what better way to get to the top than know what everyone else is running and get something better. If you keep it hidden, you don't know what they are running, nor do you know if they are running at 100%.

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Message 8174 - Posted: 26 Jan 2008 | 2:28:40 UTC - in response to Message 8172.
Last modified: 26 Jan 2008 | 2:39:53 UTC

OK, so you have your computers hidden to not allow others to see what computers you are running and to not allow others to get ahead of you. As well as to not let others know if you are running at 100%.

If so, I have the obvious questions:

If I wanted to get ahead of you in score, I would simply look on eBay or otherwise for what would give me the best score/cost ratio and buy it up, crunch more than you and overtake you. How did you accomplish anything by hiding the computers?

What is the thought process behind hiding if you are running at 100% or not? The only thing I can come up with is hiding some sort of BOINC addiction/embarrassment factor. Such as you don't want to let people know you spend $30/month to just run some computers at full blast as opposed to running 70% on a lab of P4 1.8GHz's at your college or what-have-you.

It seems like whatever the case, it should be something you are proud of though. The fact of that you have access to a lab of computers at your college - Or the fact that you have a hobby that you have extra money to throw at as far as hardware/running costs go. Even at that rate, its not like its a webcam showing you in your undies sitting at your computer before you get ready for work checkin' your done WU's from the night. Someone could make an educated guess of what is going on, but thats it.

I kinda get it if you are saying competing for top-host on the list, but you can't hide that anyway. And, if you were the owner of the #1 computer on the list - wouldn't you want to show how cool you are to own it anyway?

I myself can not find any logical reason to have this feature. The project offers so many open-ended stats, information and otherwise I simply don't get why we would limit ourselves.

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Message 8178 - Posted: 26 Jan 2008 | 16:53:51 UTC

See, that's the thing about free will. You make your choices, I make mine. My choices don't have to be logical to you nor yours to me.

Some of us crunch for many different projects. You only have a finite amount of resources (CPU crunching in this example). As a result, if I can stay at a certain position at one list and not use all of my resources, I then have those resources available to use to maintain a spot on a different list. If someone tries to surge past, I can temporarily adjust my resources to prevent their surge from allowing them to pass me. For some, their surge won't be sustainable. For others, they'll reach a point where they won't divert any additional resorces from other projects and go back to presurge.

At any rate, it doesn't matter what you think. The option is there and some people will use it how they see fit.

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Message 8180 - Posted: 26 Jan 2008 | 19:27:05 UTC

I understand now it is the tactic of driving along in what everybody would think is your grandma's car only to dramatically take the car next to you at a light. Its just smiling when someone says "Whats under the hood?" LoL

Still though, in the BOINC world of no speed limits, it would seem you would want to run at full speed and make the largest leads, not just to suddenly scare off someone coming up on you. At large, I do get your point.

As far as the other proposed question of how it would help you. I would suppose it serves as the entertainment/elusive factor, same as the example above. As far as actual help, I still would maintain that it does not. If someone will over take you, they will, if they won't, they won't.

It seems to be something that adds the feature-rich side of BOINC and takes away just a little from the free-information factor of it.

Were you saying it doesn't matter what I think personally?

Or it doesn't matter what either one of us thinks because the option is there?

If you were saying that it doesn't matter what I alone think, I find the comment rude as well as needless.

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Message 8182 - Posted: 28 Jan 2008 | 1:26:21 UTC

One thought not listed... maybe a company/college is on here and they don't wish for other companies/colleges to find out what computers they are running?

~Bob
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Message 8183 - Posted: 28 Jan 2008 | 3:46:22 UTC

That is actually a very good point, especially some sort of government installation or otherwise. After that comment I can actually see some real point to this feature :)

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Message 8221 - Posted: 4 Feb 2008 | 2:56:53 UTC

>installation
Possibly the participant is a teacher managing a computer laboratory containing 10s [100s?] of PCs and has put BOINC/PrimeGrid on each one.
People have been sacked from their job for 'stealing the organisation's electricity'...

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Message 8223 - Posted: 4 Feb 2008 | 7:23:09 UTC - in response to Message 8221.

>installation
Possibly the participant is a teacher managing a computer laboratory containing 10s [100s?] of PCs and has put BOINC/PrimeGrid on each one.
People have been sacked from their job for 'stealing the organisation's electricity'...

Well, there's a section in project rules and policies that prohibits running BOINC w/ PrimeGrid on computers that you have not obtained the permission to do so.
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Message 8225 - Posted: 4 Feb 2008 | 11:01:16 UTC

The sort of person that would steal a company's electricity...
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Message 8226 - Posted: 4 Feb 2008 | 11:05:10 UTC - in response to Message 8225.

The sort of person that would steal a company's electricity...

Well, I stated this because PG does not endorse such activity, however, we don't have any means to check if the user is running BOINC with permission or without.

I hate legal stuff, but there's no way to escape it. Better not let the administrators know by hiding computers :)
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Message 8227 - Posted: 4 Feb 2008 | 14:47:30 UTC

Part of the computer information is the full computer name, which for some organizations is somewhat sensitive. Like anything else, figuring out how things are organized is the first steps towards a compromise.

That being said, I stick to my original feelings:

While BOINC software might be 'open', it certainly has no requirement for full disclosure. What kind of machine I'm running doesn't matter, so long as I compute the work accurately.

While I understand the project administrators might find this information relevant for designing better suited applications, perhaps even specialized applications, I find it extremely rude that someone from the 'public' suggest that my "not full disclosure" is something other than my personal business.

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Message 8228 - Posted: 4 Feb 2008 | 19:07:03 UTC - in response to Message 8227.


While I understand the project administrators might find this information relevant for designing better suited applications, perhaps even specialized applications, ...

Don't forget that the computers are still visible in the "Top Computers" list, although their owner is marked as "Anonymous". Therefore hiding your computers just prevents normal users from seeing which of the anonymous computers belong to you.
I said normal users here because the project administrators are still able to get this information. I don't know if there is an option for this in the administrator-pages (probably not) but it is easy to get this information directly from the database. Therefore hiding your computers is absolutely no problem for administrators or application developers.
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Message 8229 - Posted: 5 Feb 2008 | 3:10:30 UTC

All BOINC projects have this as part of their policy. I think the idea is just to encourage participants to 'do the right thing' as they have no way of enforcing the behaviour.
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Message 8230 - Posted: 5 Feb 2008 | 3:14:43 UTC - in response to Message 8229.
Last modified: 5 Feb 2008 | 3:17:14 UTC

All BOINC projects have this as part of their policy.


To which 'this' are you referring? Disclosing which computers we're using?

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Message 8231 - Posted: 5 Feb 2008 | 3:20:36 UTC

No, I meant the 'only use computers that you have permission to use' policy.
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Message 8232 - Posted: 5 Feb 2008 | 3:22:36 UTC - in response to Message 8231.

No, I meant the 'only use computers that you have permission to use' policy.


Ah, yes.

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Discovered the World's First base 116 Generalized Cullen prime!!!Discovered 28 mega primesEliminated 7 conjecture "k"sDiscovered 1 Sophie Germain pairDiscovered 2 Fermat divisors2012 Tour de Primes highest prime count2012 Tour de Primes most Mountain Stage primes2015 Tour de Primes highest prime count2016 Tour de Primes highest prime countFound 23 primes in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 mega prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 2 primes in the 2018 Tour de Primes Mountain Stage2019 Tour de Primes highest prime countFound 22 primes in the 2019 Tour de Primes2020 Tour de Primes highest prime scoreFound 21 primes in the 2020 Tour de PrimesFound 4 mega primes in the 2020 Tour de PrimesFound 8 primes in the 2021 Tour de PrimesFound 1 mega prime in the 2021 Tour de Primes321 LLR Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (201,403,028)Cullen LLR Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (201,409,561)ESP LLR Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (214,825,147)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (120,635,202)PPS LLR Double Gold: Earned 500,000,000 credits (732,163,998)PSP LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (126,982,721)SoB LLR Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (207,028,068)SR5 LLR Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (214,437,634)SGS LLR Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (205,718,935)TPS LLR (retired) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (235,439)TRP LLR Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (201,215,056)Woodall LLR Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (195,500,623)321 Sieve (suspended) Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (235,451,253)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (83,794,448)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (285,139,652)PPS Sieve Double Ruby: Earned 2,000,000,000 credits (2,729,098,431)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (203,523,358)TRP Sieve (suspended) Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (201,489,157)AP 26/27 Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (398,585,733)WW Double Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000,000 credits (1,900,244,000)GFN Double Ruby: Earned 2,000,000,000 credits (2,135,934,553)PSA Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (259,058,048)
Message 8233 - Posted: 5 Feb 2008 | 14:13:57 UTC

If you look around the boards of the oldest of the BOINC projects (posts from the 2004 era), you will see this topic discussed at length. Essentially, back then there were two primary reasons given for hiding computers:

1. In the early days of BOINC, there was considerable discussion of issues of security (e.g., the self-updating of the science application, etc.). Many participants wished there computers to be only visible to project administrators for a (albeit minimal) level of increased security.

2. Because of issues with clients, credit, and accusations of cheating, many users chose to hide their computers to avoid the annoyance of other 'snooping' users who would sort through results to complain about cheating, machines that gave errors, users with excessively large caches, etc. Many users chose the hide option simply to not be bothered.


____________
141941*2^4299438-1 is prime!


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Posts: 23
ID: 15208
Credit: 2,735,980
RAC: 0
Discovered 1 mega primeCullen LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (19,295)PPS LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (324,731)TPS LLR (retired) Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (33,553)Woodall LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (14,785)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,319,800)
Message 8236 - Posted: 5 Feb 2008 | 18:26:02 UTC - in response to Message 8227.

Part of the computer information is the full computer name, which for some organizations is somewhat sensitive. Like anything else, figuring out how things are organized is the first steps towards a compromise


Isn't this only true for the owner? I've never noticed the names of any other computers other than my own anywhere.


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Joined: 20 Sep 05
Posts: 667
ID: 845
Credit: 2,377,402,515
RAC: 56,090
Found 2 primes in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de PrimesFound 2 primes in the 2020 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2020 Tour de Primes Mountain StageFound 2 primes in the 2021 Tour de Primes321 LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (7,917,282)Cullen LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (9,669,460)ESP LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (15,505,816)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (20,214,657)PPS LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (20,587,796)PSP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (9,409,109)SoB LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (15,175,194)SR5 LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (23,096,513)SGS LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (7,717,760)TPS LLR (retired) Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (76,372)TRP LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (16,773,842)Woodall LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (8,519,621)321 Sieve (suspended) Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (11,111,528)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (20,000,264)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (11,111,347)PPS Sieve Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (460,091,000)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,177,104)TRP Sieve (suspended) Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,556,644)AP 26/27 Double Bronze: Earned 100,000,000 credits (140,570,947)WW Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (55,920,000)GFN Double Silver: Earned 200,000,000 credits (435,336,887)PSA Double Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000,000 credits (1,079,860,880)
Message 8239 - Posted: 5 Feb 2008 | 19:49:55 UTC - in response to Message 8236.

Part of the computer information is the full computer name, which for some organizations is somewhat sensitive. Like anything else, figuring out how things are organized is the first steps towards a compromise


Isn't this only true for the owner? I've never noticed the names of any other computers other than my own anywhere.


Correct, you can only see your own computers' names and some other details.
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Message boards : General discussion : Hidden computers - How come?

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