Contest Update: Neuros x Boing Boing Gadgets Extended (with Bonus Nokia N95)


We didn't get enough good, original entries this week to do the Neuros contest correctly. I blame myself—I made it too difficult, forgetting that most people don't want to work to get free stuff. (Who can blame them?)

So I'm going to extend the contest out one more week, change the way to enter, and up the ante. It will take a minimum of work, but you can do it without leaving your desk, so this one might be worth giving a go.

Cosmology@Home is a new distributed project that aims to discover the cosmological model that "that best describes our Universe." It does this by running simulations of astronomical and particle physics data on your home machine—a "simulated universe."

I've started a "Team bOING bOING." To enter into a random selection to win the Neuros OSD, simply do the following:

• Go to the Cosmology@Home project page and download the client.
• Join Team bOING bOING.
• Crunch some units!

Crunch until next Wednesday night. I'll select one team member at random to win a free Neuros OSD settop box plus NAS. (I'll contact you via the Cosmology@Home system, so be sure you use a real email address.

In addition, the member who crunches the most units by midnight EST Wednesday will win an unlocked Nokia N95 smartphone.

If you have any questions, I'll respond to them in the comments, but it doesn't get much easier than this. It takes like 60 seconds to get up and running. Good luck! For science!

Join the Conversation


  1. I get an error message:
    Thu Oct 25 14:31:54 2007|Cosmology@Home|Message from server: No work sent
    Thu Oct 25 14:31:54 2007|Cosmology@Home|Message from server: (there was work for other platforms)

    So it looks like no PowerPCs are allowed to run this project.


  2. “No work sent (there was work for other platforms)”

    So despite the fact that I have installed BOINC, it looks as though the Cosmology@Home project is a wee bit biased towards Windows (and possibly Linux) users eh?

    Meh I say! I’ll just go get an iPhone instead. 😉

  3. Here’s another confirmation that the Mac client is no go. Neither of my machines (PPC & Intel) work. Windows and Linux are fine.

  4. Yeah – they haven’t assigned any jobs to Mac clients.

    Tis a shame I can use my quad-core towards this…

  5. Hmm, I have to admit, lazy. And impatient, too impatient to wait for my bb account creation email.

    After not getting anywhere with macs, I tried to get the command line linux version running. No dice there. Are there instructions for getting the client running from the command line only? I couldn’t find them, it was more about using once running.

    So back to lazy, I’m not going to install X on my server. I guess I’ll have to run emulated windows to get a block in!


  6. mac: fail.
    linux cli only: fail.
    windows in parallels: ftw!

    We’ll I’m not going to win the nokia this way, sadly, but at least I’ll get my name in the hat.

  7. Shiiiiiit…I thought I might have a shot at the N95, but there’s people with damn 10 machines working on this thing.

  8. Anyone know why it’s taking so long for my credits to post on the team page? I joined team bOING bOING and my account shows credits are pending, but they have been since about 5 pm, whereas others credits seem to be updating constantly. Am I doing something wrong here?

  9. I’m having the same problem where my credits seem to be pending forever. I have yet to show up on the team page.

  10. We’ll just have to keep an eye on it over the weekend. My first credits posted. Make sure you’re using the full URL in BOINC. I was getting errors about this at first.

    Bear in mind this is a contest, which means it will inevitably be a total clusterfuck, because that’s what always happens. That’s why there will be cake!

  11. @15

    Thanks, I tried again and figured it out. I had to start boinc, then run boinc_cmd to retrieve my auth key, then I was able to re-attach to the project with the auth key.

    Now I can put windows away. =]

  12. erg boinc is a nightmare to run on linux console, their docs def lean towards windows users… keep the n95 🙂 too much trouble

  13. It definitely doesn’t feel well put-together under Linux, but I managed to get it going on 13 systems today.

    Hurray for other people paying (most of) the electric bills. Also, for piles of older PCs and servers that I could get Ubuntu installed on fast.

  14. No Mac clients? what on earth were they thinking … sorry Joel, but if you set up teams on any other worthy projects please post about them and count me in, but these guys really need to make use of the fastest growing personal computing platform – my apologies to Linux and Windows users, I am an unashamed Mac fanboy).

  15. This thing is like some twisted form of crack .. I keep saying, “What computer can I add? What computer can I add?!”

    Midnight on Wednesday won’t come soon enough.


  16. Team bOING bOING is currently at position 11 for recent credit and 36 for total credit, with 102 members. Not bad for a few days’ work!

  17. Wow, team boing boing is taking off. I’m amazed at how fast some of us geeks were able to mobilize armies of cpu cores. This is a great contest, the competition is fun!

  18. I’ll just add my voice to the chorus of Mac users seriously bummed about not being able to compete for the N95. I had been under the impression that since BOINC was available for Macs that any project that utilized BOINC would run through that app and therefore be platform agnostic. How blindly optimistic, eh? (^_^)

  19. We’re in fourth place already! It’d take some serious crunching to get to first place. We’ve got more members than Team Francophone already, but they’re still putting out over twice as many numbers a day as we are. Still, awesome work! I may try to line up some more prizes after next week to keep the momentum going.

    As for Mactards, you have my apologies. I thought the BOINC client meant everybody could work; one of my machines is a Mac, too, so I feel your pain. (Not that I’m in it to win it.)

  20. To those of you who can’t wait until Wednesday… What then? You entered the contest and you’ll quit on Thursday?

    To Clay, congratulations. But why hide your processing horsepower?

    To me, I think I’ll stick around for this project, since dnetc (post RC5) isn’t all that interesting anymore. But Cosmology@Home could do a better job of exposing the models that they’re testing and reporting progress (success and failures) against the models. I guess I’m asking for more transparency from C@H (my trust is implicit, due in large part to the .edu nature of this project…)

  21. Mac users: I wish they had a Mac client for C@H, too, but I can understand them concentrating on getting the most CPUs on board first and foremost. They are in a “beta testing phase” according to the site, having just moved out of alpha on Friday.

    I was a postdoc at U. Illinois astro dept. a few years ago, so I’m cheering for C@H! I’ll also trust they’ll make good use of our cycles…

  22. For those that want to participate and have an old box laying around. Try Damn Small Linux on the machine, it operates with very little requirements.

    BOINC on DSL

    I took it a step farther than they did. Instead of VNC, I edited the default in grub.conf to enter runlevel 3 and did my administration via ssh. You must enable sshd on boot and I set up static IP as well (tip: in grub.conf you will want ‘nodhcp’ appended as well).

  23. No can join. My spare cycles are already being donated to the WorldCommunity grid, mostly doing protein folding/fitting calculations to help search for drug candidates for things like HIV. While I approve of getting more folks to contribute resources, I think I’ll stick with the project I’m already involved in.

  24. I just don’t think I’ll catch up, but I’ll stick it out!

    I unhid my computers, too. I won’t hide that I have a whole slew of older machines running. 🙂

    I’m dying to see what the top three have, though!

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