This is our technical FAQ, we also have a more general FAQ.
Are there any system requirements?
To run theSkyNet SourceFinder you need to have at least Java 1.6 installed on your computer (most computers come with Java already installed and it can be easily updated at Java.com or through normal computer updating procedures for your operating system.)
We also recommend at least 2GB of RAM – theSkyNet SourceFinder client needs about 500MB, so although possible to run on a machine with less than 2GB RAM, you will notice a slow down of the machine and some periodic theSkyNet client drop outs.
A lot of our users are donating as much as possible to us by opening more clients on the one computer (up to one per core) – we appreciate this but please note that if you’re running theSkyNet SourceFinder on any more than one core (ie having more than one client open on the one machine) you will notice the effects in a slightly sluggish computer. theSkyNet has been optimised to not be noticeable when running one client, but it will start to slow down your machine noticeably with 2 or more clients open (the more clients, the larger the effect will be.)
TkeSkyNet POGS has the same system requirements as the BOINC software, as found here.
What are credits?
You earn credits for contributing your computing power to theSkyNet. The longer you are connected, the more you will contribute and the faster you will earn credits. In theSkyNet SourceFinder you earn ten credits per 15 minutes you are connected, and ten credits per 15MB your computer processes. In theSkyNet POGS (on BOINC) the credit formula is a little different, it's based on the number of pixels your computer processes.
Credits win you trophies, help you climb your way up theSkyNet ladders and add to any alliance you are in.
- You can contribute more by contributing to your theSkyNet account (through either theSkyNet SourceFinder or theSkyNet POGS) from multiple computers.
- Any credits you earn while you’re in an alliance add to that alliance’s tally, and will stay with that alliance even if you decide to leave.
Why aren’t I earning any credits?
This could be for many reasons. The most common one in theSkyNet SourceFinder is that Java is misbehaving on your machine, this is usually completely remedied by a ‘clean’ install of Java from java.com. The second most common is that you have installed theSkyNet SourceFinder software using the background installer, but made a typo when entering in your userID. This can be remedied by reinstalling the software and making sure the only thing in the account ID pop up box is your account ID as shown on your dashboard (remove the dummy account ID which is in the box.)
If neither of these things fix your issue of not earning credits, please contact us for individual help through the Contact Us page.
I've been processing for theSkyNet POGS but haven't earned any credits
One of the things BOINC does to make sure the data is reliable and usable is check all work units once they are completed for possible mistakes by matching them with the same work unit processed on other computers for validation. This process can take up to 7 days and your credits will only appear once the data has been validated.
If this doesn't fix your issue of not earning credits, please contact us for individual help through the Contact Us page.
What are all these things on the dashboard?
Here's a quick run down on what the dash shows you.
- At the top left will be a box containing your username, credits you have earnt, your latest achievement and a bar showing progress towards your next trophy.
- At the top right is a box containing the leaderboards, you can tab between the indvidiual and alliance leaderboards, and click the link on the bottom to view the full leaderboards.
- Below the leaderboards is a box with your alliance and details of your controbution to that alliance.
- In the middle of the page are two boxes side by side, one for theSkyNet POGS and one for theSkyNet SourceFinder. Both boxes detail your current contrbution to either project.
- In theSkyNet SourceFinder box there will either be a blue start button or a green tick. The green tick says you have at least one of theSkyNet SourceFinder’s clients processing data for us. You can click this green tick to open another pop up if you want to donate more. See below in this FAQ. The MIPS is Million Instructions Per Second and is a measure of how much computing ‘grunt’ you’re donating to theSkyNet. The higher the number the more you’re donating.
- The bottom of your dash is a graph showing your contorbution. Click on the coloured boxes to tab between different graphs.
Where is the Linux installer for theSkyNet SourceFinder?
What are MIPS in theSkyNet SourceFinder?
MIPS are Million Instructions Per Second and are a measure of how much work your computer is doing for theSkyNet. The higher the number, the more you’re giving.
I’ve downloaded theSkyNet SourceFinder software but nothing’s happening!
The software is made to run completely in the background without you knowing it’s there. You can check that you’re donating by logging in to your dashboard at any time and checking your stats there.
The client will not always be receiving data from theSkyNet’s servers, as each data run has to be started manually and sometimes data runs out over night. Sometimes we also pause processing to sort something out in the backend or prepare more data for theSkyNet. So, don’t panic if it appears to be doing nothing at first, just keep it running and as we start the next bit of data through you’ll see it start doing things!
We’ve also heard all your suggestions for a GUI and something to show that the client is running and doing its thing. It's proved much harder than expected but we're trying.
If you’ve got no downloads or credits showing up after 24 hours of running, you may have entered your user ID incorrectly when installing the client. Reinstall the client and copy your user ID from your dashboard exactly.
How do I make sure theSkyNet software runs every time I turn on my computer?
If you downloaded and installed the software (either BOINC or theSkyNet SourceFinder for your computer, it will automatically turn on every time you boot your computer (without you knowing it’s doing it.)
You can check that it’s working by logging in to the dashboard and seeing the green button appear to say you’re donating your spare computing power.
I’m trying to install theSkyNet SourceFinder client software but it keeps asking me to install Java 1.6, which I have!
We’ve had a reports of people on 64 bit Windows machines needing to manually install the 64 bit java instead of the 32 bit version. If this doesn’t fix your problem (or you’re not on 64 bit Windows), contact us with the details and we’ll look further into it
Why don’t you guys use BOINC?
We do! We heard all your requests for a BOINC option for theSkyNet and so theSkyNet POGS was born. You can start donating from your dashboard.
Isn’t Java slow?
No. Where did you get that idea? We’ve tested Nereus’ Java code (theSkyNet SourceFinder) against the original source in C and it’s faster in Java. Java might have been slow years ago, but it’s not any more. TheSkyNet is extremely fast – we created a 20 TFLOP machine on our first night!
I’d like to uninstall the Mac software for theSkyNet SourceFinder and run it through the website again, how do I do that?
Use spotlight (search) to search for Nereus and then click on the ‘Uninstall NereusV’ to uninstall the automatic client.
I’d like to uninstall the PC software for theSkyNet SourceFinder software and run it through the website again, how do I do that?
Use the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ from the Control Panel to uninstall theSkyNet client.
I signed up in the first 24 hours, where’s my founding members certificate?
We had 2,900 users sign up on our first day, all of whom are founding members of theSkyNet. If you were one of our early adopters, thank you! Your certificate is available via a link in your trophy cabinet, accessed through the dashboard.
Can I have more than one theSkyNet SourceFinder client open? How can I make use of multiple cores? Will this help me earn more credits?
Yes, you can have more than one client open. By clicking the ‘Start’ button on the Dashboard again you can start up multiple clients. The role of the client is to accept, process and return data to theSkyNet. Each client you initiate will associate itself with a single core of your machine that isn’t already occupied by an another, so you can make use of multiple cores on your computer by starting more clients. If you open more clients than cores, the extras wont be doing anything useful.
For example: If you have a 4 core machine then you can run 4 active clients and accrue credits at a rate of 4 x 1 credit for every 15 minutes they are connected, plus 1 credit per 15Mb of data downloaded and processed by each. But if you start up a fifth client on the same machine it can’t do any work and won’t earn any credits.
But never fear! If you’re a Data Diva and are keen to earn more credits you can contribute to theSkyNet from multiple machines by installing the background application and tying it to your account ID number.
Can I have more than one theSkyNet POGS client open? How can I make use of multiple cores? Will this help me earn more credits?
You can't have more than one theSkyNet POGS client open, but you can configure your installation of BOINC to use multiple cores. Check the preferences and options within the BOINC software, or contact us for help.
How can I use all of my computer’s “grunt” to contribute to theSkyNet more
theSkyNet is about lots of computers each doing a little, we’re not about pushing the processors of theSkyNet community too hard, but recognise that some ‘Power Users’ are keen to contribute to process as much data as their machines can handle. There are many ways you can acomplish this, some of which are discussed on the forums (including how to make the background installer use more than one core on Linux.) You can also configure your installation of theSkyNet POGS on BOINC to maximise your contribution.
I’ve installed the background client for theSkyNet SourceFinder but my account isn’t being credited.
During the installation process you should have been asked to insert your ID number. This number is unique to you and you can find it on the Dashboard or in the popup applet window when you hit the ‘Start’ button. You need to make sure you insert the correct number during the install process or your machine’s hard work will credit someone else’s account. If you think this could be the problem then simply uninstall and reinstall the application. Make sure you replace the dummy number that’s in the box with yours, rather than adding yours at the end. (Your ID should be the only number in the box before you press OK)
How much of a ‘core’ does theSkyNet SourceFinder applet use?
Each client you activate will attach itself to a single core of your machine. When it’s not being used by other things the client will use 100% of this core and when it is required by your computer for other things theSkyNet app will wind back so as not to get in the way.
Why does by Norton antivirus software not like theSkyNet SourceFinder?
Good question and the answer is we’re not sure, as no other antivirus software has had an issue and we pose no risk to the machine. The data you’re processing for theSkyNet comes into your Java ‘sandbox’ where it is processed before returning to theSkyNet. It is never stored on your computers hard disk and poses no risk to your machine as it’s impossible for anything to escape out of the sandbox. We’ve been in touch with Norton and they’ve said they’re happy with what we’re doing and will stop their software ringing alarm bells as updates flow through to their users.
I need to delete my account and start again
By deleting your account you’ll lose all your credits and have to start from scratch, but if you really want to do it send us an email with your ID and Username through the Contact Form and we’ll delete everything for you, after verifying your identity.
What are ‘jobs’ on theSkyNet SourceFinder?
Jobs are the way your computer processes data from theSkyNet. They have three phases – Download, Process and Upload. The Download phase involves your computer downloading 5MB of data from theSkyNet, the Process phases is where your computer processes the data (makes sense hey?) which should take less than 30 minutes for a reasonably modern machine and doesn’t use any downloads, then there’s the Upload phases where your computer tells theSkyNet what it’s found, which involves only a few kB of uploads.
What are challenges and how do I join?
TheSkyNet has a new challenge system (currently in beta, and new features being added) where you can challenge other teams/alliances or individuals to a challenge for any time period you choose. There are many options for your challenge, including what the challenge is on (just credits earnt, increase in Recent Average Credits (RAC), including handicaps for smaller teams etc.). To join or create a challenge, visit the challenge page. To sign up to a team/alliance challenge, you'll ned your alliance or team leader to sign up for you (which signs up the whole team). Please contact us if you have suggestions for improvements and additions to the challenge system.
Have a question not covered here?
Contact theSkyNet and we’ll get back to you with the answer.