Q1 What is the difference between screensaver, service and command-line versions?
ZetaGrid starts a process to do the calculation on your computer. It can start this process in a number of different ways.
The simplest way is that you issue a command, e.g. 'zeta.sh' under Linux or 'zeta.cmd' / 'zeta.bat' under Windows. Then the calculation begins.
For your convenience there exist two additional versions for use under Windows. The service is a daemon process which is automatically started whenever you start your Windows NT/2000/XP system.
It always runs in the background, so you do not need to manually start the calculation. This is a low priority process (default).
The other version is the screensaver. There, Zeta calculation only takes place when the screensaver is active. It is suspended as long as you use the computer. Thus, you do not have any performance effects during your normal work with the computer, but of course the overall calculation speed is slower.
Q2 Is a constant Internet connection required to participate?
No, ZetaGrid only needs a connection to download the work units and return the results. During the calculation you may be offline.
If you stay offline for a longer time period you may want to reserve multiple work units, so you do not run out of work.
This can be configured in the 'zeta.cfg' or via the screensaver dialog.
Q3 What if I am on vacation for 2 weeks and my computer is turned off? Is there a timeout for the work units?
As ZetaGrid is a dynamic system of course we have to take care of work units which are reserved too long.
The current timeout value is seven days, and after that time the work unit may be resend to another client.
You should make sure that you have returned your results within this timeframe, otherwise they are - we hate to admit it - ignored.
Q4 What operating systems are supported and why?
We support the operating systems we have access to and, of course, which are most widely used in the community. To us they are Windows, Linux, AIX, Mac, and SunOS.
For OS/2 we currently do not have the time to generate a specialized version. Feel free to download the source code and try your luck with the 'how-to-build' instructions.
If you succeed please send us an email, so we can look at it and possibly include into our list.
Q5 What work unit size should I choose ?
Work unit size determines how long your computer works on one unit. After about 1 week there is a timeout which invalidates a work unit. So if you choose a large work unit size and do not finish its calculation in a couple of days you run the risk that your work is redistributed, and your result wasted.
Also, the amount of data transferred is larger, so you need to wait longer for transfer over the Internet.
Work unit size (and number of work units) are only really relevant if you are offline.
You have to judge how much you calculate between different online sessions and then decide which parameters fit you best.
Q6 Why is there a CPU intensity switch ?
Some computers really have some problems with running full speed all the time. This can happen
both for laptops as well as desktop machines. For these machines, you should set the intensity
switch to medium or low, so that the CPU's do not overheat.
Basically, what ZetaGrid does is taking some idle cycles every now and then.
Q7 How much RAM does the client take ?
There is a parameter in the 'zeta.cfg' file (resources=x) to define how much RAM should the client take. The default takes about 37MB main memory in Windows.
It is possible to use up to 51MB main memory to speedup the computation.
Q8 How can I see the amount of work done? How can I check if I have delivered a work unit successfully ?
In Windows you have the ZetaGrid control center which shows your work, for the other OS there is the 'zeta_progress.sh' command or other useful supplementaries on the download page.
The delivery of the work unit can be seen in the relevant statistics page on the ZetaGrid server under your name. It is updated roughly every 10 minutes.
Q9 What are my odds to win a prize ?
Well, all the rewarded situations have not been found yet, so there are none within the first 100+ billion zeros. We do not have any estimation about the probabilities, but it might just be that these situations will occur...
Q10 How do I notice if I won a prize ?
There is an automated detection mechanism which runs for every completed work unit.
If a match occurs the administrator will be notified, who in turn will send you an e-mail.
Q11 Can we contribute as a group/team but still see our personalized results ?
Yes, you can optionally define a team name and still see our personalized results. But it is recommended for everybody to define a valid e-mail address who want to contribute as a team
because you will get an e-mail with a unique link to approve your change if you want to change your team membership.
Q12 Can I change my name, e-mail or team membership ?
The pair (name, e-mail) is the unique identifier for ZetaGrid. In every statistic the e-mail address is not viewed and the results are summarized for every name (not case sensitive).
Therefore, you will have a new identifier if you change your e-mail but you contribute for the same name in the statistics.
You will get an e-mail with a unique link to approve your change if you want to change your team membership.
This e-mail will be generated from the server if the client requests new work units. In some situations you will never receive an e-mail if your address is not valid or your mail server rejected e-mail SPAM addresses.
But you approve only your unique identifier (name, e-mail) and not every user with the same name. You have to change your team membership in the configuration of all computer.
Otherwise the ZetaGrid server will send you different approvals (to change back to your previous team) after every request for new work units.
All statistics will be changed with your new team membership in about 2 hours if you approve your change at the server. A team can only exist with at least one member.
Q13 How many data is transferred between the server and the client ?
For the normal-size work unit (default) about 450kB of result data has to be transferred.
Q14 I have a multiprocessor machine. Can ZetaGrid use multiple CPU's?
Yes, there is a switch in the 'zeta.cfg' file (processors=x) to enable multiple threads which can each
run on a different CPU in your computer. Work units cannot be shared among different CPU's, so you have
to have one work unit for each thread.
If you have more than 5 processors please contact us, because the standard client has a limit of 5.