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Thread: Is 2020 over yet?

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    NeoGen's Avatar
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    Is 2020 over yet?

    Hey everyone!

    I'm sorry for the long hiatus, but I wanted to make sure you all know I'm still alive, but it's been quite a crazy year, as I'm sure it has been to everyone else as well...
    I've been working myself crazy from home to stay away from Covid for the past... almost 6 months I think? I'm not sure exactly, time starts to warp and the days merge onto each others after the first 6 weeks without sunlight. Haven't had a haircut in about that much time either, so you can imagine how long is it. lol
    In the midst of this my wife was diagnosed with cancer, had major surgery and was recovering for several months and doing chemo, but I believe she is about recovered now, just needs to build back her immune system again. Those chemo treatments were pretty harsh on her, but they're finally over! And because of that another reason why neither one of us can't even think of going out anywhere, we cannot risk her catching even a cold.
    No need to talk about the news, I live in the USA, I'm sure everyone has heard everything about how crazy things have been here on a daily basis. I hear about people unfortunately dying but so far no one in the immediate family or friends. Mostly I hear it through work, as we are all included in the "Sad news" emails each week.
    My company downsized and we lost about a third of our workforce already, but I'm blessed to still have a job and I will go above and beyond to hold onto it because this is a real bad time to lose it. I was in the unfortunate position of having to process the employee departures on our IT systems, so I've unfortunately seen every single name as they passed by, over a dozen per day sometimes. It seems to have stopped now thankfully.
    All in all I can't complain, my wife is ok, we both still have jobs, none of us contracted Covid and neither our immediate families, and we're pushing through until this cursed year is over with.

    So... how's everyone else been?

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    Hi NeoGen,

    Fortunately I can say almost the same: my wife is ok, she still has her job, none of us contracted Covid and neither our immediate families, and we're pushing through until this cursed year is over with too.
    Last edited by Dirk Broer; 08-31-2020 at 08:10 PM.

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    Hi Neogen, Glad to see your wife is OK after the Ca and that you have your jobs. Similarly Dirk that you're doing OK too.

    Personally, my employer had to do some layoffs of casuals and my pay was cut 90 percent initially. I still have my job and things have improved but still not to 100 percent. I just can't seem to get Australians to buy from an Australian manufacturer. There is this passion to buy imported products from USA. Oh well I battle on.

    My wife is a hospital scientist so her job is safe, fortunately she doesn't work in virology or she would be handling 100s of C19 pos samples a day. She works in Cytology where they diagnose cancer and other diseases. They get a fair number of respiratory samples so their PPE is worn 100 percent and they take safety seriously.

    My son was in a long depression after being let go from Amazon last year but now he is happy again and working for another major IT company. I don't exactly understand what his job is but it is something highfalutin in IT. He puts up with my Distributed Computing "hobby" but really thinks its a total waste of electricity doing other people's work.

    He observes there are very few projects that seem to appreciate the expense involved in crunching the work (hardware / electricity) provided to the project for free with so few project admins providing rapid response to troubleshooting issues or outages or other glitches. World Community Grid and PrimeGrid seem to be the best but some projects treat us hobbyists with contempt. He asks "Why do you bother? They don't appreciate your efforts".
    Last edited by vaughan; 08-30-2020 at 03:17 AM.

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    Hey vaughan and Dirk, great to hear from both of you!

    Vaughan, you just reminded me of something I had forgotten about... my paycheck also got a 5% pay cut. Thankfully not too much, but that and yearly raises and/or any bonuses is all out the window this year. But I still do appreciate my job every day, and even today had my yearly review with my manager and he said I'm doing a great job. I would have gotten a raise, and maybe a bonus if it wasn't for Covid lol. Oh well...

    I guess as a way to keep my sanity I built myself the biggest cruncher I've ever had... it's still in beta testing, almost complete, but here's a sneak peek of it in action: https://sech.me/boinc/Amicable/show_...?hostid=118478
    In short, it's an AMD Ryzen 3400G, with 64GB of DDR4 RAM, sitting on a cheap Asrock motherboard, powered by a Seasonic 1300W PSU, with 4 AMD Radeon RX 580 GPUs, all crammed into a rackmount 4U server case, one of those specially prepared for crypto miners with the GPUs pulled back and connected via PCI-E extensions over USB cables. It's also got 3 Delta high RPM fans that literally make the lid hover in the air if it's not screwed down. I'll post some pictures when I have it completed. It's almost there, I'm only missing a Noctua heatsink to replace the stock AMD one, that will be combined with a Noctua Industrial 3000 RPM fan, and one last Radeon RX 5700 to complete the set.
    It's currently running Amicable Numbers, Folding@Home and Universe@Home as a test run. Running in a closed bedroom for a few hours heats up that room easily 5 degrees or more. It's going to be interesting to see what happens when I put it on my little server closet and rack mount it. I have an A/C there, I just hope it can keep up with it.
    I may only be able to run this monster in the winter because testing it this month in peak summer with A/C in the house almost all day on (because both me and my wife work from home), it burst my electricity bill to new heights I had never been before
    But it's amazing I can run 5 full Amicable WUs in parallel, each of them sucking up 10GB of RAM and the GPUs, and still have some resources left over for other projects. I would dedicate it to Folding@home only but it's not reliable, you can't queue F@H work, sometimes it's running, other times it's not... I can't have a monster cruncher going idle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vaughan View Post
    I just can't seem to get Australians to buy from an Australian manufacturer. There is this passion to buy imported products from USA.
    I couldn't resist to comment on this one real quick
    I don't know what you sell, but you should get your clients to talk to some Americans to see if they still would think so highly of American made stuff afterwards

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    Our sympathy lies with the military here:


    Camouflaged heatsinks.....what will they think of next?
    Last edited by Dirk Broer; 09-03-2020 at 02:04 AM.

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    invisible heatsinks? (aka none x)

    @NeoGen, ugh friggin' cancer. i guess covid was a bit of a blessing in disguise as you were around none of anyone at work who would have been sick with normal flus and colds keeping your recovering wife safer this way! been out of a job living off some pandemic money, an old car that turned unreliable the first day of my last job a couple years ago, and my 1950X. now if only i'd get my tax returns back, i'll be able to breathe easier til i get a job.

    been experimenting hella intensely with the fee-free but slow as F bleeding edge codec AV1. dealing with depression that's been building the last 4-5 years or so now that i've got medicaid and slightly coming out of my shell socially. and gaming far less than i want to. but yeah, i'm totally seeing the days blending together

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    Hey plonk420

    You are very correct that Covid was a sort of blessing in disguise, I know for a fact that my wife would have to physically go to work right now if it wasn't for covid being around, and probably same for me. I might get a temporary reprieve for a few weeks to work from home or something at my job as they are a bit flexible, but hers is almost not an option, she works in a hospital.
    That must be some fun stuff there playing with AV1, are you developing applications that use it? And yea, anything bleeding edge will be real slow until they have time to optimize it and especially integrate it into CPU or GPU hardware encoding/decoding. When that happens it will probably become much easier to handle.
    Don't let depression get to you, it may take a while to bounce back up but you got to keep pushing yourself hard everyday until you don't feel it pulling you down. I tend to stick to a daily routine as best as I can to keep myself busy, it has two advantages for me. First it helps keep me a bit sane given the 6+ month lockdown I'm in already, I know what I have to do each day at each hour and already do it automatically. And second it helped keep my fears away when my wife's condition sprung up on us. I still get negative "What if" thoughts of course, but I choose not to dwell on them and have little time to anyway.
    So, I guess we're all just living day by day until this cursed 2020 is over with... 2021 will turn a new leaf for us all and it will feel refreshing like never before.

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