Not getting any tasks from Charity Engine project

Jeff ID: 2104 Posts: 2
01 Jun 2012 01:09 AM


When I first started running Charity Engine 3 weeks ago, I was able to get tasks from the project just fine.  But starting 2 weeks ago, I wasn't able to get any tasks from Charity Engine at all.  So I've been purely doing Malariacontrol tasks.  I know I'll still get points (right?), but it's just odd that whenever tasks are requested from Charity Engine, I'm not given any.  I also looked at the CE project status page and see that there are tasks ready to be sent.  So is there something I'm doing wrong?

Thanks for your help!




Jonathan Brier ID: 159 Posts: 112
01 Jun 2012 01:28 AM

Hi Jeff,

It is likely you have reached the Charity Engine project's data cap.  We do this to protect users so they do not get surprised by high data use when we run data intensive tasks.

We have implemented a 5 gigabyte cap per month to each user account for only the Charity Engine project so users do not have issues with their Internet service providers (ISP) and overage fees or per unit charges.

We plan to let participants opt into more tasks and likly an option to opt out of network intensive tasks to best fit with their ISP services.  We are in constant development so new features, functionality, and tweaks are being performed.  I do not have a timeframe when these new features will be implemented.

You still get points and entries while participating in Charity Engine running the projects we added to your computer.  

Thank you for participating in Charity Engine!

drmodz ID: 271 Posts: 6
01 Jun 2012 01:30 AM

I'm in the same boat.  I've been running for a few months now.  First few months I just got work for malariacontrol and einstein, then for a 1-2 week period I got some CE tasks, now I'm back to exclusively malariacontrol and einstein.  I haven't changed anything the whole time, so I don't think its anything we're doing wrong.

Based on the graphs in the interface it looks like CE work peaked May 2 - May 8 then dropped off.

Tristan Olive ID: 22 Posts: 383
01 Jun 2012 04:02 AM

As Jonathan suggested, this sounds exactly like the bandwidth cap (and it will be configurable soon).

Please wait a day or two and see if work again begins coming in for the CE project, now than June has come around.

Jeff ID: 2104 Posts: 2
02 Jun 2012 08:58 AM

Thanks for the explanation.   I am, indeed, now getting CE work units since the new month has began.

It is curious, though, how you allow other other projects to take up bandwidth.  I mean, afterall, if you were worried about a person's bandwidth cap, you wouldn't automatically add other projects since they too could easily go over 5 GB and way more without limiting the amount of tasks they receive. But I'm glad that you plan to include some controls over this with the CE project.

Tristan Olive ID: 22 Posts: 383
02 Jun 2012 05:56 PM

Most ISP caps are quite a bit more than 5 GB, leaving plenty of room for the relatively-small downloads necessary for those other projects after the CE project has been capped.

It was never the intent of Charity Engine to take up all (or even most) of a user's bandwidth, only to make the best use of idle resources that would otherwise be wasted, so if the cap from your ISP really is only 5 GB, it would be best to hold off on using CE or at least run it very sparingly until controls are in place that allow you to opt out of network intensive projects or set your own throttle.

We'll also be sure to offer some instruction on this once controls are enabled (i.e. "If your ISP cap is 10 GB, a cap of 5 GB or less here at Charity Engine is recommended").

Thanks for your feedback on this, Jeff. This is a critical topic that we definitely need to get right.

Jonathan Brier ID: 159 Posts: 112
03 Jun 2012 04:07 AM

Jeff, glad to hear you are getting the Charity Engine work again.In regards to the bandwidth of other projects: The other projects use very little bandwith in comparison to the current Charity Engine tasks.  The other projects are computing intensive meaning they require a lot of cpu power and use only a few megabytes of bandwidth comparted to the Charity Engine gigabytes of bandwidth use.  The other projects equivolent are like watching an extra short online video or two in a month.  We continue to monitor performance and if another project looks like a project will cause an issue we will adjust the design and controls as needed.

Graham ID: 2422 Posts: 27
03 Jun 2012 07:38 PM

I am getting this effect of no work units available today too but it seems intermittent.  I don't have any bandwidth restrictions so it is a little irksome but I am pleased that you have thought about the issue rather than assume everyone has unlimited resources.  Also the cap ensures a fairer distribution of work to contributors should the volume fluctuate.  It is not all about sheer computing power but what your clients want to pay for and what can be distributed to charity.  The more people involved the better.  The bonus aspect should be treated as a bit of fun while pursuing laudable aims, rather than as a money making exercise with a race to provide as much computation as possible.

If we had some advice on the likely cap it might be useful.  I could, for example, decide not to run it on my work (legitimately I might add) or home machine if one of them alone would fulfil the quota. 

(The same is true of GPU computation - I can find some capacity on one machine - but only if it is valid and needed.)

Yorkie ID: 2302 Posts: 1
15 Jun 2012 06:40 AM