Stable Isotope Geochemistry


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"Thomas L. Millican" <[log in to unmask]>
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Stable Isotope Geochemistry <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 8 May 2006 13:30:33 -0500
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I wouldn't doubt the advantage of dual processors. If a program is waiting for a function to complete and tying up a processor, it cripples all other processes on a typical single processor system, no matter how "fast" that processor is, until the task is either ended or the response it's watining for has been met. A function of a program is allowed up to 50% of total processing with two processors, leaving the equivalent of one whole processor still open for new threads to run when something like a jump takes place or a file is being written to the hard-drive. It happens very quickly with the threads divided between the two processors as they will allow, but you can still watch this with the task manager. Dual-core processors are a little different. 
We were initially looking for an old Tyan dual motherboard when we needed to build a replacement PC for one that died, but went with a new single-cpu board thinking ISODAT would be more stable than it's turned out to be. ;-)
To sweat a little less, we put Workspace on another PC for re-processing and analysis while the machines are running.

----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Jones <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, May 4, 2006 12:29 pm
Subject: Re: [ISOGEOCHEM] Isodat problems

> Hi Les,
> I too had this same or similar problem for a while. The error 
> message I got
> was 'program: C:\finnigan\isodat nt\global\bin\workspace.exe - 
> abnormalprogram termination - (press retry to debug program)'. 
> This error window
> coincided with a lack of jump from N2 to CO2 configuration. If I 
> clicked any
> of the buttons the acquisition screen terminated. If I left the 
> screen alone
> the sample schedule would continue, but could receive the same 
> error again
> and open a new error window.  
> I too attempted reloads of Isodat, recalibrated the mass scale, 
> deleted and
> recreated jump files, erased the entire computers hard drive and 
> startedover, and removed and replaced memory (as I always received 
> a memory error
> after I closed the error message mentioned above). None of this 
> solved the
> problem. I was able to narrow down the fact that the jump file was 
> becomingcorrupt for some reason after creation. Deleting and 
> recreating this file
> would solve the problem for a time, but would always reoccur, 
> however, not
> in a predictable number of jumps or other factors I looked at.
> Eventually, I replaced the computer with another that has dual 
> processors(don't think this matters) and 1GB of RAM memory (I do 
> think this matters).
> I have not seen this error message again. I am not certain that 
> the increase
> in memory was the solution; perhaps the old computer had another 
> problemwithin the motherboard or memory cards themselves. However, 
> when I tried to
> reproduce this error on the new computer by loading the memory and
> processors with open programs while acquiring data I did receive 
> an error
> message, however it was different, go figure (sorry did not write 
> it down).
> This time the jump file was fine and did not get corrupted and 
> once the
> memory was freed up again the error messages stopped. At any rate, 
> I have
> not seen this error or had trouble jumping since the change in 
> computer. I
> have had runs totaling 150 samples and have probably run in excess 
> of 5000
> samples so far without problem. I can dual task using internet, 
> email, word
> and excel without having a problem.
> I realize this is not really a certified solution, but may be 
> something to
> look at. If you are able to borrow a high memory system to test, 
> it might
> save you the expense of buying a system that is not the solution. 
> I any case
> hope this helps. If you discover the real problem I would be very 
> interestedin your findings
> Brian Jones
> Stable Isotope Ecology Lab
> Texas A&M University
> College Station, Tx. 77843-3146
> 979-845-8916
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stable Isotope Geochemistry [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Leslie D. Price
> Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2006 10:35 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ISOGEOCHEM] Isodat problems
> yes, it is when it makes the jump to CO2 that the problem arises. 
> I will
> check to see if the "?" is in the window and try to see if the backup
> program will help.  So far that has not helped.  Thanks for your 
> help, I
> really appreciate   it!  Les