It has been long time since I posted in this blog. However, the endgame database project is still undergoing, although in a slower pace. Nevertheless, there are some breakthroughs in this period of time. Maybe this period is so long. :-)
1. First of all, I have modified the endgame code so now it can handle steps to conversion greater than 240, which was the limit before due to one byte information less some maintenance space. When I was making krn*kr* endgames, I found out some lines are greater than 240. That forced me to modify the program. I believe this part is done correctly now. Just one example here:
Look at the steps to conversion is now 273!
3. In the previous post, I mentioned the multi-thread ability of the endgame code. It worked quite well. However, the hard disk access time became even more unbearable as the other parts are now so much faster. One day, I was talking to one of my friends, who had just brought an 8-core server with 24G RAM with price at around $5,000. This prompted me to research the price of RAM. I was then surprised to find the 4G RAM can be found at the price around $130 in Taiwan. I then maxed out the RAM space of the motherboard of the 8-core server that I am using, which is 32G RAM. With RAM this big, I can now put all the database information in the RAM while computing until I finish all the computation for each endgame database. I modified the endgame code again and the speed is much faster than the hard disk version. Now I can construct endgame databases at faster pace as long as the database size is under 32G. The limitation can be further raised by simply upgrading hardware. More cores, more RAM, and sadly more money going with it. :-)
4. The progress are not all rosy here. Since my computer is now working at much higher speed with motherboard harboring 32G RAM, I am seeing some new problems. The computer now shuts down by itself from time to time. One of my friend help me trace the cause to the overheating. It is not hard to imagine now that all 8 cores are running at 100% most of the time. I changed the harboring case for better heat dissipation. It was fine for some period of time until one day, one stick of memory failed. Replaced it, ran it, and then motherboard failed. I have just replaced the motherboard and running tests now. Hopefully, this time it can start doing some work and not just whining.
6. Since I still have some problems to solve, I have not updated the index pages yet. It means some available endgame databases are not listed in the index pages. You can try arrange endgame position of your choice. If you are lucky, you may find your position is available in the databases. :-)
7. I learned again that this Blog space is not available to the huge Chinese population. Is the relation of Google and Chinese government that bad? I may someday move this Blog to another space so Chinese Xiangqi fans can have access to it.
8. It looks like my main web pages need some updates. :-)
These are for now. Stay tuned....