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23 tall blocks cactus found by PDW and edjotron
We've discovered the first naturally generated 23-Tall Cactus! Thanks to PDW and Edjotron, we can now confirm that the tallest is 23 blocks. To see this cacti in its natural habitat, right by a Mesa, please input the seed

on 1.14 and use
/tp 16274576 64 10230656 
to teleport to it, right next to the badlands!

As some of you may have seen on the BOINC Forums News updates, developers Balint, Hy and Boincboi have confirmed stability of our new optimization updates. These optimizations to Kaktwoos will allow many models of AMD GPUs to get between 30 and 50% performance, like the RX 480 and RX Vega series. Additionally, some RTX 2000 series graphics cards may see small boost in speed, of 5-10%, while a few (such as an RTX 2060) may see up to 75% more performance!

This means almost all of you can compute cacti much faster, as we launch the next round of Kaktwoos at y=65 shortly.

10 Feb 2021, 23:43:38 UTC · Discuss

The Grand BOINCale for Kaktwoos?
We apologize yet again for the lack of work over the past month and a half, since all of you had last BOINC'd to solve Minecraft’s tallest cactus mystery. Now, after improving Kaktwoos’ ease of use for our developers we are ready for one last, hopefully long round of cactus stacking and chunk smashing with our fellow cacti enthusiasts. Thanks to some changes behind the scenes, our developers no longer have to painfully modify many configuration files and verify multiple server adjustments (as mentioned in our previous post). At most now they will only have to change two numbers and send work out, as all of the preliminary seeds have been pre-loaded for BOINC to work off of! So, how much work do we expect to generate over the next few days?

Well for starters, an average run of ‘Kaktwoos’ per block layer (y-level) creates 120,000 tasks at a minimum, and each task takes a midrange gaming GPU at least an hour to complete. We have at least 10 layers planned to be checked for 23 and 24-block tall cacti, making this one of our most comprehensive searches yet. Even with 1000 users computing away 24/7, we can imagine this work, and reviewing all the data from it will take at least *60* days. This doesn’t even include that the seeds we are working on are only a fraction of the potential cacti to be stacked, though are the most likely to successfully merge into Tall Cacti at these unusual heights.

So, how high up in a desert do you think we can find tall cacti? Will ‘Superflat’ presets be the final destination for outrageously tall cacti searches? Join us now at [email protected] to find out, and bring back immense compute power to our BOINC network! We recommend anyone with a Windows 7/10 64bit and Ubuntu 18.04 or newer OS to join, and especially those with an AMD RX 460, GTX 750ti or newer/faster. Intel Graphics are supported as well, and multiple GPU systems are in high demand and very capable to assist us. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere feeling cold and isolated this winter, why not BOINC with us and chat in our Discord server , or pay a visit to our messaging board?

If you have already begun the penultimate search for ‘stacctus’ with us already, try to find your own tall cacti under ‘Your Tasks’ in the BOINC client’s ‘Advanced View’, then by clicking on the task number inside your browser. Inside those logs maybe there’s a chance you’ll find a 22 or taller ‘natural’ cactus of your own, that you can build by and share with us. We will be posting updates often to announce any interesting findings from your hard work, so stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more.
27 Jan 2021, 21:18:34 UTC · Discuss

From sandy valleys, up to sand dune peaks. Kaktoos rises to the challenge!
After a somewhat long hiatus, Kaktoos is coming back for another round in the ring, and this time at higher and higher heights. Many of us who contribute to the project ([email protected]) got a little busy with school/work after the Pack project concluded, so I apologize on everyone’s behalf for the silence and uncertainty as of late.

As for where we left off, the y=62 search wasn’t as fruitful as we would have liked. No taller cacti had been found at this height than were found at the slightly higher height, y=63.

With the way things usually go, we would need to create an entirely new version of the program in order to run kaktoos for different heights. We started on y=63 for the original version of the program, and then changed this to y=62 for the second run of the program.

This time around, we’ve flipped the script, and different heights can now easily be run at the same time or in series, with 0 program changes. Effectively we’ll be able to get the final answers we’re looking for from the kaktoos project much easier and without as much “red tape” as there usually is with program changes due to security reasons.

What does this mean for you?

This means more kaktoos, more often, and with less breaks between runs for the foreseeable future.

There’s some limits to how many heights we can attempt since there comes a point where you simply will not find any cactus, however, we have a fair range to work with now with these new changes in play.

What now?

We’ll be launching a run of kaktoos very shortly. We’ve been testing this in beta with a height value of 64 for a short period of time to make sure that things are running as smoothly as we would like, but we’re happy to announce that we’re ready to go!

Some have offered far more support than we ever expected during this beta, which definitely surprised us! We’re grateful for everyone’s enthusiasm, even if it’s to our own disadvantage to have this run done so quickly.

For the curious, this new run will encapsulate heights of 65, 66, and 67.

That said, happy crunching! Kaktoos runs will begin soon outside of beta. Thank you all for the support and understanding over the last couple months as we work through things.
6 Dec 2020, 20:05:33 UTC · Discuss

We have found the SEED of Minecraft's title-screen background PANORAMA!
Everyone should be familiar with this world. It's the one that always appeared on Minecraft's main-menu (title-screen), blurred and slowly rotating.
It first appeared in 2011 for Minecraft Beta 1.8 and remained for many years, it was only recently replaced in 1.13 each subsequent version.

The seed was found on 18th of July 2020 at around 5:45 AM UTC.

Version: Beta 1.7.3
Coordinates: X=61.48~, Y=75, Z=-68.73~
Seed: 2151901553968352745 OR 8091867987493326313 (both work)

Why two seeds? There are actually 2^16 (=65536) seeds that will all generate the same world. Older versions of Minecraft used only 48 of the bits of the seed. Here's the formula for getting all of them, as explained by Earthcomputer:
25357015387625 + 2^48k, 0 <= k < 2^16; (k is an integer)
The two seeds mentioned are the only "valid" seeds, in the sense that they can be naturally generated by Minecraft (due to Java's random function implementation).
There is not any word/string of characters that will produce this seed, it was generated randomly.
This has nothing to do with "shadow seeds", they are not present in these versions.
What can change is placement of trees and fauna as that depends on the order chunks are generated; otherwise, there are no differences between the two seeds.

Earthcomputer, Cortex, Neil - wrote the biome and terrain checking code
DutChen18 - made multiple tools/mods to help with the recreation and gathering data for the seed checking
MC PseudoGravity - reversed the tallgrass colors and found the biome values in the panorama
Philipp_DE - hosted the recreation server and screenshot bot
Tomlacko - started the project, found the coordinates, produced the panorama viewer with recreation overlay
...many other people helped in other ways (such as building the recreation block-by-block) listed here.

To see how this was accomplished, watch SalC1's video:

Seed reveal video from Earthcomputer:

~ this post copied mostly in verbatim from Tomlacko's Reddit post on the subject
30 Sep 2020, 10:42:47 UTC · Discuss

Onwards to new and great (actually, lesser) heights (of cacti)
The first round of Kaktwoos processing is nearing its completion. A small number of hosts caused many errors with faulty hardware or software configurations which caused the failure of a handful of workunits. Due to these failures; several thousand new tasks have now been submitted to allow any previously failed workunits an additional chance to succeed.

All historically submitted data is currently under re-evaluation as a subset of these completed tasks has outputs which don't appear to be nominal. The re-validation of tasks will reach completion shortly, and soon a follow-up will be posted detailing the tallest cactus found during this round of Kaktwoos processing.

The Kaktwoos (kak-two-s) project was initiated by computing a small set of tall 'candidate cacti' using the single-chunk cacti stacking application Kaktoos (kak-tus). The initial cactus seed search assumed stacking began at an elevation of y=63 blocks from bedrock which is the basis of assumption for the Kaktwoos multi-chunk cacti scanning work. You have likely volunteered resources towards this effort over the past few weeks.

Now, onto the exciting news: the Kaktoos application (note the missing 'w') shall be launching on BOINC.

This application will exist to scan for individual chunk seeds which produce tall cacti (7 blocks minimum) with generation elevation of y=62. Using a lower elevation parameter for Kaktoos will hopefully allow us to discover additional naturally-generated 22+ block tall cacti with Kaktwoos.

For those wondering, the next set of tasks will produce many more resultant 'candidate' cactus seeds than the previous y=63 run. We expect 120 million generated seeds despite the required minimum height of 7 blocks we chose to reduce output drastically. This dataset will be used for quad-chunk stacking (Kaktfours anyone?) and is much more challenging to manage due to the lower probability of finding 22+ block tall cacti and increased development overhead. We could theoretically find much taller cacti with this method, with a caveat of requiring significantly more processing power. Don't worry though; there are other projects brewing which will take priority. If you are a 'stacktus' superfan or a member of the 'big cactus community', you also needn't worry; there may be even more permutations of Kaktoos and Kaktwoos inputs to try which should keep us all busy along the way.

Finally, and for reference, the tallest known cactus found by [email protected] (in Minecraft: Java Edition v1.14.4) is 22 blocks, and 24 blocks tall if using a superflat world with the desert preset. We distinguish these heights as we consider "cactus naturalis" (cactus of normal generation) cacti to be the true tall cacti, as opposed to "cactus fma vi" (cactus of superflat generation).
2 Aug 2020, 15:09:11 UTC · Discuss

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