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Author Topic:   SETI
Marrero
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posted 04-13-2003 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marrero   Click Here to Email Marrero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I may be the last kid on the block to find this out, so if you already know, please forgive me.

If you want to have a bit of fun and make your computer useful for space reseach check out using, Google, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence at Home or go to http://setiathome.berkleley.edu. What is does is link you to the headquarters of the SETI project which is a large radio astronomy program searching for radio signals etc. that indicate intelligent life activity. Its an enormous project and even the big university number crunchers can only examine a small portion of the data collected. I believe this project involves two separate arrays of radio telescopes. About two years ago, one of these bright guys got the idea that it would go faster if they could tap into PC CPUs when they were not being used by the owner. So what you can do is download a screensaver onto your computer. When online it is assinged and downloads a specific data set to analyze, and this sreensaver/program kicks in when your computer goes to screen saver. I have had this downloaded on a P4, Windows 2000 and a P3, Windows 98. Absolutely no problem with my computers thus far (three weeks), so I think it is a well written program. When the data are analyzed, it takes about 30-40 hours on a P4 and 100 or so on a upper end P3. When finished, the next time you log in, it prompts you to hit a little radio telescope on your lower right task bar, the summarized data is sent to UC Berkeley and your computer is assigned another task. You do not have to be online continuously for it to function. Its colorful and has information only pilots and radio guys can truly love. It does seem to indicate with green markers what appears to be consistent signals in your data set, which are visualized on the screen.

I don't know about intelligent life, or the "I Love Lucy of the Next Galaxy" but they are learning a lot about the universe (pulsar locations that were unknown, black holes etc) as well as good info on spuriou signals transmitted from earth and satellites. Probably picked up noise from kids with small FM transmitters.

Well, its a productive way to use electricity on your computer when you have it on and not using it.

randy
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From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 04-13-2003 11:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been doing it for about a year now. It is kind of fun to watch. I have put in almost 3100 hours of CPU time. I think it's a worth while project.

Ben
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From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 04-14-2003 12:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had it since it came out in 98 or 99. A whopping 13,000 hours of CPU time (or about one and a half years straight) later, and I still haven't discovered any alien life forms!! :-)

Updates on the project make the Times once a year or so; last I saw about 4 million people around the world used the screen saver. I wonder if it is the most popular individual/ downloadable screensaver (except those that come with the computer)?

------------------
-Ben

http://www.geocities.com/ovcolumbia/

Marrero
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posted 04-14-2003 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marrero   Click Here to Email Marrero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Randy and Ben I think that is wonderful of you. I am a scientist and I just can't help but wonder if we are sitting on a huge resource that we could take advantage of without any extra cost. Two things come to mind, a bank of all known compounds that are added to as new ones are discovered and comparisons to ones already known to help with certain diseases. Could be a winner in identifying new and better treatments. The other is what is called the "rationale" approach to drug research. This means that based on knowledge of the disease, you would "build" a drug that may stop some key disease process. This is highly theoretical with many permutations and this type of approach would be made to order for that.

Its a shame that most people don't appreciate the true benefits of the space program in futhering knowledge and developing new useful technologies. Your typical emergency room has just about all the types of life support and telemetry devices that the moon walkers had, only today more powerful. Kind of makes you wonder where we would be without Mercury, Apollo, Gemini and the current Shuttle and Space Station projects.

I laud your efforts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, over 13k units of CPU time. I do have four computers in my lab and at home on this screensaver. Maybe I can catch up if I leave them on 24/7. I am still wet behind the ears. The Best.

Marrero
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posted 04-14-2003 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marrero   Click Here to Email Marrero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congrats Randy and Ben. Wow, 13k+hours. I am a scientist. I wish we could adapt this for drug research. It could be done, save the taxpayers money, and allow us to screen more compounds for use with more diseases.

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