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SETI@Home Team Information

Author: Fido
Discuss: In the forums

SETI@Home Project
When you were young, do you ever remember staring up at the night sky, seeing all the beautiful stars, and wondering if someone or something was out there staring back? Here at LWD, we know deep down inside there is other intelligent life in the Universe. Call it a belief if you must, but there are too many stars and too many galaxies for there not to be! So on that line of thinking, Rover started the LittleWhiteDog SETI@Home group.

If you are not familiar with SETI, it stands for "the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence", a group of scientists got together, pointed their radio telescopes towards the sky and began recording the radio signals coming in from space. At first this was brilliant until they realized that even scanning small portions of the sky produce HUGE amounts of raw data that had to be processed and analyzed to see if an intelligent signal had been received. Since they didn't have the budget to process all this data they asked the world to help them out. A few million desktop PCs is a whole doggy bag of processing power just waiting to do something useful.

How Does It Work?
The SETI@Home software which doubles as a screen saver, will connect to the SETI@Home server and download what is called a "work unit". These work unit files are usually about 348k although they vary slightly in size. Depending on what you decide, your PC can process this work unit while the computer is not being used in the method of a screen saver, or it can process the work unit 100% of the time. You may be asking yourself if it will slow down your PC or if you will notice when SETI is actively running. Of course this will depend on the speed and type of your processor, but the only time I have ever noticed sluggish performance is when I am playing some intense 3D games. To resolve this, just stop SETI from running before you play games and all will be well. Once the work unit has been completely processed and the data is ready to be sent back, the software will connect to the server and start the entire process over again.

Joining The Team
So you're interested and want to join our team....Now what? All you have to do is download the SETI@Home software, install it, create your account and then go here to join the LittleWhiteDog group! If you want to check on your individual stats or the team stats, all you have to do is visit the LWD SETI team page.

Better Performance
Now that SETI is installed and working like a charm, you'll probably wonder why it's taking so long on your PC. You may notice members on the LWD SETI Team whose average work unit times are much lower than yours. How are they getting such low times? For starters, you can set the screen saver to use a blank screen instead of the fancy colors you are used to seeing. That will cut the time it takes to process a work unit in half if not more.

You can also use the command line version of the SETI client which processes work units faster than the screen saver version, but it is also much less configurable. Most of us on the LWD SETI team use SETI Driver in conjunction with the cmd line client which can cache multiple work units so if your PC fails to connect to SETI to transfer a completed work unit, it still has something to crunch on until the connection can be made.

Quick Links
Here is a list of quick useful SETI links where you can get all of the latest software, information, and more:

SETI Homepage http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu
Download SETI Software http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/download.html
Download CMD Line Client http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/unix.html
LWD Team Stats Page http://setiathome2.ssl.berkeley.edu/...&name=littlewhitedog
SETI Driver http://www.wakeassoc.com/setidriver/
LWD SETI Forums http://www.littleblackdog.com/viewforum.php?f=14
SETI@home as a Windows NT / 2000 Service http://www.geocities.com/lwddemon/setiservice/
How to set up SETIQueue http://www.littlewhitedog.com/..showpage&pid=11

Copyright © by LWD All Rights Reserved.

Published on: 2004-01-28 (62821 reads)

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