Featured Cruncher - Doug
Date: Thursday, November 20 @ 00:00:00 PST
Topic: News SETI
Happy Friday... It's 10 pm and I just got home from a long day (left at 6:30 a.m.) so I don't have much to say and will let this week's interviewee do all the talking, so if I may... Here's Doug!!!
Nattiebo: So, Doug? Give us some details about yourself? - Age, Sex, Student/Career?
Doug: I hit the ripe old age of 18 about 5 months ago. Food just doesn't taste as good, and I think my knees are going (Damn, I don't want to get old). Right now I'm a first year student at St. Louis Community College of Meramec. I'm considering a major in Computer Science or even Engineering. But lately, doubts have arisen.
Nattiebo: Don't start feeling so old just yet... you have many a years to come to feel that way... What kinds of doubts are you having about the cs or engineering shtuff?
Doug: I suppose its not really doubts, so much as frustration over choosing the right classes.
Nattiebo: Do you have any hobbies or interests other than computers?
Doug: Um, my girlfriend consumes unhealthy amounts of my time. I suppose she is a hobby :p Politics amuse me as well as religion. I find myself reading and discussing things I never would have imagined doing or even wanting to do. I was one of those kids that didn't pay attention in school, deemed a student with ADD or a "very hands-on child." Partially true...I like to break things that aren't broken. And do what I can to understand them or change how they work.
Nattiebo: How did you get the name ?Doug?, Doug?
Doug: Sometime in 1985 my parents thought it seemed a fitting name for the terror they brought into the world. I used my name as my SETI username, and in turn my LWD forum name was that. Creative eh?
Nattiebo: When did you start running SETI?
Doug: Some time when I was 14 on my Dad's PC.
Nattiebo: Where did you hear about SETI?
Doug: My friends dad was running the screen saver version, so I asked questions about it.
Nattiebo: On how many of yours (or other unknown owners? I won?t tell) do you currently have SETI running?
Doug: 3 of my own boxes. 2 others are my Dad's computers, which he found out about and stopped. My friend's box (hehe) was running SETI but he found out and kicked me in the stomach. Those miscellaneousboxes are in my sights though.
Nattiebo: Hopefully he didn't injure you. Was he angry abouthis machine being used in that manner or because you were crunching WU for yourself and not for him??
Doug: He wasn't really all that angry about it. He was able to diable it. But, I did get kicked, it hurt...
Nattiebo: Are you into overclocking on your machines?
Doug: No. I'm an AMD man, and I have yet to unlock any of my XP's or get more than one board with OC capabilities. For video cards yes. I have an ATI AIW 7500, in the works and a Sapphire 9600 Pro that is coming along nicely.
Nattiebo: Do you use SETI Queue or any other add-ons?
Doug: Yep, SETI driver has served me well over the years. It helps tremendously with the command line client. I weep for the day SETI Driver is of no use to me when Berkeley switches to the BOINC platform.
Nattiebo: Speaking of BOINC, in very the near future, possibly as early as later this month, SETI will be ported over to the BOINC Platform, with Astropulse and the Southern Hemisphere Projects coming online shortly thereafter. Can we count on you to switch to one of those when the Šeta test is over? Which?
Doug: Of course I'll be jumping over to BOINC. I haveno plans to stop crunching.
Nattiebo: What do you hope to accomplish by running SETI?
Doug: Perhaps just find proof that there are others out there. How about the clichā, "It?s selfish to think we are the only ones in the universe." Also what a waste of space if humans are the only intelligent beings occupying it, right? Lastly, if nothing else it proves that distributed computing does work, also shown by the Folding@home project.
Nattiebo: Do you have any goals you would like to reach beforeSETI is switched to BOINC?
Doug: Not really, if I had more non-busted computers, maybe I would strive for a higher team ranking. But it?s not too realistic right now at about 6 WU/day.
Nattiebo: What would your ultimate SETI Crunching machine be?
Doug: A Quad Operton system with about 8 GB of RAM or maybe a cluster of 64 Earth Simulators! May be a bit pricey...
Nattiebo: What does your significant other or good friends think about SETI?
Doug: My friends ask me about it and usually conclude i'm wasting my time. Except my friend whos dad I learned about it from. But he doesn't even crunch (heretic). My girlfriend showed some interest but still calls me a nerd. Hell, I'm called a nerd when she walks in on me playing Starcraft. She just can't comprehend its awesomeness.
Nattiebo: Have you had any success in recruiting people to LWD?
Doug: Yea, ExiledPsychopath is a forum member. He?s nottoo active...
Nattiebo: How did you get mixed up with LWD in the first place?
Doug: The better known SmokinAMD got me mixed up here. Junior year in an Internet Applications class (HTML/Java Scripting), we were screwing around as usual. I heard him talking about SETI and poked myhead around. He was at LWD and told me I should join the team. Soon after I found refuge in the forums for and problems I might have.
Nattiebo: So, you know Mr AMD personally, huh? Anything you should warn us about?
Doug: Do not ever click links he may IM to you. Hehe...
Nattiebo: If you could improve anything about the SETI@Home Project, what would it be?
Doug: Nothing really gets on my nerves. If the resources and time were available, perhaps adding CPU specific clients that utilize certain instruction sets that would make the entire crunching process more efficient.
Nattiebo: What do you think the best thing is about LWD?
Doug: The forum. Every one is for the most part helpful, intelligent, and albeit mature. I've whored around to other forums only to find a few useful members and the rest were little kids with energy to flame LOLOLOLO!!!!!!!!!. (so annoying) Anyways, yes.
Nattiebo: Well, thanks letting us get to know you a little better. Do you have any final comments (free reign here)?
Doug: St. Louis drivers can't drive. I like opposable thumbs and washing machines. Shirts with itchy tags have no place in my closet. I'm in love with Erin. Moutain Dew is without a doubt the best way introduce caffeine into the body. LWD has been a huge help as far as learning and solving problems has gone.