View Full Version : Is Anyone OUt There

Jack Lass
2003-Nov-22, 03:39 AM
Just out of curiosity, are any of you participating in SETI@Home? :unsure: What are your thoughts on the project and on the upcoming converion to the BOINC system? B)

2003-Nov-22, 05:08 AM
I use it. Always running in the background.

A futile task i'd imagine but you never know...

2003-Nov-22, 09:40 AM
I think it's a great project, even though the chances are slim that we will ever find anyone out there. But if I can use my computer to perhaps improve the probability, then why not!

2003-Nov-23, 01:51 AM
I use it too... am up to about 350 units so far... it would be a lot higher if my old laptop weren't so damn slow LOL

Apparently without the help of all us users, the SETI story would be completely different as there's no way they'd be able to process all those units by themselves. In fact, there's really too many users, because as I understand it, the chances are that the unit you're processing on your computer right now has probably been processed by more than a few users already. So even if you're lucky enough to find a genuine signal in your unit, the chances of you actually being the first are pretty slim....

...still... it's nice to dream, isn't it? ;)

2003-Nov-23, 08:08 AM
But SETI@Home is just one of many SETI projects and only one of them are using the idea of distributed computing. There are also risks with this idea, since many participants have cheated just to get a high WU count, which is also why it's a good thing to send out the same units more than once, to get rid of bogus results. And I don't get why anyone would want to cheat? Surely they understand that they're just ruining things for other honest people?

2003-Nov-24, 12:24 AM
Why is anyone dishonest or a cheat? I can't see the benefit of cheating on SETI... after all, you dont' win a prize for the number of units you've processed LOL How can you cheat it anyway? Does anyone know?

2003-Nov-24, 03:38 AM
Considering my computer runs off of electricity, derived from a non-renewable resource, I don't think it's a good investment to run SETI. Either for me, or for us, as a species. I think the odds of success are too low. OTOH, I can see why having at least an 'ear' out there would be a good idea.

I'm running folding@home - they calculate protein structures for researchers. I think this project has more current application. The more health problems we solve, the more resources we'll have available for other endeavours later. Sure, we might discover other diseases, but if we can keep people healthier for longer (or for cheaper) then the world's wealth will increase.

Once the SETI project can start running off of renewable electricity - then I'm all for it! If people want to spend their money or time working at the task, I figure, let them! I wish other research could piggyback on the SETI project, but I don't know enough about that type of research.

2003-Nov-25, 04:41 AM
I've been running it for quite a while now, despite the infinitesimal odds of hearing anything interesting. After all, even the silence teaches a profound lesson.

Clear (and so far, empty) skies

2003-Nov-25, 04:09 PM
I'm not sure how one would go about cheating, or why. I only know it's unnecessary.

And secondly, we're using our computers anyway, mine running non-stop 24/7, why not let it do something useful while I'm not there? I can not see how SETI@Home is a waste of energy.

2003-Nov-25, 09:17 PM
I think I began the SETI@home project about 6 years ago? Does that sounds right?

*pulls out her rocking chair*
Back in the old day, we all got chunks of data that no one had seen before. Boy, it was fun. We'd go screaming through the analysis on our 56k modems, and we'd wonder why our ISP bills were through the roof. We were addicts.
Why, young ones, I even got a "suspicious spike" in one of my packets!

But HippyDippy is right. The data has been wrung through so many computers that the probability of you getting a packet that no one else has gone through is like stepping outside of your local Starbucks....and not seeing another one down the road. I figure, I can waste my energy on more worthwhile (in my estimation) efforts. Like trying to get the all-time high score on Collapse.

The project itself is amazing. Kudos to them. And to those who are participating. I've just found that if one computer hasn't found anything...thirty eight more aren't going to find it either.

Jack Lass
2003-Nov-26, 04:29 AM
Considering my computer runs off of electricity I'm shocked to hear it. :o You must install a Gerbil excercize wheel generator at once. :P Gerbils are a renewable resource.

Seriously, you are using the same kind of electricity, made by non-renewable resources, to run your folding project. So I really don't understand what you are talking about.

2003-Nov-26, 05:44 AM
#...113) Toddoldb1
joined... Sun Sep 26 23:17:06 1999
Last results sent... Sun Nov 23 15:04:14 2003
units processed... 859
computer time... 5.044 years 51 hr 26 min 05.7 sec United States
If you do not know you can also find your "class page" (everybody who signed up the same day you did) at the site. it started Mar 1999.... 1st for some geeks at UCB or "cal " if your a snob, the public offering was on the 19th or something... No I do not spend my life studying the project... just happen to know.
In the "old school" there is an argument, since most computer problems are (were) associated with start up, leaving the computer running was a plausable alternative, more compelling is the physists' argument that every time you power down and up the temperature changes and sooner or later the tiny (near microscopic) connections of metal will wear and break from all that heating up and cooling. That is your motherboard will cease to function. Having been there, I subscribe to this school. ( I've killed a few )... UCBerkeley's was the first. Stanford followed 5 or 10 years later with the very worthwhile aforementioned protien project. If you are from the school of leave it runnig and it'll last a lot longer, Seti (or the other one) is THE way to put your computer to some REAL application.
Yes I've stared at the screen saver for a total of months at least, but it's never spelled out anything yet...

2003-Nov-26, 07:30 AM
Oh, I'm not preaching. If people want to run it, I can't fault them. It's not like I run your lives. And, it's a good idea, especially if your computer is on anyway.

The reason I prefer the protein-folding program is because (unlike SETI) in my opinion (emphasis on 'opinion') we'll actually see some benefit from more biological research. In that, I mean that there will be benefits to people within a time-frame that I find acceptable. I sometimes use the data from the folding project, to augment my research (well, it prevents me from doing the research myself) - and I know there will be benefits from my research.

But, like you say, your computers are on anyway. And you get emotional benefit from helping SETI - it's no worse than playing solitaire or a computer game.

2003-Nov-26, 09:00 AM
And, I can see that the reward for a sucessful SETI is quite huge. I wouldn't run it if I thought there was no chance to find anything. And as far as wasting energy, I am sure people are doing things with their computers that are more of a waste than this. Of course, that is a matter of opinion too...

2003-Dec-05, 01:29 AM
You have good opinions Parker...
I agree with the real results that can be used. If SETI does turn up a radio signal, it'll be reflective of a society/intelligence that mimic ours somehow...e.g. using radio waves... and depending which point of light it comes from; that many (light) years ahead or behind the 60 or so we've been spewing radio waves... I'm wondering a couple things, how long will we be broadcasting in a manner that the whole universe will eventually see I Love Lucy, and what aliens out there listening and going Whoa! those guys are weird... :P

2003-Dec-06, 06:31 AM
There are many other things for aliens to go 'Whoa! Those guys are wierd...'. Many. Is that we show on TV and say on radio, what we want the universe to hear? If there is anyone in the universe who many listen and watch our radio and TV broadcasts..

2003-Dec-21, 06:58 AM
True, I mean if they were picking up Seinfeld - then they will be mortified!!!

But seriously, if they pick up broadcasts of one of the most common type of broadcasts - war, they would possible have a negative opinion of us as being primitive...with a possible exception of the Klingon Empire