Distributed Computing SETI@home Software

SETI@home: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence at HOME

What is SETI@home?

SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses internet connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Participants use a free program that downloads and analyses radio telescope data. The program can also be used to participate in several other non SETI@home projects.

My background

I joined the SETI@home project in May 1999 and I would run SETI@home continuously for months at a time. Since the transition to BOINC I have had short runs, often a month at a time running SETI@home and other BOINC projects around the clock. I now tend to stop crunching in the summer months so that I’m not increasing the temperatures in my very warm home.

I am the current founder of the SETI@home team SETI.UK

Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home

I believe that extraterrestrial life must exist. The size of the known universe is such that the chance of their not being any other life but that on our own planet seems remote. I don’t know when we will discover extraterrestrial life. Given the distance between solar systems and other galaxy’s it’s hard to predict. Could be today, or maybe not for a million years or perhaps even longer.

I think that if we were to discover extraterrestrial life it would mean that we would have to rethink our attitudes towards life on a whole. With questions like “Who are we?” and “Where are we going?”.

I believe that any beacon would have to have immense power to send out a signal for extraterrestrials to receive given the distance between possible inhabited planetary bodies. Any beacon should only include something very basic, possibly some basic mathematical sequence to distinguish the signal as artificial and from something intelligent. The prospect of any spoken Earth language being comprehended is probably hard to expect from any extraterrestrial life forms.

I run SETI@home for a number of reasons. First of all, when it first launched it was one of the first projects to take advantage of the immense computer time wasted by home and office personal computers. Second, for myself to contribute to some world-wide effort. Even though my contribution is only small overall, it is still a visible contribution. SETI@home is truly a world-wide project which has brought together millions of people through the internet on a single task – the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

SETI@home allows individual people to contribute to a worthwhile endeavour in our exploration of space.


Netscape is dead! Long live Mozilla!

Well, it looks like Netscape has had the final nail hammered into its coffin. I was wondering what was going on and am surprised that this did not happen long ago. When AOL bought Netscape I thought: great in the sense it has the possibility of secure funding; not so great in the sense that it lost its independence. I think AOL not opting to integrate Netscape into its AOL software was the killer. It’s a shame as the Netscape 7 series is great, and I’ve used it (and before it came out, Netscape 6) for over a year now and I could not browse without it.

At least Mozilla will survive. Mozilla is the open source browser which Netscape was built upon. So in a way its like Netscape, but not. I’ve switched to their 1.4 Mozilla browser this evening, which is basically the same as Netscape 7.1. However, their will be no new major versions of Netscape 7, while Mozilla will continue to develop.



If you have trouble getting the sound to work on with your old DOS-based games with your Windows operating system, I suggest you have a look at VDMSound. Its a great little program which is simple to use. I’ve managed to get several games working with Windows XP, which I had thought I would have to set up a seperate partition with DOS or an earlier version of the Windows operating system on to get them to work. I’ve managed to get Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, Star Trek: 25th anniversary, Ultimate Soccer Manager and a few others to work. Check out the URL to visit the home of VDMSound. Best of all, it’s FREE!