Still Looking for Aliens

Do you still SETI@home? I do a little. I still have the BOINC program installed in my home computer and it runs in the background while I'm actively at my computer reading blogs or checking my checking account. But when I step away from my computer for an extended period, I put it to sleep, suspending any SETI-related number crunching.

A press release we received late yesterday says that new radio data will be incorporated into the SETI@home analysis bin, and that people are still needed to sift through it all. I guess there have been a lot of people like me who jumped on the bandwagon years ago, but for one reason or another let participation slip.

I'll help, but in these days of being "green" and trying to save energy and money, I'm not keen on leaving my computer running all day long. So, SETI@home will get a mere couple of hours a night out of me. What about the rest of you? Do you leave your computers running all the time?

My PlayStation 3 has the capability of doing such distributed computing with the Folding@home project built in. I haven't signed up because I'm definitely not leaving that game console on 24/7 because that beast can get HOT, clearly sucking up a lot of juice. I probably use the PS3 less than my computer.

On the other hand, SETI@home was one program that I didn't restore when I got my new work computer. I should reinstall it and add another 45 hours a week — if I can find the e-mail with the old login code for "Bob!"


Update: Oh well, I guess Bob! will have to stay retired. I can't seem to resurrect him. But, my work computer is back BOINCing again. If you decide to do likewise, there's still an active Sky & Telescope team you can join. It's currently No. 146 of the "Top None Teams" for total processing credits. Woo hoo.

6 thoughts on “Still Looking for Aliens

  1. ETruss

    I’m still running it but I upgraded to Windows Vista a while back and BOINC will not start up on its own any more. Windows Defender blocks it and I have to remember to start it up myself – which sometimts does not happen. And it will not run as a screen saver any more. You have to set it to run all the time or it will not run at all. This also means that you can’t see the graphics unless you open BOINC and request that the graphics be shown. All these hurdles has dampened my interest in it some.

  2. George Huftalen

    Have you tried the Vista compatibility tab work around to allow BOINC to run in whatever earier version of Windows it worked best, ETruss? Right click on the executable Boinc file. Left click on “Properties.” Left click on the “Compatibility Tab”.Check the box om “Run this program in compatibility mode for” and chose the version of Windows you wish. Click OK. This workaround works for most programs that once worked on your computer. I use it for many telescope/planetarium control programs, including Meade’s and Cercis Astro, who still haven’t created Vista Drivers. Sometimes there are small issues and some functions don’t work perfectly. Try it, you may like it!

  3. Earl

    It’s not that easy. There are too many new security changes with Vista that BOINC violates for it to run the way it used to. It runs fine once I start it up myself without using the compatibility tab.

  4. Tzar

    I have the BOINC software crunching SETI and Rosetta data on it, but it runs only when I am not active at the PC which means quite a lot of time since I’m only sitting at the PC during evenings. Yes, I still leave my computer on all day, in spite of all these environmental concerns. Once the monitor is automatically powered down, I just don’t feel the PC box itself is such a huge energy hog. Besides, I schedule defrag and other routine maintenance at night, so I would leave it on anyway even without SETI running. I still do believe into the SETI Project, but I’m not as sure now we will get some signal anytime soon… There are certainly other civilizations out there, but I am more and more of the opinion that although simple cellular life is probably abundant in the Universe, intelligent life is a very different matter and it is probably very rare. The odds to overcome to generate intelligent beings are so high that it’s probably rare even in a galaxy like ours with 100 billion stars.

  5. Tzar

    I have the BOINC software crunching SETI and Rosetta data on it, but it runs only when I am not active at the PC which means quite a lot of time since I’m only sitting at the PC during evenings. Yes, I still leave my computer on all day, in spite of all these environmental concerns. Once the monitor is automatically powered down, I just don’t feel the PC box itself is such a huge energy hog. Besides, I schedule defrag and other routine maintenance at night, so I would leave it on anyway even without SETI running. I still do believe into the SETI Project, but I’m not as sure now we will get some signal anytime soon… There are certainly other civilizations out there, but I am more and more of the opinion that although simple cellular life is probably abundant in the Universe, intelligent life is a very different matter and it is probably very rare. The odds to overcome to generate intelligent beings are so high that it’s probably rare even in a galaxy like ours with 100 billion stars.

  6. JokerCPoC

    Boinc is Green, It takes wasted cpu cycles which is one of the purposes of Boinc(Besides distributed computing of course), Now If Seti isn’t ones cup of Tea like the author of this Lame story here, There are plenty more projects like: Seti Beta, Einstein, Rosetta, PrimeGrid, Milkyway, ufluids, Cosmology, Predictor, Malaria, QMC, RieselSiev, TSP, LHC, CPDN(Climate Prediction), Chess960, Pirates, Ralph, Leiden, Tanpaku, etc. Folding@Home isn’t everything and is only a lone project all by itself. I shouldn’t have to justify My or others use of Boinc of course, But somebody has to speak up on Boincs behalf.

    Victor

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