My SETI at Home Corner

I found out about SETI@Home (S@H) from a friend and my then supervisor at Autodesk, Andrzej Pruszynski, along with Juha Viikki. We all decided it would be a worthwhile cause and set our PCs at work to crunch S@A data during their offtime. I have really become enamored with S@H over the years, so I'm setting up this page in the hopes that others might understand and jump on the bandwagon.

For me, S@H has several components that I really appreciate that are also expressed very well in the novel and film Contact. First, it is pure (as opposed to applied) research, that is for the sake of curiosity and is in the pursuit of advancing knowledge for its own sake. Don't get me wrong, applied research is very important and is frankly much more pragmatic and efficient in terms of spending research dollars. But that is part of the beauty of it - it is commonly-accepted that no one should get rich doing pure reasearch, making it more of an altruistic endeavor.

Along with Carl Sagan and many others, my ego has difficulty in accepting that the universe is centered on the earth, and that all things exist to support humanity (me and my kind). I would like to think that God, in her infinite wisdom, created the universe as more than an experiment in humanity. To me, the "experiment in humanity" approach suggests the earth is the most interesting thing in the universe. Drawing out that line of thinking, I do not like the idea that we have discovered much of all there is to discover.

So the second is "ET" - I hope we are part of something bigger, and that we are not simply the lonely, tiny dot at the center of the universe. My hope is that we are not alone in the universe and that intelligent life that would want to contact us would be at least neutral, if not benevolent, towards humanity. Contrary to the "War of the Worlds" concept (which I think is great entertainment, by the way), life seems rare enough (life intelligent enough to accomplish inter-galactic travel even more so) in the universe that resources and habitable space are not be an issue.

I have been working on S@H since 24 Aug 1999, making the switch to the BOINC client between June and August of 2005. I left SETI@Home classic with 342,399 hours (14,266.625 days / 39.06 years) of CPU time and 75,231 results. Finally, in all fairness, more than half of both the SETI@Home classic and BOINC time has been donated by my employer, Autodesk.

I am glad to have been able to contribute to S@H. Even though it is an arbitrary milestone, I was proud of having hit the 75,000 unit S@H classic milestone before the BOINC switch. Finally, I keep a BOINC progress log; although, the online copy is updated infrequently.


This page was last updated on 9 April 2006