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SETI@Home

Type of Program: Space Research Screen saver
Supported Platforms: Win 9x/98/NT/Mac/Unix/BeOS/OS/2
Company Name: SETI
Version: 1.06
Price: 0
Installed Size: 750KB

Download/Homepage

Are we alone in the universe? Would you like to know? If you don't, then go away now. You're still here, so I'll assume you do.

The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is a research programme which is trying to answer the "are we alone" question. What this group of very intelligent people are doing is listening to the noise of space. What they're trying to find are the radio broadcasts of an alien intelligence. The trouble is, space is big, and they have a lot of data to search though. It's the ultimate hay stack/needle scenario.

Now, think of all the idle computers in the world. I mean, look at yours, what is it doing right now? Probably not much, so there's a lot of clock cycles going to waste. Imagine if you could harness all the wasted clock cycles, on all the idle computers in the world. That's a lot of processing power. That's what someone at SETI thought, which is why you can download this program.

When you first run the program, it will download a little packet of data from SETI, and start to analysis it. It's a slow process. I have an AMD K6/2 450, with 128MB of RAM, so reasonable high specification machine. My average time for analyzing a packet of data is just over 20 hours of CPU time.

You can run the program in two ways, either as a screen saver, or as a background process. If you have anything less than a P2, with 64MB, I wouldn't bother running it constantly.

If you want to put you computer to work on something that might change history, download this program now.

The star ratings are really applicable to this program.
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Reviewed by Mike Hathaway


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