I’ve been participating in the SETI@Home project for just over 5 years now. This basically means that I run the SETI analysis program on my computers (in idle time, when I’m not using them), which helps to search for signs of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence being picked up by radio telescopes.
As of right now, I’ve completed 18329 work units at an average of 6 hr 58 min 28.1 sec per work unit, for a total CPU time of 14.593 years and an average of 9.63 results being sent per day. I currently have 11 CPUs running full time, 4 CPUs running part time and a further 3 CPUs running periodically on processing these work units.
Out of 5,175,526 total users worldwide, I am in 9,099th place for most number of work units completed, and I have completed more work units than 99.824% of SETI users. That means I’m in the top 0.176% of users.
The main milestone today however, is that I’m now in 200th position in Australia. There are only 199 users in Australia who have done more work units than I have.
I’m also in 33rd position for IBMers worldwide, but it’s proving difficult to move up the ladder, since at that level, everyone is doing at least as much work as I am, so we’re only ever stealing each other’s positions. If I wanted to climb up the ladder any more at IBM, I’d need to bring more (or faster) CPUs online. Mmmm… now there’s an idea :D
I do have a couple of machines running the BOINC version of SETI now, but given how unreliable it’s been, I’ve been reluctant to dedicate any more machines yet. However, there are now some more BOINC based projects out there now which sound interesting (and may actually be more useful than SETI), so I might have to start moving some more machines over to the new system.
I do occasionally get asked about whether I really expect to find intelligent life out there. In truth, although I am sceptical as to whether we will actually find anything, at the end of the day I really don’t care. In all honesty, it’s not about finding ET … it’s about the computers ! :D