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8th of September 2000

SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.

Here at Internet Brothers, we help you do your part by creating our SETI@home Group to combine the efforts of like-minded individuals. Helpware for the Cybercommunity joins in the spirit of discovery. Where will you be on the day we make contact?

Most of the SETI programs in existence today, including those at the University of California-Berkeley build large computers that analyze electronic data from the telescope at Arecibo in real time. None of these computers look very deeply at the data for weak signals nor do they look for a large class of signal types. The reason for this is because they are limited by the amount of computer power available for data analysis. To tease out the weakest signals, a great amount of computer power is necessary. It would take a monstrous supercomputer to get the job done.

SETI programs could never afford to build or buy that computing power. There is a trade-off that they can make. Rather than a huge computer to do the job, they could use a smaller computer but just take longer to do it. But then there would be lots of data piling up. What if they used LOTS of small computers, all working simultaneously on different parts of the analysis? Where can the SETI team possibly find thousands of computers they'd need to analyze the data continuously streaming from Arecibo?

The UC Berkeley SETI team has discovered that there are already thousands of computers that might be available for use. Most of these computers sit around most of the time with toasters flying across their screens accomplishing absolutely nothing and wasting electricity to boot. This is where SETI@home (and you!) come into the picture. The SETI@home project hopes to convince you to allow them to borrow your computer when you aren't using it and to help them " out new life and new civilizations." They do this with a screen saver that can go get a chunk of data over the internet, analyze that data, and then report the results back to them. When you need your computer back, their screen saver instantly gets out of the way and only continues it's analysis when you are finished with your work.

Start by downloading the SETI@home software from Berkeley. This is a small, fast download and a cool, well-behaved program -- not to mention it makes a killer screen-saver!

System Requirements

For Windows systems (95/98/NT) you'll need a computer with at least 32 MB of RAM, the ability to display 8-bit graphics in 800x600 resolution, 10 MB of disk space, and an Internet connection (dialup is AOK). For Macintosh systems you'll need the above, as well as a PowerPC processor and Mac OS 7.5.5 or later. You can use SETI@home on a PC or laptop that is connected only sporadically or used occasionally... the software will just pick up quietly wherever it left off last, working in the background.

Once you're set up and have completed at least one unit of processing, you can join the Internet Brothers SETI@home Group, and track your statistics on demand at the SETI@home Group stats page. Statistics are updated daily.

We would like to welcome you to the Internet Brothers SETI@home Group, and hope you enjoy this unique participation in scientific discovery. If you have any questions, or need any help, please don't hesitate to send us email.

Current members of the Internet Brothers SETI@home Group:


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