SETI@Home project ends

Along with the Howard Stern Show, another radio endeavor involving alien life forms is going off the air this week; SETI@Home, a grid supercomputer project for detecting signs of extra terrestrial life from deep space, officially ended Dec. 15.

"We'll be shutting down the "SETI@home Classic" project on December 15," read an e-mail sent by SETI@Home administrators at the University of California at Berkeley, where the project started in 1999. "The workunit totals of users and teams will be frozen at that point, and the final totals will be available on the Web."

The Search for Extra Terrestrial Life at Home (SETI@Home) project harness idle CPU cycles from millions of Internet-connected PCs across the globe in order to analyze data collected from massive radio telescopes. Running in place of a screensaver, the SETI@Home software, when downloaded on a PC, collected raw data from a centralized SETI@Home server bank and searched for patterns that might signal intelligent life -- possible E.T., TV shows, radio communications or other signals.

Although the program ran as a screensaver the collective computing power was enormous; 2 million years of accumulated CPU time, and over 50TB of data, or "workunits" parsed. Over 5 million users have downloaded the software, according to the project organizers.

The project also became a kind of competition for PC hobbiests known as "overclockers" who tweak their systems to run as fast as possible, and use SETI@Home workunits to measure system performance and claim bragging rights.

But like the Stern show, SETI@Home will live on in another form. The project is being moved to the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), an open-source grid project using the same principals as the original project. BOINC will continue the search for E.T. radio signals, but a new client also allows users to devote spare CPU power for other research projects, such as climate change, astronomy and curing human diseases.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Phil Hochmuth

Network World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?