Every user is able to assist in searching for extraterrestrial intelligence.
The analysis of the data taken with radio telescopes is now possible for every interested user with access to the internet.
Large radio telescopes worldwide receive electromagnetic waves coming from the depths of space. Attempting to locate alien intelligent communication or trying to contact other life forms, these telescopes should find proof.This search is not easy because many natural phenomenon also send electromagnetic waves into space. These waves are also interesting for scientists because they allow us to deduce the construction of regions in space (like the 21-cm-line including information about hydrogen concentration). These lines interfere with the search for waves coming from artificial sources. This naturally occurring "noise" has to be subtracted and the remaining peaks might be the searched signals. This work takes a lot of PC-power and new data arrives hourly.
A longer time ago the software client was released in version 1.0 and was transferred on many platforms.
necessary program to derive the data is called setiathome.
The different version for the different platforms are
available at http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/. After you untar the program, you
should copy it to /usr/local/ and create a
symbolic link (ln -s) to the binary file setiathome
in /usr/local/bin/. This way every user will have
access to it if /usr/local/bin/ has been added to
the default path with $PATH.
The program will be
started with the lowest priority and it only slows down
the system just a little bit. If you want to start it in
the background or you are not interested in the output
you should start it with the option -email. To
suppress the output you should add >/dev/null at
Setiathome runs in a console and does not create any graphical output. The prompt shows how what percentage of the data has been processed and where the data came from. You can find some programs on the internet that offer graphical frontends for setiathome. Setiview is one of these frontends, not for X-Windows, but for the console. In addition to displayinginformation about the source of the data (telescope, frequency, direction, etc.), it offers a view of the percentage of data that has been processed.
Screenshot), but this time for X-Windows, using TCL/TK 8.0. TkSeti is able to start a seticlient by its own but can also show the data of a running client. The program can be comfortably configured via the frontend itself and no text files have to be edited. If you iconize the program, you would see the percentage of completion above the name of the icon.
The most worthwhile option of TkSeti seems to be that it stops the seti-client as long as the user works with the computer. The program regularly checks the interrupts of different devices and in this way decides if the user is still active. It makes sense to use the serial and the keyboard device and configure a time of 1 to 10 minutes of idleness. If these two devices have been idle for this time, the seti client would start and would be stopped if you used one of them again.
Attention: If you use a program like tleds or NetLED that shows the network traffic using the keyboard LEDs you should not use the keyboard device because the network traffic raises the keyboard interrupt counter and would stop the seti-client.
If you do not want to use the XScreensaver, you would have to run seti all the time. This would disturb your work, even with a nice value of 20.
The remote shell (rsh) is necessary for setiherder to access the computers. Now you have all seti sheaps under control inside your net.
Many companies have a connection to the internet and the PCs are not switched off in the night. Every night thousands of computers are "sleeping" and their capacities are not used. These illustrations show how much sense it could make if these companies "offer" their PCs for public research and run setiathome on their network. Even if you own a MS Windows computer you, are able to use the client. But Linux users have it much easier because the client can be started via a script every night and then stopped automatically in the morning before you reach your working place. This could be managed using crontab, a program that runs programs at a specific time. Either you change it with a text editor by starting it with
or change it easily with
vcron (LinuxNetMag: vcron and kcrontab).
will start setiathome every Friday night
and stop it every Monday morning.
or, if installed ,