Wednesday, August 16, 2017

SETI (the real one)

As you know (I hope!) my first book opens with a guy running SETI@Home on his PC. In THIS universe, SETI is only one of many distributed-computing projects you can run under the BOINC umbrella. (Google it if you care and don't already know...)

This week and next are the SETI WOW! competition, sponsored by SETI Germany. I've got every PC I can beg, borrow, or scrounge churning out SETI@Home work units. It seems those totally worthless BOINC "credits" are amazingly addictive. And like any addict, once you've developed a tolerance, you have to find new ways to get your "high". Credits alone aren't enough any more. Next you need "badges", and then "WuProp hours", and then a high placement in a contest to see who can wrangle enough computer power to process as many SETI WU's as possible in two weeks.

Okay, I can hear you out there smothering "Geek!", "Nerd!" as you laugh, trying to hide it with your hand over your mouth. All I can say is "I'll sic Terfl on you!" Hmm. That may not disprove your point...

But seriously, BOINC isn't about the credits. <yeahright> It's about helping humanity! Yeah! Those hours of CPU power go to folding proteins, and analyzing gravity-wave data, and designing new gizmos for supercolliders! Curing cancer! I'm doing this for the benefit of the human race!

Plus, I'm REALLY close to 500,000,000 credits...

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