Profile: Luke Mester


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Personal background
I'm 41 years old and live in Brooke County West Virginia. I graduated from Fairmont State College in 1984 with a B.S. Degree in Electronic Engineering Technology. I work for the Brooke County Board of Education. My job is to operate the energy management systems and to maintain the computers and network equipment.

Interests:

I like to ride motorcycles. I currently own a 650 Yamaha. I also like to play with unusual electronic devices. One of the most interesting things that I have built is a Tesla coil. I also like to read Science Fiction. My favorite author is Larry Niven.

Computers running SETI@home:

I currently have 15 machines at my home running the SETI@home client. 11 are running Linux and 4 are running Windows. The Linux machines are a stack of 11 motherboards mounted in a wooden frame. They are running Linux from a floppy drive. See my SETI web page for a picture.

For more information please visit my SETI web page at:


http://bhs.broo.k12.wv.us/homepage/staff/seti/
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I believe that extraterrestrial life exists. I also think that we will have a hard time proving it. The various SETI projects are only able to scan a tiny fraction of the space out there. I'm participating in the SETI@home project not because I feel that it has a large chance of success. I'm in this because I believe that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would be one of the most important scientific discoveries ever made. I feel that it is worth some effort on my part to help this project. It would just be an extra bonus if extraterrestrial life was found during my lifetime. I have had an interest in distributed computing projects for quite some time. Before SETI@home I didn't see any that I felt were worth the effort. Calculating PI to millions of digits is a waste of time. Another project was cracking the U.S. DES (Data Encryption Standard). That was just proving the obvious. If you have enough computing power you can crack just about any mathematical encryption scheme. The SETI@home project allows all that spare CPU time to do something much more useful than running the idle loop!
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