I'm a Canadian living in Vancouver BC with an interest in sciences, technology, and things that help make the world a little better place to be.
BOINC provides a useful framework that allows you to help science by making use of your spare CPU cycles (which otherwise would be wasted power and heat) when and while you use your computer for your own personal use.
Computers continue to become easier to use, and BOINC has also continued to get better too, but for those of you interested in computing and how it works, I have made a HowTo web page that helps you understand a bit more about your computer and also a little bit about BOINC by taking you step-by-step through the process of installing BOINC on a Linux (Mandriva) computer. The web page is located at BOINC HowTo for Mandriva Linux
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
Why run SETI?
Some science projects have end goals which are clearly "For Profit". "For Profit" tends to mean some people benefit, while the rest of us gain nothing from the work done. It makes sense that those projects invest and pay for their goals of "For Profit" too instead of relying on the goodwill, donated or volunteered time.
Some science projects are well funded, while others have clear goals with known timelines and known amounts of data or info to gain and make use of.
SETI doesn't fit easily with any of the above. The timeline is unknown, the possibility of finding a signal is unknown, it relies a lot on volunteers and donation, and it's end goal is a noble cause of letting us "all" know we aren't the only ones here. It makes sense that if you decide to volunteer/donate your CPU time, that the results benefit "everyone".