I'm a retired 68 year old manufacturing software engineer, living near Chicago. As a matter of fact, like many, I have retired twice. One of my old bosses has me back to work again and on a fascinating project - developing inexpensive micron accuracy milling machines!
In my grade school and high school years I was an amateur astronomer, and have always been interested in the various aspects of Astronomy and Cosmology. It was a wonderful, almost magical surprise when the initial techniques for finding extraterrestrial planets worked out.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
SETI seems to be a very important effort. So far, the evidence seems to suggest that nature has separated advanced civilizations by great distances in space and time. Perhaps it is a matter of faith, or belief, that many intelligent species exist across the vastnesses of the cosmos. The spectrum of stellar environments seems complex beyond our imaginings. Nature has vast time and materials to play with. But here and there a curious intellect examines its surround, and searches for others to share existence with.
It seems a lucky circumstance that we live in a time when projects like SETI are not only possible, but under way. It is fulfilling to participate, even in a small way, with like minded people from around the world. Who knows, we may "get a hit" tomorrow!
Search the web for "Gliese", if you haven't already done so.