I first got involved with distributed computing when I was looking to build my own computer. I did a search and ran across a great site, Anandtech. Once there, I discovered the forums, and one day checked out the Anandtech distributed computing forum.
There I met a bunch of great people with similar interests who were helpful, supportive, and weren't flaming each other every other post. Instead I found experts and friends with knowledge to share, and an eagerness to share it. I've learned more about computers, networking, overclocking, and team work than any other place I've travelled on the 'Net. They became an extended family of sorts.
And it's been so much dasm FUN!
I joined the SETI effort on FEb. 18th, 2001, as part of Team Anandtech, and I am currently 10th on the registration list.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
Having fallen in love with science fiction way back in 5th grade, when I bought my first anthology at a book fair (so long, long ago ;)) I've always believed that the possibility of other life exists in the universe.
Will SETI be the mechanism by which that life is discovered? Who knows.
Will First Contact be of benefit to humankind, or will it lead us to destruction? Who Knows.
All I know is that buried within us is the desire to reach out, to search, to know, to explore. And I support that quest in ways, such as SETI, that I can.