Profile: Grand Admiral Thrawn

Personal background

My name is Michael, but I am usually known as Grand Admiral Thrawn (or just Thrawn or "GAT") on the web. I'm a 28 years old network administrator working at the University of Leoben in Austria, where some of the machines I'm working with are crunching for SETI and AstroPulse. Additionally, one or more of my machines at home are also doing some work for the project.

I'm a hardware enthusiast with a focus on current high end hardware as well as rare or exotic combinations of hardware from the late 90's, like my 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 prototype, or my Tualatin P III-S @ BX / @ i840 projects, or the Quad PPRO homeserver, or... you name it.

I have been active for the SETI@Home project for a long time now, shame that the SETIQueue Proxy server isn't there anymore. ;)

I'm also the former founder and webmaster of Hard:Overclock! (, project suspended)

Now administrator and operator of the [ server] (, which is an IBM PC Server 704 (8650-4M0) Quad PPRO server.

The following machines will crunch for this account as of 17.03.2009 (03-17-2009):

Location: @Home
Intel Core i7 980X "Gulftown" 3.33GHz @ 4.0GHz with 1.5MB L2 and 12MB L3, Uncore @ 3.29GHz.
2 x nVidia GeForce GTX 480, CUDA Compute 1.3
iX58 "Tylersburg", BLCK 183MHz, QPI 3.29GHz/6.58MT/s
12GB DDR-III/1456 8-8-8
Running on Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, SP2

Location: @Work
Intel Pentium 4 "Northwood" 2.80GHz
nVidia GeForce 9500GT PCI, CUDA Compute 1.1
i875 "Canterwood", quad-pumped FSB @ 400MHz
1GB DDR-I/400 3-3-3
Running on Windows XP Professional, SP3

Location: @Work
Intel Core i7 950 "Nehalem" 3.06GHz
nVidia GeForce 250 GTS, CUDA Compute 1.1
iX58 "Tylerburg"
6GB DDR-III/1066
Running on CentOS 6.0 Linux, Kernel 2.6.32

Location: @Work
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 "Wolfdale" 2.80GHz
iP35 "Bearlake", quad-pumped FSB @ 1066MHz
2GB DDR-II/667
Running on CentOS 5 Linux, Kernel 2.6

Location: @Work
Intel Pentium Dualcore E2140 "Allendale" 1.60GHz
nVidia GeForce GTX 285, CUDA Compute 1.3
P45 "Eaglelake", FSB @ 800MHz
1GB DDR-II/667 5-4-4
Running on Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, SP2

And here some REALLY exotic stuff:

Location: @Home
Transmeta Efficēon TM8600 1.2GHz, VLIW Architecture with x86 Codemorphing
nVidia GeForce 430GT PCI
1GB DDR-I/333
HP T5710 ThinClient with some heavy modifications
Running on Windows XP Professional SP2

Location: @Home
Loongson-2f 1.0GHz (Little Endian MIPS-III 64-Bit RISC, developed in China)
1GB DDR-II/667
Lemote Yeeloong 8189B Netbook, the "open source machine". SETI and BOINC are custom compiled for Loongson-2f (no generic mipsel build).
Running on Debian Wheezy/sid, patched Kernel 3.0.0-1-loongson-2f
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I have been running SETI for a long time now. Both out of fascination for the project as well as out of competitive reasons (Teams and Stats doing their magic). Also, back when I was still webmaster of Hard:Overclock, we used to to a friendly "SETI competition" against our partner site, this was great fun. :)

About extraterrestrial civilizations themselves.. Well, if we believed Fermi and Drake, there has to be some form of life out there, right? But if we look at our planet and how long it took for it to produce a civilized species, it seems so very much unlikely that the same thing would happen somewhere else at the same time (or just a few thousand years back, so we could "hear" them now).

Furthermore, any (technologically civilized) life based on non-organic matter i guess is hardly thinkable, so we'd probably have to settle for carbon/oxygen and methane-based lifeforms.

Hopefully we will one day break the barriers of interstellar travel so we can just fly out and check for sure, if there is (or was) something. ;)
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SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.