Profile: Gary Roberts

Personal background
I own a small business which is involved in providing training and certification in Well Control and Blowout Prevention for people working on Oil and Gas Drilling Rigs, both onshore and offshore. The business owns quite a number of computers and yes, I did ask the boss for permission to use them for worthy causes like Seti@Home :).

The business is based in Brisbane, Queensland, but I spend a lot of time in other places like Perth, Western Australia, and various south-east Asian countries like Malaysia and Brunei, as well as closer-to-home countries like New Zealand.

My business shares premises with a company called Uptime Games which runs a couple of computer game playing centres in Brisbane. Can you see the attraction? No, no not playing computer games!! I'm a bit too long in the tooth for that sort of thing. They have plenty of nice boxes that aren't always fully occupied doing silly calculations, that can be pressed into doing useful calculations from time to time :). I would like to thank the nice people at Uptime Games for allowing me to steal some of their spare cycles to crunch BOINC projects. I also stole their logo for inclusion in this profile.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
Many years ago I did an Engineering Degree at the University of Queensland and Physics was part of the curriculum in years 1 & 2. I did extremely badly at Physics. Most Engineers at the time considered Physics to be totally impractical and just wanted to get on with the real stuff of Engineering. If there was anything that could turn off an Engineer it was trying to get your head around Physics concepts such as "ripples in the fabric of space-time" or "the dual wave/particle nature of light".

Whilst not really coping with Physics as an undergraduate, I've always had an interest in Astronomy and a sense of awe as I looked up into the heavens and wondered... The nature of the universe is so mind-blowingly complex and unfathomable. It would be such a depressing waste if all that real estate really is devoid of life in whatever form.

So when Seti@Home first came along in 1999 and I first found out about it, I jumped at the opportunity to participate and I've been on board ever since. I've mostly moved to BOINC projects now, both Seti and Einstein, but I still have a couple of boxes plugging away at classic, probably until they finally pull the plug.

It is disappointing that we haven't as yet sighted ET. However, we have barely scratched the surface so it's not really surprising. I don't think the Fermi Paradox proves that ET isn't out there to be found. I think it suggests that the universe is far more complex and that there are forces, energies and types or states of matter that we simply do not comprehend....yet!!
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