Profile: Richard Looke

Personal background
Yee Haw! I awoke this morning to find that I have two data units under my belt
since installing the SETI@Home program for the first time yesterday. This
morning I added two more machines to the lineup of computers crunching SETI
data bringing my total up to seven. I should start seeing lots of data units
build up pretty quick now!

I am a 51 year old EE who designs IC chips for the wireless industry. I work out
of my home in Jacksonville, Florida so I need to have a few good machines around
running your various Operating Systems to work on. I enjoy customizing my own
machines out of parts you can buy at the local computer store. I've been doing
that for a long time now so some of my machines are pretty old. I finally got
rid of my oldest one a while ago, a 16 MHz 386. My latest endeavor is a pair of
1.4 GHz AMD Athlons with 512 Megs of RAM each. One runs Linux and the other has
Windows ME. Wow, are they fast! It’s interesting that the Linux one goes through
the SETI data almost twice as fast.

When I'm not doing that, I like fishing, cooking, building stuff made out of
wood in my garage or riding around the yard on my lawn tractor (sometimes even
mowing the grass). I had heard about the SETI@home program a long time ago and
always wanted to get into it but I finally just got around to downloading the
programs yesterday. I had to use a search engine but it was super easy to find.
As you can tell, I’m kind of a gear head so I am really intrigued by the data
display of SETI@Home.

My list of computers now processing SETI data:
1.2 GHz Athlon9512 Meg9RedHat Linux 7.1
(Over-clocked to 1.35 GHz)
1.4 GHz Athlon9512 Meg9Windows ME
500 MHz Pentium III9512 Meg9RedHat Linux 6.0
Compaq Presario9128 Meg9Windows ME
(Laptop, 800 MHz Intel Celeron)
300 MHz Pentium9 96 Meg9Windows 98
180 MHz Pentium964 Meg9Windows NT Server
90 MHz Pentium948 Meg9Windows NT
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I think the SETI@Home program is just about one of the most clever ideas I've
ever heard of. All that vast computer resource out there going to waste (like
you say, with toasters flying across their screens), might as well use it for
something worth while. And especially since there was no funding available to
do the science on supercomputers. I personally can’t use all the resources I
have available at any one given time. I sometimes run simulations overnight,
but what's the difference if they take eight hours to run instead of six?

I was a big fan of Carl Sagan when he was still with us. Like he said, "There
are billions and billions" of suns out there and we are finding all the time
that the chances of planets orbiting these suns is getting better and better.
How could there not be any other intelligent life out there somewhere? I believe
we may find signs of other civilizations (via radio transmissions whether
intentional or otherwise) within the next ten years if we keep up a diligent
search for it.

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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.