I am a geek. All of my adult life has been committed to computers from early vacuum tube machines through modern supercomputers. That is 55 years of living and breathing base 2 numbers. For 28.5 of those years I directed the research and development of advanced automated diagnostic systems. I had a great job in which I was challenged and totally committed but in 1997 I decided to retire and live the good life. Well, for the last six years of my career we were exploring distributed computing using PC class computers. In 1999 SETI@home was invented and I wanted in. I had three second generation PCs (the fastest was a 100 MHz Pentium machine). Processing times were lengthy and networking was a sometimes thing. This was the era of doubling processor speeds every year so to keep up I found my self building new computers constantly. Eventually I had 13 computers running SETI and the slowest machine was 1 ghz.
In 2005 my world crashed and changed forever, my wife died. I was lost and it seemed there was no purpose to my life. I may have sounded like SETI was all I thought about - not so. I played golf several time a week and in 1998 acquired a 1956 GMC Model 101 pickup truck which needed extensive restoration. I did about 97% of all the restoration myself and ended up with a sweet little machine. Through a ton of tradeoffs the truck ended up painted a light green (actually the color is called Sprite Green) - the truck became know as the Little Green Truck (LGT). After Vivienne died I decided I would tour America. After six trips to Florida it was time to set sail in the LGT, through the highways and byways of America. My initial trip was back to my home state of Wyoming. It just seemed that Wyoming was still where I belonged. So, I sold everything in Georgia and moved to a tiny little town (Lysite, Wyoming) at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains Still doing SETI and cruisin' in the LGT.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
It is pure arrogance or fright that causes earthlings to feel that Earth is the only place in the Universe that harbors intelligent life. Arrogant because they think we are unique and it is only through the greatest lottery win ever that we won the ownership of the whole universe. Frightened because we might be alone in this big empty place . Well, we need to find out if we are alone, in fact, it is seriously important to know. Someday earthlings are going to have to leave, leave or die. Knowing that other star systems support intelligent life would greatly reduce the worry of making the decision to climb onto a starship and head for a new home. I believe we will eventually come to know that we are not alone. So, it is an important task And I am glad that, in a small way I can help.
My views on the project. I think the sponsors at Cal-Berkeley have done a great job of gathering the resources to get the computing done but I think the complexity of the chaotic nature of the radio signals took them by surprise. This is not a trivial task. Choosing to analyze radio telescope data was the only approach available at the time of project start up and it is still the only way available now. So, let's ride that bronco and find these guys.