Profile: Murasaki

Personal background
The picture was taken at Crater Lake in Oregon on 30 September, 2005. I highly recommend the place. :)

Who, me? I\\'ve been an electronics technician for nearly 20 years. I\\'m an occasional reader of science and technical literature and science fiction.

K is my love, AND she introduced me to SETI classic way back when.

Electronics and computers are both my profession and my hobby. When I bought my first computer in 1980, a TRS-80 model 3 with a whopping 2Mhz clock, 4k bytes of memory, and a cassette data recorder, I never imagined how incredible these tiny appliances would become. On my current computer, a 2.8GHz P4, Seti@home completes processing a packet in about four hours concurrent with whatever else I\\'m doing. If I had to ballpark how long it would take that old TRS-80, it\\'d be anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 hours, assuming someone attached a bank of reel to reel tape drives to it for storage space. I don\\'t think the average user truly understands just how incredible the machine they can buy for a few hundred bucks and stick under a desk really is. Watching Seti@Home\\'s progress window and realizing I\\'m contributing at least a little something to an important scientific goal (if only just assembling the computer and keeping the lights on) is as exciting to me as when I wrote my first BASIC program. This is the future.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I don\\'t doubt that life exists elsewhere. Even using infinitesimal fractions, Drake\\'s equation is compelling, especially considering recent evidence that appears to prove planets are as common around other stars as we had always hoped.

I am a serious skeptic about whether radiotelescopes can detect a casual signal from another civilization, or even a deliberate one. The inverse square law is a harsh rule in this regard. I doubt any race would have the practical ability (or need) to modulate an entire star\\'s energy output, which to me seems to be the requirement for an omnidirectional signal to be readable across thousands of parsecs. I believe if any contact is made, we\\'d have to be the target of some sort of focused beam from a more practical device. \\"Practical\\" in this case is a relative term, since the race would have to build it and point it our way out of sheer hope that we exist.

Still, I believe the negatives in science are just as important as the positives. If the search turns up nothing over a large stretch of time, we are closer to \\"knowing\\" than \\"assuming\\". I also believe in the serendipity of science. You never know what treasures you\\'ll find on the way to wherever you were going. Lastly, I believe that I\\'m just an undereducated layman who really hopes that he\\'s wrong. ET, if you\\'re there, call us, please.
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