I've been working with computers since the early 80s when memory had to be soldered and programs were saved on a cassette tape. I'm still the go-to guy when an old machine breaks somewhere since I'm the old-timer in this business. But I have kept up to date on systems and currently administer an all new state-wide network which is becoming an example for other state agencies. After a day of dealing with XP and systems that are measured in GB and GH it's nice to go home and tinker with a 286 on a green-screen and write programs in BASIC. We've come a long way in a short time.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
There is no doubt that life exists elsewhere but whether we can contact it or not is still open for debate. I'm sure single-celled life (or its equivalent) flourishes throughout the universe and intelligent life must have evolved here or there. If we do make contact we may find (in my own educated guess) that advanced life forms are still limited to their own solar systems since interstellar travel is just too unlikely to exist in a useful manner. Inter-species contact may just be limited to "Pen Pals" and true face to face physical contact may never happen. The worst that can happen if we do make contact is a "flame" war and the best we can hope for is an intelligent exchange of information and philosophies. That is what intrigues me the most--what do aliens think? What do they believe in? What is their culture like? This, to me, is much more interesting than what kind of technology they have, after all, no matter what you look like or how you evolved the chances are that your technology eventually comes to the same path as other cultures. There are only so many laws of physics and they are the same no matter where you are. So I do hope we make contact and that the average man can chat with the average alien. That would be fantastic!