SETI@home FAQ

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by simX, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    simX

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #1
    I figured this would be a good way to start promoting the MacRumors SETI@home team. Can we get this off the ground like the Folding@home promoters did? I dunno. Note, however, that if you have any old Macs that can't run Mac OS X, you can still run SETI@home on it, so we can get some of that older processing power that Folding@home can't access.

    (Thanks to Rower_CPU for providing the template for this set of FAQs. Admins: could you make this a sticky?)

    Q: What is the SETI@home project all about?
    A: The SETI@home home page has some great information about the project: http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/ .

    Q: Where do I download the client?
    A: You can download Classic Mac OS and Mac OS X graphical clients, as well as a command line client for Mac OS X at this page: http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/download.html .

    Q: Is there an OS 9 client?
    A: SETI@home can run on computers that have System 7.5.5 or higher installed. See the download page for the Classic Mac client for other system requirements: http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/mac.html .

    Q: Which client should I download?
    A: It depends on your level of comfort with Terminal.app. The graphical client is easy to set up and monitor, but the added overhead of the graphic display wastes precious CPU cycles. We highly recommend using the text console version.

    Q: Can I run SETI@home when no user is logged in under Mac OS X?
    A: Yes. Simply download and install the graphical client for Mac OS X. It will continue to run even when no user is logged in.

    Q: Is there a screensaver module for SETI@home?
    A: Because screensavers only run when a user is logged in, the SETI@home creators decided to create their own engine for SETI@home rather than using the built-in screensaver in Mac OS X.

    Q: How can I join the MacRumors.com - Team SETI group?
    A: Simply go to the group's page ( http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/stats/team/team_139691.html ), and click the "Join" link at the top. Our team number is 139691, if you ever need that.

    Q: Are there instructions to set up and run the clients?
    A: Follow the directions on the SETI@home site. For the graphical client for Classic Mac OS, see this page: http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/mac_help.html . For the graphical client for Mac OS X, see this page: http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/ReadMe_OS_X_SETI@home.html . For the command line client for Mac OS X, the Read Me is included in the download.

    Q: How can I set up the command-line SETI@home client to run automatically without having Terminal.app open?
    A: Currently you have to do this manually, but a script for doing this may be added in the future.

    Q: Do I need to be connected to the Internet to have SETI@home running?
    A: No, SETI@home only needs to be connected when it actually sends and receives work units. It processes the work units themselves offline.

    Q: How can I run SETI@home on my dual processor Mac?
    A: Currently SETI@home cannot natively use dual processors. However, if you have a dual-processor Mac and run the command-line client, you can run two instances of SETI@home, and Mac OS X will likely allot one of them to one processor and the other to the other processor, to maximize efficiency (this will not work on Mac OS 9 due to the poor multiprocessor support).

    Q: Where can I find statistics for my contribution to the team and our position relative to other SETI@home teams?
    A: To see your contribution to the team, see this page: http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/stats/team/team_139691.html . Currently, the SETI@home project only keeps track of the top 200 teams in each group, and the 200 top teams overall. Since the MacRumors SETI team isn't high up enough to be on a top 200 list, there's no way to know our position relative to other SETI@home teams. However, MacNN does provide a page where you can get graphs of various stats about our team, which can be accessed here.

    Please allow some time for your work units to register in the Berkeley server.

    Q: How long does it take to complete a work unit?
    A: The only factor that determines the time to complete a work unit is the computing power available to process the work unit. Unlike Folding@home, all work units for SETI@home are the same size. So your computer speed and available processor time are key in determining how long each work unit will take. Obviously, a 1GHz G4 should be twice as fast as 500MHz one, but if the 1GHz only works half the time, or at 50% of its capacity, it is equal to the 500MHz machine running full-time at 100% capacity.

    Q: Will SETI@home slow down my computer?
    A: SETI@home uses your idle CPU cycles, scaling up and down depending on what you're doing on your computer. If you're playing a game, editing video, or doing some other CPU intentive task, SETI@home will drop down to a fraction of your CPU power. SETI@home will then scale back up to use more CPU time when it becomes available. However, if you are doing critical work, it is probably wise to quit SETI@home first.

    Q: Will SETI@home preempt other tasks?
    A: SETI@home should take the lowest priority of all tasks on your machine (unless you explicitly tell it not to). Applications you run, even when in the background, will have higher priority for CPU time that SETI@home. SETI@home only uses idle CPU time that is not being used by other programs.

    Q: Will SETI@home damage my computer or shorten its lifespan?
    A: Only if you do not have adequate cooling. As with any CPU intensive task you need to make sure that your machine stays cool and doesn't overheat. Other than that, SETI@home is just like any other application.

    Q: How can I see my current progress?
    A: You can either go to your personal contribution page, which you can access by going to this page and entering in the e-mail address with which you registered: http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/individual.html .

    Or, if you prefer, you can use the excellent piece of software called "SETI Menu", currently at version 5.1, to monitor your progress right from the Mac OS X menubar! To download this piece of software, simply go to this page: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/vigan/aksoft/index.html .

    Q: Where can I find info about the work unit I'm currently processing?
    A: Currently there is no way to find information about the work unit other than the information given in the graphical clients.

    Q: Does SETI@home take advantage of AltiVec and/or SSE?
    A: Currently, SETI@home does not take advantage of AltiVec or SSE, because it is designed to be processor/architecture-agnostic.

    Q: How can I spread awareness of SETI@home and advertise for the team?
    A: Most SETI@home participants add some text to their signatures to indicate their participation in the project. You could also copy and modify some of the Folding@home signatures, too. Just don't tell them that you did it. :)

    Q: I understand that Stanford, which manages the Folding@home project, and Berkeley, which manages the SETI@home project, have a big rivalry. Which college should I support?

    A: Well, don't tell anybody, but I'm a Stanford student and I'm running SETI@home. I think the more important thing is establishing a rivalry with the MacRumors Folding@home team, especially since you can install SETI@home on all those older Macs that don't support Mac OS X. ;)

    Happy SETI-ing and welcome to the team!
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    applemacdude

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    #2
    One thing though. I like SETI@Home more because it has a better interface :p :cool:
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Nowheresville
    #3
    I started using Folding@Home for computations on my AMD Duron and my brothers Intel Celeron bc we would just leave the computers on. I should probably start SETI@HOME for Mac huh. It'd help us out a lot here @ MacRumors. Everyone should do it
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    #4
    The OS 9 client runs surprisingly fast. I have a 350Mhz iMac pumping out more than 1 a day. I figure that isn't bad since it is outpacing my Athlon 700 Mhz
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States of America
    #5
    is finding aliens on the same shelf as curing deseases now? :)
     
  6. Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #6
    I have two seti's running 24/7 on each of the processors in my dual 1.8ghz g5, it usually does 1 seti unit every 3 hours, i use the terminal version without verbose mode as it runs slightly fast at -nice 100
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    #7
    Seti points to Macrumors team for technical help

    I have 2500 unallocated "classic" seti at home units I will donate to Mac Rumors if someone can help me cure my kernal panic woes. I just got this mac and its really, really frustrating. I posted my problem here:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=79963

    Thanks,
    W
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    applemacdude

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    #8
    See sig
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    #9
    This looks like an awesome thing to do. I've love to do it with my G4 - I don't do much on it except surf the net. But I honestly am not the sharpest crayon in the box when it comes to computers. I love my imacs, and very much enjoy reading on this forum.. found this about a month ago, and in that short time, have learned a lot of this and that.

    I'm itching to do it, but paranoid that i'll see my imac start smoking LOL. Is it something that tends to have a lot of problems.. or do you think I could do this relatively painlessly? If this went over ok, i'd happily do it with the G5 too.
    Do I have to be really computer savvy to do this? This girl doesn't wanna get in over her head.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #10
    Just be sure to grab the GUI version of the Mac OS X client (not the command line interface one and not the OS 9 one). When you run it you may as well hide it (seeing the colorful bars dancing around the screen is entertaining for about a minute).

    Your iMac will be fine. The vents around the bottom of the base and around the chrome arm on top aren't likely to be blocked. I put SETi on a 17" 800MHz iMac G4 and it was perfectly happy running it 24/7.

    You won't have any problems.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    ohio
    #11
    how fast to process

    "Q: How long does it take to complete a work unit?
    A: The only factor that determines the time to complete a work unit is the computing power available to process the work unit. Unlike Folding@home, all work units for SETI@home are the same size. So your computer speed and available processor time are key in determining how long each work unit will take. Obviously, a 1GHz G4 should be twice as fast as 500MHz one, but if the 1GHz only works half the time, or at 50% of its capacity, it is equal to the 500MHz machine running full-time at 100% capacity."

    Here are my speeds: G3/300 takes about 22-24 hrs per unit. G4/400 takes about 14-16 hrs. per unit. G4/466 takes 10-11 hrs. per unit. My PowerBook G4/667 takes about 18-20 hrs. These are running with SETI set as a screensaver that goes blank after 5 mins. My G3/300 has cranked 155 units since August and never runs hotter than 102 degrees F.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    #12
    To add to the time, I've got a Dual 2.5GHz G5/4.5GB RAM which take 3-4 hours per unit. I should be putting a 7200/75 on 24/7 running SETI@HOME, expect to get at least one unit a day out of that ;)
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #13
    I'm guessing you're running the GUI version. Once you run it from the command line your times will shrink significantly. 3 hours, 6 minutes is what my dual 1.8GHz G5 was getting on the CLI . . . the GUI was around 5 hours (each processor, I think). My recollection might be a little bit off as it's been a while since I've run it.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Off I40/I85, near the Cracker Barrel
    #14
    Have had it 24/7 on my iMac G4 1ghz, running the CPU at 100% only raises the temperature a few degrees over idle, from 105F to 109F. (taken at the HDD by Temperature Monitor, that is the only temp sensor it detects in the iMac)
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    pimentoLoaf

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Location:
    The SimCity Deli
    #15
    Just started running SETI on my new 1.2ghz iBook a couple of months ago, and I'm now at 22nd place using the BOINC system.

    Folding never ran very well on my other Mac (a 17" 1.33ghz that runs climate analysis under BOINC), so I didn't even attempt to do so on the iBook.

    I use a 2.4ghz PC for analyzing proteins, which is does with aplomb.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    joecool85

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    #16
    This needs to be updated since there is no longer a supported classic Seti client. Plus, it seems like most of the links don't work properly.
     
  17. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #17
    Not trying to piss off anyone but dont you think an advance civilization is using something better then radio? We have allmost abandon radio in 100 years on Earth ?
    2nd point is If some of these U.F.O. sightings are true then they have either a massless drive or are able to jump space if you will. Dont you think they need something better then a radio wave that will arrive to its destination thousands of years later?
    My conclusion is the only one we might catch is that civilization that is on the same page as us. Very unlikely in a universe 12 billion years old.

    Still hope you guys find something but i think its not going to be.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Adelaide
    #18
    guys this thread should be closed and locked seeing that seti project doesnt exist anymore but the BOINIC does
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    #19
    it's not that SETI has ceased to exist..... it has just taken a new form..... :)
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    pimentoLoaf

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Location:
    The SimCity Deli
    #20
    SETI data is still being sent to my BOINC client, and in time, other telescopes than Arecibo will be supplying it.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    #21
    It's kinda disappointing that Seti client doesn't utilise the Altivec....
     
  22. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #22
    Whats more disappointing is they havent found anything. No surprise. I wish this kind of dedication and money would go into the study of UFO's. How could the Airforce declare UFO's pose no security risk to the security of the united states when airliners have reported emergency manuevers for avoidance, or the incident that happen at the rendlesham air base where nukes were stored and seen by the acting base commander at the time? or the incident when 10 of our nuke missile silo's all shut down while a ufo was right outside?10 silo's at the same time that are all seperated from one another meaning no common systems? There are many very solid cases, many indeed.

    I have to say again, our govt deep in its black projects know we have been visited and are under observation but there isnt much they can do against this advance technology that maybe 1,000 years ahead of us except to deny it and spin it to the public yet in secret all the bomb builders and military wish they had that tech. I dont think et is using...............radio.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    pimentoLoaf

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Location:
    The SimCity Deli
    #23
    RE: UFO's

    Most people are smart enought to realize that the Air Force has no obligation to relate details of military projects, including advanced aircraft which nearly all UFO's happen to be.

    During WW2, my mom worked at Lockheed in Connecticut. She saw the Flying Pancake being built and flown, and something triangular that hovered without being a helicopter (no pix or books of that machine yet). The Germans had similar projects.

    Foo-fighters was a code-name for "foolish to make public", as the stuff was too sensitive to make notice of on radio chatter (you could be courts martialed).

    Don't worry. The authorities know full well what UFO's are, and don't need another fake study (like Project Blue Book) to find out.
     
  24. iDM
    macrumors 6502a

    iDM

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Location:
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    #24
    Oh great another cool thing that can take up cycles on my computer. I feel the need for a quad core just to fold and run seti.

    Any idea the strain it would put on my 2yr old 1.25ghz PB(1.25g Ram) to run SETI@home and Folding@Home??
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    joecool85

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    #25
    Someone needs to update this thing. There is no longer a classic version for SETI, not supported anyway. Also, the link to view the mac rumors team doesn't work.
     

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