SETI@home Updated and Project Status

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

SETI@home has been updated to version 3.0.3 and Project Director, Dr. David P. Anderson, sent out an interesting note about the project status and some of the features of the new version.


Halfway through our second year of operation, SETI@home has processed over 7000 hours of digitally-recorded signals from the Arecibo radio telescope, using the power of millions of Internet-connected computers. As this processing continues, SETI@home’s own computers are doing the next phase, in which we separate man-made radio signals from those originating outside our solar system. Our goal is to detect signals from other civilizations.

By using the Internet to form the world’s most powerful computer, SETI@home has inspired other scientific computing projects, and is often credited (along with Napster) with defining a new generation of computer system design, called “peer-to-peer”.

Because of the strong continued interest in SETI@home, the project will continue for at least a year beyond its original ending time. Plans are not finalized, but we hope to expand our search to the southern-hemisphere sky, and to search new frequency bands.

We will also try to make SETI@home more fun and interesting by adding new content and features to our web site. Our small but hard-working staff (5 part-time members) has had little time to work on this area, but we’re expanding our efforts.


After almost a year of testing and debugging, we recently released a major new version of our screensaver program. The new version does much better signal analysis; it looks for two new types of signals (pulses and triplets) and it covers a wider range of drift rates. As a result, it takes more time to process each work unit.

The old version of SETI@home should automatically notify you when it’s time to upgrade to the new version. You can download and install it from our web site.

If you are like most Mac users you probably have more than a couple “extra” Macs laying around. Why not put them to use as a SETI farm? While you are at it you should join the 1200+ other members of the Go2Mac SETI@home team that have contributed over 759 years of processing time and help us put Mac users on the map!

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