The information on this site is based on the SETI@home Classic project, which closed for good in December 2005. This site is an unmaintained archive of the Overclockers UK team statistics when the project closed. While various information pages are still here, most of the information listed is very out-of-date and this will not be corrected.
New users should instead refer to the SETI@home BOINC project. Overclockers UK team statistics for this project are available from the main Team OcUK site
Have you ever stared at the majesty of the heavens on a clear night? Have you wondered if, in all that vastness, with the billions upon billions of stars and untold numbers of planets, whether Earth is the only planet to support intelligent life?
Not only is there a serious scientific study underway to try to answer that question, but you can be part of the effort.
Seti@Home is a distributed computing project run by the University of California at Berkeley, and uses internet-connected computers around the world to analyse data collected from the giant Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.
We all have fast computers, but is yours being put to good use, or does it just stay idle during times when you don't use it? All that power going to waste seems such a shame when you could be using it to run SETI@Home and making good use of your computer during idle moments. It would benefit Team OcUK if you were to join and show the world that the UK are the best overclockers in the world by climbing the World Rankings Ladder.
SETI@Home involves searching the heavens for signs of extraterrestrial signals in the hope of finding intelligent life elswhere in the universe. The data is cut into managable chunks and distributed to home users for processing.
All Seti@home actually does is a detailed statistical analysis of the signal received by the Arecibo telescope, looking for signals that cannot be attributed to background noise, interference or other naturally occurring signals. And if a signal is found that cannot be explained this way,then Mankind will KNOW it is not alone in the universe. And if that data unit is one you processed, you will receive credit for being part of the team that discovered intelligent alien life.
If you want to take part, all you need to do is download a small program from Berkeley, and run it on your computer. It does not need to be installed as such, as it is a simple executable file so it doesn’t mess with your system settings. It connects to Berkeley (either automatically or at your specific command, depending on how you set your preferences), and downloads a small (about 350KB) data file for processing. Once complete, it uploads the results (about 7KB) and requests another data file.
The idea behind this distributed computing project is that it doesn’t interfere with the normal operation of your computer. In fact, in can be set to only run when you are not using the computer for anything else and to stop running when you do use the computer – so it doesn’t interfere with your own computing. It merely uses the spare time when the machine would otherwise be doing nothing.
In addition to the basic program, there are a range of separate tools and utilities available, with functions ranging from making it very easy to configure the program initially, to keeping a history of data units processed and even displaying a star map showing where your units were received from.
Numbers have a certain fascination, especially in games, which SETI can be likened to. Each Work Unit released adds to your total and members become addicted to the Crunching, scrambling over each other in an effort to climb the Team ladder, often making amusing comments on the board as they do so.
Within Team OcUK we have league tables and the team spirit is for members to try to "crunch" more Work Units than other members, rising through the leagues and "stomping" other members on the way. Of course, all such activity is fiercely defended by the potential stompee, and the net result adds to the team totals!
In addition, teams compete against each other on the World Rankings Ladder and Team OcUK is currently in the top 30 of the top 200 teams worldwide, having competed against thousands of other teams. Our objective: To wave the UK flag for all the world to see by reaching the top position and proving to the rest of the world that UK overclockers are indeed a force to be reckoned with, and the finest team in the world. With your help we can keep the flag flying and hold our heads up with pride on an effort well deserved of praise by all envying nations. Honward and hupwards, the only way forward is hup is our battlecry, and the UK know better than any other nation how best to succeed. Give freely of your support and help Team OcUK and the UK achieve ultimate domination of the SETI universe.
Whether you have 1 Work Unit or 10,000 it doesn't matter here at Team OcUK. Every WU counts, no matter how slow your machine may be, and contributes to our success. It's a team effort, and we all pull together for the sake of The Cause.
One Important Note To Make Before Starting
If you intend to run seti on your work computer, please ask your boss/network admin/sys admin before doing so. This will avoid any problems that might pop up. Make sure that you have that permission in writing. Under no circumstances try to gain access to any computers with out permission as this may endanger your job.
Getting Started With SETI@Home
How Can I Help?
You first need to download and install the software from the offical website at Berkeley the installation procedure is a straightforward affair and is completed in seconds.
There are two distinct variants, apart from the differing versions depending on which OS you use.
Firstly there is the GUI ( Graphical User Interface ) version which functions as a screen saver, which can be configured to run in the background full time. Now whilst this has pretty graphics it is also a very slow at processing the work units. This is due to the processor having to draw all those pretty graphics you see on the screen aswell as sift through the information contained in the work units looking for Alien radio signals.
Now the quicker way to process those units is to use the CLI (Command Line Interface) version of the software. Although it looks daunting on first glance to those of you aren't exactly techno savy, it is by far and away the quickest way to crunch (process) those work units. Due to the processor not having to write all those fancy graphics whilst crunching the cpu now has many more resources to hand and can crunch them work units in less time than the GUI version. In some cases the CLI can be 3-4 times quicker than the GUI.
So if one is obessed with climbing up the charts then the CLI is the client for you.
The CLI client is also best as it is the most benign of the two clients, letting you run SETI in the background the whole time your computer is switched on with no noticeable slowdown of your computer whilst you carry out your tasks.
Minimum Spec's For Windows systems (95/98/NT/2000/XP):-
Minimum Spec's For Macintosh systems:-
Many versions of Unix are also supported.
What Happens When I Run SETI@home For The First Time?
The first time you start SETI@Home it will ask you a series of questions. Don't worry these are very benign and will not infringe on your privacy.
The most important question it will ask you is for a valid email address. This is purely to identify you when you download units to process and upload completed units. They will not give out your address to ANY 3rd party and it is not published anywhere on the web site.
To join Team OcUK you will need this email address and your password, which is sent to your address when requested. To join this mighty fine team is a straight forward process and takes just a few seconds.
Do I Need To Be Connected To The Internet Whilst SETI Is Processing It's Data?
The only time you need to be connected to the internet is when you need to upload results and download new units to process.
As the units are in the region of 350KB each it will take only a couple of minutes on a dailup connection to get fresh units to crunch, and to upload only takes a matter of seconds as the result files are on average about 6-10KB each
ALL processing of the data can be done whilst offline
Can I Run SETI@home On More Than One Machine Using The Same Account?
Aslong as you enter the correct email address when setting up on a new machine then yes you can. There is no limit to how many machines you use for your SETI account.
So The Client Needs To Access The Internet From Time To Time,
How Do I Get New Units When I Am Away From My Computer?
The easiest and in many cases the best way is too cache work units on each machine.
This is achieved by using a program such as Seti Driver which allows you to cache any number of units and then let your computer to crunch away at them until it has finished them. All you do then is send them back to SETI@Home and download a new cache. Seti Driver can also be set to crunch one unit, return the result and download a new unit to work on. But many find that downloading a cache and letting Seti Driver run it's course the easiest way.
What Is Caching And Why Should I Care?
The easy answer is:- Caching cancels problems. Those who cache will have machines crunching more often than those who don't cache.
Caching is a way of stocking up on work units so as you can have spare ones set aside in case of server outages at Berkeley (from where your units come from).Reasons to cache include;
For Windows users there are many free 3rd party software options that manage caching for the user. The most popular being SetiQ and Seti Driver. With SetiQ the one more often used by people running farms and Seti Driver predominately used by users with single computers. If you run the CLI then one of these two programs are deemed essential. And they are very easy to install, run and mantain.
How Many Units Should I Cache?
With a plethora of computers and varying speeds available this is not as straight forward a question as it seems. The easiest way to find out is either to ask on the forum what your computer should be doing or use a utility such as Seti Timer to help in guesstimating. Seti Timer is just a little web based script in which you enter the cpu and memory speed of your pc and it will calculate an approximate time in which a single work unit should be completed on your pc. You can then calculate from that how many work units it can do in week and download that amount of units to your cache.
What Is A WU, Woo Or A Work Unit?
>SETI@Home divides all it's data into easy to process work units also called woo's or even wu's by members.
Each work unit is a sample of a known location of the sky and a narrow band of frequencies at a known time.
A work unit can take many hours to complete depending on the computer that is processing.
Data will be recorded on high-density tapes at the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico, filling about one 35 Gbyte DLT tape per day. Because Arecibo does not have a high bandwidth Internet connection, the data tape must go by snail-mail to Berkeley. The data is then divided into 0.25 Mbyte chunks (which we call "work-units"). These are sent from the Seti@Home server over the Internet to people around the world to analyze. SETI@home looks at 2.5 MHz of data, centered at 1420 MHz. This is still too broad a spectrum to send to you for analysis, so we break this spectrum space up into 256 pieces, each 10 kHz wide (more like 9766 Hz, but we'll simplify the numbers to make calculations easier to see). This is done with a software program called the "splitter". These 10 kHz pieces are now more manageable in size. To record signals up to 10 KHz you have to record the bits at 20,000 bits per second (kbps). (This is called the Nyquist frequency.) We send you about 107 seconds of this 10 kHz (20kbps) data. 100 seconds times 20,000 bits equals 2,000,000 bits, or about 0.25 megabyte given that there are 8 bits per byte. Again, we call this 0.25 megabyte chunk a "work-unit." We also send you lots of additional info about the work-unit, so the total comes out to about 340 kbytes of data.
And Dumping Would Be What?
Many members refer to sending completed units back to Berkeley as "Dumping".
To Stomp Is To What?
When one stomps they gain a place in the league.
What Is Crunching?
To crunch a woo is to process a work unit. Ergo crunching is the act of processing, computers which process work units are often called crunchers.
What Is A Farm?
The term Farm signifies a that a member has a number of computers that are running SETI@Home, from where this term originated is unknown but it has certainly stayed.
Is My Computer As Fast As It Should Be?
Team OcUK has a benchmark that can be run on your computer and submitted for verification to our resident overclocking guru [OcUK]Gibbo, one the best overclockers in the world. The benchmark consists of a "standard" work unit that was copied and then the original was processed and returned to Berkeley. All you need to do to benchmark ones computer is to download, run the unit as you would a normal unit (without returning it to Berkeley) and submit the result to [OcUK]Gibbo who will then verify the result and post it on the benchmark page. You can then check how your computer compares to other similar computers.
Why Is My Computer Alot Slower Than It Should Be?
There is a variety of reasons why this should be;
For more reasons why and to have your questions answered please feel free to pop into the forums at OcUK and post away.