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A half-million and counting



I thought I'd offer a brief progress report on a little AMSAT effort that
hits a major milestone on Friday. I'm speaking of the 167-member Team AMSAT
effort on SETI@Home. Take a look at our AMSAT SETI page at
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/fcgi-bin/fcgi?cmd=team_lookup&name=AMSAT. You
will find that our collective efforts have now accumulated 500,000+ work
units representing ~755 YEARS of computer time as the collective effort of
167 members.

These efforts have also placed AMSAT in 90th position among all the 20,000+
teams around the world, and we are on the verge of overtaking the Univ. of
Washington for 89th position (probably next week):
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/stats/team/team_type_0.html

For those of you who don't know about SETI@Home, it represents the world's
largest distributed computing "engine". Each of Team AMSAT's 500,000 work
units represents a chunk of wideband noise acquired parasitically
(freeloading a data sample at whatever place the telescope is pointing for
other scientific programs. Each "chunk" (as explained at
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/about_seti/about_seti_at_home_1.html) is a
~10 kHz wide, 107 second long slice of the cosmic background noise seen at
frequencies near the 21cm frequency (1420.405... MHz) of neutral Hydrogen.
Your computer is turned into a high resolution spectrograph looking for
carriers and pulses that might arise for intelligent life elsewhere in our
galaxy. The process followed by the data being munched by some 4.18 million
users around the world is outlined in
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/process_page/. In short, SETI@Home is
scanning the band, hoping that ET is calling CQ.

Of the 4.18 million users around the world, AMSAT's courageous band of 167
amounts to only 0.004% of the "universe", but we have contributed 0.068% of
the total or 17 times the average for such a group.

Of the half-million work units produced by AMSAT, 7 individuals have all
contributed more than 20,000 work units -- WB5TUF, AA4RC, G1YYH, N4QQ,
WB1BQE, K6CCC and KK4XZ. Their total accounts for nearly half of the AMSAT
effort. In AMSAT we might offer an ATTABOY award, but I'm not certain it is
appropriate
(http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2002112192227.g
if).

In case any of the rest of you want to contribute to AMSAT's SETI@Home
effort, go to the SETI@Home web page at http://setiathome.berkeley.edu and
download the software suitable for your computer. Then after getting things
running, go to the AMSAT page at
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/fcgi-bin/fcgi?cmd=team_lookup&name=AMSAT and
click on JOIN on the top line. We won't refuse you
(http://www.satirewire.com/news/0106/seti.shtml)!

Congratulations to all the members of Team AMSAT for helping us reach the
half-million mark in the ~20 months that we have been around.

73 and Happy New Year de Tom, W3IWI





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