[RC5] Seti@Home - what I heard

Scott I. Remick scott at computeralt.com
Mon Apr 12 14:12:03 EDT 1999


In response to the discussions regarding the fact that the Seti at Home 
software runs as a screensaver, and the fact that it is a memory hog.... 
well, these are related.  I had heard the following and confirmed it in the 
FAQ <http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/faq.html>.  What I heard went into 
more detail, about how the amount of information that had to be kept 
on-hand (in RAM) to do the calculations was huge:

-----<snip>------

Why are you doing this as a screensaver instead of a background task that 
runs all the time?

SETI at home uses a lot of memory while it's running, and it would cause 
swapping on some computers. We want to make sure it has zero impact on your 
normal computer work. So, for PC and Mac, the default mode is screensaver.

However, if you already have a favorite screensaver, or prefer not to run a 
screensaver, SETI at home can also be run as a background program that 
computes all the time and has no graphics. The UNIX version works like this.

-----<snip>------
-----------------------
Scott I. Remick			scott at computeralt.com
Network and Information		(802)388-7545 ext. 236
Systems Manager			FAX:(802)388-3697
Computer Alternatives, Inc.		http://www.computeralt.com

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