The [email protected] project

11 Conversations


Do you wonder if there is life anywhere else in the universe? I do!
Do you want to find out? Is your computer often working, without really being in use? Then maybe you should join the [email protected] project!

What [email protected] is about


A group of scientists are scanning a large part (about one third) of the sky with a large radio-telescope from the Arecibo observatory. They're planning to keep that up for about 2 years. All incoming data is recorded in real-time, giving an enormous amount of tape with lots of noise. this has to be sorted out ofcourse.

And that's where YOU come in. The data that is recorded, is then split up in small packets of roughly 340kB, and these packets can be downloaded and processed by the computers of all participants.
When you decide to join the effort, you first download a screensaver from the [email protected] homepage, and install it. After installation, you log in and collect your first packet of raw data. The screensaver will start processing it, whenever you're not using your machine. When the packet is completely processed, the screensaver will want access to internet to upload its findings and collect a new workload.

Background-mode, or how to get the most out of [email protected]


When [email protected] is up and running, double-click its icon in the system-tray, then click on "settings" and configure the program to work in background-mode. Also configure [email protected] to switch to blank-screen immediately when the screensaver mode is invoked.
The advantage of this mode is, that each package is processed in much less time (up to 4 times as fast). A drawback is that the program uses quite some resources.
If you own 400MHz (or faster) PC with 128MB of memory or more, you won't notice much under normal circumstances, but systems with less speed and/or memory may become a bit sluggish.

The sluggishness can be overcome, however:

If your system is not fast enough to comfortably work with [email protected] continuously running, switch to screensaver-mode when you're working, and switch to background-mode when you plan to leave your system for an extended period of time.

For more information and download


If you want to know more about it, or have already decided to download the program and start helping out, click on [email protected] to view their page.

H2G2 Researchers for [email protected]


When you're running the [email protected] program, then maybe you'd also like to join the H2G2 group-effort. If so, then please Meet the H2G2 Researchers for [email protected] here, see how they're doing, and follow the instructions on joining.
It's really quite simple.

Some interesting facts/links


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