The SETI League, Inc., a membership-supported, non-profit {501(c)(3)}, educational and scientific organization Searching for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence

Ask Dr. SETI ®

Chapter 6: Technology

What Happened to the Screensaver?

Dear Dr. SETI:
I am a returning SETI@home volunteer and I am wondering what happened to the dynamic screen saver classic, the one with the moving graphics. Please let me know how to get it.
Gildy (via email)

The Doctor Responds:

First off, Gildy, thank you for your efforts. SETI@home is indebted to volunteers like you.

When the SETI@home concept was expanded into BOINC (the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Networked Computing), it opened up the concept for use on many other scientific projects, such as distributed processing for protein folding, prime number searches, and genetic mapping. Thus, the graphic which was unique for SETI signal analysis was no longer appropriate to these broader applications, so the programmers at University of California eliminated it. I too regret the loss of the pretty screens, but believe me, it is for the greater good of science.

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