archive: RE: SETI@home - Windows + Mac Platforms

RE: SETI@home - Windows + Mac Platforms

Adrian W Kingsley-Hughes ( (no email) )
Mon, 17 May 1999 10:05:28 +0100

Thank you for your incisive comments John.

> Cut em a little slack, will you? This has never been done

While I don't go by the adage, "The only difference between beta and release
software in the shrinkwrapper machine", I don't see any beta tag here now.
It's a roll out. And no, putting my professional hat on, I can't cut slack
as to recommending this to business users. I had three companies willing
to devote a lot of time and PCs to it which have gone shy on it because of
problems with it that I cannot give them reassurances over.

Couldn't cutting slack also apply to those who have bothered to download the
software and get it to work, failed and emailed bug reports and got nothing
back? Remember who is asking for the CPU cycles here.

> before. When they
> get it working, it will be a blueprint for future endeavors
> of this type.

Not been done before? The prime number search is probably the best
example - not only was the software decent but the support behind it was

This screensaver setup is also pretty poor. All my new PCs go into
hibernation after a certain number of minutes on screensaver making it a
slow method. Much better to have written software to use low priority and
skip on most of the graphical interface - you would end up getting a lot
more cycles that way.

SETI@home only needed to follow that kind of blueprint for success. How
many wanted to be beta testers for this? This proxy issue really is a very
simple blunder and shows poor foresight in the development and testing
phase. If simple problems are discovered within hours of the software being
available then if this was a commercial piece of software, someone's head
would roll. I really don't want to hear about excuses because it isn't
commercial either.

Over the weekend their website has been update at least twice, but with no
mention of the bugs reported.

> Don't worry so much. A success of such a high profile project
> can do nothing

Don't confuse software success/failure with SETI as a whole. My comments
have been solely directed at the software side of it.

> but good for seti. So what if they have a lot of work to do yet.

The best interest is always at the beginning. Lose that and you lose the
momentum that goes with it.

> No, better keep working on that Argus station.

Thanks for the advice John, but my new dish is on a container ship in the
Atlantic. So all is beta at the moment, but when it works, it won't be.
However, you might have seen this as a great comparison but I don't, for two

A My Argus station is my business and not a distributed computing project
B When it's finished it will be complete (possible not as good as it could
be initially) but it will do what it is supposed to, under all conditions I
have set out for it.

I must commend your valiant efforts to defend the software though (although
I'm not attacking it). I must commend you for that because the makers for
it haven't risen to defend their work. I can only surmise that you have had
good experience with it. I wish you many happy hours without wasted cycles.


Adrian W Kingsley-Hughes
Argus Station (currently under construction) IO73vf95
SETI League VOLCOR:Cymru/Wales