small logo Sing More Songs of SETI

SETI@home
lyrics Copyright © 2000 by H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D.
sung to the tune of The Old 8JK, 1996 by H. Paul Shuch

The giant antennas of SETI are poised
To ferret out patterns submerged in the noise.
Their efforts are valiant, but one thing they lack
Are humongous computers quite up to the task.

Chorus:

But distributed processing gives us the power
To do signal analysis hour after hour.
If a million computers run SETI@home
We are bound to determine that we're not alone.

The huge Arecibo astronomy dish
Produces more data than any could wish.
But to analyze all of it, day after day
Would require far more clout than the world's fastest Cray.

Chorus

At a conference on Capri, Woody Sullivan told
Of a mountain of archival data, quite old.
If it could be analyzed after the fact
We might find the evidence SETI has lacked.

Chorus

The PC revolution could even the score.
In the US alone, fifty million ore more
Display flying toasters for most of the day.
Could their idle cycles be harnessed some way?

Chorus

With the archival data parsed out on the net,
Distributed processing seems a good bet.
Each packet will run only 340K,
And a Pentium can analyze two in a day.

Chorus

A screen saver showing the Fourier transform
Will highlight all features exceeding the norm.
Computers can take data in and attack it,
Upload the results, and go fetch a new packet.

Chorus

And when we have drunk Arecibo's well dry
There is amateur telescope data to try.
A million PCs and a thousand home dishes
Are a powerful team to fulfill SETI's wishes.

Chorus

sheet music

Performed by Dr. SETI ® on the CD "Sing a Song of SETI" Sing a Song of SETI CD


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