SETI is more expensive than I thought!

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this blog: I used to run distributed-computing projects on my Macs. There wasn’t any noticeable problem using my computers, but it was costing over $30 a month in electricity.

To be fair, I had five computers with 9 CPUs running these projects: a Quad G5 2.5GHz, a Dual G4 1.0GHz, a 1.5GHz G4 laptop, a 1GHz Pentium III, and a 2.4GHz Pentium IV. And I found highly optimized versions of the number crunching programs, which of course stresses the CPUs more. And the cost was $360 a year! That’s too much, in my opinion?I could donate that money to a worthy charity. Unemployed as I am at this point, I’d rather save the money.

The other downside was the fan noise and heat. The laptop would get almost too hot to handle, and both cooling fans were on constantly. Having serviced Mac laptops as a Mac Genius, I know that can clog the insides with animal hair (and yes, I have two hairy cats). The Mac desktops would heat the office quite noticeably, and the fan noise was objectionable.

So, while there are many worthy causes that can use spare CPU cycles to do useful science, make breakthroughs in disease research, and of course, find alien civilizations… There are hidden costs.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Astronomy Tips

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