On March 31, the volunteer computing part of SETI@home will stop distributing work and will go into hibernation.
That is emotional for me. I just posted this comment on HN, and decided to quickly turn it into a small blog post for me to properly archive this memory. Something to look back to again in 20 years from now.
Back then, I was quite young. Around 2002. We were like 5 boys getting into overclocking. For our SETI team, the “Bücki crunching connection”, from my small hometown in Germany.
I just tried to find an old screenshot from back in the day, and wow I found one, from 2002:
So funny, it’s all so anonymous. But it is all there: ICQ, mIRC; an icon to launch Quake III. Gazillion of bookmarks about gaming. And some SETI crunching stats. In Internet Explorer.
Seemingly we were actually crunching under one account for the team OC-CARD.de (http://www.setiatwork.com/team/teamstats.cgi?teamid=30308)
You might have done the same, but I am still sharing this because this has influenced me a lot:
I bought an AMD Duron, some “Arctic Silver II” heat paste. I took a lead pencil to connect some dots on the CPU to unlock the multiplier freely, got a freaking heat sink, and overclocked the hell out of the Duron. I needed to hide this from my parents, but of course the plan was to crunch 24/7.
Looks like our team (“SETI OC-Card.de Team”) was actually among the top 200 of all SETI teams. Wow, yeah there were some serious people in the team, like “Butcho”, ranking in the top 1000 of individuals. No idea who that guy was and where he got the compute resources from. That’s the romantic part of that Internet era.
I found another screenshot, the file is called “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Looks like I knew what I was doing:
Another hilarious screenshot, also showing my ICQ contact list from that time. I still know these people by their nicknames, but you don’t. Ha.: