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Well, now I'm sorry I mentioned SETI in the first place. At least we now have definitive evidence that the strange alien creatures based in Hanger 20/22, Maddox Street have minds of their own. While the Denebian Slim Devil [read rather intelligent and thoughtful chap - Ed] M. Magee pours scorn on the 250,000 years of CPU time that have currently been expended by PCs around the world on the analysis of radio signals from around the galaxy, others are less sceptical. Take for example your humble writer, who in association with the late lamented Pete Sherriff (an entity so weird he/she/it defied logical explanation) has processed well in excess of 150 SETI work units over the last few of your Earth months, thinks the project is more worthwhile. As the SETI folks themselves state, what's more useful for taking up those spare CPU cycles, flying toasters or the analysis of radio signals to detect possible extraterrestrial intelligence? Anyway, enough internal sniping. What we want to find is the reader who has processed a SETI work unit in the shortest time. The challenge is open to all, regardless of the hardware at your disposal. But we will be checking with SETI Central in Berkeley, so don't try to cheat. Our aim is to find which combination of processor and operating system can munch its way through a typical SETI workload in the shortest time. We'll need to have detailed description of the system involved and an average calculation time over at least five work units. Overclocking is allowed, nay, encouraged. The only regulation for this competition is that you must have paid for the computer out of your own pocket - using an Alphaserver in a university computer science lab is a tad unfair. You have until the end of April to send in your entries, and what better prize for the winner than a genuine alien lookalike Intel Bunnyperson™ in the colour of your choice? We'll also throw in a rather old but functional Intel Seattle motherboard (the one that works) and whatever else we can find in the back of the drinks cabinet. Live long and prosper. Send your contributions to Andrew Thomas ® Related Story CPU initiative wasted on extra terrestrials

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