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March 3rd, 2000

[6:00 AM] SETI@home Client Updated With Must Have Update
by Staff

The SETI@home team has released an update to the SETI@home client for all platforms to version 2.02. The new version includes a host of new features, bug fixes, and performance increases. Since many Team Mac Observer members and other Mac users have the SETI@home client running on a variety of machines, we are including the changes for all platforms.

Changes in version 2.0x of SETI@home (since version 1.0x)

All platforms

  • Increased security: SETI@home now checks for unauthorized modifications to data and program files. If it detects tampering, it will delete files and start over. It is still possible to move SETI@home data files between computers; see below for more information.
  • Support for SOCKS proxies. The hostname, port, user name, and password for SOCKS proxies can be entered in the Proxy Server dialog (Win/Mac) or through command-line options or environment variables (text-only versions).
  • Improved support for HTTP proxies. SETI@home now conforms to the HTTP 1.0 protocol.
  • Better network protocol for updating user statistics after returning results: one message to server instead of two.
  • Client returns power array summary for Gaussians
  • The server can have the client display an arbitrary message, and/or quit.

Graphical versions

  • The old Peak Power and Best Gaussian values on the display have been replaced by a graph showing how well the power-over-time data fits the shape of a Gaussian curve. While performing calculations other than curve fitting, the display shows the best Gaussian fit so far.
  • When getting new work unit, clear display of strongest Gaussian.

Windows and Macintosh

  • Improved network connection retries: if SETI@home fails to connect to the server, it will retry twice at 45-second intervals, then wait 15 or 60 minutes and repeat this sequence. This accommodates users whose dialup sequence is longer than a minute or so. Also, connection errors are reported more accurately.
  • Retry file opens, to coexist with Sherlock, FastFind etc. This may also give sleeping hard drives time to spin up.
  • More accurate CPU time calculation


  • More reliable display of icon in System Tray.


  • Password locking. There is now a "Require Password" checkbox in the Preferences dialog. If you check it, the screensaver will require a password to wake up.
  • Version 2.0 runs under Mac OS 9 (see SETI@home Readme for details).
  • In application mode, SETI@home runs faster if its window is collapsed, using the Windowshade feature under OS 8.0 and later.
  • Improved responsiveness to Hot Key.
  • More accurate CPU time calculation
  • Better compatibility with older PPC Macs.
  • Increased timeouts for network input/output.
  • Resolve alias if preference file is aliased.

UNIX and other text-only versions

  • Most platforms include a graphical front end (xsetiathome). This is a separate program; to use it, the client must be run with the -graphics option.
  • New options:
    • -verbose: enable printfs.
    • -nolock: skip multiple-instance checking
    • -graphics: generate data for xseti
  • Better support for directory locking in UNIX version

The update is free, as is all of the SETI@home software. You can find more information at the SETI@home web site.

[Editor's Note: We will have a long awaited update on the status of Team Mac Observer, our own SETI@home club team, later today.]

The Mac Observer Spin: We ask all Team members to download the latest update.


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