April 25th, 2005

Kitten Kong

So farewell then SETI

Last night, after finally finding out why I haven't been able to get the serial ports to work reliably on my last three PCs, I bit the bullet and uninstalled SETI at home. Somehow it's the one program I never suspected of screwing up this part of the hardware, despite having had it running on every PC that has given trouble. I could never figure out why my old laptop was the only PC I owned that could talk to my Psion; the laptop, of course, didn't have SETI installed because there wasn't enough memory. It was only buying an incompatible laptop that got me annoyed enough to really look into the Psion thing, then I was intermittently trying different Psion sites for three bloody evenings before I finally found the answer buried at the bottom of a page...

heliograph is probably chuckling to himself because he has always suspected the SETI programs of being up to no good. After this little fiasco I think I have to admit that I feel halfway convinced, though I doubt that it was done maliciously. But the result of removing it, so far, is faster performance, no delay when opening Xearth (which used to take 20 seconds to start), and a working Psion.

I think I've done something like 1500 units so I'm not going to feel guilty about calling it a day. If the aliens are out there, we'll have to find them without any more help from me.