Use YETI@Home: Activation

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How do I start it?
YETI@Home works as a screen saver, meaning it activates automatically when your computer is idle (see screen shot below). Like most screen savers, it checks to see if the mouse is stationary and no keys have been pressed on the keyboard. Due to the important nature of this project and the need for as many CPU cycles as possible, it minimizes idle time by using a fixed timeout of 3 seconds before activating. We recommend typing in an even, steady pattern to avoid accidentally triggering an "idle timeout". Additionally, unlike other screen savers, which simply watch for keyboard and mouse movement, we have developed an advanced algorithm which goes beyond merely watching for lack of data on the input streams. While it's true that lack of keyboard or mouse activity for an extended period of time usually signifies the user has gone off to get a cup of coffee, take out the dog, or watch "Babylon 5" reruns, we feel that the importance of this project called for a more aggressive definition of "idle" time.

Uh, what exactly does your "aggressive" algorithm do?
We can't tell you exactly, but we can tell you a few things. It watches and analyzes the contents of the input streams, such as keyboard and mouse clicks, and makes some basic determinations as to the nature of your computer activity. If YETI@Home determines that your current level of computer activity is not as important as scanning for Bigfoot, it will consider the computer "idle" and begin processing. Once processing has begun, the current batch must be completed before control is returned to the user. YETI@Home will take over the computer and begin its important work of scanning for simians while you return to whatever activies and hobbies you enjoyed before owning a personal computer.

Yeti@Home screen shot

How do I return to using my computer after YETI@Home has been operating?
Should you need to use your computer while processing is taking place, simply "wake" it by moving the mouse or pressing a key...the software will then prompt you as to the nature of your need and determine if it warrants an interuption of the scanning. Please enter a short description of the task you wish to do...the software will then process your request using the same analysis done to determine "idle" time and determine if your request is vital. At that point the software will wait until it's current batch of image processing is complete. This can take up to thirty minutes on a 500Mhz Pentium III. At that point, if the software has agreed to relinquish control, it will then shut down YETI@Home and begin watching the input stream again for "idle" time.

What if the computer gets shut off or the power goes out?
YETI@Home maintains open file locks on many important system files during operation, repeatedly writing and moving data within these files. Should the power go out, or the computer be shut off during the analysis, most likely you will need to reinstall your operating system. Some disk recovery tools may be able to recover some of your system's data. We recommend getting a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) as it will allow you to monitor for Bigfoot more reliably as well.

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