Setting up to host an egg for the Global Consciousness Project

The experiment produces data and stores them on your local disk as well as shipping the data to the central server. You will want to create a separate directory for the egg material. The software will create within that directory subdirectories to store the data. The storage load is not large (see the specifications document on the network architecture for more detail.) An egg creates and stores about 125 K per day, or less than a megabyte of data per week. Eventually you may wish to remove the old data.

You will need to have a connection to the Internet, from a Linux or other Unix-based machine. Your connection can be either continuous or a dialup; the continuous connection allows (nearly) real-time data processing. We can provide scripts for PPP and chat, which will give some guidance, but it will probably require considerable effort and patience to work out the correct procedures. An introduction to hosting an egg, and more specific information on setting up a host site is available.

We can now use Windows-based computers, at least Win NT/2000. The project software requires control that can be provided only under multitasking (in principle a port of the linux software was possible -- and Paul Bethke accomplished this in October, 2000).

The program you need to run is called eggsh (egg.exe under WinNT). It uses a configuration file called .eggrc, and you must enter some information to identify your egg, providing a name for it, and specifying your IP address. This might be a fixed IP address, which has some advantages over a dynamic address. Recent revisions of the software allow the much more common dynamic IP addresses -- but we will need at least a constant subnet address. A model .eggrc file in the software package specifies the first serial port, but if you wish to use a different port, you can change that specification.

You will also need an actual hardware REG, which can be obtained from the project. You will also need a little computer knowledge, or willingness to learn some minimal amount about Linux. For example, if the downloaded eggsh executable program does not run, you probably will need to recompile the source code on your machine. It's an easy process because there is a makefile. This procedure can be as simple as "do make clean, then make", but it should be seen as representative of a project which requires serious interest and commitment from participants.

Let us know about ways to make this process simple and efficient. Write and send to us any useful notes that can be part of the instructions for other hosts.


RDN, last update: 98-09-29, now 99-03-20, now 00-11-05