The university's Quake Catcher Network detected the temblors 10 seconds before the shaking reached the Stanford campus. That's enough time to dive under a desk.
The quakes were centered at the Mira Vista Country Club in El Cerrito.
The quake catchers did it using a network, of some 2,000 home computers, each equiped with a quake sensor and software that gather critical data.
"Volunteers provide CPU time, Internet and power and in response we provide them access to learning about earthquakes in real time," Asst. Prof. Jesse Lawrence said.