[HARDWARE] Mac Questions -

Oliver Otte rc5list at seo.de
Wed Mar 13 05:17:07 EST 2002

(I am very aware that this whole discussion is highly offtopic, but we're having still a hardware part in it. Some way ;-)

Just a little note at the beginning.
I think most (if not all) distributed projects out there became 'publicly accepted' ("Hey, that idea works!") 
because of huge other distributed project like distributed.net stuff and seti at home. That would be at least one reason that 'wasting' cycles did something useful.

>> 	NON-PROFIT organization ! I don't want to waste cycles by searching
>> 	for a medicine one company will sell for a high price!
> Some feel this same way about RSA - a group of for-profit high finance
> guys locking down technology patents for their own good. 

Luckily nobody is forced to do any crypto or medicine research stuff. ;)
Everybody has a choice. Everybody can choose his/her own 'evil project' thing. You know what? If the RC5 contest is finished, somebody will get $2k, dnet will get $2k, and $6k go out to a non-profit organization of your choice.
When I would start participating in let's say FightAids at Home - what will the outcome be in one year? In two years?
Would there be any? Did any distributed medicine research come up with any useful results yet?

People do what they do not because of 'a clear reason', they do it for money, fun or stats.
I personally dislike projects that have no stats or terrible looking stats. Doing a distributed project IS competing in some way - but this competing HELPS the project to finish faster. Whaterver distributed project you choose, you want it to be finished as fast as possible.

> There is a great deal of medical research being done with public dollars
> which if aided by global resources like Dnet would help keep some of
> results free of corporate patents.

We're talking about *distributed* projects. What distributed (medical research) projects are there?
Why i.e. is there NO linux client for FightAids at Home (the "We will improve our Windows client instead of making a linux client") or UD projects ? If project leaders would REALLY look for a RESULT (instead of being paid for cycles), they would have one.

> Not at all, the point continues to be: isn't there a more useful way to
> use these cycles instead of beating RSA's drum?

Look above. Show me a project that is worth it.

> Pretty hard, but at least the end goal would be for something more useful
> and beating RSA's drum 

'End goal' Uh oh. If you wasted cycles for five years without a result - would that be better than five years of crunching RC5 blocks? I am in doubt about it, because RC5 has a clearly defined end goal, and all medicine research distributed stuff has not. That's one of the top reasons I quit seti at home. There is no 'end result'.
Besides that all, did you recognized what happened to UD cancer project that switched silently (without any notice to users) to anthrax research? Do you see my problem with 'for profit organizations' ? How can I be sure I'm doing - let's say - cancer research and nothing else? I can't. I can only be sure when there is a non-profit organization that handle it.
Those organization do not choose something because it paids out.

(distributed projects and their outcome for society)
>> 	You could ask that question in every relation ("Are your working on
>> 	something that our society can benefit from ?").
> No - it is the right question, and the right step toward realization of
> what you aspire too as well:

I strongly disagree with that.
If someone start asking if the electricity bills paid for computer stuff is WORTH IT someone would fast end up if HE/SHE is WORTH it (= contributes to the society).

John, I see where your 'problem' is, and you're seeing mine.

Let's summarize.

Distributed projects like RC5 are done

- by people who: a) love stats b) love money c) are doing it for fun (because it's their hobby)
- isn't valuable only to some people, not the whole society
- has a predefined end

Distributed projects like FightAids at Home are done

- by people who: a) love participating in a 'social' project or c) [above]
- MAY be valuable to all people
- has not a predefined end
- is ran by a for-profit org that could easily decide that the project is not longer worth it, and switch to another one

> Dnet service do nothing but Dnet for the purpose of building personal
> stats.

Those 'cycles' are contributed to the project whether you run it solely for this purpose or not. Let's say I have 100 machines (that I do not have). Let's say I'm running those machines solely for dnet. These 100 machines could do around 300 Mkeys/s or even 400 Mkeys/s. This obviously would help the project AND it helps it to finish faster(!) = to save cycles = to save electricity and money.

> The Mac in question was one of those, a machine that probably would have been scrapped or given to a young kid where it
> would actually be productive.

I do agree with that.


PS: If nobody else than we both is interested in the discussion you could also send me an eMail as a reply to ootte at seo.de,
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