[rc5] Why Isn't RC5 Client Fail-Soft?

Sanford Olson sanford at msn.fullfeed.com
Sat Jul 26 18:32:25 EDT 1997

At 03:16 PM 7/26/97 -0500, you wrote:
>In the past couple of weeks, while working with things other than
>RC5, I have twice managed to "crash" my system - i.e., the only
>"recovery" was to re-boot.  Both times, the current block that RC5
>was working on was "lost" -- it had ALREADY been removed from
>buff-in.rc5, but due to the crash it was NEVER recorded - neither
>out on buff-out.rc5 (finished) nor back on buff-in.rc5 (checkpointed).
>I imagine the way it works was designed to support multiple copies
>of RC5 runing simultaneously - if the block is removed from buff-in
>as soon as it is "picked up", no other copy will "pick up" that same
>block.  But what if the client that _has_ the block never gets the
>chance to record its status?

I'm sure that multiple clients using the same set of files the reason for
the design of the v2 RC5 client.  As far as recovering from crashes, I
believe the thinking on this is that at least some keys had been checked in
the "lost" block even though the block was not checked back in, so if,
after running though the entire key space, the winning key has not been
found, they will reissue the missing blocks to be re-checked.  This seems
to be pretty good way of doing things IMHO.

My only complaint is that, on my PC, the 50 blocks only last 18 hours
before needing to dialup for more.  I would like to maybe a 250 block
capacity so I could go away for the weekend, etc.

- Sanford

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