[rc5] distributed.net: a Generalised Compute Resource?

Michael Graff explorer at flame.org
Fri Jun 20 16:08:24 EDT 1997


"Matt J. Gumbley" <csa49 at keele.ac.uk> writes:

> >This seems to be a hot topic. Read the FAQ. The version 3 clients will allow
> >us to dynamicly send out new modules for new projects. I'm implementing a
> >small part of one of my OS protocols to do this. Hopefully by the time we
> >crack RC5 these new clients should be available and we will be able to "hot
> >swap" over to the mersenne prime work. From there the possibilities are very
> >interesting. The goal however is to keep distributed.net together, building
> >a faster and faster virtual machine working on interesting challenges. We
> >passed an estimated Tera-operations per second several weeks ago, with the
> >addition of the DES folks we should hit 5Tops/sec relatively soon.
> 
> The idea of a "generalised compute resource" is very interesting: that the
> machines we currently use give up some cycles to *whatever job we throw at
> them*.

You _must_ be kidding!  You're suggesting that I open my machine up
so wide that anyone who can break your security protocols can run
any program on my machine?

That is insane.  If (and only if) it were voluntary to add specific
modules, I might participate.  However, what you are suggesting is a
security nightmare.

I have some thoughts on the techinical details of how to do a system like
this, but the important thing is that the admin of the site _must_ have
control over what modules can run on a box.

And remember that some sites insist on source code.  I do, for instance.

--Michael
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