[rc5] A possibly stupid idea

Marc Sissom msissom at dnaent.com
Thu May 29 18:37:42 EDT 1997


At 08:48 PM 5/29/97 +0100, you wrote:
>I was just wondering about the possibility of someone writing an
>operating system specifically to search through these keys. This would
>...
>I own two computers here: a 90 mhz Pentium and a 16 mhz i386. The 386 is
>basically sitting around collecting dust because I really have no use
>for it now. I was thinking about the possibility of letting it help
>break the code (every cycle helps, right?). Since that would be the only
>thing it would be doing, it makes since (to me) that it be specialised
>for just that.

>Comments?

Honestly; don't get me wrong here, but if your goal is to find the
key ASAP, then you would probably be better off spending the time
that you would dedicate to writing this code at a revenue generating
job. Then apply the income generated towards the purchase of a
stripped down PC with nothing but a high perf CPU, a VGA card,
mininimal hard drive <100Mb used perhaps, or network card, power
supply, and say 8Mb RAM. Install FreeBSD or linux and start it up.
In a day or less it will have passed the i386(which has been grinding
all along using the "stock" software while you were at work) in
number of keys checked. An hour or less after that, it will have
passed the i386 that has been running the "custom" software that you
did not write. 

After the key has been found, instead of some outdated hardware and
some now useless software, you'd have the basis for an up-to-date PC.

Think about it,

        New socket 7 mb $125-175
        CPU             $100-500 133-200Mhz or so
        RAM             $75-150
        pwr             $35
        disk            $50
        keyboard        borrowed from other pc
        monitor         borrowed from other pc
        total           $385-825

How many hours does it take you to make this much money? How many
hours for an optimized piece of special code?

Since you've got a P90, you might just dump it, and spend the $350
you just made at you part-time job on a 6x86/P200 with a new mb and
boost your key rate by a factor of three (my 6x86 does 160Kk/sec at
133Mhz, a P133 does 120Kk/sec using the "stock" Bovine or TimC code).

It's a win-win situation. The key is discovered more quickly due to
your efforts and you end up with a better PC. The only loss is the
questionable gain of the lesson on how to program an old machine...

Cheers, boost the economy in more ways than just watching our
machines check keys!


  Marc Sissom               | Design Engineer
  DNA Enterprises, Inc.     | Phone: 972/644-3301
  269 W. Renner Parkway     | Fax: 972/644-6338
  Richardson, Texas 75080   | http://www.dnaent.com

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