[RC5] Number of Participants Stats

Dan Retzlaff dan at wcug.wwu.edu
Wed Nov 19 16:18:46 EST 1997

Serial numbers aren't such a bad idea, and I don't imagine that it would
be too difficult to implement. As you suggest, have the client assigned
a unique serial number when it first interacts with a keyserver. The
problem of somebody deleting/re-installing (or even just deleting) the
client can be remedied by running through an Active Serial Number
database and de-activating those serial numbers which haven't submitted
blocks in a certain amount of time. Say every two weeks.

It's certainly not a mission-critical task as far as RC5-64 goes, but as
I said before, participation stats in view of the bigger picture of
distributed computing are very interesting.

Any comments as to risks, difficulties or additional benefits of a
serial number-based client identification system?

Nathan Taylor wrote:
> The only true way to measure haw many machines are participating is by
> handing out serial numbers.  The first time a client is run, the keyserver
> hands it a unique serial number that the client subsequently returns
> attached to each block.  Of course, this wouldn't solve the problem of
> someone running the client, deleting it, and then starting up again with a
> new client.  This method would OVER estimate the number of machines.
> Well, I've come to the conclusion there isn't a way to solve this problem.
> Time to drown my troubles in some coffee...
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