[rc5] <thump><thump><thump>

David McNett nugget at slacker.com
Wed Oct 22 17:28:59 EDT 1997


<thump><thump><thump>

Quiet please, quiet please
  I know you’re all excited but If we can just
have a moment of your time
  This won’t take but a minute and then the
festivities may begin.

First off, you’re all invited to #rc5 on EFNet.  A live, virtual party is
being held right now in celebration of our victory over RC5-56.  This is
one party you will not want to miss.

However, the obvious question to arise is "what next?"  I’m sure you’re all
wondering what new magic distributed.net has up its sleeve.  We’ve flexed
our collective computing muscles and stomped 56-bit RC5 into submission.
Far from becoming obsolete, distributed.net now has a much-renewed sense of
vigor.  We’ve tasted our first victory—and we LIKE IT.

As it stands, the solution came at an awkward time for us as the V3
protocol is still not ready to enter the coding stage.  We are still
working out the details of the specification and do not want to rush the
design stage.  It would be tragic to inadvertently miss something critical
in our rush to get the specification out the door.  Since a V3 client is
most-likely weeks away from reality, we’ve opted to issue a point-release
V2 client and divert all our energies to attacking 64-bit RC5.

Don’t let your efforts stagnate!  The last thing any of us want is for us
to lose our momentum.  We’ve all worked so hard to build distributed.net
and in the process we’ve created what is easily the largest computer in the
world.    Lets roll out the 64-bit clients and keep adding processors!

A suite of V2 64-bit RC5 clients is available right now and the new 64-bit
RC5 server network is in place and waiting for you to feed it with blocks.
I invite everyone to hop over to ftp.distributed.net and grab a set.  As
you shut down your 56-bit clients, you’ll be in the perfect position to pop
in a 64-bit client to replace it.  (note that we will be handling teams
differently for RC5-64 and when you set up your clients you should use your
own, personal email address and not a team address)

Beyond RC5, yes, we are still working on developing the V3 protocol and
will be releasing a full client set to allow distributed.net as a whole to
work on not only RC5-64 but a variety of other focused tasks.  However, V3
client development will be a very different process than the V2/V1
development cycle we’ve seen in the past.  The V3 client-server
specifications and protocol will be a publicly published standard.  This
means that anyone will be able to use the protocol documentation to built
their own, trusted, secure client modules.  The days of limited source
distribution and secrecy are soon to be gone forever.

On a related-note, there are many people who have wondered if 64-bit RC5 is
really feasible.  It is, as we all know, a much larger task than 56-bit
RC5.  Many people have wondered if it’s even worth attempting.  It’s worth
mentioning however that at our present rate the estimated time to complete
64-bit RC5 is actually less than our estimated time to complete 56-bit RC5
was back in April.  We’ve already proven how the effort can grow wildly
beyond all expectations and there is no reason whatsoever to think that
this trend will not continue.  As long as you know of at least one computer
that’s not running the client, there’s room for growth.  As V3 rolls out
and the clients become exponentially more secure, easier to install, easier
to maintain, and easier to track it will consequently also become far
easier to recruit new machines and new members.  Plus, the plans that we
have for the stats server will blow you away!

Congratulations!  All of us were here for the first of many distributed.net
victories and all of us are pioneers in a long and ongoing effort to
broaden the impact and reach of distributed computing technologies.  It’s
an oft-said and rarely accurate saying, but for us it is quite applicable:
The possibilities are endless!

Adam L. Beberg - Client design and overall visionary
Jeff Lawson - keymaster/server network design and morale booster
David McNett - stats development and general busybody
 
-/\/ugget
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