[rc5] Future of Distributed Computing

Nathan Taylor nataylor at nmt.edu
Thu Oct 23 15:31:26 EDT 1997


Congradulations to everyone who participated in the RC5-56 challenge!  While
I only had a few machines working on it for about a month and only tested 
about .5 trillion keys, I feel I made a (albeit small) contribution to the
effort.  Now what lies ahead?

I have chosen not to go on to the 64 challenge.  As far as I'm concerned,
the encryption thing has been done.  Anything from here on out is acedemic.
I won't be doing primes, either.  It's too abstract a concept for me to
really enjoy.  SETI sounds fun, but the problem is that project has no
definite end.  So, for now, my idle cycles will go unused.  I'm waiting for
the NEXT BIG PROJECT(tm).

And what might that project be?  I'm not sure yet, but let me toss out some
ideas for you all to play with.  What about a huge distributed network that
wasn't aimed at these scientific projects?  What about distributed 3D
picture rendering?  Or, perhpas, something a little more useful.  What if
I was just performing a complex calculation on a huge spreadsheet and parts
of it got distributed?  How about a network where every computer was free to
use the other computers' idle time.  I'm no computer scientist, and I'm sure
many of you are laughing, but that's what I see when someone says 
"distributed computing."

So while my CPU cools down, I'll let you all think about what the next 10
 years might hold for distributed computing.

Once again, congrats!

Nathan Taylor
EMRTC Publications Specialist

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