[rc5] I'm in a weird mood... (long rant)

Brian Greul (Exch) bbraf08 at exch-imc.b-r.com
Fri Oct 24 13:38:52 EDT 1997

This is all very lovely. 
And I agree with the bulk of what you have said.
But, you need to make it maintenance free.
It needs to be the Automatic transmission of clients.
Put it in drive and forget it.
Non-technical people will become highly spazzed if they think for a
second that we are the cause of their miriad of problems.....
We need a client that lets them just set it running and ignore it.
It should be able to to be configured, but should run just fine left
alone, and be capable of upgrading itself via "work modules"
Work modules could be whatever piece of code you want it (the engine) to
work on.
Rc-56 this week, an 64 next week, and maybe rc-1.2MB next year.... the
point is, that it is a major headache to go find and touch every machine
that we have installed this on.
I am sure that there are others out there who go around work and say
"hmmm, that secretary won't notice the cow running under her solitaire
Granted she we'll never notice it.
But god forbid she sees the cutesy icon, or sees that something called
"BOVINE" is running on her PC.
She'll kill you if she finds out you put it there... for she won't ask
what it is, she'll assume its a stab at her surplus waist line.
Thus what we really need is a controllable, distributed computing
virus..... (yes, I said the unthinkable)
Something that installs itself, maintains itself, and only "borrows"
surplus cpu cycles.

Now, while I go hide under my FLAME-PROOF desk, you all out there can
add, subtract, or obliterate the above statement.


>-----Original Message-----
>From:	David McNett [SMTP:nugget at slacker.com]
>Sent:	Friday, October 24, 1997 11:56 AM
>To:	rc5 at llamas.net
>Subject:	[rc5] I'm in a weird mood... (long rant)
>Just to complete the thoughts I've recently bothered everyone with in #rc5
>(if you're not there, you really should join us!)
>On the thread of how effective we will be against RC5-64 given that the
>keyspace is so much larger I have a few comments and observations.
>Now, granted, I was kinda focused on the stats engine which sucked up quite
>a bit of my time, but I've got to be completely honest here.  At about the
>point we hit 2Gkeys/sec (and maybe even a bit earlier) I got really lazy.
>I mean, REALLY lazy.  I completely stopped recruiting people.  The end was
>in sight, our keyrate was twice what I ever expected we'd be able to
>attain, and Cyberian and I.M. were tiny specks in the rear-view mirror.  I
>was quite content with where we were.
>Friends that I had recruited reinstalled Windows (as tends to happen from
>time to time) and I never pushed to make sure they got the latest cow
>I suspect that this was not uncommon.  Once it was obvious that the "win"
>was only a matter of time, and that time was pretty near...  well, I just
>gloated at what we'd accomplished.  I don't think I'm the only one, either.
>People keep saying how many eons it will take to knock out 64-bit at our
>peak rate under 56-bit.  The issue I have is that I believe very strongly
>that we have no idea what our peak rate is.  You say that our growth had
>started to slow?  Fine, I say that we're the reason this happened.  (and
>really, if you look, our growth was still climbing daily right up until the
>o You know that Aunt you have with the Gateway 2000 Pentium 75 in
>  the slimline case?  Stop by this weekend for a piece of pie.
>  Offer to make sure the computer is OK and throw the cow on there
>  while you finish your milk.  Sure it'll do random blocks 99% of the
>  time.  Is that worse than doing 0 blocks all the time?
>o Call up your old college roommate.  Not only will you have a nice,
>  refreshing conversation and revisit old times but you may very well
>  manage to recruit a whole new office full of machines to the effort.
>  You've been meaning to call him anyway, right?
>o Read news?  I don't mean alt.binaries.erotica.crypto, but do you
>  sift through rec.games.computer.quake?  Mailing lists?  As hard
>  as it may be to believe, more people do NOT know about us than
>  DO know.  Does your sigfile mention distributed.net?  That sure
>  is a whole lot more productive that a warning to Spamford Wallace
>  about some mythical $500 invoice that he'll never pay anyway.
>o I'd guess that by this time next year (:P) we'll have Bovine
>  T-Shirts done.  There's never been a better reason to hang out
>  at the food court in the mall and showcase your excellent fashion-
>  sense.
>o Ever been to a radio shack?  Wallmart?  I used to set the Marquee
>  Screen Savers on all the store-demo Wintel boxes I touched with
>  our web page address.  A good "Go Bovine! http://www.distributed.net"
>  could work wonders.  If it hooks *one* person, it's a victory for
>  all of us.
>o Local computer pulps and users groups.  No matter how small, every
>  city has a handful of these local computer users' groups and
>  computer publications.  They all share one common trait in that
>  they are starving for well-written material to print.  Why else
>  would they re-run "the ten types of computer user" and "Tips for
>  Getting the most out of your modem" every three months?  A short
>  blurb about the cow could reach tens of people who know nothing
>  about us.
>People hear about Bovine a few ways.  Obviously, word spreads really fast
>on the web.  If a person is looking for us, they'll find us.  Even if a
>person is looking for "people doing what we're doing", 
>they'll find us.
>Our banners catch frequent web surfers.  We tell people if they'll 
>stop to listen.
>However, the only real forms of recruitment we are using right now are
>limited entirely to high-tech channels utilized by high-tech people.
>Granted, for RC5 this was our most likely audience, but this is already
>changing.  As distributed.net starts exploring other efforts and challenges
>you'll find that distributed.net will start becoming far more interesting
>to far more people.  And I think, if explained properly, even the crypto
>angle is compelling enough for a person not interested in crypto.
>Regardless, the cost and inconvenience of running "the cow" is basically
>unmeasurable.  It's cute.  It's unobtrusive.  If you can get it installed
>on a box, it's likely to stay there.  If a new machine only does ONE key,
>that's one less that we've got to worry about.
>Think about different ways we can reach the OTHER 90% of the computer
>users/owners out there.  We, the users who scour the web and click on geeky
>links are in the minority.  Our exposure is far more limited than it needs
>to be.
>All ranting aside, I believe very strongly that we have seen nothing yet.
>I do not for one minute believe that we've even reached a tenth or a
>hundredth of our potential size.  When more computers are running the cow
>than are not running the cow, I'll start to worry.  Until then, lets get
> ________________________________________________________________________
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