[RC5] Gaining a Statistical Advantage

James Bliese jbliese at usa.net
Fri Dec 4 13:55:22 EST 1998

Who cares about EFF?  The last DES contest, they spent $250,000 and found the
key after completing 20% of the keyspace, all in 2 days.  The chance that they
can repeat this on the same hardware, let alone beat the new deadlines, is
very small.  The chance that they spent another $250,000 to upgrade their
machine for a $10,000 prize is even smaller.  After all, they have already
made their point.  Unless they manage to find the key after completing 10-15%
of the keyspace, they will not be a significant factor in the upcoming DES
contest.  Monkeying with our code or our process just to make EFF's life more
difficult is just a waste of time.

So, what do we spend our time on?  Improving our startup performance, of
course.  Checking the stats page, I see that we have about doubled our keyrate
since the beginning of the last DES contest.  That would make us faster than
EFF's old machine, by far, after the contest is only hours old, if we can get
the same percentage of clients to switch over in a timely manner.

Reporting blocks completed presents another hurdle.  For Win95 users, check
our Netlaunch at blackcastlesoft.com.  Currently, I use this to upload my days
keys at 2:00 am, and, come DES time, it will be setup to #1) Dial in at 15
minute intervals for the first hour of the contest, to hopefully get started
in a timely fashion, and #2) Dial in every hour after that to report the
blocks that are done.  Netlaunch takes little in the way of resources, (about
.05% on my 200MMX, according to Wintop).  I haven't tried Dunce, but there are
positive comments from former Dunce users at blackcastlesoft.com  Unix types
will probably need to use cron to accomplish the same thing.  Most other OS's
have cron like programs written for them.

If you choose to do this, do everyone a favor and don't dial in every hour, on
the hour, or on the quarter hours for the start-up.  We wouldn't want everyone
hitting the servers at the same time, now would we :)

James A. Bliese

Give your computer some brain-candy!

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