[RC5] Concerning mothballed equipment

Lord Somnolent sleepy at os.com
Sun Jan 18 23:30:26 EST 1998


I am pretty sure that most of us have more than one computer. And while
you have as many computers as possible working, there are some that are
just not worth the sneakernet trouble, and usually these are older
machines.

This is a shame, because these old computers generally have long service
lives, but due to obsolescence are lying in storage.

I personally would like to see my 386sx/16 chugging along on this
project, just to give it something to do. But I don't want to have 1000
blocks sitting on it and I don't want to sneakernet for it.

So I thought up a way to get computers like mine up into the
distributed.net effort and be quasi-networked. In spite of being a
386sx/16, it still has a modem (a 28.8 even, one of the first by PPI).
Instead of connecting to an ISP just for some blocks, how about if the
client dialed up a central "telephone proxy" and used something like
Zmodem or HSLink to send and receive blocks. This central proxy wouldn't
even need a toll-free number, as the cost for each computer owner in
long distance would be minor because there isn't much data to transfer.
The central proxy would only need one line, due to light traffic.

Considering all the money d.net is getting from eyegive and these
contests, it'd be no big deal to set up a dedicated phone line (or
ringmate) and a special proxy and clients to handle this.

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