[RC5] [RC5-Mac] the DEATH of d.net?

dan carter motion at es.co.nz
Tue Jul 28 21:57:23 EDT 1998

On Mon, 27 Jul 1998 13:58:41 -0500, Greg Delisle wrote:

>> 2) d.net is not itself immune to Moore's Law.   Participants upgrade.  New
>>    participants are using more powerful CPU's than 2 years ago.  d.net is
>>    also growing and taking advantage of Moore's Law.  You cannot claim that
>>    Moore's Law is causing us to be outpaced, since our firepower is also
>>    increasing due to it.
>Indeed, d.net is not immune to Moore's Law, but it *is* causing us to be
>outpaced, and I'll tell you how. Many of the machines on d.net are "old"
>machines that gain their strength in numbers. Vast farms of Pentium 100s,
>68k Macs and so on. These machines are not going to be upgraded. New
>machines will be *added* to d.net, but the existing processor base will not

Todays *old* machines are 386es and 486es, todays new recruits are
586es and 686es.

Tommorrows new recruits will be 786es and 886es (though hopefully PPC,
Alpha, or Merced(*if* it has any strong merits) will have replaced

You think tommorrows old machines will still be 386es and 486es.
Fortuantly it is not so, tommorows old machines will be 586es and
686es. The 386es and 486es will be the very old machines, they will
either contribute in addition to the old machines, or will collect dust
as do the 8088s, 8086es, and 286s today.

Hence, our processing power will rise in pace with Moore's Laws or
whatever law best describes the increasing power of modern commodity

As an illustration:
When i buy a new 886 (or its PPC/Alpha/Merced/whatever equivalent) in a
year or two, it will replace my K6-200 (686) desktop. My 686 desktop
will become my old machine used as a small server. My current small
server (486) will become my very old machine and will probably sit in
parts in a draw with my 286.

So not only is my new machine upgraded from 686->886, but my old
machine is upgraded too (486->686)

This means the the rest of your conclusions do not hold, because they
rely on an assumption that the distributed.net mass will grow slower
than moores law.

>our acceleration
>will be linear at best, while Moore's Law will continue to help the
>competition at a faster rate than it helps us.

> A Deep
>Crack-like machine will always be faster out of the gate, and d.net will be
>faster to the exhaustion of the keyspace. But the faster the Deep Crack
>machines get, the less time there will be for d.net to catch up before the
>contest is over.

True, but the competitions get harder 56bit->64bit->72bit etc.
This is has a reversing effect, giving us more time to catch up to Deep
Cracks intial lead.

Does a day or three really make that much difference? For 56bit keys
yes, for 64bit no. As the machines get faster we won't bother
illustrating the weakness of 56 bit, as we don't bother with 40bit now.

> Also, since the Deep Crack machine(s) use a branching
>algorithm to search more intelligently than us, that increases the chance
>that the key will be found in the first 33-50% of the keys checked, which
>is where we are most likely to be beaten.

Interesting, anyone care to explain this branching algorithm in laymans
terms? Is it something we could use?

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