[RC5] Beta and proper way to set up multiple clients?

gindrup at okway.okstate.edu gindrup at okway.okstate.edu
Wed Jun 24 17:09:51 EDT 1998

     Run the client on the server.  Locate all buffers on the server.  
     Make two different .INI files.  Make the shortcut you use to run the 
     *server's* copy have the non-default name for the INI file in the 
     command line.  If you don't want the server dialing at odd times, 
     set it to lurk or lurkonly.  Set the in-buff big enough to feed the 
     team of clients and the server for whatever length of time usually 
     passes between ISP connections.  Set the out-buff to clear out about 
     once per day.  Every month or so, after a flush, delete the in-buff.
     In the default INI file, set the clients to always run offline.  
     Have the clients use a shortcut to the server's copy of the file.  
     They'll never try to dial again.
     If you want to suspend operation of the client on each machine, 
     create a file (contents are irrelevant) called "exitrc5.now" in the 
     directory the clients (and server) run the client from.  This will 
     (rather quickly) suspend operations of all the clients (to let 
     month-end processing run) without having to visit every machine.  
     Deleting the file *should* let all the clients start back up, but 
     I've not seen a promise to that effect and have not tested it.
     With this setup, you have the following properties:
     Only the server dials out; no client tries to do so.  All the 
     clients, but not the server, use default settings and so can be 
     upgraded to newer versions of the client more transparently.  All 
     client operations can be suspended from a single point of 
     To control exitfile polling (checking for that exitrc5.now file) so 
     that it occurs as frequently as you want, remember that each check 
     for the file requires a packet or two across the LAN.  If you have 
     many clients, you may wish to keep the exitfile checking frequency 
            -- Eric Gindrup ! gindrup at okway.okstate.edu

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: [RC5] Beta and proper way to set up multiple clients? 
Author:  <rc5 at lists.distributed.net> at SMTP
Date:    6/24/98 2:07 PM

After 45 days and 2.5 trillion keys, I wonder, am I doing this right? Here 
are the two setups I have tried, and I don't like either of them.
Each machine on the network playing the game, got the GUI client properly 
installed. Since only the server had Internet Access, I edited the registry 
so the startup folder (and hence the ini file) would get seen on the server 
by each computer.
I mumbled the number 'two' in French, and uninstalled all that mess, and 
just dragged and dropped shortcuts from the server to each computers startup 
folder (for rc5desg.exe.)
I set the ini file on the server to OFFLINE always. (I kept seeing computers 
with NETWORK ERROR SLEEPING 3 seconds. I had to assume it was because the 
server ini said online always, so the computers on the network thought they 
themselves were always online, and would sleep because they are never 
What I 'think' I want to do is:
Leave the Server in Dialup Lurk mode. Have it fetch / flush ALL the blocks. 
(I want blocks on one computer) Let each computer talk to the server to send 
and receive it's blocks.
NOTE: Not all computers crack each day. If you look at my stats 
(bmeyer at rocsoft.net) You'll see some wild deviations. My best protection 
against lightning, is I shut computers down each night if ANY chance of a 
storm. (were only open for business in the day) During days, if certain 
computers are being used, or month end is near, I disable the clients.
If you look at two days ago, I did 33 blocks I believe. I reset the config 
accidentally, and left my email address as rc5 at distributed.net, and happily 
donated a few hundred blocks to who knows who..
So, bottom line. With this type of a situation, what would anyone recommend 
I do, to automate my setup for maximum stability, no network sleep errors, 
and the ability to have plenty of blacks available for a bunch of Win95 
P-150 166MMX, 200MX, PR-200, and one server at PPRO200. All on TCP/IP 
Ethernet with firewall on server. Only a couple of the computers are able to 
use the firewall, intentionally. Everyone else is blind to the outside 
world. I want to make this maintenance free as possible. It ties up a bit of 
time every day, just to ensure all the clients are actually working. (and 
often have crashed or gone to sleep)
Bruce Meyer
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