[RC5] distributed.everything

Greg Wooledge wooledge at kellnet.com
Thu Jun 25 23:18:12 EDT 1998

GMH13 at aol.com (GMH13 at aol.com) wrote:

>   What if someone wrote a program that would download large files in the
> background, letting the web browser grab its data when it needed to?

You can get some of this effect from a caching HTTP proxy.  Squid is
one such.  Check out http://squid.nlanr.net/ .

If I understand you correctly, what you're describing is a sort of
download queue.  Rather than simply letting all the packets fight for
the modem's bandwidth, you want them to stand in a nice, polite line.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work with existing web browsers and other
TCP/IP-based programs.  Typical network-client programs will time out
within seconds or minutes if a request isn't answered.  By delaying
the answer for potentially several hours, you're going to cause error
messages on the web browser.  Unless of course you write a special web
browser which can anticipate this sort of thing, or program the proxy
to return a specially constructed HTML page saying "all's well, but you
won't get your file until later".  Hmm....

>   Now, since we all love d.net and the program I'm talking about is really a
> d.modem, the two could be bundled together.

This is where you lose me, unfortunately.  I don't see how this is
"distributed".  You aren't using widely scattered computing resources
to accomplish anything; in fact, you aren't even talking about using
more than one computer.

"Daddy, why do those people have to    |   Greg Wooledge
  use Microsoft Windows?"              |   wooledge at kellnet.com
"Don't stare, son; it's not polite."   |   http://www.kellnet.com/wooledge/
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