[RC5] First impressions

Jim C. Nasby nasby at enteract.com
Mon Mar 2 22:55:17 EST 1998

Paul Ross wrote:

> General moan at top of email, more specific questions at end :)
> Forgive me for sounding naive, but I am :) I stumbled across the actual
> workings of d.net a couple of days ago, being familiar with the concept for
> some time, and got quite excited about actually being able to be part of this.
>  Having three P133s, a P266, a P300 and very shortly two more P333's available
> - each with about 80% idle processor time - I felt I could contribute a fair
> whack to the project. So hi ho, downloaded, installed and let's see what
> happens.

Welcome aboard! :)

> A couple of times, the list has mentioned attracting new people to the project.
> How this 'sexy' project would attract more participants, therefore even the
> non-sexy projects would benefit in the long run, etc, etc. Has anyone thought
> about scaring people off, though?
> Someone (I deleted the mail, I forget who - sorry) has already brought up
> something I'd noticed straight away - how even though the DES contest was over,
> their machine was still downloading and cracking DES blocks. A tad worried that
> my servers were plugging away for nothing, I tried the stats pages, to see if
> I'd made a dent - result? Stats pages offline.
> vvv relevant bits vvv
> Now I realise that I may have joined this project at an unsteady time, in that
> the DES key has 'only just' been cracked, and the switch back to the original
> project is still ongoing. Is this the case? If so, how about a couple of more
> user friendly pages on the web site, explaining such? I'm sure there's at least
> a few people who've looked over the site and thought 'naaaah. Too much hassle.'
> when trying to make sense of the information held within.

Yeah, we probably should have put something on the web page about the switch-over.
We were expecting the stats to be up a little sooner, but Nugget took this
opportunity to make some changes to it. The stats are currently running and should
be up pretty soon.

As far as the rest of the web-site goes, we know it could use some improvements and
are working towards that end... you all should be hearing more about that pretty
soon... :)

> Then, of course, that brings up another question, maybe one more suited to
> debate than a general moan over the quality of the website ;) Does d.net want
> to recruit people who are likely to delete the software halfway through a
> keyblock and never return the results, leaving that block to wait until the
> re-issue at the end?
> Another question, based on issuing blocks - how is it allocated...start at the
> beginning and continue until the end, then stop? I know the correct key is
> chosen at random, but averages are it'll be more towards the middle than either
> end...you can guess where I'm heading.

For DES, the blocks were handed out linearly. For RC5, I _beleive_ that they are
handed out randomly within each 56 bit subspace.

> Discussion invited, flames to be directed to my personal address :)
> I know I'm a lengthy soab, but it's just my way of saying 'hi' ;)
> Rossy
> ...sig follows...take cover...
> London, UK. It's a great place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live here.
> --
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Jim C. Nasby (aka Decibel!)                                  /^\
nasbjim at charlie.cns.iit.edu                                 /___\
Freelance lighting designer and database developer         /  |  \
Member: Triangle Fraternity, Sports Car Club of America   /___|___\

Give you computer some brain-candy! http://www.distributed.net Team #1828
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