[RC5] Is RC5-64 taking forever?

Steve Trottier STROTTIER at novell.com
Sun Mar 8 18:02:30 EST 1998

>>> "Colin L. Hildinger" <colin at ionet.net> 03/07 9:29 PM >>>
>This has been much debated.  Frankly, if we weren't doing RC5-64 right
>now we would be doing *nothing*.  Creating the RC5-64 clients was
>simple to do from the RC5-56 code and so we did it.  There will be
>other projects in the future, many of them, but instead of let all the
>computing power disappear we choose to use RC5-64 to keep people going.
 >Also note that just a while ago the estimated time to completion was
>140 years.

Well, distributed.net doesn't have the ONLY distributed computing project. I agree with Rocky's original message that RC5-64 just isn't worth doing. Even if it doesn't take us 50 years and it only takes us five (for example), all that is going to show the public is that "my heck, they had tens of thousands of computers (maybe hundreds of thousands by then) all working on cracking a single code and it still took them FIVE years." To me, that says that 64 bits is plenty (for now). Do I really want to spend five years or more of my CPU cycles to show that 64 bit keys are pretty good?

On the other hand, I think that the DES II challenge IS worth doing. So, I'll be back on July 13. Until then, I'm going to have my CPU work on Mersenne primes. http://www.mersenne.org/prime.htm

Hopefully before long distributed.net will have version 3 clients available with a wider range of project choices. When that happens I'll happily stick with distributed.net.

See you in July,

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