[RC5] My contribution to RC5

Ed Wensell III aka THE StormRaiser EWENSELL at pstcc.cc.tn.us
Sat Mar 28 22:03:46 EST 1998

=> Hi all,
=> Just doing a quick bit of maths, and I've discovered that if RC5-64 was
=> solved right now, then if I hadn't been in it for the past 136 days, it
=> would only take 30 seconds longer.  My contibution of my computer for
=> about 4 hours a day for a third of year is worth 30 seconds :-)

=> <sigh>.  Every little bit helps.

=> This was calculated by dividing my "total blocks" with "blocks completed
=> yesterday".

I think that might be the whole point... A typical computer working all by
itself could not have processed as many keys over the past 136 days as some
thousands (millions?) of computers have... Even some of the fastest
"supercomputers" (if they could be freed up from their current tasks) wouldn't
even come close...

Something else to think about... The experiment (aka contest) isn't to crack
the code. Simple statistics answers that one (if placed on a graph, the
cracking of the code would form a bell curve. Sometimes it would solved right
away. Sometimes it wouldn't be solved until all the keys were checked. Most of
the time the key is near the half-way point in the pool of all the available
keys, whether the pool be random or linear). The experiment, in the case of
Distributed.net, in my opinion, is to see if one person with limited resources
could obtain the neccessary computing power to crack a code. 

Let's say a person had a classified document they wanted to decode, but they
only had $500 and some programming knowledge. Now, let's say that person
created a little program that ran on several platforms. To top things off,
let's say the person took that $500 and made it into a prize for a contest.
Would the person be able to use his/her prize and client to obtain enough
computing power to decode the message in a reasonable amount of time? THAT is
the experiment.

If RC5 does get solved (and the experiement answered), I'd personally like to
take on the SETI project. Might not be a prize involved, but maybe Distributed
could offer up half of the royalties from the movie rights to the person that
finds the message from ET.. :)

Until soon...
Ed Wensell III
Systems and Operations Support, Pellissippi State

      Solway Road = 40MPH  |  Pellissippi Parkway through Solway = 45MPH
         I-40/I-75 from Campbell Station to Strawberry Plains = 55MPH
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