[RC5] Quick positive press effort

Mike Faunce mfaunce at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 22 14:26:41 EDT 1998

Positive press for Distributed.net is that we DID something, no matter what it is.  I personally don't understand why we didn't FINISH DES-II to see how long it would have taken us, even though we wouldn't have won any money, we would have completed it and could have been listed that as an accomplishment.  Who cares that EFF did it faster?  They spent money to do it.  They had a highly organized team, we're a bunch of people who have never met, working with widely varied equipment, scattered all over.  It's not how fast we can do it, it's that we CAN do it.

So, why not do "quickie" contests or OGR or Mersiennes or whatever that we can solve in months rather than years?  If we take 2.5 years to solve RC5-64, what does that prove?  Nothing, as at the end of 2.5 years, the computing world will be so different that it won't matter.  If we assume that we are doubling our rate every year, then in 2 years we'd be 4 times faster.  If we had waited and started 2 years later, we'd finish what we've done so far in 1/4 the time (3 months instead of a year).  Using the doubling rate as a given (2% Y1, 4& Y2, 8% Y3, 16% Y4, and so on), if we skip the first year, we've only lost about 7 days at the "big end".  If you follow that out, if you skip the first 3 years, you only loose about 2 months.  

But, if we can knock out the "gazillionth" digit of pi next month and OGR-22 ruler the month after that, and the next Merseinne (sp?) prime the month after that, then we DONE something.  And, what have we lost?  .05% more on RC5-64?  Nothing.  What have we gained?  A press release.

Mike Faunce
email mdfaunce at paranet.com

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-rc5 at lists.distributed.net
[mailto:owner-rc5 at lists.distributed.net]On Behalf Of Jason Stratos
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 1998 7:31 AM
To: rc5 at lists.distributed.net
Subject: Re: [RC5] Quick positive press effort

On Mon, 21 Sep 1998, Eric Gindrup wrote:

>      Not that finding digits of \pi is intrinsically more insteresting 
>      than cracking encryption challenges, but the press doesn't seem to 
>      be so much prejudiced against the process.
>             -- Eric Gindrup ! gindrup at Okway.okstate.edu

>From personal experience (and I don't feel this way, in fact I've been a
hardcore digit hunter for years), when most people I know hear about the
latest pi crunching record they think "What a bunch of geeks. If only they
did something serious".

Is this the image that d.net desires? Yes, I know; as Richard
Feynmann(sp?) put it, "What do *you* care what other people think?"
But then maybe we shouldn't.


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