[RC5] Proposal of organization of effort to win prime number contest

Frank D. Wills fdwills at softevolve.com
Fri Apr 9 12:17:59 EDT 1999

I did post a reply to Jeff's response, which I think would have
helped clarify any continuing discussion of my proposal. I understand
that this list is moderated, but I hope that I will be granted the
privilege of responding to posts regarding my proposal.

One other possible explanation for why my response did not reach the
list is that my ISP had a router failure (yesterday?) and perhaps
the email got lost. Or maybe I'm not posting to the correct address
(although I have checked that and it seems to have been posted
to the correct address.)

Anyway, whatever happened, I will try to respond again with this
post, and I hope this makes it to the list.

First, let me again respond to Jeff's post.

Jeff, I appreciate what you shared about the focus of d.net, and if
my proposal seems to alter the spirit of what d.net is all about, again,
I apologize for suggesting something inappropriate. If that is the
case, that what I proposed was inappropriate for the spirit of this
list, everyone, please accept my apology for causing either a disturbance
and a distraction, not to mention unnecessarily consuming bandwidth.

 I think that what d.net is doing is really neat (ok, I'm dating myself
a bit with decades old phrases like 'really neat',) and I still remember
how fun it was to download the client and fire it up on all of the PCs
in my office, and how neat it felt to be a part of what d.net is doing.
I remember sharing my having found d.net's site with my wife (with
whom I still share everything like that even though PC software and
the industry have long ceased being anything completely new and
novel to me.) What I shared with her was how great it felt to be a
part of a widespread community, doing something very worthwhile,
and possibly, but not likely, winning a cash prize. I hardly expect
to win any of the prizes myself, it's just a fun thing to be a part of.

 Please accept my apology for sharing so much of a personal nature.
I just wanted to clarify my own view of d.net since I seem to have
suggested something out of the spirit of what d.net is all about.

David: thank you for your response as well. Yes, perhaps my proposal
was too complicated, and yes, perhaps other efforts currently being
made dilute the value of the prize, considering the number of people
which would be required for d.net to take a shot at winning the prize.
No, I am not interested be being the sole contributor of money, machines,
or programming time required to 'bootstrap' my proposal. I'm willing
to help as the part of a group effort, but I don't have the time, money,
or inclination to completely 'bootstrap' such an effort on my own.
Regarding the spirit of things, that was not the spirit, of my proposal.
I of course, would be willing to contribute, were the project even
deemed to be worthwhile and desirable, and I wasn't even assuming
that (as I has hoped I was making clear at the start of my proposal.)

And, yes, on perhaps a humorous note, I was sharing with my wife how
that, after reading Jeff's post, it because clear that the number of
machines (and thus members) required to compete for the prize would
reduce everyone's prize to something along the line of a few pennies
to a dollar each. But maybe, if this isn't about money anyway, it would
be kind of fun to win as a part of a very big group (with individual
members or member teams making up the units in the group,) even if
we all just won something like a dollar each. If this isn't about money,
wouldn't that kind of experience be more fun than just one member
winning the prize? I know I would feel that way.

But that brings us to the point of the effort being worth the work, and
I can only say that perhaps discussion and research can determine that.
(For myself, I know that I never get to do all of the great programming
project that I would love to have the time to do, just because nothing
work-wise is as great as writing software, with using software coming
after that. I love them both!)

So if anything about what I proposed is worthwhile, I am happy to
help talk and think about it, or anything related to such a discussion
even if nothing about my proposal is any good. And if it gets to that
point, I'd be more that willing to be a part of getting the work done.

I only hope that, if as a result of my own enthusiasm I contribute
anything that is out of the flow of this group that everyone will
accept my apology for such past, present, and future blunders.

If for some reason posting this doesn't work, I'll send a copy of this
to Jeff and David and see if they can get this posted to the group.

In any case, I hope that nothing I post will result in keeping this group
from enjoying what d.net is all about.

- Frank

-----Original Message-----
From: David Illsley <easysearch at geocities.com>
To: rc5 at lists.distributed.net <rc5 at lists.distributed.net>
Date: Friday, April 09, 1999 10:02 AM
Subject: Re: [RC5] Proposal of organization of effort to win prime number contest

This is certainly an interesting proposal, but is Frank Wills offering to
put up the initial capital, and effort required to "bootstrap" the

The other problem with this idea, is the amount of admin required, and the
legal issues which surface. This idea would concern the distribution of
money all over the globe, on a perhaps regular basis. It would also require
massive processing power just to calculate winnings, without even
correlating the findings. So, while I like the general idea, I believe that
this particular proposal is too complex with regard to distribution of money
(each member would probably only win $1, which is £0.75, 7 French Francs,
etc. which would hardly cover an envelope, and stamp to send out the money
in international cheques whinc have a significant currency conversion
value.) Therefore, I believe that this would be a good idea to set up, and I
would voulenteer, if these issues are dealt with, possibly with the
distribution of winnings worked out in a similar way to d.net (I'm not sure
how this would work).

Any more opinions?
David Illsley

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