[RC5] stop running the client?

Stephen Berg sberg at pangaealink.com
Tue Dec 14 00:01:15 EST 1999

On Mon, 13 Dec 1999 00:12:39 -0600, Ryan Malayter wrote:

>The premise of this paper is that, for long-running calculations (like the Rc5 crack) it is often better to WAIT to start it on newer hadrware, beacuse you'll actually finish the task sooner.
>This is because of Moore's law. The author's calculations indicate that if any task will take longer than 26 months to complete on current hardware, you're better off waiting a wile and running it on new hardware.

But what if the correct key just got handed out to a client, that key
block is going to be loaded into the client in say 20 minutes and
processed in 10 minutes give or take a processor generation.  In a
few hours the out buffer of that client will get full, it'll send the
results with a possible hit flag to the proxy/key server and by
tomorrow afternoon someone will be $1000 richer.  For something that
we don't know the time it'll take I, (in my nowhere near knowledgable
opinion on matters like this), would suspect that if we can start
crunching now we might as well.  The odds may be against finding the
solution in the first 20 or 30 percent, but not impossible.

I've seen similar articles saying we shouldn't bother trying to go to
the nearest star until we can travel faster than the speed of light. 
The theory being that if we launch a long term mission now, it'll
still be chugging along while technology builds a newer faster way to
travel and later missions could actually arrive at that star *before*
the first one arrives.  But in that case we pretty much know how long
it'll take to finish with current technology.

If RC5 had been started on 8088's or 80286's back in the early 1980's
could they have already finished RC5-64??  Maybe not without the
internet access most of us enjoy today but I'd guess that the raw
processor power was out there to at least start the job.  In the 20
years or whatever we've had PC's around they could have checked a
good 10 or 15% of the keyspace that we wouldn't have had to check

This is all a layman's opinion, those of you with Computer,
Statistics or Math degrees can probably shoot most of this full of

                            Stephen Berg
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