[RC5] Some History

Mark Renfer mri at netsec.ch
Sat May 29 04:21:35 EDT 1999

Roby Van Hoye wrote:

> I admit there is a lot of SETI talk going right now but that's probably
> to the fact SETI is 'hot & new'. Give it some time and it is likely to
> settle down. I consider distributed to be the 'mama' of distributed
> computing and  as my main source of information on this topic so the SETI
> project might not be owned or run by distributed, it most certainly is
> something that at least should be discussable on it's errr, premises.

I have read many times now that Distributed Net was some kind of
'pioneer' in the field of distributed / parallel computing. Do you guys
really not know that exactly this very same technology has existed
for years and years before Distributed Net? A lot of applications used
it to speed up computation intensive tasks such as rendering. You know
PIXAR, the guys who did 'Toy Story' and 'A Bugs Life' ? Their Rendering
Tool called 'Renderman' offered distributed rendering many years before
D-Net existed! On 68k Macs! And many other software did, too. In fact, many
scientists and researchers around the world implement such systems
every day only for their current research topic. I worked on such a project
years ago in the field of neural networks. The implementation of the
computing part was just a small task on the side to serve our research
Anyone who knows C and TCP/IP can implement it. The only interesting
technology part of D-Net is the huge number of nodes and the slow
network. But since the amount of data involved is very small and the
for splitting the work up is as simple as it can get, there is not much of
a challenge here.

It is not that I don't like D-Net, our team has done more than 2.3 million
blocks so far, and we have put much work into the Personal Proxy Analyzer
so that RC5 is staying interesting for all. But please, stop talking about
D-Net as the big 'God' of distributed computing! This technology has
been around for a long time and has been implemented in software for
more sophisticated tasks than key cracking before.


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