[RC5] Re: [plans] distributed.net .plan update

James Spinks james at angelos.ftech.co.uk
Fri Aug 24 12:52:12 EDT 2001

Mostly just comments/encouragement...

plans at nodezero.distributed.net wrote:
 > bwilson :: 23-Aug-2001 01:51 (Thursday) ::
 > .  A lot of you depend on the phistory_raw page to produce additional
 >    stats you can't get any other way.  (For those who don't recognize
 >    the page names, this is the Block Submission History page which
 >    shows each participant's lifetime history as a histogram.)

Yep, I copy that information into a spreadsheet which then allows me to 
draw pretty pictures and stuff...  I don't script it or anything like 
that (I don't do nearly enough units to warrant a script), just check 
the page every now and then and copy the numbers over.

 > .  A certain @home subscriber in the northwest Chicago suburbs is
 >    producing somewhere around 1/7 of all website traffic on tally,
 >    primarily on the phistory_raw page.

I live nowhere near Chicago, so I'm pretty sure it isn't me... ;-)

 > As the filename suggests, these pages return the same information but
 > only for the last 30 days.  You can substitute your own id for the 1
 > at the end. They're only available for RC5-64 at this time.  Depending
 > on your feedback, I might even make the number of days a parameter.
 > Please submit all comments and feedback about these pages to bugzilla,
 > http://www.distributed.net/bugs/

The pages look good, and the idea of adding the number of days as a 
parameter would suit me... I just checked and I hadn't updated my 
spreadsheet since the 21st July, so I just missed the 30 day cut-off and 
had to check the full page anyway...

 > On a different note, we've recently "hired" two new guys to help with
 > stats.  We're planning an all-stats meeting this weekend (Aug 25,
 > 2001) to bring them up to speed, rebalance the workload, and set some
 > priorities.  With that in mind, if you have any features you'd really
 > like to see in stats, I'd like to know about it ASAP.  Items already
 > on our dream list include:
 > .  OGR recycle/repair

I'm still not entirely convinced of the value of this feature...  The 
people who download the client, fill their buffers then change their 
mind and uninstall it aren't going to bother to release those stubs. 
There will be a few people who accidentally download a years worth of 
stubbs without realising the difference between RC5 and OGR in the time 
to completion who may bother to release some, but against that the 
potential for malicious release of other peoples work units is quite 
high.  Even if you make the user physically return the unused blocks by 
some method, so you can check their validity, that risk would be hard to 
completely remove...

Maybe an alternative is to automate the recycle of non-returned stubs 
and shorten their ttl.  While this would be a shame for the guy who is 
crunching the last OGR-24 block on his pentium 75, he should really know 
better and stick to rc5 on that machine...

 > .  Cross-project stats
 > .  Better inter-project links
 > .  my.distributed.net

These are pretty much inter-related...  The idea of being able to get 
rid of all my stat page bookmarks and just have once page with both my 
OGR and RC5 stats on together is v.appealing (especially if we can also 
show historical data on it - CSC, DES etc...).  By cross project stats I 
assume you mean overall rankings, and while I drool at the prospect of 
such a thing, you are unlikely to ever come up with an algorithm that 
pleases everybody... just looking back through the rc5 mailing list 
archives this discussion generated a lot of arguments about the best way 
to do it...

 > .  Site redesign
 > .  Sub-teams

Not important to me, but I can see how they might be to others...

 > .  A decaying average score, so newer participants rise faster and
 >    inactive participants fall faster

Very cool idea, again I remember the discussions on the mailing lists 
about this and I live in hope that this system will reward my regular 
but small amounts with a higher ranking... *grin*

 > .  Using id as the id instead of e-mail (retires become a thing of the
 >    past!)

Again, not something that makes much difference to me...  A while ago I 
tried to change my email address to a specific dnet addresss, but it was 
so much hassle to track down all the clients and whatever that I gave up 
and went back to using this address...

 > As always, thanks for all the cycles!

A pleasure, as always...

James Spinks

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