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Old 04-22-2003, 04:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Kentucky
Distributed.net- Waste of time?

I ran RC5-64 last year constantly. They found the key in july, yet let us continue to work until late october. Millions of CPU hours, wasted. Even though CPU hours are essentially worthless, the Kw-hours that people paid for their crack-racks and unused pcs cracking keyss would mount into the thousands of dollars.You'd think they just don't give a crap about the whole project in general, even though it has a cool premise.

Now they have RC5-72, and the current prediction is 680,000 days to complete (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Does anyone still waste their time and CPU power doing such a distributed computing project as distributed.net?

Last edited by BooRadley; 04-22-2003 at 06:59 PM..
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Old 04-22-2003, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: a van, down by the river
Not after RC5-64. I spent about 2 years running that. On my linux server, on my desktop, on my desktop at work, a few other computers at work, a few at school, my parents and relatives, etc. I went crazy. Needless to say I was disappointed that I didn't get it. Doing that is sort of like gambling for free.. very addictive. Then I realized how much time I wasted, not to mention howmuch time/life my PCs wasted. Try one of the other "charitable" distributed programs that work on curing diseases instead.
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Old 04-22-2003, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: a van, down by the river
Oh, the reason it took them 'till October to tell everybody is because they have to interpret all the results that all the distributed clients send them. I don't think there's some magic packet that their servers are listening for that indicates it's all over.
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Kentucky
Still not a very fair system , is it? If the client could tell the server : "This one looks like it would be a match " then they could identify it earlier and shut down the massive machine that is distributed computing. This is a WIDESPREAD problem when thousands of computers pointlessly cycle.
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How is it a waste of time? You set it up and leave it run. You don't have to do anything. If you need to CPU cycles at any given time just pause it. I don't see the big deal *shrug*
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Kentucky
I'm not bitchin' about my CPU cycles or the amount of time it takes me to click the client. It's a larger scale argument than my 750 chugging away. When 328,000 people has wasted time on something , you'd think that would be very significant and be cause for outcry, sorta like www.8march2003.com 's retarded marketing campaign.

Distributed.net is a volunteer thing. The people AT distributed.net get a certain amount of cash ( I think $2,000 ) if the keys are cracked, but the amount of money is trivial considering the huge amount of CPU power that goes into the contest and the overwhelming server costs. But that doesn't give them the right to carelessly waste people's generousity.

Here is the big deal : You do RC5 to solve the keys. Everybody wants to win, and nobody wants to/needs to go through unecessary keys after the correct one has been found. It's pointless, and a waste of CPU time. This wouldn't be bad if 50 or even a thousand CPUs are doing it, but when you probably 100,000 CPUs(A very low estimate, considering it was around 56,000 usernames and the top ones have a great number of computers on their account) putting in 3 months of 24/7 work each AFTER the key has been found, you could see how that sets up people for disappointment, and that throws a negative light to distributed computing in general.

It's like donating goods to a charity, and knowing they just threw it away becuase they already had what they needed and didn't tell the users.

SecretMethod70, there is MANY people that are hardcore distributed computers ( Especially in SETI, Dnet, & Folding@Home), so I wouldn't dismiss this as a "stupid" topic.
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sorry if it seems I thought the topic was stupid. I just mean that I don't share the concern. Personally, yeah, it stinks that my computer spent more time than needed on it, but what would it have been doing anyway? I didn't think I'd win in the first place - the odds were hardy with me, I just did it for fun and because of the possibility of winning. The extra CPU cycles used didn't prevent me from doing anything either. That's just my view though.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Kentucky
Yeah, personal loss( if any ) from distributed computing is small if anything but over a large enough community it makes a difference.
Or at least enough of one to discuss.
As soon as I can keep my CPU stable ( it always runs too damn hot ) I'll be doing folding@home or seti and not complaining about dnet
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The completion of RC5-64 was not noticed right away due to a bug in the software.
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i ran for 1,191 days. didnt even notice the competition was ended till i saw the cow icons unload one day

i hate to think about how much extra electricity i used on that, since i was leaving machines on for it.

but i still think it was worthwhile, as yotta said there was a bug in the client that stopped it being found, unfortunate but it happens.

i didnt join the new search as mainly i hadnt realized it had started and secondly i didnt want any more $800 a month electricity bills
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: between lost and confused
i too spent a lot of time on rc5-64 and a couple of des's also. http://stats.distributed.net/partici...id=5&id=382916
i decided not to go on with rc5-72, too much of a pain to keep the computers upto date with new clients and i wanted to cut down on my electrical bill as well. i also knocked about 15 degrees off the temp of the room with the computers shut down.
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