What does this all mean?

Louis C. LaCour, Jr. (lacourlc@arvl.arlaw.com)
Sat, 17 May 1997 14:34:11 -0500

I've looked but can't find the answer to these:

I've been running DESchall on my Mac for a while, and it's going just fine.
However, I'd like to understand what the logfile is telling me. For

1. Why is it that initially the key server assigned 2^22 pairs, then 2^26,
then 2^28 then 2^30 pairs? And why is progress measured (on the web site
and elsewhere) as X * 2^20 pairs checked? In other words, what's the
"magic" in 2^20? Is 2^20 some special "unit" of labor??

2. What does each "progress dot" (if that's the right term) signify? That
X pairs have veeb tested? Something else?

3. How does the program know empirically that a given pair doesn't (or
does) work? i.e. what is the nature of the test it employs?

4. What does this startup message mean, exactly:
Foreground: run 30/sleep 0
Background: run 6/sleep 0

other than the fact that it can do a lot more processing when in the

5. Finally, not to be a cynic, since I support the effort, but one could
argue that an encryption key which requires an effort of this scale to
crack is, by definition, pretty damn secure; i.e. hope the project isn't in
itself self-defeating.


|Louis C. LaCour, Jr.