Re: will people drop out?

Andrew Glazebrook (
Mon, 16 Jun 1997 07:59:50 +1000

On Sun, 15 Jun 1997 12:10:28 -0400, Duane T Williams wrote:

>Now that Sun is throwing machines worth millions of dollars at the DESCHALL
>effort, it wouldn't surprise me if lots of people with PCs decided to drop
>out? Won't they figure it's not worth their time anymore? There has
>always been a differential between people with faster and slower machines,
>of course, but it has generally not been enormous -- perhaps a factor of
>10. But now the differential is huge -- well over a factor of 1000.
>Hundreds of the smallest processors could be removed from the statistics
>with no noticeable effect.

I think it will. When I first started, my one machine got me in the top
100 (only just). Now even with three machines running I can't get anywhere
near that spot.

However I haven't dropped out so much as changed efforts - with SolNet, I
can collect one set of keys for 12hrs (so 3 times a day), which allows me
to do many more keys than I would be able to with deschall connecting 3
times a day.

But my interest has always being in the distributed computing rather than
breaking DES rather than the money, so I suppose it is sensible that I
switch to the effort with the best distributed computing setup (and it is
good to support an underdog :-).

However, deschall does have by far the best clients, and is certainly
making the best effort. I suppose now I support both efforts :-). (I guess
I'd probably look at switching back again if the competition is still
going when I get 24hr access).

But the get back on topic, I think lots of people will drop out - sure 1
key is still 1 key, but once you start looking insignificant, I think a
lot of dialup people like me will not bother hanging online for that extra
hour etc. However I do think that those people who are connected 24hrs
won't really be bothered by the fact that they are slowly sliding down the
position listing, as the client is always running and can pretty well be
forgotten about completely (and probably has been by most people - I would
doubt that there are 10,000 people connected to this list, or that even
5,000 people check their graph etc every few days).

These things however are likely to be intrinsic parts of distributed
computing over the internet, and while they may play a larger role in
limiting deschalls effort over solnets, it is probably very insignificant
in the long haul of the efforts (certainly nowhere as significant as
having faster clients, as the work of dialup users is so vastly less than
that off the more connected users).