staff blogs

distributed.net staff keep (relatively) up-to-date logs of their activities in .plan files. These were traditionally available via finger, but we've put them on the web for easier consumption.

2016/11/18

Backend server outages

Filed under: keyservers,stats @ 20:27 UTC

There was a brief unplanned outage of the keymaster for about 8 hours earlier today, but the network is in the process of catching up right now and should be back to normal soon.

There will also be a planned outage of the stats server for this weekend due to building maintenance needing to service the air conditioning. Once service is restored on Monday, the stats server will again catch up.

We do not expect there to have been any significant loss of data or stats credit as a result of these events.

Thanks for your patience! ]:8)

2016/08/24

Time for a new IRC home

Filed under: Uncategorized @ 01:50 UTC

TL;DR — Join us in #distributed on irc.freenode.net

29-Aug-1997 18:00 #rc5 topic is Has anyone seen my keys? -- http://rc5.distributed.net/
29-Aug-1997 18:00 #rc5 topic set by BovineOne on Fri Aug 29 18:38:59
29-Aug-1997 18:00 #rc5 created on Fri Apr 04 11:02:59

In early 1997 distributed.net became an actual thing entirely within the context of an Internet Relay Chat channel, #rc5 on the EFnet IRC network. Aside from the occasional “beerfest” meetup, the vast majority of this project’s coordination, victory celebrations, and commiserations have been shared on IRC. IRC has been the foundation for everything we’ve accomplished as a community.

<_GNU_> Lets set up a irc.distributed.net and put the channel there! :P

Some time around 2000 we split from EFnet and created our own public IRC network, mainly so that we could start encrypting the IRC traffic — a wort hwhile goal for a security and encryption focused group of geeks. Encrypted IRC was brand-new and barely supported at the time. Our IRC network has continued to serve us well for the past fifteen years, but looking around the landscape has changed significantly. Encryption is supported everywhere and proper channel and nick services bots are ubiquitous. It’s become more difficult to justify the effort and reliance on generosity from our hosting partners to run our own network.

It makes sense to re-join a “proper” IRC network and benefit from that scale and attention to operations. So… Effectively immediately the official support and community channel for distributed.net can now be found on the freenode irc network and irc.distributed.net will be shutting down very soon.

We’ll be forever grateful to Paul Followell at LightBound and FlightAware for their server space and network time. Many thanks to the developers of UnrealIRCd for a decade of secure and reliable server code. And also thanks to everyone at freenode for welcoming us to our new home.

PING
PONG
/CTCP SOUND moo.wav

2016/08/10

Quick update – 10 August 2016

Filed under: clients,project status,stats @ 02:18 UTC

Apologies, it has been a while since I published a blog update. The front page of our web site still has a problem, but we are making progress on our projects. A look at OGR-28: 42,000 participants. 900 days. 31 BILLION (I know!) Gnodes checked. 20% completed. We can still complete it by New Year if each of us gets a few friends to join in!

RC5-72 has been in progress for 5,000 days as I write. There is still a long way to go, with only just over 4% of the work completed. To have the help of 120,000 participants is amazing. Thank you for all of your contributions.

Have you downloaded new dnetc client software lately? There are a raft of improvements in the last couple of versions, including speed-ups on some platforms (the latest came out of pre-release two months ago). Moo!

2016/02/23

2 year OGR-28 anniversary update!

Filed under: project status,stats @ 22:43 UTC

Dear friends,

We’re happy to announce a new client software version, 2.9112.521, for all major operating systems. These are available on the pre-release page: https://www.distributed.net/Download_prerelease. We would be happy for you to check them out and give us your feedback! Among the improvements are better GPU support, OpenCL on more platforms, and a new AVX2 core for RC5-72 contributed by Yasuhiro Katsui which runs 3.6x faster than the previous code. If you find any issues, please report them to us at https://bugs.distributed.net/. We expect to move the build 521 clients to release status after a short time.

As of this writing, we have just passed the second anniversary of the OGR-28 project. With over 36,000 contributors from around the world, we have completed more than 14% of the work necessary to prove the Optimal Golomb Ruler with 28 marks. You can track our progress on https://stats.distributed.net/, where we’ve recently restored the popular keyrate graphs, which show changes in our network’s speed over time. This one is for OGR-28: https://stats.distributed.net/keyrate.php?project_id=28

As you might have noticed above, many of our websites are also now available via https. Feel free to update your bookmarks.

We are grateful for all of your contributions. Please tell your friends about our projects, and watch those keyrate graphs go up!

Moo!

2016/01/20

Quick update – 20 January 2016

Filed under: project status @ 22:34 UTC

Dear friends,

This week we celebrated the birthday of our project leader Bovine… and 700 days of searching for the optimal Golomb Ruler with 28 marks! With your help, we have completed 13.61% of the entire work space, and the first 7 hills. (See my earlier blog posts!)

We also learned today that our friends at the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (mersenne.org) have discovered the largest prime number known to mankind to date!

Keep telling your friends :) Moo!

2016/01/12

Quick update – January 12 2016

Filed under: project status,stats @ 23:52 UTC

Dear friends,

With nearly 35,000 volunteers and 13.38% of the search space completed, we’ve just started on a new OGR range today (8-x) and so daily stubs completed will be higher. We’re still struggling with our web site, but glad that you’re here with us. Keep telling your friends. We need all the help we can get. Moo!

2015/12/31

Happy New Year

Filed under: project status @ 19:23 UTC

Happy new year to you from all of us at distributed.net. We are grateful for all of your contributions over the past year and look forward to working with you in the new year as we try to prove the optimal Golomb ruler with 28 marks. Moo!

2015/12/04

Quick update – December 4 2015

Filed under: project status @ 20:48 UTC

Our web site has a plain appearance for a few days. Bovine is updating the software that drives its appearance. Please don’t be alarmed and carry on contributing as normal. :) Moo!

2015/12/02

Quick update – December 2 2015

Filed under: project status @ 21:38 UTC

Dear friends,

We’ve recently started on a new OGR range (7-x) and so daily stubs completed will be higher. We’re still struggling with our web site, but glad that you’re here with us. Keep telling your friends. We need all the help we can get. Moo!

2015/07/22

Keymaster temporarily back online

Filed under: keyservers,stats @ 02:00 UTC

Well, after nearly 12 days we’ve managed to get the old keymaster hardware back online. The problem ended up being some failing RAM, though the symptoms weren’t immediately obvious as that. Although we are currently still operating on the old hardware, we are planning to transition to newer hardware tomorrow. The newer hardware was shipped last week during the outage and is still in the process of being racked and powered up.

We do not expect tomorrow’s transition off the old hardware to be externally visible since our proxy network will have caught up and buffered enough work for the brief outage. Stats will have a multi-day gap during the time we were offline, but we expect that the statistics totals for 2015-07-22 will reflect a significantly higher-than-normal amount of work due to all of the backlogged data that had been buffered.

Additional measures are being made to ensure that an outage of this duration does not happen again.

Thanks again for your patience! ]:8)

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