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.

2010/12/28

A near-miss (or perhaps a near-hit?)

Filed under: project status @ 21:00 UTC

Dear friends,

We recently received the first true “false positive” work unit of the RC5-72 project. These are a rare find.

In the interests of client speed, only the first “block” of the encrypted text is decrypted and evaluated for a solution. This means that it’s possible for a key which isn’t the correct key to report as a false positive because although it doesn’t decrypt the text, it does yield a plaintext which matches “The unkn” for the first eight bytes.

The decrypt of the packet was “The unkn…O.k.V>..3W.R..lW.]*e.sc.:-…..u…..cN.&.0.N.” The lucky participant is known as 門村 (“Gate Village”) and will be receiving a T-shirt from us soon. He is a researcher in Japan running dnetc on a Windows system with a Stream client.

As some participants may recall, we also identified a similar ‘false positive’ during the previous RC5-64 project. Finding these are exciting because they help to validate that the project is working properly and is still on track to find the real solution.

It also represents an interesting datapoint regarding the RC5 algorithm. There’s been much speculation and napkin scribbling on just how frequently such false positives might present themselves. The general consensus seemed to be that such an occurrence is extremely improbable. A brute-force search is really the only way to conclusively determine the likelihood of such false positives.

Keep on crunching! ]:8)

2010/07/09

mikereed [09-Jul-2010 @ 17:10]

Filed under: clients,project status @ 16:10 UTC

Today, we mark the passing of 500 days working on the OGR-27 project. By cosmic coincidence, it’s also Cow Appreciation Day today!

In other news, we have recently added new CUDA 3.1-cowpatible clients for Windows and Mac OS X to our pre-release page. Link

We thank you for your continued support.

Moo! ]:8)

2010/05/13

OGR-27 Progress

Filed under: project status @ 22:46 UTC

If you’ve been following our OGR-27 stats you’ll have noticed we just passed through 12% completion. We’re steadily marching forward at rate of approximately one percent a month thanks to our contributors and welcome everyone to join in.

2009/07/27

bovine [27-Jul-2009 @ 23:26]

Filed under: clients,project status @ 23:26 UTC

:: 27-Jul-2009 23:26 GMT (Monday) ::

Howdy folks,

We’ve just transferred some new clients from the pre-release page to the
official release page: http://www.distributed.net/download/clients.php

*dnetc511-amigaos-68k.lha
*dnetc511-amigaos-ppc-pup.lha
*dnetc511-amigaos-ppc-wos.lha
*dnetc511-amigaos-ppc.lha
*dnetc511-morphos-ppc.lha
*dnetc511b-dos-x86.zip
*dnetc511b-linux-cellbe.tar.gz
*dnetc511b-linux-ppc.tar.gz
*dnetc511b-macosx-ppc.tar.gz
*dnetc511b-macosx-x86.tar.gz
*dnetc511b-os2-x86.zip
*dnetc511b-win32-x86.zip
*dnetc511b-win32-x86-setup.msi
*dnetc510-linux-x86-elf-uclibc.tar.gz

As mentioned in a previous plan, these new x86 clients contain three
new OGR cores. Depending on your CPU type, the new cores may provide a
significant speed improvement over the cores used in previous client
versions.

Additionally we strongly recommend that users of OGR PowerPC clients
version 2.9103 or 2.9104 upgrade to these newer versions. It was
discovered that those two specific version numbers could process
OGR-27 blocks incorrectly, so results from those client versions have
been blocked. Users of PowerPC platforms should upgrade to client
version 2.9105.511 or later.

We have also promoted the following personal proxy binaries from the
pre-release page to the official release page:

*proxyper347-freebsd4-x86.tar.gz
*proxyper347-freebsd6-x86.tar.gz
*proxyper347-freebsd7-x86.tar.gz
*proxyper347-linux-cellbe.tar.gz
*proxyper347a-linux-x86-uclibc.tar.gz

We’re very close to being able to finally mark the first three
stubspaces for OGR-27 complete… The first one (OGR-27.1) was just
finished up in the last few hours. There are just a very small number
of stubs that we are waiting to be completed in OGR-27.2 and OGR-27.3.
We’ll make another announcement when those are finally received.

Keep on crunching! ]:8)

2009/07/04

mikereed [04-Jul-2009 @ 12:26]

Filed under: project status @ 12:26 UTC

:: 04-Jul-2009 12:26 GMT (Saturday) ::

Dear friends,

Since work began on OGR-27 in late February, more than 2% of the total work
necessary to prove OGR-27 is not optimal has been completed.

The first three stubspaces are nearing completion, and should be closed in
a matter of days. During this time, we will be periodically recycling the
remaining stubs from those three stubspaces, so it is important to avoid
excessively fetching more work than you can complete in about a week.

We have just started distributing work from the fourth and final OGR-27
stubspace. It is also the largest stubspace representing the remaining 98%. The
stubs in the final stubspace are more likely to vary greatly in size, compared
to those in the earlier stubspaces; however we expect them to generally be
smaller on average. If our estimation turns out to be proved correct, we should
be able to complete the remaining stubs at a faster rate than for the previous
stubspaces. As we are expecting that we will discover a better ruler for OGR-27
than the one we currently know to be optimal, we may not need to exhaust the
entire stubspace before discovering it. However, after the probable discovery
of a better ruler, it is possible that there remains an even better ruler or
rulers yet to be uncovered.

In addition, thanks to some excellent work by Craig Johnston, client versions
2.9105-510 and above contain three new OGR cores. Depending on your CPU type,
the new cores may provide a significant speed improvement over the cores
used in previous client versions. These speed enhancements will shorten
the time required to search the final stubspace. You are welcome to try a
pre-release client containing these new cores, which you can download from
http://www.distributed.net/download/prerelease.php. As always, please report
bugs using our bug database available at http://bugs.distributed.net/.

So load up those CPUs with fresh OGR-27 work, while enjoying an improved
noderate, and together we’ll crunch through the final stubspace with fury!

Thanks again for your participation!

Moo ]:8)

2009/02/24

bovine [24-Feb-2009 @ 17:26]

Filed under: clients,project status @ 17:26 UTC

:: 24-Feb-2009 17:26 GMT (Tuesday) ::

Howdy all,

We’ve just confirmed receipt of the last OGR-26 stub, thus marking
that project officially complete! We will try to publish who
submitted the most optimal and last stubs, once we confirm that they
don’t mind their identities being revealed.

You should already notice that fresh OGR-27 stubs are already
available on our proxy network. To work on this project, you will
need to be using the v2.9103 client for your architecture. If you run
a personal proxy, you should upgrade to build 347. As usual, you can
find them http://www.distributed.net/download/

If your platform doesn’t appear to have released clients available
yet, that may be because some are still on the pre-release page–we
hope to officially release them in the next couple of days. We
appreciate your patience.

Due to variations in complexity, we expect that OGR-27 will take us
significantly longer than OGR-26 did. It is difficult to provide a
precise estimate but one extremely rough guess is about 7 years,
assuming no increase in computing power and that our size estimation
sampling reflects the entire stubspace.

There is one thing that is different with OGR-27 than with our
previous OGR projects: we are confident that we will discover a better
ruler for OGR-27 than the one we know to be optimal currently.

So get your clients cracking! Thanks again for your participation!

Moo ]:8)

2009/02/16

bovine [16-Feb-2009 @ 07:39]

Filed under: project status @ 07:39 UTC

:: 16-Feb-2009 07:39 GMT (Monday) ::

Howdy all,

We are now at 97% complete for OGR-26 and have fewer than 600 thousand
stubs left to go. This will likely take us less than a week, unless
you can round up some more folks to run dnetc on their computers!

As we approach the final days of this project, there will be periods
of time where no OGR-26 work is available from the network. These
occasional periods of unavailability occur because we want to avoid
re-issuing the remaining stubs too many times. This is not a cause for
concern, but if you don’t want your client to go idle, you should
verify that RC5-72 is enabled in your configuration files. (It is by
default.)

Once we have fully completed OGR-26, we will be able to officially
launch our next project, OGR-27. Since the new project relies on the
proven results of the previous project, we don’t want to launch OGR-27
while its predecessor is still in progress.

While we are all waiting for the new project to start, we invite you
to begin preparing your computers to participate in the new project.
To work on OGR-27, you will need to be using the v2.9103 client for
your architecture. If you run a personal proxy, you should upgrade to
build 347. You can find these new versions on our official download
page at http://www.distributed.net/download/

We thank you for your continuing support and enthusiasm as we look
forward to this exciting new project.

Moo! ]:8)

2009/01/29

mikereed [29-Jan-2009 @ 03:24]

Filed under: project status @ 03:24 UTC

:: 29-Jan-2009 03:24 GMT (Thursday) ::

Dear friends,

We are proud to announce that we have now completed 75% of the work necessary
to prove OGR-26 is optimal. The project is expected to complete within the next
few weeks, and we have already started preparations towards that project’s
successor. More details will be provided in the near future.

As you know, we recently published some pre-release clients that allowed our
early-adopters running high-speed hardware platforms to make use of larger
RC5-72 packets. As a part of this testing, our users have helped us to discover
that there is a bug in our stats tabulation code that counts these larger
packets as only one stats unit. We are fortunate that no stats credit has been
permanently lost. We will be correcting the bug and re-tabulating the affected
logs shortly.

As part of introducing large RC5-72 packets, we needed to update our proxy
systems to handle them. Unfortunately, a bug present in proxy build 346
invalidated a small number of work units by distributing blocks from subspaces
other than “CB”. This was spotted and resolved very quickly and we do not
expect that very many users received these invalid RC5-72 packets.

We thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm. We particularly
appreciate the work of early-adopters that are willing to help us test our
pre-release software and give rapid feedback.

Moo! ]:8)

2009/01/12

mikereed [12-Jan-2009 @ 22:57]

Filed under: clients,project status @ 22:57 UTC

:: 12-Jan-2009 22:57 GMT (Monday) ::

Dear friends,

We are pleased to announce that we passed 50% of OGR-26 completion on January
4, 2009. We thank you for your help in reaching this milestone.

We have just promoted a new set of clients from the pre-release page to the
official release page. These include clients with a faster OGR core which takes
advantage of MMX instructions for a 30% speedup. As usual, you can find them
at: http://www.distributed.net/download/clients.php

The list of updated platforms includes:

* Linux [ARM/ELF] v2.9102.508
* Linux [ARM/eabi] v2.9102.508
* Linux [CellBE] v2.9102.508b
* FreeBSD [7.x/x86/ELF] v2.9102.508
* FreeBSD [6.x/x86/ELF] v2.9102.508
* FreeBSD [4.x/x86/ELF] v2.9102.508
* NetBSD [x86] v2.9102.508
* NetBSD [MIPSEL/ELF] v2.9102.508
* OpenBSD [x86/ELF] v2.9102.508
* OS/2 [x86] v2.9102.508
* PC-DOS, MS-DOS [x86] v2.9102.508
* Windows 32bit [x86/Zipped] v2.9102.508b
* Windows 32bit [x86/Installer] v2.9102.508b
* Solaris/SunOS [x86] v2.9102.508
* BeOS [Haiku/x86] v2.9102.508
* BeOS [x86] v2.9102.508
* Acorn RISC OS [ARM] v2.9102.508

Our work on clients for graphics cards is continuing. Our CUDA client for
nVidia cards is in public beta testing, while a core for new ATI cards is due
to enter closed testing shortly.

We also have new clients in public beta testing. You should only run these if
you have the time and inclination to monitor them regularly, as they may be
removed at short notice.

* Mac OS X/Darwin [x86] v2.9103.509
* Mac OS X/Darwin [PPC] v2.9103.509
* Linux [ARM/ELF] v2.9103.509
* Linux [ARM/eabi] v2.9103.509
* Acorn RISC OS [ARM] v2.9103.509

Moo! ]:8)

2008/11/22

bovine [22-Nov-2008 @ 22:38]

Filed under: clients,project status @ 22:38 UTC

:: 22-Nov-2008 22:38 GMT (Saturday) ::

We’ve just promoted a new set of OGR-NG capable clients from the
pre-release page to the official release page. As usual, you can find
them at: http://www.distributed.net/download/clients.php

The list of updated platforms includes:
* MorphOS [PPC] v2.9101.507c
* AmigaOS [PPC/WarpOS] v2.9101.507
* AmigaOS [PPC/PowerUp] v2.9101.507
* AmigaOS [m68k] v2.9101.507
* AmigaOS [PPC/OS4] v2.9101.507b
* Solaris/SunOS [AMD64] v2.9101.507
* Solaris/SunOS [Sparc64] v2.9101.507
* Solaris/SunOS [Sparc/Ultrasparc] v2.9101.507
* Solaris/SunOS [x86] v2.9101.507
* OpenBSD [x86/ELF] v2.9101.507
* OpenBSD [AMD64/ELF] v2.9101.507
* FreeBSD [6.x/x86/ELF] v2.9101.507
* FreeBSD [4.x/x86/ELF] v2.9101.507
* FreeBSD [Sparc64/ELF] v2.9101.507
* FreeBSD [7.x/AMD64/ELF] v2.9101.507
* FreeBSD [6.x/AMD64/ELF] v2.9101.507
* FreeBSD [7.x/x86/ELF] v2.9101.507
* Linux [AMD64/ELF] v2.9101.507
* Linux [CellBE] v2.9101.507
* Linux [x86/ELF] v2.9101.507
* OS/2 [x86] v2.9101.507
* Mac OS X/Darwin [PPC/OS X] v2.9101.507
* Mac OS X/Darwin [x86] v2.9101.507
* PC-DOS, MS-DOS [x86] v2.9101.507
* Windows 32bit [x86/Zipped] v2.9101.507b
* Windows 32bit [x86/Installer] v2.9101.507c

There are also some new OGR-NG capable personal proxies available for
download on the official proxy download page:

http://www.distributed.net/download/proxies.php

We’re working on updates for some of the remaining platforms (like
NetBSD and OpenBSD) plus some exciting new ones (like nVidia CUDA), so
look forward to future announcements. Feel free to contact our
friendly support crew at http://www.distributed.net/sendmail.php if
you have any questions. Bug reports should be entered at
http://bugs.distributed.net/ or through our support crew.

In other news, we are already more than 10% complete with OGR-26 since
we started it almost one month ago! We may finish the project in
early 2009 at this rate. You can view the OGR-26 progress at:

http://stats.distributed.net/project/ogr_status.php?project_id=26

Thanks again for your participation! MOO!

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