The unhistory of collective computing.

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From: Adam L. Beberg (
Date: Tue May 09 2000 - 05:34:13 PDT

Yeap, i've been up all night, we all know that means bad things, so
here's what I came up with :)

                    Geneology of some projects
   OK, someone had to do it. With all the "cycle selling" efforts out
   there, (my list is now at 19 quasi-commercial ones) not all of them
   mentioned here because some people just take things the wrong way. I
   decided the claims of "unique/original business plans" are getting so
   funny that I had to write up a list of who came when and who they most
   directly decended from. Please don't take this too seriously, the
   dates aren't exact, and who knows how "X happens to look exactly the
   same as Y". This will be very useful for reporters and investors doing
   due diligence as well.
  The List
   In approximate date order, as best I can do. I was there for all this,
   in fact I note what I was doing at some times, so it should be fairly
     * [1]DCS - (1973 - 197?) - The fully working distributed computing
       system that I consider the grandfather of just about everything
       today. It now being 2000, any and all patent claims to anything in
       the field are pure BS, woohoo!
     * Much time passes, cant say I was paying attention much.
     * Globus and Legion started back in here I think, the 2 major
       distributed computing research projects, if you have a
       supercomputer and Internet-2, you should be using one of these.
     * ~1991 - I start doing distributed raytracing and things on Novell
       networks. And in my day we didn't have no stinking toolkits! I
       start paying attention to things, goto college, catch up to what
       happened since 1973, etc.
     * ~1995 - Cosm is born, originally an OS design based on Mach, QNX,
       and dozen other research designs in distributed operating systems.
     * GIMPS/PrimeNet (? - now) - effort to find large Mersenne primes.
       At some point the, guy doing the PrimeNet server for GIMPS took it
       commercial. Client-server. Commercial.
     * DESCHALL (? - ?) - Effort to break DES, a 56 bit algorithm,
       contest sponsored by RSA. Client-server.
     * OGR (Jul 97 - May 99) Optimal Golomb Rulers, now a
       project. Client-server.
     * Genx - (feb 97-mar 97) RC5-56 effort, another 56bit. Inspired by
       DESCHALL and also another RSA challenge. Died a horrible death of
       DoS attacks between waring teams. Client-server.
     * - (may 97 - now) Picked up where Genx died with
       RC5-56 after Bovine wrote proxys/servers and Duncan redesigned
       clients. Originially intended as a general framework, but.
     * "v3" - (Oct 1997 - *) Cosm first talked about publicly, known as
       "v3" at the time. Somewhere in that 2 years I gave up on the OS
       idea, realizing that they were now commodities, so there was no
     * PiHex - (Apr 98 - now) Calulating Pi to an extreme length.
     * ECDL - (??? ?? - done) Eliptic curve contest. Client-server.
     * ... Up until about this point, everyone talked to everyone else.
       Now only a few talk anymore.
     * SETI@Home - (Jan 99 - now) Hunting alien signals from space.
       Around for since 1996, SETI actually starts public betas.
     * Cosm - (Apr 99 - now) Cosm splits from as they
       want to go different direction. "v3" dies, and Cosm is announced
       as a separate project. Development continues in public. Fully
       distributed. Commercial but free for many uses (with source!).
     * Casino-21 - (Apr 99? - now) Climate modeling.
     * ... During the summer of 99 SETI gets very popular and everyone
       starts yelling "me too, me too". The words "like SETI@Home does"
       start to appear everywhere.
     * dcypher - (??? 99 - ?) A direct decendant run by a
       disgruntled participant. Competed at CSC for a
       while, then moved on to gamma flux. Now working with ProcessTree.
       Client-server. Commercial.
     * ProcessTree - (??? 00 - now) Just a list of names until joining
       with dcypher. Client-server. Commercial.
     * Porivo - (Feb 00 - now) SETI/ clone run by 3
       marketing guys. Client-server. Commercial.
     * PopularPower - (Mar 00? - now) SETI/dcypher clone. Client-server.
     * Centrata - (May 00 - now) A Porivo clone. Commercial.
     * ... And many more I left out, but more to come I'm sure.



- Adam L. Beberg
  Mithral Communications & Design, Inc.
  The Cosm Project - -

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