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The Bedpost RC5-72 Project

Oh, look! You've found another long forgotten web page...much more forgotten than usual in fact, since this page vanished in some sort of disaster...maybe the basement flood or a disk failure...it's hard to say. I rescued it from the Internet Archive, only the images didn't survive. More importantly, and perhaps even somewhat relevantly, this project never turned into anything. The possibility of fire caused by a running computer under my bed wasn't enough to put me off, but its noise output level certainly was. What ultimately scotched it was the complete inability for Windows 95 to run in fully protected mode on the IBM PS/2 Model 40SX. There is something odd about its implementation of IDE. More likely than not, the I/O ranges are probably different from conventional IDE implementations. Not even MS-DOS CD-ROM device drivers worked on it. It's also possible that I couldn't get any NIC working correctly in the machine. And of course, it's not like a 386SX-20 can make any meaningful contribution to any distributed computing project.

All of this (mainly the IDE difficulties) ultimately resulted in the machine earning a multi-year trip to my back patio, where it became filled with leaves and other yucky yard dross. I finally brought it in about a year ago (2016), though I have no idea if it still works. The rest of the text on this page is presented as it was uploaded, way back when (late 2004?). Perhaps someday I will remake the banner that once headed this page.

Ironically enough, around the same time as I've reuploaded what's left of this page, my current bed frame has suffered a broken caster and is in need of some repair.

What is "Bedpost"? "Bedpost" is the combination of bed frame "repair" and RC5-72 key cracking...however strange that may sound, it's true. Read on...

Specifically, and in great detail, I participate in distributed.net's RC5 key cracking projects. Naturally, I have any computer from a 386SX all the way up to the latest processors participating in the project as the more computers you have cracking away, the more work units you can turn in, and the more likely it becomes that you will win the contest by submitting the winning key.

I have a couple of machines that cannot participate in RC5-72 cracking yet, but these are all Macs and they are working on the OGR-25 project--which keeps them busy even if there is no reward in the end... I guess you have to get what you can take, and Distributed.net hasn't yet gotten their RC5-72 cracking software to work on Mac OS 9.

At least that's how it works in theory. Even with all the computers I have, I still rank right about 5,000 or so as far as submitted results go. So it makes sense that I'd want to devote even more computers to the project. This isn't a problem. I own lots of computers. Problems are space and power outlets..and the fact that running lots of computers, albeit possible, is going to make for a rather high electric bill. So many of my computers sit in storage doing nothing except for occasional power-ups to insure that they still work as they should.

However, storage needs change and machines usually move around. Usually they just get placed somewhere else, but every now and then one ends up as a piece of furniture. Yes you read that right. For example, a nice mini-tower machine that's reasonably sturdy can make a great makeshift chair. A short while ago, my wooden bed frame broke and a PS/2 Model 40SX and several books that happened to be in the way was quickly placed under the box spring so the whole bed would not collapse. I really did mean to get the whole thing fixed, but I haven't had the time. So the 40SX and the books have stayed under the bed, doing a great job of holding it up.

Just the other day I got to thinking how great it might be if that 40SX could actually be powered up while under there. (Yes, I had safety concerns about this, but the machine sits in free air and has books on top of it to keep the bottom of the box spring well above the computer. Besides, it's a cool running 386SX-20!) What would be even better than that? How about giving the 40SX a small set of distributed.net work units that it could work on? I wouldn't need anything except a keyboard attached so that the machine would POST and then we would be on! I could control it via VNC if necessary...

I set in just last night (12/16) to setting the whole thing up, but right now I'm stalled. My network card is presently giving me problems and is keeping the machine from booting into Windows 95. I have no intention of giving up though...the thought of a truly multitasking bed post is reason enough to keep pressing along!

The actual bedpost machine thus far... (Editor's note: the image is long gone.)


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