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10/7/04 Couple new things since the last update...

Florida has been pounded by 2 hurricanes since the 9/9 post. Ivan missed me completely, and did it's damage to the extreme northwest of Florida. Jeanne however, followed an almost identical path to the Frances storm early last month. The houses, and businesses that were damaged by Frances that had not been repaired, were finished off by Jeanne. Again, I lost power for a week, but no damage or injuries. Whenever I would get upset about the heat, I would stop and think of the people who had lost everything. It's a big, fat mess of rubble all over south-central Florida. I hope they recover as quickly as possible.

Other stuff:

You'll notice that my girlfriend has a new license plate for her car... :-) Crazy huh?!?

Eric has passed 150 million digits for 879 and Matt has passed 70 million digits for 1,997. They are updated on the Lychrel Records page.

My run time spreadsheet has been updated again, so if you feel the need to see all the milestones, you can look at it HERE

I've uploaded a new copy of the log file output by Eric's app. If you need to see it, it is HERE

Guatemala, Nigeria are the two newest countries to visit the site, bringing the total to 99 countries! The Where Were You list shows them all.

I would like to say a big HUGE hello to all of Ms. Bursey's students in Roanoke Virginia!! Ms. Bursey wrote me the following wonderful email which I received today:

Hi Wade,

I teach 8 to 10 year olds at a small private school in Roanoke, Virginia. Our children loop, so I have many of the same children for math this year that were in my class last year. I love teaching them about palindromes and every now and then I get a group that particularly loves working with them. Today they asked me to check your site to see what progress you have made. It is difficult for children this age to comprehend just how much a million is, so although they don't completely understand the magnitude of your work, they are in awe of what you are doing.

I just wanted you to know that you are inspiring young boys and girls. Who knows maybe one of them will eventually carry on the quest.

Betsy Bursey
Roanoke, Virginia

If the thought of young children being interested an math problems like this doesn't make you feel good about the school system, what would?!?!

9/12/04 After 1,125 days of run time, on 9/11/04 at 10:26am, I logged the 500,000,000th iteration!!!!!!!!!!

That milestone is an answer that is 206,967,875 digits long.

9/9/04 Well, all is safe here. I lost power on 9/3 at 10 minutes to 11 in the morning, soon after the last update here... I didn't get it back on until 9/8 at around 6:30pm. As you can imagine, it was a LLLOOONNNGGG 5 1/2 days in the Florida summer with no power.

I ran a 3,000 watt inverter off the car's alternator off and on to try to keep some small fans running, but I could only do that when it wasn't raining, which wasn't very often. The other trouble was that the input current from the alternator is so low, that even though the inverter was rated to 3kW, I could only get around 200 watts as an output. This morning, I managed to get a generator from the store, so next time, I'll be in better shape. (They sold 300 generators this morning in less than an hour... I got one of the last 6!!)

Everyone is safe, and there was no damage to speak of to the house. That was all I really cared about!!

NOW, Hurricane Ivan is closing in on Florida, and I might get to do it all over again THIS WEEKEND!!! It'll make three hurricanes in less than 5 weeks... Boy, I could do without THAT!!

I'm at 499,201,457 iterations right now, so I'm hoping to cross 1/2 billion by the time the power goes out again! I'll update as I can.

9/3/04 I'm looking forward to possibly, later this week, passing 1/2 a BILLION iterations!!! I'm closing in rapidly on a MAJOR milestone!! The reason I say possibly, is that we here in Central Florida of the United States, we are going to have Hurricane Frances make landfall later this evening. I'm not worried about life or property, but I'll miss the milestone for possibly a week, when the power goes out. Three weeks ago today, Hurricane Charlie, hit the West coast of Florida, (landfall about 200 miles from where I am at.) and I lost power here, for about 46 hours. Frances is supposed to hit land around 80 miles South of here. So We'll get far more wind, since it won't get broken up by the land like it did last time. They are predicting loss of power to some neighborhoods for up to two weeks!!

My family and I should be safe. We have a good plan for the storm in general, We have a backup plan if things get too bad, and we have a third backup plan, if things get catastrophic!! I'll even try to force myself to post an "all clear" when I get power back on. :-)

welcome to Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Kenya and Venezuela who are all new to the visitor's page since my last update.

Eric Goldstein has passed 145 million digits for 879, back on: 2004-08-05 at iteration: 350271548. Congratulations to him!!

7/4/04 Barbados and Morocco are new to the visitors list, bringing the total number of visiting countries to 89.

I need to thank Andreas Zetterlund from Sweden. he was kind enough to point out that I made a mistake in my conversions of sq/kilometers to sq/miles. He writes:

One square mile does not equal 1.609 square kilometers, it's 2.59 (1.609^2) square kilometers. This would mean that Niue has an area of about 260/(1.609^2) = 100 square miles, and that Guadeloupe has an area of about 1706/(1.609^2) = 659 square miles.

I have made the correction below, and thank him very much for the time he took to correct me!!

One thing of minor note is that the 190 million dataset appears to have taken twice as long to process as it should. This is not an error. I had the fastest machine I own, which obviously is the one I run the program on, doing some other work for a week. I needed to crack a password for a PDF file I have, that I didn't remember, and devoted a week to that. Should you ever be in the same boat, Advanced PDF Password Recovery Pro works very well! Since I tend to use very "odd" (I like to think "strong") passwords, a dictionary attack wouldn't do me any good, so I used this app's key search. A brute force attack of 2^40 encryption keys... As luck would have it, of the 65,500 blocks to search, I ended up processing around 63,700 blocks before I found the key. Had I started at the END of the blocks, and worked backwards, I would have been done in a few hours, not 5 days!! Ironic huh?!?

For those of you in the United States, I hope every one had a very SAFE and pleasant 4th of July holiday!! For those of you not in the United States, I hope everyone had a very nice Sunday afternoon!! :-)

5/26/04 Well, depending on what time John walker started his search back in 1987, I've now searched for a brute force solution to a 196 palindrome longer than anyone else ever has. I couldn't have done it without the support of the people who's names appear throughout this site!! I thank every one of you who have helped with software, advice, opinions, ideas and encouragement!! Now, if someone could just figure out a way to make money off this thing, we'd all be in better shape!! :-)

17 years of computer development has made all the difference. Software improvements were MAJOR, but it has only been because of the hardware that I have been able to reach nearly 1/2 a billion iterations, in the length of time it took John to get to 2.4 million. Modern computers are amazing, and I can't wait for my next major upgrade!! Right now, I'm averaging 6.22 iterations and 2.7 digits per second...

Back on the 16th, Eric sent this update: 2004-05-16 23:26:50 Notification: iteration 326112922, digit 135000000

With a population of around 325,000 people, living on a chain of islands, with 300 sq kilometers of land (about 166 sq/miles), located Southwest of India, in the Indian Ocean, I would like to welcome Maldives, to the Where Were You list. :-)

Everyone have a GREAT DAY!!

5/10/04 I'm sure, everyone noticed that a few months ago, I started listing the continuous run time up on the heading of this page. I did that, because one day, I started wondering how long I had been running these apps, working on this problem. Of course, it hasn't been every minute of the last 1,000 days. There have been a few times, I had to back up, and a couple days here and there, where something else was going on, and of course, every time I test a new app, I shut down the processing, but I think it's safe to say that the computers I have used, have been dedicating idle loops to this problem for 99% of the time. For simplicity, I'm just assuming it's continuous. If that's a hard thing for anyone to swallow, well...

So last night, while I was goofing around, I looked back, and realized that yesterday had been 1,000 days continuous that I had been running this search.

The next milestone is 5/27/04, just 17 days away...

John Walker's famous paper Three Years of Computing says that he started on 8/12/87, and finished at 5 minutes to midnight on 5/24/90,giving a total of 1,016 days. I will tie that record on May 26th of this month!! So on 5/27, I will have the new "endurance record". I know the purists will say that I have to go out to around the middle or end of June, before I REALLY have spent more hours on it, than John did, but it's a useless statistic and record, so I'm using the date of 5/27/04. :-) Besides, I don't have any idea how long I've stopped at any point, so there is no other realistic way to measure it.

Ironically, I expect that, around mid morning of the 27th, I'll reach 187 million digits at 451,760,584 iterations. We'll see what reality shows...

It's kind of like the "Total Calculations" counter. The Total Calculations counter is measuring (iterations * digits)/2. That was the formula Istvan Bozsik gave on his site, to show the growth of the numbers. He claimed it was a pretty accurate measure of the number of additions that that computer has actually made up to the current (or projected) milestone. It was simple, and easy to measure, so I went with it. Eric Goldstein says that his app has actually done less than that number, due to optimization. (I don't remember exactly what he said, but I know he took the time to email me once, and point this out.) The end result, is that I know that the "Total Calculations" counter is not exactly accurate, but I also know that it's a fairly reasonable approximation of the amount of work it has taken the processor to get to this point. Besides, how else could it be measured, considering the different number of applications use?? So my "continuous days" counter is working on the same principle.

Incidentally, I crossed the 40 quadrillionth calculation mark sometime during the 182 dataset!!

And finally, the world's most populous nation has joined the ranks of visitors to p196.org. I welcome the 2 visitors from China!!

5/9/04 I just happened to notice, that today is my 1,000th consecutive day of running the 196 problem. I started 14,000,001 on 8/13/01.

5/4/04 Hmmm... I guess it shows you how closely I've been paying attention, when I passed 30,000 visitors to the site, and didn't even notice it!! O well...

Back on 4/28, Matt sent me a note with the following: I just thought I'd let you know where Ben and I are up to with the Seed search. We have successfully collected E15 and are presently post processing the results to remove Kin numbers. E15 has proven larger than I would have imagined. By the end of the data collection phase I had 67 fast P4 computers connected as clients. 22 of them were running 24/7 and the rest were running 12 hours a day. We ended up with over 42 000 results files and some 30 gig of data. The post processing will take at least 4 months and maybe as long as 8 months depending on how much it speeds up with the ever reducing number of Kins. WOW!!! Great job to Matt and Ben!!

I wanted to see how all the files compared to each other for processing time... The following chart is quite a bit misleading, since there are so many variables for each milestone. In some cases, the hardware changed, in others, it was the app used to process the file, that made the big differences. The spikes up, are where I was testing something, and it slowed down the processing. Remember, that I stop all processing, to do the comparison tests when someone sends a new app. In most cases, the spike up, is followed by a drop in time right afterwards. These are interesting to see, and the rise that follows afterward, as the program slows again as the files get larger. I could go back and note all the points when I changed apps, but that is beyond what I was doing here...

Regardless, it's still kind of a neat image...

4/17/04 Eric has passed 130,000,000 digits.

3/17/04 Egypt, Ethiopia, Macedonia, Pakistan, and Puerto Rico are all new countries on my visitor's page.

Eric has passed 125,000,000: 2004-03-17 17:02:55 Notification: iteration 301955457, digit 125000000

2/27/04 8:38am - There are 165,576,658 digits at iteration 400,000,000. :-)

Closing in on 30,000 visitors to the p196.org domain.

I have added 5 new countries to the Visitor's page. They are Guadeloupe, Iran, Nepal, Niue, and Tonga. I had never heard of Guadeloupe or Niue before. A quick check of the CIA World Fact Book shows that Guadeloupe is a small island in the Caribbean Sea which has been a French territory since 1635, and has a land area of 1,706 sq/km (About 659 sq/miles) and a population of a bit more than 440,000 people.

Niue on the other hand, has a land area of only 260 sq/km (about 100 sq/miles) and a population of 2,145 people. It is one of the Cook islands, and is in the South pacific, about 2,400 km (1,491 miles) Northeast of New Zealand. Just think... This site has been seen by about 1/3 of 1% of an entire country!! :-O

2/14/04 Been a while since an update, but that's the way it has been for the last 1/2 a year... :-( There just always seems to be something I need to do, other than update this site!! At least I keep an eye on things on the processing!!

On January 22, 2004, Eric Goldstein passed the 115 million digit mark for 879.

1/3/04 I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL holiday period and a happy and safe New Year. I wish everyone the best of luck health and fortune in the year 2004!!!

I've crossed 350,000,000 iterations. I've also crossed 150,000,000 digits. Still going...

On December 29, 2003, Eric Goldstein has passed the 110 million digit mark for 879.

Everyone is welcome to come look at a message board set up by Felipe Barone, at http://www.barone.pro.br/196board/index.php . Felipe has had the board up for a few months or so now, and a few of us have been passing info back and forth on it. As a group, we decided to open most of it up for public viewing. There are some sections that are still "Members Only", and if I understand it correctly, non-members are not allowed to post messages to the board. This was done strictly to keep the garbage off the board. I get enough email asking for help with people's homework, that we don't want that type of info on the board. Everyone is welcome to read, and if you have something to add, you can email me or one of the other members. We will contact Felipe and ask him to give you full access to the board. There are some great ideas there, including a horror story about me, a propane torch, and a poisonous Coral Snake . :-O