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Old 2009-08-25, 07:00   #1
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storm5510's Avatar
Aug 2009

79516 Posts
Default Finding My Niche

"A watched pot never boils", as the old saying goes. My desktop computer was a "watched pot" for a while. I couldn't figure out what type of work was best, so I kept changing it.

It took a while, but I found it. P-1. I wanted to do what appeared to be needed the most. Trial factoring was not needed so much, especially on a more high-end computer. It all came down to some jobs running too fast and other being to lengthy.

My other two computers are also running, one part of the time. One in my bedroom is also running P-1. It's an older machine with a P4 and does very well with it. I rarely stop it.

My laptop isn't capable of P-1 because of its CPU, so it does trial factoring, mostly to 265 in the 450,000,000 range; reaching way out there. It does quite good actually. It can do one exponent, hyper-threading, in around two hours. I only run it around four hours in the evenings.

I know I've asked a lot of questions about different things and I feel some here became a bit annoyed at me because of that. Mathematics is one of those things which did not interest me much until the computer age came along. Then it was a situation of playing catch-up. I did a lot of that programming.

I've been referred to pages on Wiki by many here and I understand the basics of what I see. It is the notation used that sometimes zooms over my head. Lines of code I can figure out because it breaks everything down into steps, mostly.

Anyway, I appreciate everyone's patience. I am happy with what I am working on now. I will try not to ask so may questions from now on.

Last fiddled with by storm5510 on 2009-08-25 at 07:01 Reason: Typo's
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Old 2009-08-25, 15:36   #2
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Jul 2008
San Francisco, CA

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I haven't searched your posts to see what sort of questions you have asked in the past, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. To me, anyway, this whole thing is about learning and that is why I contribute to GIMPS. I do see a lack of patience at times by some in the forum, but I also recognize that this is a select group of tightly wound people that live to get things right. They can't help but go crazy over the slightest misstatement. As for difficulties with notation, join the club. I'm an engineer with 8 years of college math and very little of the nomenclature used here makes sense to me. I attribute it to the fact that I was not a math major, but I nonetheless thought my math skills would have gone further. I think that as long as we maintain a level of decency and professionalism in the forum, then all questions are fair game. Further, as you have undoubtedly noticed when posting questions, the replies to your post can go off on a tangent that can be fun in itself. Keep it clean and honest and chances are someone will learn by it.
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Old 2009-08-25, 22:06   #3
cheesehead's Avatar
"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA

769210 Posts

I second everything stars10250 wrote.

In addition:
Originally Posted by storm5510 View Post
I know I've asked a lot of questions about different things and I feel some here became a bit annoyed at me because of that.

< snip >

I will try not to ask so may questions from now on.
Personally, I found your questions generally reasonable and representative of what newbies who explain themselves well have asked in the past. Most things you've asked are quite understandable, in my view, as what an alert and inquisitive newbie would notice, but not easily find a prominent or obvious explanation for, as s/he went through the process of learning about GIMPS.

I've used your questions as opportunities to post answers that are improvements over answers I'd given to similar questions in the past. They're part of my ongoing project to assemble many good answers to frequently-asked questions on this forum, and consolidate them at (in addition to FAQs already there). My goal is to enable forum veterans to easily link to good comprehensive answers for many frequent newbie questions, rather than re-compose explanations freshly each time. I've been working on the first phase, which is to find and rescue (copy) good answers in old threads before they're moved to archive. I plan to begin posting what I envision on the wiki within the next couple of months.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2009-08-25 at 22:11
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Old 2009-08-26, 07:26   #4
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Aug 2009

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My mind-set is to try to find out things on my own without asking for anyone's help. When I get frustrated, it is then I ask, and sometimes I may come across a being a bit abrasive because of letting my aggravation show in what I write. The broad scope of GIMPS, software and programming, has been difficult to absorb at times. Hardware is not discussed much and that is my stronger area.
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