20050428, 22:25  #1 
"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005
5×701 Posts 
What are you accomplishing?
I noticed in an older thread(circa 2004, I think) that there were complaints that participation in NFSNET was severely lacking. 2 reasons jump out at me:
(1) You are sieving "tiny" numbers, which makes you seem less important and (2) Many people, myself included, have no idea what you're trying to accomplish. You can't do much about #1, in my opinion, but even a partial answer to #2 could be very helpful. I'm not trying to criticize, just trying to point out what I noticed in my 2030 minutes here. A Sticky with a basic explanation and a bunch of links would be VERY helpful. 
20050429, 02:21  #2 
Jun 2003
The Texas Hill Country
3^{2}·11^{2} Posts 
First, I suggest that you visit our web site, www.nfsnet.org. The discussion in this forum is not our primary focus.
As for "tiny" numbers, I don't know what you expect. Remember that we are doing the COMPLETE factorization, not simply looking for "a factor" as some others do for larger numbers. By the standards of the Factoring community, 2,811, aka M811, which we did last year, is quite large. It would have set a new record except that another group managed to edge past us while we were processing the matrix of the LA phase. So it occupies the #2 spot. Admittedly, we are presently doing some smaller numbers. These numbers are all highly desired by the Cunningham Project. 
20050429, 12:31  #3  
Nov 2003
2^{2}·5·373 Posts 
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find small factors of Mersenne numbers. B. We are completely factoring numbers, not just finding a single tiny factor of a much larger number. C. Freud would have something interesting to say about people concerned that something is tiny. D. The Cunningham project to factor numbers of the form a^n +/ 1 (and the various extensions of the project) may be the longest, ongoing computational project in history. [the search for Mersenne primes has a similar history]. The most natural question to ask about 2^p1, if it isn't prime is "what are its factors?" The Cunningham project (and Brent's project) extends this to other bases. BTW, as a matter of historical fact, I feel a little peeved that my name isn't attached to Brent's project. It is called the 'Brent, teRiele, Montgomery' project and extends the Cunningham project from base 13 up to base 100. However, long before the project had become formalized and published by Brent, I had extended the Cunningham project to base 30 and had factored over 90% of the numbers a^n +/ 1 for 13 < a <= 30 and n <= 100. Indeed, Brent started building his tables based on what I had done. 

20050504, 21:28  #4  
"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005
5×701 Posts 
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For what it's worth, when I complete my goal in another project(sometime around the 20th) I'm seriously considering donating my lonely Sempron cycles to this project. That being said, here is what I meant by the subject line,"What are you accomplishing?:" I'm very interested in the mathematical science behind it, and would appreciate some reference material. 

20050505, 18:45  #5  
Jun 2003
Ottawa, Canada
1169_{10} Posts 
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20050505, 19:16  #6 
"Nancy"
Aug 2002
Alexandria
4643_{8} Posts 
One might argue that this sticky thread is kinda drowned out by all the sticky factorization announcements. Maybe those could be made nonsticky after a while. Or perhaps have one sticky, locked thread with only factorization announcements, and separate nonsticky discussion threads for each factorization.
Alex 
20050506, 00:51  #7  
"Mark"
Apr 2003
Between here and the
41×151 Posts 
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