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Now OT: Random musings - was 1024-bit RSA keys in danger of compromise
My coworkers and clients always laugh when I snag the "old", "slow" PII
266's that are sitting outside offices and cubes waiting to be picked
up. Of course, when my projects are done in a couple of days and they're
still waiting for PO's for 8 rack mount NT boxes I don't hear much.
Also, I *love* the prospect of getting obsolete machines up and running,
even if it's only on DOS. I remember when those things cost $5+k--way out
of my reach. It's like going back in time with hundreds of thousands of
free dollars. And having all those machines around with the blinking
lights and humming fans makes me look alot smarter than I really am when
people come over. Lastly, hand those hot dog whipper snapper MIS grads an
old 386 MCA PS/2 to "get old data off" and see who quickly attains alpha
My theory on this parallels warplanes. Once when I was watching a show
about B-24 bombers with my grandad (he flew them in WWII) I asked him how
many there were. He said something to the effect of "as far as you could
see on the base". Now there are only 1 or 2 in working order. In 5,25,50
years how many functional pentiums will there be? What about 8088's? I
fully expect to be in a nursing home being holovideo'd mimicking the sound
of my Tandy color computer loading a program from cassette and recounting
lovingly every last 16k.
I wrote a sci-fi bit once about the public policy effect of landfills. In
a few hundred years what was aggressively fought against (the presence of a
landfill in your community) will be highly sought after for the resource it
presents. Basically there will be huge mines being dug into old landfills,
and small wars will be fought over the larger ones. I didn't speculate
back then, but I expect lots of mailing list questions on supported legacy
hardware (there...now this is an on-topic post!).
I'm with everyone here. Key choice should be a matter of risk
management. Of course privacy is important, but if you're experiencing
actual *risk* of the NSA cracking your 1k key....well hopefully if you're
in that situation you know how to manage that risk.