On Wed, Aug 09, 2006 at 03:16:29PM -0400, Bill Moran wrote: > In response to Matthew Seaman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>: > > > This problem is intractable: any scheme you can think of to generate a > > unique identifying number on a random host out there on the net will either > > fail to actually be unique, or suffer from mutating over time as machine > > configuration changes. > > Really? What if you just generate some sort of UID or GUID and store it > in /var/db/bsdstats.guid (or similar)?
Well, exactly. What I neglected to say in the above was "to generate a unique identifying number that encodes part of the machine configuration." However, you're right in that the client could just invent its own random ID number. Given the large number of possible ID numbers in the scheme I proposed, there shouldn't be any problem with collisions so long as all those machines are generating good random numbers. On reflection, the advantages of having the server generate the ID numbers are not really all that compelling. Cheers, Matthew  In fact, it would be a pretty neat experiment to get a whole load of machines to generate a chunk'o'randomness and send it into a central machine and see just how evenly distributed the answers are. -- Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil. 7 Priory Courtyard Flat 3 PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey Ramsgate Kent, CT11 9PW
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