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2609 * 2^1549069 + 1 (30 Nov at 21:42)
Happy Thanksgiving!

One interesting thing that happened this month: A few weekends ago it was feeling cold in my office, so I thought about turning on a space heater, but why do that when I've got a 850W power supply hooked up under my desk that can provide a "useful" resistive load? My current projects don't have any long-running computations, so I fired up PrimeGrid, which is a distributed computing project that lets you hunt for prime numbers (etc.) using your stupidly overpowered home computer. Amazingly, the next day, I had discovered this prime:

2609×21549069 + 1


It's a Proth prime, one of the several special forms of numbers that have efficient primality tests. This particular one is 466,320 decimal digits long, in fact big enough that when I discovered it, it was the 3461st largest prime number known to mankind (see its entry in the list of Top 5000 Primes). As you know, computers are pretty fast these days, and there exist many nerds, so this number has already slipped 62 places to #3523.

Finding this on my second day was pretty lucky, although not really beginner's luck since in college I ran Prime95 ("Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search") on any computer I could get my hands on. You can see my historic page exhorting internet strangers to join the Tom7 prime team for example. Apparently we were once in the top 100 teams in the world, so I think I deserve a prime 20 years later, right?


I finally assembled my current project and it is kind of working! There are several things I can do to improve it, which I am trying, but at this point it at least does something interesting/funny enough to make into a video. Next the trick will be finding the right stopping point. I was hoping to get a lot done over Thanksgiving break (mercifully, not traveling this year), but (not mercifully) I immediately got sick and have spent most of my time playing Pokémon in bed or warming my toes on the prime-powered heat sink. So sad to finally have some free time but not have the energy. Oh, well!
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jonas (176.63.14.141) – 12.01.19 06:56:36
Playing which Pokémon game?
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Adam (96.235.29.164) – 12.01.19 08:40:11
koalaTV
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Tom 7 (104.132.224.73) – 12.02.19 16:55:58
The new Pokemon Sword for Switch!
It's not an amazing game, but it's cozy for being sick in bed and reminds me of childhood!
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Scott F (52.119.123.120) – 12.03.19 03:22:27
Congrats on the prime.

Do you ever think about how different your life would've been if you'd won that $100,000 Mersenne prime bounty?
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