I'm a sucker for statistics.
Back in early 2002, nirgle made a peice of software that recorded the quantity of keystrokes that you type, and reported them to a database. He figured it would be cool to compare his typing to that of others, so he set up an internet server and started logging keystrokes from around the world. And thus was the original Project Dolphin, once located at the now-defunct www.project-dolphin.net.
Since that time, Project Dolphin got quite a following. It had hundreds of thousands of registered users, most organized into teams, trying to beat each other out for the title of "The Biggest Typers in the World." Best Typers? Fastest Typers? Most Typingest Typers? I dunno what the actual title is, but you get the idea.
Unfortunately, our great benefactor nirgle decided to drop the project for unknown reasons in early 2003. Before he left and shut down the servers, however, he posted the source code to his project.
Enter GeniusDex, another talented coder. He grabbed the sourcecode right-quick and setup www.project-dolphin.nl, a new-and-improved website that hosts the Project Dolphin server and is now accepting new users to start the race anew. The project sort of stopped-and-started a few times, but the server was up and running with a stable database on approximately August 15, 2003. As of September 19, 2003, the new Project Dolphin had registered over 20,000 users.
So what is it?
Project Dolphin is a small for-fun hobby program that tracks your keystrokes, to bring that competitive atmosphere to yet another facet of life.
So how does it work?
To participate, you must first download a small client program called "Pulse." Weighing in at 180 kilobytes and using 7 kilobytes of memory, it is quite the small program that runs very nicely and cleanly in your system tray. Unfortunately, only a Windows client is available at this time.
What about cheaters?
The Pulse client was designed with the possiblity of cheaters in mind. It's quite difficult to "hack" the system, and putting a paperweight on your keyboard is only recorded as one keystroke, no matter how long you leave the paperweight there. Also, tapping just the ALT, CTRL, or SHIFT keys does not actually register as a keystroke.
How much bandwidth does it use?
Very little! You can have the Pulse program set up to send in updates every hour, every day, or you can set it to manual mode where statistics will only be sent when you want them to.
I'm scared that my keystrokes are being recorded in full, and that people will gain access to my passwords and such. Also, I'm paranoid that the government has been tapping our phonecalls since the late 80's.
Get over your paranoia. You can easily Google yourself a packet sniffer and see for yourself that only the quantity of keystrokes is being sent to the server.
I want to join! How can I make a difference?
The E2 team is growing, and needs your help! Put those futile keystrokes to work and join the team "Everything2." The password to join is an interactive challenge! Lesbians, Monkeys, and ... The three letter word that follows is your mystery password. If you can't figure it out, drop me (or anyone else, for that matter) a /msg and I'll fill you in.
Who has joined, so far?
Well, we've just started up the team, and we are currently (October 31, 2003) in position...
... What an interesting number. We're number 1, only four times as much! There are currently 3170 teams, making us 35% down from the top rung! (or, conversely, 65% better than the worst person? I think.)
"It just hit me...this brings new meaning to the phrase "Noding for Numbers"." - burnboy
I did a quick e-mail interview of tiny proportions with GeniusDex, the proprietor of the new Project Dolphin.
Why are you doing this?
I had fun participating in the old project. I heard it wasn't
continueing, so i started planning on doing it myself. This project grew
out of it.
Who ran the original Project Dolphin?
Jason Hooper did.
Why did they stop?
The exact reason(s) is/are unknown to me, but as far as i heard he had
problems with the time that was required to keep the project running.
Will you run into the same problems they did?
Now i've grown quite big i understand he didn't have time to keep it all
updated. I'm spending as much time as i'm willing to spend on it, not as
much as i'm required to spend on. Usually i'm not willing to spend
enough time on the project to keep everything perfectly running, but i'm
hoping to get this changed within a few months when i've got some new
stuff to show :)
What is your goal, what do you hope to achieve?
I set it up just to continue pulsing, and that still is my main goal.
It's great to see i've grown to nearly 25,000 users nowadays, which
makes this project the biggest project i've ever ran, altough that
wasn't my goal when i started it.