off topic is almost always on topic here
Time is money, sure. But the real point is Ryan’s time is finite and we need to protect it. I have been guilty of this as much as anyone. But we need to watch out when we donate time that we consider the maintenance. Not trying to discourage any solutions. Just make it clear that Ryan cant hand make 2000 gcodes. We also need to be careful not to cause problems with the shop or forum software because Ryan is the only one who can fix it.
I don’t like the idea of a hash. You might as well have a random number generator on a static site. It doesn’t mean as much. I agree that if you are #55 or #65 it doesn’t matter much.
I would say that the initialization problem (handing out numbers to existing machines) is a temporary one. If this goes anywhere and we are looking back in a year, after a new version, or whatever. I’d like to see a system that is fun and reasonably fair. Think about that first and work backwards. When Ryan makes a MPCNC Optimus Primo, we will be able to start with #2, and it will be smooth.
There is a lot of documented evidence that the forum frequenters have built the machine (most of them, anyway). Maybe we skip that by making prior machines #0 and if people want something else, they can register for one of the first numbers. I would be happy with Low Rider 0, sharing it with all the great builds on here to date.