If we can get to the point where we have a working backend process that will run on FreeBSD I can run always-on seeds.That would be a big help. TOR users wouldn't have to worry about how to get seeded, and we wouldn't depend on IRC.
It can be run in a few simple modes without access to the UI if you don't mind a minimized window on the desktop. (0.1.5 doesn't have -min so it would be an open window)
To only run a seed:
bitcoin -min -gen=0
You could sort of monitor it by looking at debug.log. To stop it, kill the process, the database won't mind.
bitcoin -min -gen
To get the generated bitcoins, you'd have to copy wallet.dat (with version 0.2) to a machine with a UI, swap in the wallet.dat, run bitcoin and transfer the coins to your main account. (With version 0.1.5 you'd have to copy the whole "%appdata%/Bitcoin" directory.) There is one caveat about copying wallet.dat: if you happened to kill the program at the exact moment that it generated a coin or received a payment, wallet.dat might not work by itself and you'd have to copy the whole directory.
I really think that having the download package contain a daily seed snapshot will improve the bootstrapping. I have seen instances on new test installs here where the application will sit with 0 connections / 1 block. Upon inspecting the debug.log I find that the IRC server (freenode, I believe) claims I am already connected and refuses to let me seed the application. (Just an example).I see, that would happen with multiple nodes using the same NAT or VPN or some ISP that funnels everyone through a few proxy servers. I just committed a fix to SVN for this. If it gets "433" name already in use (it was error 433, right?), it'll retry with a non-address random username.
In any event, I would like to help. I have a lot of time and a project like this one is very exciting.That's great, any help is really appreciated!