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According to section 7 of the original bitcoin spec. by Satoshi:
Once the latest transaction in a coin is buried under enough blocks, the spent transactions before it can be discarded to save disk space.
In order to get the bitcoin-qt client running, I am currently downloading the ENTIRE block chain from the https://bitcoin.org/bin/blockchain/bootstrap.dat.torrent
Is there a smaller download somewhere? My google skills are failing me, plz help.