A couple of questions that someone might know the answer to...

Please note, I am not doing this to steal bank details, just for academic interest and a challenge, so please don't look at these questions in the wrong light. I have no interest in use of this on the internet, its just me setting myself a challenge. :D

I thought of a really interesting idea when reading about RSA encryption. I've tried it out with a small key value, and using a very perculiar technique, managed to get the values of the primes that made it up (starting only with the public key). I've tried the same technique with a few other key values, and have been successful 100% of the time. I thought that if the technique worked with small numbers, then maybe it would work with larger numbers.

Here are my questions:

1. Other than using brute force, has anyone managed to break the RSA encryption cipher yet?

2. What is the maximum number of digits that a number can consist of before calculations on that number can't occur (in terms of a computer program, providing that the computer has no special hardware on it)?