How to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies TechRadar

I literally have tens of thousands of dollars in top-shelf hardware, looking to repurpose some before selling on eBay to build a NAS system, possibly a dedicated firewall device as well. o_O

Q1) What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.**

A1) This will be a dedicated NAS system for my home network. As such, I'm looking to have it:

- Host ##TB's of 720, 1080 & up resolution Movies and TV Shows I'm about to begin ripping from a MASSIVE DVD & Blueray collection I have.

- My kids are big on Minecraft. I understand it's possible to host your own "worlds" (or whatever they call the maps you can build) on your own "server". I think it would be pretty neat to offer them (& their friends - if can be done 'safely/securely') their own partition on one of my NAS HDD's.

- I also have accounts with a couple diff VPN companies... I understand it's possible (?) to sync said VPN's with a NAS, this might be a more relative topic on the next point/purpose...

- I'd like to be able to remotely link to this NAS for when I travel overseas and want to stream at my temp location from my house/this NAS.
Q2) What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?**

* A2) Here's where I make matters more complicated than most others would... I've been an advocate for Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general since 2013. I invested in a small mining outfit back in 2014 (strictly Bitcoin/ASIC's). One of my buddies is the President of a large-scale mining operation (foreign and domestic) and he convinced me to dabble in the GPU mining-space. I made my first hardware purchase in Q4, 2017 and launched a small-scale GPU-Farm in my house since then. I had the rigs mining up until Q3 of 2018 (not cost-efficient to keep on, especially living in SoFlo) and since then, the hardware's been collecting dust (& pissing off my family members since they lost access to 3X rooms in the house - I won't let anyone go near my gear). One of my New Years Resolutions for 2019 was to clear out the house of all my mining equipment so that's all about to go up on eBay. So "budget" is relative to whatever I "MUST" spend if I can't repurpose any of the parts I already have on hand for this build... (Anyone having something I "need" and is looking to barter for one of the items I'll list later on in here, LMK).
Q3) When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.**

Q4) What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc\)**

A4) Well I had a half-assed idea approximately 1 year ago that it might be wise to build a bunch of 'gaming rigs' to sell on eBay with my intended repurposed mining hardware so I went on a shopping spree for like 6 months. That said; I've got a plethora of various other components that aren't even unboxed yet. 90% of the items I've purchased for this additional project were items that were marked down via MIR (mail-in-rebates) & what-not...
AFAIK, there are only 3X items I absolutely do not have which I 'MUST' find. Those would be - 1) Motherboard which accepts "ECC RAM". 2) CPU for said MOBO. 3) Said "ECC RAM".\* 
Q5) Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?**

A5) I'm located in Southwest Florida. No Microcenter's here. Best Buy is pretty much my only option although I am a member of Newegg, Amazon & Costco if that makes any difference?
Q6) If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.**

A6) In an attempt to better clean up this Q&A, I'm going to list the items I have on-hand at the end of this questionnaire in-case passers-by feel like this might be a TLDR.* (Scroll to the bottom & you'll see what I mean).
Q7) Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?**

A7) I don't think that's necessary for my intended purpose although - I'm not against it if that helps & FWIW, I'm pretty skilled @ this task already (it's not rocket science).
Q8) Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)**

A8) As stated in A4; ECC RAM is non-negotiable... RAID seems like a logical application here as well.

- This will predominantly be receiving commands from MacOS computers. I don't think that matters really but figured it couldn't hurt to let you guys know.\*

- I'd also be quite fond of implementing "PFSENSE" (or something of that caliber) applied to this system so I could give my Netgear Nighthawks less stress in that arena, plus my limited understanding of PFSENSE is that it's ability to act as a firewall runs circles around anything that comes with consumer-grade Wi-Fi routers (like my Nighthawks). Just the same, I'm open to building a second rig just for the firewall.\*

- Another desirable feature would be that it draws as little electricity from the wall as possible. (I'm EXTREMELY skilled in this arena. I have "Kill-A-Watts" to test/gauge on, as well as an intimate understanding of the differences between Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium rated PSU's. As well as having already measured each of the PSU's I have on-hand and taken note of the 'target TDP draw' ("Peak Power Efficiency Draw") each one offers when primed with X amount of GPU's when I used them for their original purpose.\*

- Last, but not least, sound (as in noise created from the rig). I'd like to prop this device up on my entertainment center in the living room. I've (almost) all of the top-shelf consumer grade products one could dream of regarding fans and other thermal-related artifacts.

- Almost forgot; this will be hosting to devices on the KODI platform (unless you guys have better alternative suggestions?)
Q9) Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?**

A9) Definitely! Desired theme would be WHITE. If that doesn't work for whatever reason, black or gray would suffice. Regarding "Case Size". Nah, that's not too important although I don't foresee a mini-ITX build making sense if I'm going to be cramming double digit amounts of TB in the system, Internal HDD's sounds better than a bunch of externals plugged in all the USB ports.
Q10) Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?**

A10) I don't know. If I do need a copy of Windows, I don't have one so that's something I'll have to consider I guess. I doubt that's a necessity though.
**Extra info or particulars:*\*

AND NOW TO THE FUN-STUFF... Here's a list of everything (PARTS PARTS PARTS) I have on-hand and ready to deploy into the wild &/or negotiate a trade/barter with:

Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Arctic White (Model# Crypto-Currency-9011048-WW) - (Probably my top pick for this build).
Cooler Master HAF XB EVO (This is probably my top 1st or 2nd pick for this build, the thing is a monster!).
Cooler Master Elite 130 - Mini ITX - Black
Cooler Master MasterBox 5 MID-Tower - Black & White
Raidmax Sigma-TWS - ATX - White
MasterBox Lite 5 - ATX - Black w/ diff. Colored accent attachments (included with purchase)
NZXT S340 Elite Matte White Steel/Tempered Glass Edition
EVGA DG-76 Alpine White - Mid Tower w/ window
EVGA DG-73 Black - Mid Tower w/ window (I have like 3 of these)

CPU's -
***7TH GEN OR BELOW INTEL's ("Code Name Class mentioned next to each one)**\*
Pentium G4400 (Skylake @54W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC CAPABLE"
Celeron G3930 (Kaby Lake @ 51W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC CAPABLE" :)
i5 6402P (Skylake @65W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :(
i5 6600k (Skylake @ 91W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :(
i7 6700 (Skylake @ 65W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :(
i7 7700k (Kaby Lake @ 95W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :(

***8TH GEN INTEL's **\*
i3-8350K (Coffee Lake @91W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC FRIENDLY" :)
I5-8600K (Coffee Lake @95W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :(

***AMD RYZEN's **\*
Ryzen 3 2200G
Ryzen 5 1600
Ryzen 7 1700X


EVGA Z270 Stinger

GIGABYTE Z370XP SLI (Rev. 1.0)



Way too many to list, nothing but 4 & 8GB DDR4 sticks and unfortunately, none are ECC so it's not even worth mentioning/listing these unless someone reading this is willing to barter. At which time I'd be obliged to send an itemized list or see if I have what they're/you're specifically looking for.\*
BeQuiet -
Pure Wings 2 (80mm)
Pure Wings 2 (120mm)
Pure Wings 2 (140mm)
Silent Wings 3 PWM (120mm)

PoopBrown - NF-A20 PWM (200mm) Specifically for the BIG "CoolerMaster HAF XB EVO" Case
GREY - NF-P12 Redux - 1700RPM (120mm) PWM
Corsair -
Air Series AF120LED (120mm)

NT-HH 1.4ml Thermal Compound
NH-D15 6 Heatpipe system (this thing is the tits)

EVGA (Extremely crappy coding in the software here, I'm like 99.99% these will be problematic if I were to try and use in any OS outside of Windows, because they barely ever work in the intended Windows as it is).
CLC 240 (240mm Water-cooled system
Cryorig C7 Cu (Low-Profile Copper Edition*)

A few other oversized CPU cooling systems I forget off the top of my head but a CPU cooler is a CPU cooler after comparing to the previous 3 models I mentioned.
I almost exclusively am using these amazing "Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pads" as an alternative to thermal paste for my CPU's. They're not cheap but they literally last forever.

NZXT - Sentry Mesh Fan Controller
BeQuiet 550W Straight Power 11 (GOLD)

750P2 (750W, Platinum)
850P2 (850W, Platinum)
750T2 (750W, TITANIUM - yeah baby, yeah)

Quark 750W Platinum
Quark 650W Platinum

Focus 750W Platinum
HGST Ultrastar 3TB - 64mb Cache - 7200RPM Sata III (3.5)
4X Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD's
2X Team Group L5 LITE 3D 2.5" SSD's 480GB
2X WD 10TB Essential EXT (I'm cool with shucking)
+ 6X various other external HDD's (from 4-8TB) - (Seagate, WD & G-Drives)

Other accessories worth mentioning -
PCI-E to 4X USB hub-adapter (I have a dozen or so of these - might not be sufficient enough &/or needed but again, 'worth mentioning' in case I somehow ever run out of SATA & USB ports and have extra external USB HDD's. Although, I'm sure there would be better suited components if I get to that point that probably won't cost all that much).
Needless to say, I have at least 1X of everything mentioned above. In most all cases, I have multiples of these items but obviously won't be needing 2X CPU's, Cases, etc...

Naturally, I have GPU's. Specifically;

At least 1X of every. Single. NVIDIA GTX 1070 TI (Yes, I have every variation of the 1070 ti made by MSI, EVGA and Zotac. The only brand I don't have is the Gigabyte line. My partners have terrible experience with those so I didn't even bother. I'm clearly not going to be needing a GPU for this build but again, I'm cool with discussing the idea of a barter if anyone reading this is in the market for one.

I also have some GTX 1080 TI's but those are already spoken for, sorry.

It's my understanding that select CPU's I have on this list are ECC Friendly and AFAIK, only 1 of my MOBO's claims to be ECC Friendly (The ASROCK AB350M PRO4), but for the life of me, I can't find any corresponding forums that confirm this and/or direct me to a listing where I can buy compatible RAM. Just the same, if I go w/ the ASROCK MOBO, that means I'd be using one of the Ryzens. Those are DEF. power hungry little buggers. Not a deal-breaker, just hoping to find something a little more conservative in terms of TDP.

In closing, I don't really need someone to hold my hand with the build part as much as figuring out which motherboard, CPU and RAM to get. Then I'm DEFINITELY going to need some guidance on what OS is best for my desired purpose. If building 2X Rigs makes sense, I'm totally open to that as well...

Oh, I almost forgot... The current routers I'm using are...
1X Netgear Nighthawk 6900P (Modem + Router)
1X Netgear Nighthawk X6S (AC 4000 I believe - Router dedicated towards my personal devices - no IoT &/or Guests allowed on this one)
1X TP-Link Archer C5 (Router). Total overkill after implementing the Nighthawks but this old beast somehow has the best range, plus it has 2X USB ports so for now, it's dedicated towards my IoT devices.
---- I also have a few other Wi-Fi routers (Apple Airport Extreme & some inferior Netgear's but I can only allocate so many WiFi Routers to so many WiFi channels w/out pissing off my neighbors) On that note, I have managed to convince my neighbors to let me in their house/WiFi configuration so we all have our hardware locked on specific, non-competing frequencies/channels so everyone's happy. :)

Please spare me the insults as I insulted myself throughout this entire venture. Part of why I did this was because when I was a kid, I used to fantasize about building a 'DREAM PC' but could never afford such. To compensate for this deficiency, I would actually print out the latest and greatest hardware components on a word document, print the lists up & tape to wall (for motivation). I was C++ certified at the age of 14 and built my first PC when I was 7. At the age of 15 I abandoned all hope in the sector and moved on to other aspirations. This entire ordeal was largely based off me finally fulfilling a childhood fantasy. On that note = mission accomplished. Now if I'm actually able to fulfill my desires on this post, I'm definitely going to feel less shitty about blowing so much money on all this stuff over the last couple years.

TIA for assisting in any way possible. Gotta love the internets!


EDIT/UPDATE (5 hours after OP) - My inbox is being inundated with various people asking for prices and other reasonable questions about my hardware being up for sale. Not to be redundant but rather to expound on my previous remarks about 'being interested in a bartetrade' with any of you here...

I did say I was going to sell my gear on eBay in the near future, I also said I wanted to trade/barter for anything relative to helping me accomplish my OP's mission(s). I'm not desperate for the $$$ but I'm also not one of those people that likes to rip other people off. That said; I value my time and money invested in this hardware and I'm only willing to unload it all once I've established I have ZERO need for any of it here in my home first. Hence my writing this lengthy thread in an attempt to repurpose at least a grand or two I've already spent.

One of the most commonly asked questions I anticipate receiving from interested bodies is going to be "How hard were you on your hardware?" Contrary to what anyone else would have probably done in my scenario which is say they were light on it whether they were or weren't, I documented my handling of the hardware, and have no problem sharing such documentation with verified, interested buyers (WHEN THE TIME COMES) to offer you guys peace of mind.

I have photo's and video's of the venture from A-Z. I am also obliged to provide (redacted) electricity bill statements where you can correlate my photo's (power draw on each rig), and also accurately deduct the excess power my house consumed with our other household appliances. Even taking into consideration how much (more) I spent in electricity from keeping my house at a constant, cool 70-72F year-round (via my Nest thermostat). Even without the rigs, I keep my AC @ 70 when I'm home and for the last 1.5-2 years, I just so happened to spend 85% of my time here at my house. When I would travel, I'd keep it at 72 for my wife & kids.
Additionally; I had each GPU 'custom' oveunderclocke'd (MSI Afterburner for all GPU's but the EVGA's).*
I doubt everyone reading this is aware so this is for those that don't.... EVGA had the brilliant idea of implementing what they call "ICX technology" in their latest NVIDIA GTX GPU's. The short(est) explanation of this "feature" goes as follows:

EVGA GPU's w/ "ICX 9 & above" have EXTRA HEAT/THERMAL SENSORS. Unlike every other GTX 1070 ti on the market, the one's with this feature actually have each of 2/2 on-board fans connected to individual thermal sensors. Which means - if you were to use the MSI Afterburner program on one of these EVGA's and create a custom fan curve for it, you'd only be able to get 1/2 of the fans to function the way intended. The other fan simply would not engage as the MSI Afterburner software wasn't designed/coded to recognize/ communicate with an added sensor (let alone sensor'S). This, in-turn, would likely result in whoever's using it the unintended way having a GPU defect on them within the first few months I'd imagine... Perhaps if they had the TDP power settings dumbed down as much as I did (60-63%), they might get a year or two out of it since it wouldn't run as near as hot, but I doubt any longer than that since cutting off 50% of the cooling system on one of these can't be ignored too long, surely capacitors would start to blow and who knows what else...
(Warning = RANT) Another interesting side-note about the EVGA's and their "Precision-X" OveUnderclocking software is that it's designed to only recognize 4X GPU's on a single system. For miners, that's just not cool. My favorite builds had 8X and for the motherboards that weren't capable of maintaining stable sessions on 8, I set up with 6X. Only my EVGA Rigs had 3 or 4X GPU's dedicated to a single motherboard. Furthermore, and as stated in an earlier paragraph, (& this is just my opinion) = EVGA SOFTWARE SUCKS! Precision X wasn't friendly with every motherboard/CPU I threw at it and their extension software for the CLC Close-Loop-Cooling/ CPU water-coolers simply didn't work on anything, even integrating into their own Precision-X software. The amount of time it took me to finally find compatible matches with that stuff was beyond maddening. (END RANT).
Which leads me to my other comments on the matter. That's what I had every single 1070 ti set at for TDP = 60-63%. Dropping the power load that much allowed me to bring down (on average) each 1070 ti to a constant 110-115W (mind you, this is only possible w/ "Titanium" rated PSU's, Platinum comes pretty damn close to the Titanium though) while mining Ethereum and was still able to maintain a bottom of 30 MH/s and a ceiling of 32 MH/s. Increasing the TDP to 80, 90, 100% or more only increased my hashrates (yields) negligibly, like 35-36 MH/s TOPS, which also meant each one was not only pulling 160-180W+ (Vs. the aforementioned 115'ish range), it also meant my rigs were creating a significantly greater amount of heat! Fortunately for the GPU's and my own personal habits, I live in South Florida where it's hot as balls typically, last winter was nothing like this one. Increasing my yields by 10-15% didn't justify increasing the heat production in my house by >30%, nor the added electricity costs from subjecting my AC handlers to that much of an extra work-load. For anyone reading this that doesn't know/understand what I'm talking about - after spending no less than 2-3 hours with each. and. every. one. I didn't play with the settings on just one and universally apply the settings to the rest. I found the 'prime' settings and documented them with a label-maker and notepad. Here's the math in a more transparent manner:

*** I NEVER LET MY GPU's BREACH 61C, EVER. Only my 8X GPU rigs saw 60-61 & it was the ones I had in the center of the build (naturally). I have REALLY high power fans (used on BTC ASIC MINERS) that were sucking air from those GPU's which was the only way I was able to obtain such stellar results while mining with them. **\*
Mining at "acceptable" heat temps (not acceptable to me, but most of the internet would disagree = 70C) and overclocking accordingly brings in X amount of yields per unit. =
'Tweaking' (underclocking) the GPU's to my parameters reduced my yield per unit from -10-15%, but it SAVED me well over 30-35% in direct electricity consumption, and an unknown amount of passive electricity consumption via creating approximately 20%+ less heat for my AC handler to combat.

I say all this extra stuff not just for anyone interested in mining with their GPU's, but really to answer (in-depth) the apparent questions you people are asking me in PM's. Something else that should help justify my claims of being so conservative should be the fact I only have/used "Platinum and Titanium" rated PSU's. Heat production, power efficiency and longevity of the hardware were ALWAYS my top priority.* . I truly thought Crypto would continue to gain and/or recover and bounce back faster than it did. If this project had maintained positive income for 12 months+, I'd have expanded one of our sites to also cater to GPU mining on a gnarly scale.

Once I have my NAS (& possibly 2nd rig for the firewall) successfully built, I'll be willing/able to entertain selling you guys some/all of the remaining hardware prior to launching on eBay. If there's something you're specifically looking for that I listed having, feel free to PM me with that/those specific item(s). Don't count on an immediate response but what you can count on is me honoring my word in offering whoever asks first right of refusal when the time comes for me to sell this stuff. Fortunately for me, PM's are time-stamped so that's how I'll gauge everyone's place in line. I hope this extra edit answers most of the questions you guys wanted to have answered and if not, sorry I guess. I'll do my best to bring light to anything I've missed out on after I realize whatever that error was/is. The only way anyone is getting first dibs on my hardware otherwise is if they either offer compelling insight into my original questions, or have something I need to trade w/.

THE END (Round#2)

submitted by Im-Ne-wHere to buildapcforme [link] [comments]

First home server; will my plan accomplish my goals?

I'm planning to build my first home server, and I'd love some feedback on my plans before I buy all the hardware. Can you folks help me with some feedback?
What I Want to Do with My Hardware
Current Plan
Currently Planned Hardware
Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Xeon E5-2660 V2 2.2 GHz 10-Core Processor $192.97 @ PCM
CPU Intel - Xeon E5-2660 V2 2.2 GHz 10-Core Processor $192.97 @ PCM
CPU Cooler Noctua - NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler $89.99 @ Amazon
CPU Cooler Noctua - NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler $89.99 @ Amazon
Thermal Compound Thermal Grizzly - Aeronaut 3.9 g Thermal Paste $11.59 @ Amazon
Motherboard ASRock - EP2C602-4L/D16 SSI EEB Dual-CPU LGA2011 Motherboard $481.98 @ Newegg
Memory Crucial - 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) Registered DDR3-1866 Memory $159.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital - Blue 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $114.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Western Digital - Blue 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $114.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Western Digital - Red Pro 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $140.00
Storage Western Digital - Red Pro 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $140.00
Storage Western Digital - Red Pro 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $140.00
Storage Western Digital - Red Pro 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $140.00
Storage Western Digital - Red Pro 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $140.00
Storage Western Digital - Red Pro 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $140.00
Video Card Asus - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6 GB Strix Video Card $359.98 @ B&H
Case Phanteks - Enthoo Pro Tempered Glass ATX Full Tower Case $122.00 @ Amazon
Power Supply Corsair - HX Platinum 750 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply $99.99 @ Newegg
Sound Card Creative Labs - Sound Blaster Z 30SB150200000 OEM 24-bit 192 kHz Sound Card $90.77 @ OutletPC
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $3002.00
Mail-in rebates -$40.00
Total $2962.00
Hardware Notes
Other Notes
My main question is: will this hardware and software setup accomplish my goals?
My secondary question is: is any of my hardware unnecessary for my goals? are there better ways to eat this Reese's?
Thanks so much for all the help in advance, I've learned so much from this subreddit (and DataHoarding) already!
submitted by therightrook to homelab [link] [comments]

[400-500$] Need help to build a rig with a GTX 1070 with my remaining budget.

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
400 Euro (500 if I'm in a good mood)
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
Next week/ two weeks
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
CPU cooler
Power Supply
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
The Netherlands
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
1080p monitor (Acer)
240 gb SSD
External HDD
Operating system still on SSD
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
No. Maybe later if I have more knowledge about it
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
It would be great if the motherboard can have WiFI and maybe bluetooth. WiFi more important. It isn't necessary but then I dont need to get a long cable running through my room
Just want someting basic that fits well with 1070 if that is possible with this budget. Want to play the current games on high setting with smooth fps and also for a time in the future.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
No It can be as ugly as possible if it works it works:)
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
I already have Windows 8 on SSD from my current PC
Extra info or particulars:
I can have a 1070 from bf of my sister who had a spare one due to bitcoin mining. I saw this as an oppurtunity to build a new pc, but I have no idea if my remaining budget will allow it. I hope you guys can give me mor einfo:) It could be that I forgot something that I needed but include it anyways if you can:)
submitted by Thidz to buildapcforme [link] [comments]

I made a simple blockchain project and now wrote this guide for entrepreneurs interested in smart contracts

The following is the exact copy of my medium article. No need to go there if you prefer reddit. And please ignore my startup mentioned here. I spent a whole month writing this huge guide - it's far beyond a mere promotion. This post is about Ethereum blockchain. I do love it.
As I'm an entrepreneur myself (with some humble programming skills) I think I managed to explain clearly the practical side of Ethereum smart contracts - what can be done and how. Think this sub is the best place for it. Hope you'll find this helpful.
Will do my best to answer all your questions (please mind the time difference - I'm in Russia).

An entrepreneur, programmer and user walk into a smart contract - The ultimate Ethereum blockchain stratup guide.

Lifehack - you don't need to understand blockchain to build a smart contract startup.

I made my smart contract project and still feel as a total noob reading discussions on blockchain. There is so much to learn for me. But, hey, my project works! Why bother? Though blockchain is cool and it's cool to understand the technology, there is no need to understand everything.
Take a look at smart contracts from an entrepreneurs point of view - focus on how you can benefit from it. What kinds of projects you can actually do? What business models are there? What an MVP would look like? What it takes to engage a user, find a programmer and build infrastructure?
This guide with examples and exercises will show you the practical side of smart contracts and help you estimate your idea or generate a new one. Use it as a starting point for your further investigation.

What you do need to know about blockchain and what you may just skip

Mining. The first thing to skip. From an entrepreneur's point of view mining is more like playing the stock market - buy equipment, analyze reward price charts and decide which crypto currency to invest your computing power to. But if you are dealing with smart contracts, you don't have to care about mining for the same reason you don't care about Internet providers when visiting a web-site.
Blocks, hashes, cryptography and all that math - we gonna ignore it too. The important practical outcome can be reduced to this mantra: "Everything that gets into blockchain remains there forever, anything can be verified, but nothing can be changed". In practice it means that data is stored permanently, transparently and securely.
Now let's turn to the terms you cannot do without and explain them as if it's year 2005 now.
Blockchain is like a BitTorrent network. A program on your computer downloads files and afterwards gives them away. But the program is called blockchain client rather than torrent client. And those files you download store transactions instead of videos and music. Sender, recipient, date-time and ammount - records are stored one after another (yes, they are stored in blocks, but who cares). Everybody who runs blockchain client has his own copy of the whole blockchain database and keeps all transactions that have ever been made. This database is huge. Ethereum blockchain is currently about 43 GB, Bitcoin is 125.78 GB. todo
Cryptocurrency is a list of money transfers. In blockchain world your balance is not just a single record, but the sum of all your receipts and expenditures (the entire transactions history). If a blockchain stores transactions which only contain money transfers (sender address, recipient address and amount being sent), we call this type of blockchain a cryptocurrency. Bitcoin - is a cryptocurrency. But any transaction is just a string in a file, thus it may contain any information. An address in turn may not belong to a human... which gives us much wider opportunities then just a crypto currency.
Smart contract is like a web site. A blockchain address may belong to a program. A program then is called a smart contract. It is called a contract just because the code is open. However it is simpler to compare it to a web site (or web service). For example, a classified advertisements service could be a smart contract. Its code would be stored at a particular address in the blockchain - just like a web site url. A transaction to this address would not contain money but an advertisement text. And the smart contract would publish this advertisement, i.e. saves to blockchain.
Ethereum is like the Internet Ethereum - is exactly the kind of blockchain in which transactions may contain not only money, but data. The blockchain database (those files one downloads) stores transactions between people, transactions involving smart contracts and contracts source codes. This makes Ethereum kinda new type of the Internet, which is stored locally by everyone involved.
And that's really enough for the theory. The rest you'll learn from what it all means in practice.

What is the difference between a smart contract and a conventional web site

What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of a smart contract driven service.

Openness and Encryption

A user doesn't have to trust you. "Everything that gets into blockchain remains there forever, anything can be verified, but nothing can be changed". The user sees exactly how your system works (smart contract code is open) and stays confident in the reliability of your database (database is transparent and unchangeable). Meaning there is no need to win users trust.
For example, you can turn a classified advertisements service into an open auction with charity donations. The process of selling would look as follows. A seller sets the initial price and posts a lot. After that anybody will be able to track bets, see a winner, see how much seller earned and how much was deducted to charity and to platform commission. Everybody is confident there was no cheating.
Where it benefits most. Gambling (, prediction markets (Augur, Gnosis), voting, multilevel marketing (TheMillionEtherHomepage).

Payment processing "out of the box"

You don't have to deal with any payment processing services. Solidity language with which smart contracts are written incorporates all the necessary money (Ether cryptocurrency) operators. User balance is just another variable in your code. You can program any behavior to it - like triggering an event on receiving a certain amount of money or making a multisignature payment and much more. That is why Ether and other cryptocurrencies are often referred to as programmable money.
Where it benefits most. Crowdfunding platforms (Weifund,, rent services Golem - rent unused CPU/GPU cycles.


You don't have to worry about DoS attacks and scalability. Every blockchain user has it's own smart contract copy locally on his computer, thus it will withstand any load, free of charge.
Where it benefits most. Smart contracts gave rise to a totally new kind of companies - decentralized organizations (DAOs). DAO is a separate phenomenon worth studying. In the meantime, just ask yourself: "Why do we need an intermediary like Uber, if it is possible to connect a driver and a passenger through a smart contract directly?". What prospects does it opens? Have a look at this startups: Arcade city and Lazooz.
Lifehack: When googling for A DAO, ignore the hassle around THE DAO). The only reason THE DAO failed was braking some basic smart contract safety rules (we'll discuss them further).

Transaction delay and commission

A user have to pay for every transaction and have to wait a bit too. The average transaction is mined (read included) into Ethereum blockchain in 14-15 seconds. There is a high chance of reducing this delay down to 4 seconds in the near future. But even then we are all got used to a better responsiveness. Moreover a simple money transfer (two addresses involved, no contracts, minimal amount of data) would cost about 0.000861 ETH ($0.02 in March 2017). These "drawbacks" are tiny, but enough to build a heavy threshold for certain types of projects.
Where it doesn't benefit. A chat for example. Each message chips a couple of weis (Ether denomination) off your balance and requires half a minute to reach the other end. This is probably a bad idea for a startup unless you are dealing with some official correspondence, which requires legal force and does not require privacy.
With smart contracts you can choose almost any web service and make it blockchain. Plus you are free to create completely new blockchain-only types of projects. See what has already been done, mix it up with Internet of things, artificial intelligence, virtual worlds or fintech, and you'd most probably get a unicorn.
Note: You can make a smart contract with Bitcoin too, but it's like doing 3D in MS Excel. Kinda possible, but why?

What business models are there

You are free to use any business model. But first have a look at what have already become a new standard in Ethereum - tokens.
In conventional terms tokens business model is like crowdfunding and IPO combined. The "crowd" buys shares of your company instead of products. And in the future the shares (tokens) may be sold or exchanged for your services.
This became possible because Solidity (Ethereum smart contract language) allows issuing your own cryptocurrency.
For example. You came up with a classified advertisement platform idea. You want it to have its own internal currency (tokens) called Advertisement (ADV). You want to charge 1 ADV for placing an advertisement, 2 ADVs for pinning it to the top and 0.2 ADVs for updating. You write a smart contract. All that it is capable of at this point is receiving money (ETH) and keeping users balances.
Now you announce your platform in a way that crowdfunding projects usually do and offer to buy ADVs at low cost 1 ADV = 1 ETH. Later when your platform is live you'll set the ADV price to 10 ETH. After that those who invested in the very beginning will be able to sell their ADVs gaining income or place their ads 10 times cheaper than the current price. But for now you've earned your ETH to spend on development.
Tokens are attractive enough on their own to start experimenting with smart contracts.

What it takes to engage a user

Ok. You published your first smart contract. But what it takes to engage a user with no blockchain experience to use it? And how can we lower the threshold?
We can break user experience into two parts: interacting with blockchain (what a user has to do anyway) and interacting with your smart contract (ways we can make a user's life easier).

Interacting with blockchain

What a user has to do anyway.
Get an address (a wallet). An address and a key to it is like username and password. There is no way to interact with blockchain without it. The easiest way to get it is to use generator at It takes less than one minute and as a result, user receives an address and a key. The address is a 42 character sting and the key is a small file. The key file is used to sign transactions and has to be saved as securely as possible - there is no way to restore it. A user can use the same address to interact with any smart contract.
IMG: Generate a wallet at
Get some ether (ETH). Any transaction requires commission (0,001 to 0,01 ETH on average). A user has to fuel up his address with a sufficient sum to interact with your contract. Buying ether is possible through major exchanges. These exchanges require 1-3 day for identity approval and are available in a limited list of countries. Users from other countries and those not eager to wait (especially when buying Ether worth a couple of bucks) may use almost instant alternatives.
Look and feel exercise: generate a wallet and send some Ether to it.
Access a blockchain client. Any interaction with blockchain and with any smart contract accordingly is done through a blockchain-client.
As of March 2017 downloading Ethereum database to an HDD disk (70% are still using HDDs) requires 2-3 days and 43 GB of spare space. It makes computer unresponsive enough to start throwing things at it. Keeping blockchain in sync too requires about the same amount of resources as watching a movie online does.
Not to confuse the pros. For the sake of simplicity we call EthereumWallet, Mist browser, geth and parity the blockchain client. We are entrepreneurs here, it is only a programmer who should really know the difference.
There is also a so called light client. It doesn't require downloading the database. But it still requires installation and getting hands dirty with manuals. Our target audience is not willing to do it either.
So let's be realistic our target audience will hardly install any blockchain client on their computers. Let's see how we can help.
A necessary and sufficient minimum for a user to start interacting with any smart contract is an address (key file) and a tiny amount of ether on it.

Interacting with your smart contract

We got to simplify user experience with a graphical user interface (GUI). In Ethereum GUIs do not belong to smart contracts and are stored off the blockchain. There are several ways to "attach" GUI to a smart contract. Here are they from the least to the most user-friendly.

Smart contract with no GUI

Users can interact with smart contracts directly, with no GUI at all.
Blockchain client can identify smart contract functions and let user work with it. The client provides auto-generated GUI so a contract looks and feels like a sign-in form of a website. This is a straightforward way of writing to and reading from contract.
IMG: Access contract function through Ethereum Wallet
But we agreed we won't force user to deal with blockchain clients. To set user free from it we can try to offer (an online client). Contract interaction will look just the same, but there is no need to download or learn anything.
IMG: Access the same function through
The contract without GUI has to be very well documented. It is also a good idea to make a landing page to display the current state of the contract.
For example, displays the state of the underlying contract and offers users to work with it directly giving all necessary instructions. The same setup would likely be a minimum for a classified advertisements smart contract. So the user with no blockchain background would be able to grasp the idea of the service.
Look and feel exercise: Try following sign in instructions for (it's free) and see what it is like to use
A Smart contract without GUI will do as a minimum viable product

Decentralized application (DApp) - GUI in a browser

In the above example the website doesn't allow writing to the contract being just a representation of its state (it only reads from the contract). To let user interact with your contract (read and write) through your own GUI you gonna need a DApp. DApp is a GUI for your contract in a browser.
A browser can simultaneously connect to the Internet and to a blockchain client. This allows a smart contract to look (and work) just like a conventional web-site. A user will follow a link like and see your website in the full beauty of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, then will be prompted to fill ad text and click "publish". The only difference the user will notice is a pop-up offering to select a keyfile on the disk instead of asking for a username-password.
The GUI is taken from the Internet, but transactions are sent to a local blockchain client.
Browser can connect either to full or light blockchain client. We discarded them both. There is a browser with "included" client - the Mist browser. But it is too complex too. The easiest solution is the Google Chrome plugin Metamask which brings all blockchain benefits right into the browser. This is what we want our user to install.
Look and feel exercise: Go to tokens exchange platform Maker Market, then install Metamask Chrome plugin and try Maker Market again. See how metamask brings blockchain functionality to the website.
DApp and Metamask browser plugin make your smart contract look and feel just like a web-site

Mobile application

We can make any GUI for mobile or desktop application and bring any feature to it. But in order to send transactions it has to communicate with a blockchain client too.
The ways to do it without any locally installed client are: embedding a light client right into your application or communicating with a remote blockchain client (see infrastructure section further).
Look and feel exercise: Try installing Jaxx wallet or Free Wallet on your phone.
To engage a user with no blockchain background means to make him get an address, buy a bit of Ether and install your mobile app or Metamask browser plugin.

What it takes to build an infrastructure

Let's turn to even more practical (and technical) parts. First what will you have to buy. From the cheapest to the most expensive setup.

Smart contract with no GUI

Regardless of the way you've implemented the GUI, you need to publish your contract first. Publication of a contract is a transaction too. Commission for it is negligible. If you managed to pay 1 ETH for commission, then your project is larger than the majority of existing ones.
Project documentation may be published for free at Or upload instruction videos to youtube.
If you want to display the status of the contract on a web-site the way does, you have to develop a back-end that will "listen" to the contract through a blockchain-client. Thus you need a hosting to run your website, blockchain client and your blockchain client "listener".
Before buying a hosting check out and Infura APIs. These are "remote" blockchain clients which will probably let you build your landing page with pure Javascript and no back-end.


DApp is just a web page (HTML, CSS, JAvaScript). A simple hosting with no database and frameworks support will probably be enough for a start. Remember your user has to interact through his own client (a local one or Metamask). So introduce a version for those with no access to blockchain (see a paragraph up - make a web-page representing your smart contract status).

Mobile App

For a mobile app you'd probably need a server with a running blockchain client to let your app communicate with the blockhain through it. Or you can embed light client right into your app. Or use and Infura API. Depends on your features. A more detailed (and more technical) guide is here - Mobile: Introduction

Which developer skills are required

What kind of developers skills you want to search?
First - responsibility, second - patience and third - JavaScript front-end skills. Safety first, because failure price is very high.

Smart contract with no GUI

Ethereum has its own language for smart contracts which is called Solidity.
The language looks very much like JavaScript and simple to learn. But one has to be really really really careful writing smart contracts.
Any contact is open source. Anyone can copy it and quietly experiment with attack options before an actual attack. With no thought out bug fixing strategies, neither address nor contract code can be changed after its publication. If there is a vulnerability and no escape paths, you'll helplessly observe your balance approaching zero. So it was with the ill-fated DAO (remember the life hack - The DAO is just an example of how one shouldn't write smart contracts).
Responsibility. Ethereum community recommends writing smart contract as if it were a firmware for electronics or a financial service (but NOT a web-site). For anyone eager to write smart contacts this official document on safety is a must.


DApp is HTML, CSS and JavaScript. JavaScript library web3.js provides interaction with blockchain client. A front-end developer will do the job.
Patience You need a patient and curious developer. This is the person to dive deepest into blockchain technology, make raw developer tools work and read through tons of documentation.
Regardless of whether your contract has a GUI or not, you gonna need a JavaScript developer. As it is strongly recommended (no, it is actually a must) to cover close to 100% of smart contract functionality with tests, which are written in JavaScript. Detailed developer guide is here here.

Mobile apps and back-ends

Mobile and desktop applications can be written in any language. Recommendations are the same as for the DApp. To connect your app to a blockchain client (full, light or remote) there are ready-made libraries available. For example, python. To embed a light client, check out geth.


Lifehack: Jump off the cliff and build wings on the way down © Ray Douglas Bradbury.
There are only 368 dapps listed at the official Ethereum dapps list and only one third of them is live. I believe this indicates the lack of understanding, not possibilities. It makes Ethereum a great chance to build a future game changer.
You may get some insights learning technology deeper. It is useful to know many of the underlying concepts of Ethereum and blockchain technology in general. But for the smart contracts and for the start this guide is a enough.
As you've seen there is not much complexity. If you are already dealing with websites and JavaScript all you have to do is pump up your team's responsibility. And if you already have an idea, just give a test flight. And see how high you can go.
Thank you for reading.
submitted by takeshi_reg to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

[USA-CT][H]Dell Precision T3600 (Xeon E5, 32gb, GTX 970)[W]PayPal

Timestamp, Speccy, Interior Pics:
It’s a common problem. You want to be able to boast about your specs to your friends on Steam or in the office to boost your ego and make them feel bad, but you don’t have five grand to drop on a powerhouse. You still drive the same 1998 Toyota Corolla from high school, still eat ramen four times a week, and still think the idea of a splurge is going to a movie and then to burger king. Well pucker up, buttercup, because you just got a one-way ticket to computational excellence. The price? $650 plus S+H. You won’t even need to give me the title to your car or your firstborn. Imagine that! What do you get for $650? Let’s look at the notables. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CPU - Xeon E5-2660, an octa-core affair from Intel with a 20MB cache and a default clock of 2.2gHz, which will turbo up to a blistering 3.0gHz whenever you might need. It’s built on the Sandy Bridge EP/EX 32nm process, with a 95 Watt TDP. When your friend is boasting about his Core i7-4390, remind him that you have four more cores, and about 1,000 points better score on Passmark. Also, make fun of how much he spent. Hurt them in the wallet, and in the heart. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Motherboard - You get one of Dell’s rock solid Precision boards. Supports up to 64gb DDR3 ECC Unbuffered memory, any Sandy Bridge 26xx Xeon CPU, and shitload of I/Os. Feel free to reference the timestamps for examples. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RAM - You’re getting 32GB of DDR3 ECC Unbuffered Memory, which is all you’ll ever need. When this machine stops working the year 2090, your Grandchildren will look at your desk and declare under their breath, “Holy shit, Grandpa is a FUCKING BALLER.” Then they’ll leave you alone to play Crysis in your Holodeck. Yes, the future will be like Star Trek. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ GPU - You’re getting a fancy dancy EVGA SSC GTX 970, with their ACX 2.0 cooling system; whatever that means. For me, that means over 150FPS in GTA V, and everything else I can throw at it. If you’re living with your parents, you can also harness it’s power to mine bitcoins and over the course of a year, make about $2. Imagine that. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Storage - This machine is equipped with two drives; a Sandisk 240GB SSD Plus that will come with your choice of fully-licensed Windows 7 Pro or Windows 10 Pro. It also has a 1TB Western Digital storage drive that I found in a dumpter. (Not joking, I really did) With a setup like that, you can store all your huge games or CAD applications on the secondary drive, while enjoying a speedy Windows installation on the primary. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So in summary, you’re getting a lot. You’re getting a solid desktop that’s been pre-loved (and hit with an angle grinder to make the GPU fit), a full Windows installation, an ego-boost that will last through the holiday season, and more money in your wallet.
Also, I drew a cock on the timestamp. Not sure why, but I hope that it improves it.
submitted by LibertyComputerCT to hardwareswap [link] [comments]

Informative post about Feathercoin

Seeing how this Subreddit is lacking any sort of info on Feathercoins and the lack of community support we have, I have decided to start a post that would inform newbies about Feathercoin and seasoned vets on the best places to trade.
It is a Crypto Currency that was started by Peter Bushnell. It is a clone of Litecoin (This coin was inspired by Bitcoin). The Feathercoin network generates coins at a decreasing rate. It will generate about 336 million coins which is 16 times more than that of Bitcoin and 4 times more than that of Litecoin. Currently about 25 million coins have been generated.
Network hashrates, Pools, Solo mining:
Currently a mid end system comprising of 7870 or 7970 will get you abot 400 to 700 kh/s. That means that in a given day you will be mining about 7 to 13 Feathercoins on current difficulty level. However If you mine alone that is solo mining, the probability of you finding a block is hard and it may take a while before you make a coin. To counter this people have started making pools to increase the chances of finding blocks. There are many pools that allow you to have multiple workers so you can setup multiple systems and mine at your leisure. Currently some of the popular pools are:
For a full list of mining pools:
It is highly recommended to join a pool to make mining profitable. Look at the pools posted above, look at their fee structure, their payout and make an informed decision on which pool to join.
Hardware and Mining:
Feathercoin utilizes scrypt based mining that is you can use your GPU (the Graphics card inside your system) to mine them. AMD Cards are highly recommended as they output higher hashrates as compared to Nvidia. To give you an idea of the difference a 7870 ghz edition mines at about 375 kh/s whereas a Nvidia 780ti would mine at about 224 to 300 kh/s. If you are seriously considering in investing in this venture it would be best to buy a rig that supports 6 GPU's and buy either the 7950 or the 280x as they have considerably higher hash rates and are affordable to say the least. Something one should be aware of is that mining produces a lot of heat as your system is basically running at full capacity and therefore needs a lot of cooling. People usually build rigs in the open (no case) and use household fans to cool them. Also another thing that is common is to use PCIe risers as they allow greater spacing between GPU cards and effectively help in dissipating heat. Mining uses a lot of electricity so it is best to use a schedule to mine or if electricity is cheap then 6 7950's running 24 hours a day would cost you about 12 to 18 dollars in electricity a month, maybe more depending on where you live. The software to use for mining are Cgminer (, guiminer scrypt ( and cudaminer for Nvidia cards. I would advise against Cpu mining as that is not profitable and will simply weigh you down. Invest 250 to 350 dollars in a good AMD GPU and you will be mining much more effectively.
There are many places where one can trade Feathercoins but only a few of them offer FTC/USD exchange. Btc-e ( Is one of the biggest cryptocoin trading exchanges, it does not offer USD exchange for Feathercoins as of yet but allows you to exchange for Bitcoins. Crypto-trade (, this trading exchange allows you to trade against the USD making it more favourable to miners however there is currently a lack of volume for FTC as of writing. Other exchanges like Cryptsy, Bter and coins-e are all good but they are heavily dependent on Bitcoins and Litecoins for now.
My thoughts
Feathercoin is fairly new and its gaining momentum, once big exchanges start listing it against the USD, the venture will become more profitable. For now it is advisable to mine as many as you can and sit on them till value improves or if you have a mining rig that is mining at 22000 kh/s (this will get you about 500 feathercoins a day) then mine the shit out of them and trade them for Btc for profit although I would recommend against this as it it reduces the value of feathercoin. Many exchanges allow you to deposit money via international wire transfers however the minimum is 2000 dollars so keep that in mind before investing real money into this venture. There are alternatives like paypal and okpay that are also accepted but not a lot of people have accounts on those so signup for a website that suits your situation.
One last ting we all need to do is spread awareness about Feathercoin, It is a miners coin and the difficulty right now makes it so much more interesting to mine. I will update this page with more information and will answer questions if any to the best of my knowledge. Happy mining
My FTC wallet deposit thingy address : 6v1VuL41xGuLG1Bd8usJsuUEkZyac8jKbe
EDIT : I realized some of you might have NVIDIA GPU's and are hesitant on getting AMD. Never fear for there is a solution. If you have a motherboard that supports two or more GPU's that is you have more than one PCIe slots than follow these instructions:
If you intend to game on your system while you are mining then put the NVIDIA card in PCI slot one and buy an AMD card and put it in slot 2. Now install the drivers in the order Nvidia first reboot and then Amd second reboot. You do not need to plug in HDMI to your AMD card just leave it as it is. Now download gpu miner scrypt and select from the list your AMD card and start mining, its that easy. At night if you want to squeeze in more kh/s then run cudaminer and let it mine alongside your AMD. The best part about this is that you can be mining 24/7 on your AMD card and you will not experience any system slow down while gaming or watching movies. Remember to have atleast two workers workers created so you can mine parallel. If you already have an NVIDIA card then just install your AMD card and install AMD drivers and reboot and run guiminer scrypt. At times you might run into the issue of guiminer not starting, just delete it and re install it and it should work fine in 98% of the cases. This is for those who do not want to invest in a completely new system and would rather use their existing system. You can use cgminer as well but remember the order in cgminer starts from 0 not 1 so if NVIDIA is in slot 1 then it is -d0 -g0 and AMD will be -d1 -g1
submitted by motherlode1 to FeatherCOin [link] [comments]

[Table] IamA splat, editor/moderator/reviewer on and sysadmin at a cancer research organization. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-08-13
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
This just got cross posted to /sysadmin ; as a fellow research-field oriented sysadmin it gets worse... I too started in the Quake/HL/CS/TF timeframe, but got my degree in CompSci. Have you ever dealt with mice (the mammal kind; I've got worse stories)? Certs: just got my RHCSA this year. I've got the RHCE scheduled for october, and I'm studying for the CCNA, though I use HP switches.
How do you backup desktops / servers? Backups: Luckily, I don't do desktop support. We have another IT group that does that, I'm completely independent from them and I only have to take care of servers (and my own desktop). The physical servers are backed up to tape with Bacula. Our virtual servers are backed up with Veeam. My own desktop is backed up to my NAS share using synctoy (yes, i use windows on my desktop).
How much disk space do you have in one server? One off systems: As in physical servers built by hand? 0. I'm pretty much a Fujitsu shop with a few Dells. I definitely don't have time to be piecing servers together. disk space: only a few TB per server. I think the better answer would be that we have an Isilon X200 cluster that is 140 TB.
one off systems: As in physical servers built by hand? More as in unique software; such as this computer runs the HPLC. I guess in that case I only manage a handful of physical servers and a few VMs that are made for running one special piece of software or analyze data from one piece of scientific equipment. We have many other scientific devices that are attached to PCs that are "community" devices, but I don't have to manage them. and we've got a microscopy group that is separate from me too, with their own machines and devices.
If you are moving to 1gbs are you looking to increase the MTU? I was working on that but had some issues with firewalls for my windows-putty users. First, just to clarify, we're going to 10G from the 1G we have right now. I'm not our main network guy, so I'm not entirely sure but I doubt we'll change the MTU simply because we don't have a remote site so the majority of our traffic is regular internet traffic.
As for our backend network, I do use jumbo frames on a couple VLANs for our storage.
That most important question for any or emacs? Vi improved.
Anand Shimpi and Dustin Sklavos had an interesting podcast on the merits of Haswell on the desktop. In short, Dustin echos the enthusiast community's frustration with overclocking headroom decreases from Sandy Bridge Ivy Bridge Haswell. It seems like IPC has gone up but maximum frequency has gone down so the ratio seems almost 1:1. Then there is the issue of the use of TIM and IHS glue cap that caused some to delid their CPUs (and void their warranties). Question 1: What are your thoughts on the overclocking headroom decreases that we've seen? Question 2: Is Intel doing enough to cater to the enthusiast community? Question 3: How do you feel about the delay in the release of Enthusiast parts by Intel (Sandy Bridge-E & Ivy Bridge-E) versus mainstream parts (Sandy, Ivy, and Haswell)? Intel makes good chips and they do keep pushing technology forward, but they will never do overclockers any favors. They will always be doing whatever they can to make money. AMD will also do the same thing. Intel seems to think enthusiast solely means "deep pockets". At the same time, there always seems to be a lot of "the sky is falling" reporting done by many tech journalists. Intel hasn't completely forgotten about overclockers and I don't think they ever will completely let that group disappear. And really, what incentive does Intel have to completely lock out overclockers? Sure, deny us our warranty, we'll go ahead and buy another chip and give you more money. How could you deny that as a company? as for overclocking headroom decreases, one can only hope that means we've got a whole new architecture coming out soon, something like the transition from Pentium 4 to Core.
Do you have a home lab setup to learn/test on? If so, what does it consist of? At home I've got a 1u dell poweredge sitting in a closet which is my main server. I run off it which was supposed to be my way of giving back to the community, by running a Linux torrent site. Other than that I've got two htpcs running Debian, a desktop windows machine for gaming/reviewing hardware, and a file server with 8 tb running Debian and KVM with a few Debian VMS.
Do you still have that site going? I tried your link but it didn't work. Looks like I let the SSL cert expire. I'll fix that tomorrow. It works on my end but I think I want to recode a few things and possibly get it to work with other trackers. Right now the torrents will only work with my local tracker.
Need to monitor that ;D. Yeah it's one of those things where I seem to be the only one visiting the site, so why stress about it. I also set up owncloud, but again, i'm the only one that uses it. :(
Do you get to keep the hardware you review? - Do you prefer the black theme or the white theme? Most of the time, yes.
Black. I don't mind the white theme that much tho. edit: he's asking about the forum default skin at
What is your #1 piece of advise for any linux sysadmin? That's a tough one. Do you mean someone looking to become a sysadmin or one that is already a sysadmin?
I guess I didn't specify that did I? I ask the question because I've been doing mostly Windows sysadmin duties for about 2 years and some linux admin stuff. I'm falling in love with Linux and I would love to have a job dedicated to just *nix What advise/suggestions would you give someone that is wanting to make the transition? I think what really got me the best knowledge was forcing myself to use a "less polished" distro as my main rig for a few years. Once you are forced to learn, you'll learn quickly. Picking up an rhcsa book will help too even if you don't plan on taking the exam. Go through it and do the exercises. Install a distro, set it up, then format and do it all over. You can use virtual box for the same result without killing your main rig.
Do you still use FreeBSD? If so, what exactly do you use it for now? No, but I wish I did. I stopped using it because the GPU support in Linux was better on my desktop, and now I work mostly with CentOS, and it would be a lot of work to change 100ish servers over to FreeBSD.
What did you use to train yourself in everything? Just break and fix? Pretty much just the experience of using it daily on my desktop for years. Running gentoo and Slackware really gets you used to doing things for yourself.
Configuration management of choice for those 18 servers? I'm just a jack of all trades sysadmin with a strong focus on problem solving. Are you trying to cure cancer with those 18 nodes or mining bitcoins? I started playing around with puppet but haven't really gotten the hang of it. Right now the cluster is running ROCKS with Grid Engine, and I just use the rocks commands to provision/wipe nodes.
What's the hardest part about getting started with puppet? I think its mostly just finding the time to sit down and have enough time to emerse myself in it.
700+ centos nodes across a few clusters here and I'm loving ansible. Nice. I've heard that ROCKS becomes a bear at scale, but for now it's pretty simple and quick. My plan is to keep adding another 18 nodes every year (one full blade cluster) every year, as long as I can get funding, so I'm keeping my eyes open for other solutions for provisioning. Bright cluster manager is another one I have on my radar.
Computer didn't work for 5 months (it started then after i downloaded skyrim from steam it shut off, then finally worked last month). Put my new graphics card in, then problems ensued. Here: Link to 1st step i'd do is remove all nonessential parts from the computer. Leave the cpu and 1 stick of ram. Pull out the graphics card, don't connect any hard drives or cd drives. On the back, connect the monitor to the on board video card and connect the keyboard. Does it power on? Do you get any error messages other than it saying there is no OS? Then power down and connect things one by one until you figure out what part is causing the problem. If you think it's the drivers, you can boot into safe mode (i hope windows 8 still has that, press f8 while booting), then run Driver Sweeper, to remove the graphics drivers. I haven't tried this on windows 8 so i'm not sure if it will run or not. I don't think you need to do a full format and reinstall.
I'll try this tomorrow after work for sure. Do you reddit enough that i could contact you for more advice for help if i run into anything else? (i did contact nvidia team for help, they just told me to delete old drivers without any other help then those words). I don't blame you if you don't want to say you are able to help me with this situation. Humans be humans. Was there a specific reason to go into a cancer research lab? Or was it just a job that came around? No I don't go into photoshopbattles. I pretty much just do what I need for websites and that's it.
How do you like your baked potatoes? (please get into specific detail). It just happened to be the job I found but I love the environment. Much different than a corporate job.
I'm not a fan of baked potatoes but I do love curly fries if that counts for something.
You should really join us in the BAPC IRC channel. I do hang out in the unofficial irc channel quite a bit. I'll try to drop by.
Do you do any sort of automation for firmware updates? Firmware automation? Nope, and I don't think I'd ever want such a thing. I've been looking at puppet as a way to automatically update software though.
I saw below you guys have some Dell servers, what models and do you use their Lifecycle Controller? We have a couple r610 servers and an equallogic storage box. I haven't heard of this life cycle controller.
What are the specs of your personal rig? Intel i7 3770k @ 4ghz.
Zalman CNPS9900LED cooler.
Patriot ddr3 2x2gb @ 800mhz cas7 (rated for 1200mhz cas9 but I can't boot at that speed anymore for some reason)
MSI Z77A-G41.
ATI Radeon HD 6870.
OCZ Revodrive X2.
How come you have a 3770k but only 4GB of RAM and a 6870? Seems a little overpowered in the CPU category. For benchmarking, mainly. The 3770k was our standard platform for reviews when I bought it. The rest is leftovers from various reviews. We don't get paid, so basically we work for hardware when we write reviews, more or less.
Wait when you review hardware you get stuff? Yes, hardware vendors provide review samples.
Have you ever had an OEM send you equipment different from the consumer version? (Say a factory overclocked version) and claiming it was the standard. Nope. Even if they did, we'd certainly review it as the hardware is, not as they intended it to be.
What's the worst PC loadout you've ever seen? PC load letter? What the f does that mean?
[email protected] JK, doesn't work well on a cluster unfortunately. Unless you have any perls of wisdom on how to make it work on a cluster? Well, it would work just as it does on any other group of computers. I'd have to run one client on each computer and they'd all check back to get their own workloads, so it would really take out the "cluster" usage and turn them just into regular blade servers.
How old are you? Young 30s.
Have you gone to college and completed a bachelor's degree, if not, do you regret it? Yes, BS in Mechanical Engineering.
How did you prove yourself to be worthy of that initial Jr. Sys. Admin job? I listed everything I could think of that I've done that was computesysadmin related. I had administered several web servers over the years, and experimented with many different distributions as my daily driver on my main desktop, so I was very comfortable on the command line and with day to day tasks. I was asked a few 'test' questions on the interview but I think they were more to gauge exactly what i did and didn't have experience with, not so much to make or break me.
Lastly, congrats on doing what you love for a living. Cheers to your future. And thanks. i definitely wake up in the morning with a different attitude than i used to, and that makes a big difference.
Configuration Management / Vagrant / Clouds. I have start playing with configuration management, but haven't gotten anything in production yet. I only provision new VMs every once in a while, and once the computer nodes are up they are pretty stable.
What is your scripting language of choice? I use straight up bash for most things, and python for some. I'm trying to learn more python.
How do you feel about some distros moving away from init.d and going to systemd? I like init.d because it's what I know. Systemd is just a different way of doing things, I'm sure I'll like it once I learn it.
As a OCF Member I have to ask, What is the most extreme cooling you have dealt with?(LN2, Phase Change, Water, D-Ice, etc.) LN2, at the benching party in philly last year. We definitely need to get one of those on schedule again. Also, my work has LN2 and D-ice sitting around but I haven't asked if it's ok for me to play with those yet. One day, i'll ask, and it will be awesome if they say yes. fingers crossed.
So, can I have some of your left over gear? Joking, heh heh... Seriously though, got any gear that's collecting dust? Mostly by the time we're ready to part with gear, it's not worth much and is terribly outdated. Or, it's been burned up by pushing too many volts.
What do you do with the old gear? Do you scrap up a functional computer and donate it to a charity, or just proper e-waste recycling? If it's not on my computer or benching station, it's in my closet. And my wife doesn't like the amount of computer stuff in my closet, so I'm sure I'll start looking for some way to recycle stuff soon.
Where does a young grasshopper starts to learn all of these materials wise one? Well, you could get yourself a RHCSA prep book (linked to the one i have and found useful) and go through all of the exercises. The way I learned was basically to set up my own servers, either physical or virtual, at home, and run them. I think FreeBSD, Gentoo, and Slackware were the most beneficial to me in that they don't really make choices for you, so you have to configure things for yourself which forces you to read the documentation and learn. They all have excellent documentation, btw. If you want to go a step further, linux from scratch will really teach you about the operating system from the ground up.
From there, come up with little projects for yourself. Like making a home NAS, setup NFS and Samba shares, install XBMC on a HTPC and hook it up to your tv to stream movies and music. Setup a webserver and owncloud. Stuff like that.
Sorry I'm late but... how old were you when you first starting tinkering with Linux and such? I'd like to be a sysadmin or similar when I finish school so I figured you were the right person to ask. I was 19 when I first made that half life/counterstrike server. I didn't even know what ssh was and it took a good amount of explaining for me to finally understand. The freebsd documentation is amazing and will walk you through just about everything step by step. To get NAT configured I had to use another how to but setting up that server taught me a ton.
Are you an Nvidia or an AMD guy? It's changed several times over the years. I used to be solely Nvidia because of Linux, but AMD has been stepping up their game and getting their drivers usable, so I currently run all AMD.
How much of a PITA is it for you to be HIPAA compliant? It's not really that tough. Luckily there's only a couple projects going on right now that have special needs above and beyond regular security needs.
What do you use for storage? We have a few Jetstor SANs, a couple Promise RAID boxes, and an Equallogic box as our VMWare backend. But our main mass storage is Isilon X200.
Whoops my bad, meant 1.18 not 1.8 it'd be gone if it was 1.8. sorry. I am using a hyper 212 EVO in the standard push configuration. Well 1.18 is too low for 4.4ghz.
Only 4gigs of ram in your rig ? Yeah...I've got 16 in my work PC for running VMs, and 16 in my VM host at home too. I'll probably buy more soon.
Oh ok, what V would I go to? I was able to initially get 4.4 with 1.18 and 0 whea errors, what V would you recommend? This is my first oc btw. Bump it up one step at a time until you are stable. Be methodical about it. You can check out what values other people are getting on
Ok Ill do that, thanks man, at what V if the errors dont go away should I stop advancing them? Most likely you will want to stay around 1.6v. I'm not very familiar with that chip specifically so I'd check hwbot to see what other people have posted and go by that. Obviously remember that not all chips are the same, so you can't expect to get exactly what other people get.
1.6, that seems a bit high for my 212 EVO, a few days ago I did have it at 1.18 without any WHEA 20 errors. That's why I'm saying take it slow, one step at a time.
What do you think of this quote by Richard J. Schwartz? "The impact of nanotechnology is expected to exceed the impact the electronics revolution has had on our lives." Sounds good to me. I can't wait to see what comes next.
Actually nodes, or are some of them VMs? Physical blade servers as nodes. with 144 GB ram each.
Zfsonlinux in use? No I haven't used zfs at all.
Hey... You're pretty cool. Thanks. You're not too bad yourself.
The answer should be ''i wish i could say the same to you'' I'm not like that.
Just how big is your hpc. Only 18 nodes :/ but its more what I do with it...
How'd you get your nickname. Back when I played CS in the dorm freshman year of college, I used to get killed all the time. So I started calling myself "jack splat", as a play on the nursery rhyme (jack sprat), then shortened it to 'splat' on most of the websites I signed up for.
Describe a SHTF moment at your work place. I can imagine it must be highly stressful being the sole responsible person to keep all that gear running. I definitely have a few and luckily they aren't that bad. One of my first few months, I decided to connect this wireless ap to the network to test it out one morning. As I was being awesome managing the cable to make it look clean, one of the security guards came into the server room and said they had no internet. I looked at our switches and they were all lit up solid. By hooking up the ap, which had spanning tree turned on, I took down the network of the entire building.
Ouch...that's definitely a SHTF moment. glad you came out unscathed. Luckily, all I had to do was unplug it and everything went back to normal. I then set up a spare switch at my desk and played with it before figuring out that STP needed to be disabled on the AP. Now it's been running for over a year without incident.
Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck? I'd go for the horse sized duck. Seems like more of a challenge.
U mad? Nah, I'm feeling pretty good today.
Last updated: 2013-08-18 07:16 UTC
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