Categories
Link Dumps

Link Dump #6

Another month has passed, and my link collection grows. I’ve started Tweeting long-form articles I read, which will leave the links I share here for tools, services and other neat websites.

List of best-selling game consoles – It’s not mystery what the top console is (PlayStation 2: 155 million) but the rest of the list might surprise you.

Foolproof Guide to Burning a Candle Correctly – Up until recently I didn’t even know there was a correct way to burn a candle.

QR Code Feedback Creator – I like the simplicity of this tool for gathering feedback using QR codes. Now, if only one of my clients would be interested!

QR Feedback Code Creator

UniFi Dream Machine – UniFi devices have their fans, and haters. I almost pulled the trigger on this router when Comcast instituted data caps in my region due to it’s ability to throttle individual devices and robust reporting.

GlassWire – In related news, when I was playing bandwidth wack-a-mole, I needed software to track and report on usage. GlassWire has a simple, modern UI, and is free (nagware).

Glasswire Usage Tab

Web Scraping 101 with Python – I probably saved this because I thought “this will come in use … some day”. So here I am, posting it to my “online brain” for later.

Sundayy – Weekly social media – or something like that. I like the idea, appreciate the effort but doubt this will go anywhere. The journaling crowd probably loves it.

Take time each day to reflect intentionally and slow down

Once you reflect go live your life, there are no feeds to check

Reflections are revealed once a week on Sunday

See your friends’ week as they lived it, in their own words

Sundayy App

BOINC – Using your computing power to search for aliens? So 1990’s. Using your GPU power to mine crypto? Lame! Donating your computing power to science? Now that is something worth doing in 2021 – at least if your electricity is clean!

Categories
Crypto

Burstcoin Mining 2021

After a month-long foray into power intensive GPU cryptomining I had a minor crisis of conscious and embarked on a quest for a more environmentally ethical cryptocurrency.

My journey actually began with Chia Network, a blockchain network created by BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen. However I soon realized after researching more, that I had far too little HDD storage space to allow for any reasonable return.

Enter Burstcoin, which like Chia is based on Proof of Capacity, a greener alternative to Proof of Work currently dominating the cryptomining landscape.

Software

BTDEX Home Page
BTDex Home Page – I still don’t know what a DEX solution is.

BTDEX was recommended as the all-in-one solution for beginner miners, and that’s where I started. There’s versions for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Hardware

I chose a spare Toshiba laptop running Windows 8 (don’t ask) with 0.49 TiB or roughly 538 GB of HDD space. Not a lot in the modern world of storage but enough to dabble and that’s all I need.

Set Up

BTDEX Softwarev Screenshot
BTDEX Software Mining Tab – I know what *some* of this means.

Installation was a breeze, although the software requires Java which I’m not thrilled about.

The process begins with plotting or allocating space on your HD for use by the network. I chose the pre-calculated amount (which I confirmed was appropriate) however I found the interface to be confusing, and still find myself stumbling around, helped only by my experience with other mining software.

Plotting takes significant time, based on several factors but mostly the overall performance capability of your computing device. With my Intel i5-3337U 1.8 GHz CPU and 8 GB of RAM, plotting 0.49 TiB took almost 20 hours, which was actually impressive because my first attempt used the “low priority” setting and the time estimate was 10x as long.

Mining

Once my plotting was complete, and I joined a Mining Pool (which requires a small BURST fee), I was able to start mining.

Built into BTDEX is a handy calculator which informed me I would earn approximately 0.13 BURST per day with my single plot. Certainly not enough to be considered “profitable”, but that’s not my goal here and this is my first (smallish) plot so I wasn’t expecting much.

Once I can stake, or “commit” some BURST, my mining returns will increase.

Community

Burstcoin Subreddit
Burstcoin on Reddit – Although if you want live action use Discord (links below)

I have to say I’m rather impressed by the Burstcoin community. Shortly after I published this blog post and promoted it on Twitter, I started receiving a small flood of likes and retweets from other Burstcoin enthusiasts.

When I replied to one asking for some help with my initial plot, they directed me to Discord where I found even more community members willing and able to help me quickly!

Links

Super helpful was jjos both on Discord, and with this helpful article he wrote on how to mine Burstcoin with BTDEX.

Burstcoin Discord

BTDEX Discord

Burstcoin Subreddit

Burstcoin Mining Documentation

Updates

As I make progress (or not) with Burstcoin mining I will post updates here and may possibly publish a follow-up article on how to run a node, which is another way to earn Burstcoin. Stay tuned!

Categories
Crypto

BetterHash Review

Please Note: As an affiliate of BetterHash, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I will freely admit it; I’ve been bitten by the crypto bug which turned into a raging crypto mining infection (mother nature please forgive me). I started my journey with Minerstat, then ventured into NiceHash land, which led me to BetterHash.

I’ve been dabbling in all 3 for the last 3 or 4 weeks and it’s been a helluva ride. With crypto prices surging and waning seemingly daily. Influenced by the fiscal policies of China and the whims and tweets of Elon Musk. The experience of crypto mining has been a range of emotions typically ending in self-loathing and doubt.

Enough with the blithering, you came to read about BetterHash and that’s what I’ll deliver!

BetterHash is Easy

Similar to NiceHash, although in my opinion slightly easier, BetterHash is a great way to dip into the crypto mining world. Install the software, run the benchmarks and start mining with your CPU and GPU. What you earn is converted into BTC and deposited into your account of choice (more on that later)

BetterHash Miner Activity Page Showing Hashrates and Revenue Estimates

Hashrate is Good

Hashrates for BetterHash are on par with Minerstat, and NiceHash.

Typical Anti-Virus Drama

As with all miners, you’ll need to tell your anti-virus to calm down (see the FAQ) Disabling your AV only works as a temporary solution so take the time to add exceptions.

BetterHash General Info Screen
BetterHash General Info Screen showing Confirmed and Estimated Income

Interface is Clean and Practical

Lacking some of the polish of NiceHash, I actually like the UI of BetterHash as it feels like the software I’ve used for the last 20 years. The defaults are nice, as they hide the mining command-prompt windows, and BetterHash nicely minimizes to the system tray and starts up with Windows.

Scheduling is Easy

BetterHash has easy scheduling (just click time blocks), which is great for running your mining rig at night (when it’s cooler), or during off hours.

Website is Decent

The BetterHash website is decent, although like all crypto mining websites I think they could do a better job of explaining how the financials work and some of the interfaces are a bit hard to find.

BetterHash Reddit Community
BetterHash Reddit Community is Small, Very Small.

Small Community

Compared to NiceHash the BetterHash community (measured by Reddit subs) seems small. This worries me, as I hope there’s enough action to keep the developers interested.

Profit Switching Supported

I have not tried it yet.

BetterHash BTC Transfer Website Interface Showing Free Coinbase Transfer

Free Transfers to Coinbase

This is an important part of any review as you should have a clear understanding of the fees involved in moving your crypto. While most services will allow you to buy and use with no fees, once you want to withdraw or transfer your money there are typically fees involved. Two things you should determine; The minimum withdrawal amount, and the fees. BetterHash has a minimum withdrawal amount of 0.0010 BTC, and charges a fee of 0.0002 BTC. However, they claim (I haven’t verified) that transfers to Coinbase wallets are free (see screenshot above)

Put Your Computer to Work!

Please Note: As an affiliate of BetterHash, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Categories
Link Dumps

Link Dump #5

Any like clockwork I missed another publication date, although being my own editor I don’t think I’ll hold it against myself (unlikely)

MuscleWiki – This was a neat find, and one I haven’t used once since bookmarking. Pick a body part, and this site will show you how to work it girl!

Corona (satellite) – I’ll be honest, I’m drawing a blank here on why I bookmarked this. It’s a spy satellite, used by the CIA to do CIA stuff but other than the /r/midlyinteresting aspect of it, I have no idea why I would save it ¯\_(?)_/¯

Silent Cal – US President Calvin Coolidge was known as “Silent Cal” but the most interesting morsel from his presidency was this:

“He was taciturn, known as ‘Silent Cal’; he enjoyed childish practical jokes such as buzzing for his bodyguards and then hiding under his desk as they frantically searched for him, presumably fearing him kidnapped. “

Peter Clements | Published in History Review Issue 46 September 2003

Coolidge Effect – Okay, maybe Cal’s pranks were the second most interesting morsel from the Coolidge presidency. After you read the definition, head on over the the Wikipedia page to read how it came about!

The Coolidge effect is a biological phenomenon seen in animals, whereby males exhibit renewed sexual interest whenever a new female is introduced to have sex with, even after cessation of sex with prior but still available sexual partners.

The Penguin dictionary of psychology by Arthur S. Reber

Disclosure – When A Fire Starts To Burn (Official Video) – I love this song from 2013, and the little behind the lyrics by motivational speaker Eric Thomas.

Helminthic therapy – It’s gross, but an interesting concept for fighting auto-immune diseases. Related South Park: Your Mom Has C Diff

Also related: I volunteered to be infected with 50 parasitic worms for a research study (Hacker News discussion)

OMG more worm stuff – gross!

Categories
Link Dumps

Link Dump #4

I’m on a roll now (not really). Actually I scheduled this post a week ago so don’t think for a second I’m creating any sort of consistent blogging habit.

Webflow – Oddly I found a link somewhere online to this new web builder thingy a few weeks (months?) ago and then while watching daytime satellite TV boom! A rather clever TV ad for it. Satellite TV is an odd duckling, so I’m used to weird commercials but this was certainly a shock as this tool seems like it’s for professionals. I wish them luck, I’ll stick to WordPress for now.

Letterboxd – Social movie watching. Sounds cool but the most entertaining thing I found was the home page feed of new comments. Some real gems there. The second most entertaining aspect is the idea that you “tell your friends what’s good” ha! that’s RICH.

These links are getting a little verbose, hang in there I’ll lose my motivation.

Not Your Keys, Not Your Bitcoin – Back when the GME craziness started I took a deep dive into crypto (finally) and came across this link about a thousand times. Basically a lesson that EXCHANGES GET HACKED, so don’t keep your bitcoin there for long.

Stuff in Space – File this under “cool but not very useful” is this cool visualization of the crap surrounding Earth. Another tool, I have no idea what’s different or special about it but it looks just as cool.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker – Speaking of junk in space, this game looks really cool. Fly (float?) around space and break down space … stuff.

Mastodon – Back when I last soured on Twitter (I’m still not fully over it) I looked into alternatives, and found Mastodon. Based on ActivityPub (too complicated to explain here) Mastodon is about decentralization of social media.

ActivityPub – A WordPress plugin to connect your blog to the Mastodon network. I haven’t installed it, but will if I try Mastodon.