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1  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: financing a 'Community Miner' project; Are You In? on: July 25, 2016, 08:56:34 PM
When you can hide behind the keyboard, it is a lot easier to say things you would never say face to face.
On point.

*Shots Fired*
I don't give two shits what anyone thinks of me....I'll say what I say here to anyone anywhere Tongue  Grin
I wanted to return our attention to the issues in this thread: truthfulness of the posters and the sanity of the posters. This thread seems to be mercifully free of any obvious attempts to scam/defraud. And the whole Bitcoin mining milieu is mercifully free of the dangers of physical harm

The "face to face" isn't like some dive bar with everyone drunk and armed. It is more like a courtroom "face to face" when the truth is most likely to win. Modern courtrooms are increasingly even using transparent barriers to allow the sides to speak the truth without risking physical harm.

The difference with the courtroom is that this board is anonymous. We don't get the benefit of a background checks for the prospective business partners. All that's left is hunches about the sanity and trustfulness.

Please everyone don't let themselves get intimidated with threats like "You wouldn't say that face to face!".

The skillful scammers are mostly gone from the Bitcoin mining, what we have now is a wave of unskilled desperadoes and self-deluded dreamers.

The opening post of aliashraf is a great modern example of a dreamer, very much like the 17th century Don Quixote "who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world." All you need to do is replace "chivalry" with "Bitcoin" and "distributed". The main difference was that the original Don Quixote had his own horse and a down-to-earth servant named Sancho Pansa. aliashraf doesn't own a horse and is looking for at least five servants with their own horses.

The boisterous posts of Mr. Kashif is a good example a desperado, somebody who already tried and failed at getting technical education and relevant employment. His greatest motivator is probably shame he feels towards his parents who paid for his schooling.

To recapitulate and summarize: please don't let themselves get manipulated into not asking the important questions. But at the same time don't ask stupid questions. This isn't a real courtroom where everyone will be excused for asking an explanation of unfamiliar term. Here the conversation isn't live, anyone can put the unfamiliar term in the search box of their browser and skim first couple of returned results.
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Blockchains Really Need a Better Database...So We Built One on: July 25, 2016, 07:28:24 PM
While I am not an SSD salesman, nor part of any Charles Hoskinson organization, I am a senior technologist in the research division of the largest developer of storage devices on the planet. Will you be at Flash Memory Summit week after next? I'd like to buy you a beer or coffee for more in-depth discussion.
I want to sincerely thank you for the offer. Unfortunately for me I'm preoccupied with relocation and it is rather unlikely that I would be able to go to Santa Clara,CA,USA on the short notice.

It is too bad that as a senior technologist in storage system you are not allowed to discuss openly the write amplification issue that is affecting the modern file systems and DBMS a great deal. I do understand that those discussions could really be conducted under NDA or while maintaining an anonymity cover like Satoshi's Nakamoto's.
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Blockchains Really Need a Better Database...So We Built One on: July 25, 2016, 05:20:24 PM
While this is true at a storage cell level, contemporary system architectures employ such NAND Flash not as raw devices, but within subsystems known as SSDs. SSDs maintain the same semantics at the interface as hard disk drives. These are block-access devices, where some larger construct - the logical block (typically 4096 or 512 bytes of user data) are read or written at one time (i.e., as an atomic unit). Such SSDs already manage all the writing internally, so as to make write behavior indistinguishable regardless of data pattern.

Some NAND and NOR Flash is sometimes included within a system, to be accessed directly via the pins of the chip package. These indeed can benefit from optimized flash file systems. However, these are typically small in size, and meant to save boot Firmware, BIOS settings and other non-user data items related to the management of the computer system itself. I am unaware of any typical commercially available system that employs such raw flash for general data storage suitable for the filesystem upon which one would store a blockchain database.

TL;DR, In today's environment, there is no benefit to application SW (e.g. a database system) managing writes to storage in a manner aware of bit polarity in relation to previous writes to same location. This, and other complications, are abstracted away by mechanisms within the underlying storage devices.
Uh, oh!

Apparently the SSD technology (Solid-State Drive) is still affected by the SSDD phenomenon (Same Shit, Different Day). I don't think you consciously bullshit in your post, you don't seem like a SSD salesman. You seem to be unaware of the fact that SSD devices are affected by almost exactly the same phenomenon: the write block size is smaller than the erase block size. I'm not going to get into details, just give the link to Wikipedia's writeup about .

I measured write amplification with some older release of Bitcoin on a range of storage devices. It was as high as 128. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to write a backend storage for Bitcoin with lower write amplification.

As far as commercial products the good way to start with open source is to research Linux's . On the closed source front many products that ostensibly support only FAT and exFAT filesystems have appropriate optimizations in the code path that handles preallocated files of constant size.

The reason I'm writing all this is to see if there's any intelligent life left in Charles' Hoskinson's organization. I clearly can see that you are intelligent, if somewhat not-up-to-date. The question is still open about his org: it seems that it is just a marketing organization with absolutely no technical background. Lets see if they can post any intelligent followup.
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Blockchains Really Need a Better Database...So We Built One on: July 22, 2016, 05:39:07 PM
It's an experiment using new authenticated data structures to vastly improve the throughput and efficiency of IO for cryptocurrencies. As consensus algorithms become more efficient, there will eventually be a bottleneck from the database side of things. So let's make sure that's not the limiting factor.
How about a decent writeup for the technical and other knowledgeable people?

I took a quick look and it looks like some sort of confused mishmash:

1) authenticated data structures for local, private database? Why? The left hand doesn't trust the right hand? Multiple personality disorder? Just sensible error detection scheme should be enough to verify the database integrity.

2) it seems to have some optimizations for flash backing storage, but does it through a file-systems with unspecified limitations. A lot of flash-optimized software takes advantage of the fact that one way of writing (e.g. from zero to one) is very cheap whereas the opposite change (from one to zero) requires time-consuming block erase. Are you doing that? Explicitly naming the constraints would be very helpful.

3) Lost interest in further reading after the two above drawbacks.

There's an user here "jl777" (;u=177323;sa=showPosts) and on other forums, that has a competing idea of database explicitly oriented for cryptocurrencies. He calls it "Iguana," but the problem is that he works alone, produces extremely hard to read code, and is in general hard to communicate with. Therefore he mostly gets ignored, both here and elsewhere, despite showing very promising results.

Are you similarly sponsoring financially a lone genius coder?

How about producing a couple of pages of introductory whitepaper, written at the level of B.Sc. or similar, that would explain why your mousetrap is better?
5  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Universal Hash Board: Bitfury 28 nM "UHB_BM28NM" on: July 10, 2016, 12:40:26 PM
I do not understand where you see the problem with Q5. Please explain us what's wrong. BSS138 is logic level N-fet. Gate is connected to 3.3V and input goes to source. G+S resistor keeps Q5 default off. If input is H Q5's G+S=0V, Q5 is off. If input is L, G+S=3.3V, Q5 is on.
So what is the point? It is neither inverter nor amplifier. To convert push-pull output to open-drain output? Connecting that open-drain in series with the push-pull output? What for?

Also Q1-Q4 are two inverter pairs. They legitimately convert single-ended output to the balanced outputs. But they only have active pull-down. The pull-ups are resistors. Why using resistors instead of normal CMOS inverters with both pull-down and pull-up active?

I see signal integrity issues with all of those five elements. And they seem destined for off-board routing through a connector. Is that some sort of weird ESD protection by using cheap discrete transistors as sacrificial to protect rare/expensive integrated circuits?

Edit: spelling and US/English terminology fixes
6  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Universal Hash Board: Bitfury 28 nM "UHB_BM28NM" on: July 08, 2016, 01:19:45 PM
The schematics look like art project, not a technical project. It seems like the preparer wasn't understanding what he was doing or for other reasons made strange mistakes. E.g. there is an n-channel device Q5 with gate tied directly to +3.3V.

I've seen electronic schematics prepared around 1960-1970 by a school dropout who was dictated by an engineer who was injured and blinded in an accident. They had similar completely incomprehensible mistakes. E.g. no sane technician or engineer would consistently spell "nM" for "nanometer".

It could also be a joke, because "Bitfury" is consistently spelled "Bitfurry".
7  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community Miner Design Discussion on: June 28, 2016, 03:16:24 PM
First, it has ZERO chance of being a scam.
I wish both of you (kilo17 & sidehack) all the best, but you've only expressed your intentions.

AFAIK kilo17's professional background is MD (medical doctor) in the USA. If that is true, then this is the most over-regulated and over-protected of all professions. You probably have very little experience in unregulated business and with sharks preying there.

I did quite a bit of consulting for the electronics companies set up by cardiologists, and let me pass to you advice of one of them: "admit to yourselves that we've been mollycoddled by the AMA and we have much to learn from those who work in other fields in the USA. Or even the same field, but internationally, with much less regulatory oversight."

In my opinion you (kilo17 & sidehack) need to obtain services and advice of some civil contract lawyer and private investigator. Lawyer would check the contracts and agreements you enter into. PI would check the background of the prospective partners and important customers. IIRC both of you already have experience with "promise and don't deliver" businessmen. That was comparatively cheap lesson compared to other "promise and steal" or "promise and sue" business operators.

Your good intentions will not protect you from scammers and extortionists.

Edit: cypherdoc is no longer posting on this forum. After his brief involvement with Hashfast he had to settle the lawsuits against him. You'll have to research this yourselves, I cannot post links.
8  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community brainpan - please discuss and debate desirable features for a miner on: June 24, 2016, 04:41:32 PM
SDN technology is still in its infancy. In fact, Brocade has the capability built into their switches via VXLAN and OpenFlow and sells a few controller options, but actual enterprise solutions are few and far in-between. Their demonstrations are all based on Mininet in a virtual environment. HP, well, their switches might have OpenFlow capability, but the functionality is a joke. Cisco claims they are working on an SDN solution, but where is the firmware for their switches? SDN is not even designed as a replacement technology for VLANs. Anyway, VLANs have their place in major enterprise network where they are frequently used in conjunction with VRFs and MPLS to extend the enterprise over multiple campus networks.

All of that to say, I agree with you. VLANs would only serve to add complexity that is unnecessary.
It is good to have somebody knowledgeable post here about SDN. My comment to the above is that SDN is to the large extent a fancy packaging of the old-style GRE tunnels (Generic Routing Encapsulation), so the devices not explicitly supporting SDN can still be made to interoperate with them, because GRE was rolled out in late 1990-ies.

But I posted here to somehow constructively close this derail. The original problem was to have disjoint IPv4 subnets on a single LAN segment. If this LAN segment is under single administrative control it is best to support that using IPv4 aliasing. Windows fully supports it since NT4. Unix-like system supported IP aliasing even earlier, review the "man ifconfig". Depending on your actual configuration you may need to review and hand modify your routing table ("route" and "netstat -r"). Also be aware of possible ICMP redirect packets that could install temporary routes. With some careful configuration done you can even have more than one DHCP server running on the same LAN segment. Various DHCP exclusions/special identifiers will need to be set up to make that work correctly. Again, read the docs.

In the SOHO (Small Office Home Office) market segments using VLANs is really risky. The problems are:

0) previously mentioned botnet-hiding tricks in malware and various workarounds for those attacks in networking equipment/software sold in the SOHO segment.

1) lack of full hardware support for VLAN-tagged packets in many cheap network switches/routers. They tend to support VLANs through software exceptions that make them work much slower. The cheapest devices tend to have firmware/hardware cheats that not even fully work but pretend just enough to pass the "Compatible with Windows" tests administered by Microsoft.

2) color printers/copiers/scanners on the segment with VLAN tags are your worst enemy. Those devices always have secret police firmware to prevent printing/copying banknotes, not even the printer manufacturer has the source code and they cannot fix all the bugs.

In my experience helping various part-time small-network administrators IPv4 aliasing is a safer choice than VLAN tagging. If you insist on using VLANs then buy some old Cisco IOS router/switch just for the purpose of using it in debugging and troubleshooting, not in a normal production/operation. Cisco IOS is extremely complex but also there's lot of information for it available for free on the Internet. It is also extremely well debugged and has extremely good debugging/logging tools available.

9  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community brainpan - please discuss and debate desirable features for a miner on: June 24, 2016, 05:53:27 AM
Agreed, I was just answering the question posed. I understand VLANs and such, but that's because I've been doing that stuff for a relatively long time, and without a CCIE even.  Wink
Understood, VLANs aren't really rocket science. But they are also nowadays a history. With the exception of the USA true IPv4 globally-routable addresses are in acute shortage. Modern ISPs rarely provide "the Internet" with plain IPv4 technologies. Nowadays it is a mixture of PPPoE (8-byte tags instead of 4-byte tags in VLAN), MPLS (variable tag sizes) or by tunneling IPv4 in IPv6. So adding 4-byte VLAN tags to the "Internet" side is really pointless. It is much better to understand what is the "native" transport layer on the "Internet" side and configure everything else accordingly.

The reality of 2016 is that VLANs are now mostly botnet-hiding trick. Most of the past users of VLANs moved on to the more general and flexible SDNs (Software-Defined Networks).

I think that these days advising someone to learn configuring VLANs is like advising necromancy.

10  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community brainpan - please discuss and debate desirable features for a miner on: June 24, 2016, 03:35:58 AM
My one-employee business runs VLANs, but that's only because of the hosting subnet. A miner requring the customer to use VLANs very much violates the "simple" requirement.
I now have a standard answer to those "one-man company" arguments. It is a old poem by some Russian poet:

A lonely sail is flashing white
Amidst the blue mist of the sea!...
What does it seek in foreign lands?
What did it leave behind at home?..

Waves heave, wind whistles,
The mast, it bends and creaks...
Alas, it seeks not happiness
Nor happiness does it escape!

Below, a current azure bright,
Above, a golden ray of sun...
Rebellious, it seeks out a storm
As if in storms it could find peace!
Белеет парус одинокий
В тумане моря голубом!..
Что ищет он в стране далекой?
Что кинул он в краю родном?..
Играют волны - ветер свищет,
И мачта гнется и скрыпит...
Увы, - он счастия не ищет
И не от счастия бежит!

Под ним струя светлей лазури,
Над ним луч солнца золотой...
А он, мятежный, просит бури,
Как будто в бурях есть покой!
11  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community brainpan - please discuss and debate desirable features for a miner on: June 24, 2016, 03:09:29 AM
You could do that with a controller that allowed sub-interfaces/virtual interfaces to be configured on a single ethernet port, and a switch that could handle standard VLANs and VLAN trunking. One VLAN with the miners, one VLAN with the controller and the connection to the internet. You would want the miners to use DHCP, and then configure the controller to act as a DHCP server on the miner VLAN.
Perish the thought!

VLANs aren't a consumer-level concept. I would argue that they even aren't business-level concept unless the business has several hundred employees or at least one CCIE (or equivalent) network administrators.

They are also emerging as a new way of hiding malware botnets, several better network security devices (both high-end and low-end) are flagging VLAN-tagged traffic as intrusions.

Also, VLAN-tagged frames have unfortunate property of causing crashes or malfunctions in otherwise quite reliably working network hardware. This includes Intel which was co-architecting the current VLAN standards! Some people more paranoid than myself even have an opinion that the malfunctions/crashes/malware flagging is the tactic to increase sales by "planned obsolescence". From my recent memory the business class Samsung printer/copiers/scanners have particularly nasty bugs cased by the presence of VLAN-tagged frames.
12  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community Miner Design Discussion on: June 23, 2016, 02:08:06 PM
Now that I have come to this point let me to reveal my other secrets:

The way I understand semi-smart contracts and SADO's they are the ultimate answers to the canonical debate about the Bitcoin scalability and I deeply believe there will be no other long term solution for problems like micro payments and the headroom needed for high volume transaction processing.

Ultimate answer is "semi-smart contracts and SADOs"?


The Ultimate Answer is 42.
13  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community brainpan - please discuss and debate desirable features for a miner on: June 23, 2016, 01:54:00 AM
Now these guys have a pure TCPIP mode for (galvo) controllers.
I haven't looked into details, but this device doesn't look like it would be suitable for coin mining. In this application the key functionality is asynchronous notification from the device to the controller that the golden nonce has been found or that the nonce range search has ended. It is non-trivial to do it fast, reliably and correctly. I have no experience with this particular interface, but I've tested many, many similar ones over the years. Few of them meet the the 3 requirements stated earlier. Most of them are barely working as event inputs and require tight polling loops. They are typically designed for output or for bulk streaming input.

Interestingly the various "trigger" devices used in music production work very well, I guess the musicians are particularly sensitive to have the computer really work on a cue from a human, not vice-versa.

Interestingly, bitfury who is an excellent engineer, proposed earlier an IP-based mining protocol that was susceptible to exactly this failure mode. I'll add a link once I find it.

Edit: I've found it:
14  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: Community brainpan - please discuss and debate desirable features for a miner on: June 22, 2016, 10:46:26 PM
I'm reading this post as implicitly stating that you are going to have some people helping you with procurement, manufacture and distribution. So it won't be "sidehack"-alone project, but some other folks will be working closely with you.

In that case get one of those people interested in verifying how to apply regular bank financing in your project. The regular way for small businesses to manufacture made-to-order stuff is via . The buyers will not be able to gratuitously back out of orders and you will be able to order parts and components on the regular commercial net terms instead of prepaying for them.

The Wikipedia article I linked is not a good description of the concept. It is best to find somebody who isn't afraid to step into the branch and directly talk to somebody in merchant services. I presume that "GekkoScience" is an actual proper registered business entity and not just and expense code on sidehack's personal bank account. Also, the letters of credit require funding, which would fall onto hand of the group buy organizers, but it is much easier to set up than receiving and holding letters of credit.
15  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: IBM takes a leap to 7nm on: June 15, 2016, 02:10:40 AM
If it's a "legit" co-lo facility, security can be part of the package. How secure depends on the facility and how much you want to pay...
Paying for physical security and achieving a physical security always were (and are) two different things. I do remember working at one of those "secure colocation centers" which had armed guards and hand geometry scanners near the front door and a wide-open elephant door in the back where theft was going by the truckloads.

Co-location was and still is full of completely fraudulent security theater.

Since this thread has IBM in the title I also remember that IBM used to do "security ratings" for their partners. The suburban office with separate alarm circuit for the IBM-partner equipment room, no guards whatsoever and the receptionist and all employees mutually recognizing each other by sight would get higher rating than that "secure colocation center".

Edit: Found the link to those "secure" co-locators:
16  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: IBM takes a leap to 7nm on: June 15, 2016, 01:13:49 AM
For us lowly 'small' miners best we can do is the recycle yard or pass-it-down resale.
I was under impression that many of the 'small' miners are actually hosting/co-locating their mining equipment at the 'moderately large' mining farms. That would be an equivalent of the olden mainframe days where many 'small' mainframe owners were actually co-locating them at reasonably large data centers and frequently renting/leasing peripheral devices (like large hardware RAM disks) only when needed.

Then the only remaining issue is the physical security: that the miners using experimental chips did not go missing in the night or the owner of premises for the mining farm repossesses/places a lien on the equipment for nonpayment of the rent or electricity bills.

Edit: I remember seeing the photographs of the DRAM banks for the aforementioned hardware RAM disks. The DRAM chips were all in DIP packages and all socketed. To avoid the theft the DRAM banks were then cemented to steel plates on top to prevent individual removal. One of the "thefts" to prevent was actually not theft (chips goes missing) but unauthorized replacement (experimental chip replaced with an off-the-shelf equivalent). Apparently in the DRAM business seeing and measuring un-binned chips would allow detailed reverse-engineering of the manufacturing process. This includes not only taking the actual possession of the experimental chip and de-capping it but also a temporary removal from the original socket to run a battery of post-manufacturing electrical tests and then putting the chip back in the original circuit.
17  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: IBM takes a leap to 7nm on: June 14, 2016, 11:31:09 PM
To put it in short form, ja miner ASICS could make very simple handy process targets to tinker with. The companies researching 10/7 are not about to make the process targets as for-saleable items.

The fact that IBM and friends have already done a functional mammoth count 7nm test chip says that they are way beyond needing simple targets and have to concentrate on the process and materials basics to make the process usable on a commercially viable scale.
The "for-sale" problem is usually solved by leasing the new chips with mandatory return to the manufacturer after the end of the useful life of the product. I've learned about this trick a while back: hardware RAM disk (mainframe device) manufacturers would lease large quantities of experimental and not-up-to-spec DRAM chips to assemble their "disk drives". IBM (and others) were happy to just lease those "RAM disks".

The general idea of leasing would actually mesh quite well with the Bitcoin mining business model.
18  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: IBM takes a leap to 7nm on: June 14, 2016, 07:51:24 AM
I suspect IBM will share the tech with their partners - eventually - but they have to get it working reliably first.
The last part of the above sentence is plainly wrong. IBM first shares the technology with the partners to debug it, then once it works reliably starts selling for money to the regular customers. This is why IBM is so picky when forming partnerships: they have to be reasonably assured that the partner relationship will provide them with truthful feedback required to achieve IBM's customers' expectations of quality.

You seem to have this partnership relationship backwards.
19  Bitcoin / Hardware / Re: IBM takes a leap to 7nm on: June 14, 2016, 04:41:50 AM
Ja. Silly question perhaps but how many hashing cores/engines do Bitmains chips have (or Avalon's, BitFury's)? In the 1385 data sheet they always refer to things as 'core'. Singular, not plural or more.

I believe the Monarch had 256 cores/chip or something like that. I know Inno/'s A1 had "27 highly optimized hashing engines based on custom ASIC cells up to 1.6M" (quote from the A1 spec sheet). IF what they refer to as cells are actually gates (or if each cell is actually 2 gates) then that raises the count but even w/256 nearly 10x more gates it's a long way from the near 2-billion in the latest (affordable) CPU/GPU/s.

2112 wanna pop in on this? Should be right up your alley.
I really don't have anything important to add to this thread.

1) As far as core counts: I wouldn't pay much attention to the marketing blurbs. Technical accuracy isn't an objective there. The words and sentences are mostly meaningless, whatever sounds most impressive wins. Only trust sidehack's calculations or equivalent methods. "Custom cell" may mean as little as "standard cell" with  JTAG/testing connections/circuitry removed/defeated.

2) As far as IBM sharing the access to the 7nm process with fabless boutique designers: I see no problem from the IBM side, IBM typically is quite good with sharing their technology with their long term partners. I see a problem from the coin mining entrepreneurs side: this niche doesn't attract trustworthy/stable people. IBM does thorough vetting of their prospective partners / developers / resellers. Even people much less skeezy that in the Bitcoin milieu fail to make an entry grade in the IBM Developer's Program. Even Spondoolies, the least weird company in the niche, found hiring full time hardware engineering staff impossible.
20  Other / Meta / SSL settings change 2016-06-13 19:55 UTC on: June 13, 2016, 08:03:00 PM
They are now too tight and this site cannot be read on older Macintoshes with older OSX Leopard. Can you loosen it back a little?

Edit: Sorry for double post. Things seem to be working fine now, 15 minutes later. It seems like strange temporary routing change inside Amazon, probably related to DDoS or anti-DDoS defenses, I can't fully trace it right now.
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