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Author Topic: Anyone else seem ovewhelmed?  (Read 1666 times)
2Legit2Bit
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September 22, 2011, 05:10:58 PM
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Is it just me or do bitcoins and everything that comes with them seem alittle overwhelming at first glance? I am in no way computer savy and so far everything I've read seems chock full of technical jargon. I've seen some guides that are alright and I've a basic grasp of the concept of bitcoins but when I looked into pool mining I was just drowning. Any "for dummies" style breakdown out there?

Anyone else feel this way? What have your initial thougjs been?

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annelions
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September 22, 2011, 05:15:29 PM
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It IS a bit complicated.

If you just want to get some BTC to play around with, install the wallet from Bitcoin.org then go to http://freebitcoins.appspot.com/ and http://dailybitcoins.org/ for some free money. It's not much at all to start with, but it's something.

If you want to get into mining, do you at least have a non-onboard graphics card, preferably ATI and not nVidia?

http://mining.bitcoin.cz/ is very helpful for getting started mining. If you have Windows, Kiv's miner (on that page) is very, very easy to use.
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September 22, 2011, 05:20:25 PM
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It IS a bit complicated.

Pun intended?  Cool

You don't need to understand the technical details to use bitcoins. You don't even need to understand mining. Just head over to an exchange and buy some bitcoins if you want to use them.

Solo mining is irrelevant, unless you have dozens of GPUs. If you want to mine, just create an account at a pool, download the mining software and enter your user/pass there. Check these links to know if it's worth it:

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison
http://tpbitcalc.appspot.com/

PS: Yes, it is kind of overwhelming at first. Just try to avoid technical details if you don't want to know them and skip to the "usage section".
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September 22, 2011, 05:35:41 PM
 #4

Thank you for the starter sites!

I looked into pool mining with the guiminer but I'm only able to pull like 1.6Mhash/s and keep getting errors so its probably not worth it. If I could even manage to make a sliver of a coin off it I wouldn't mind letting it run as electricity isn't an issue with me. Seemed like a nice little hobby to let do its thing at home while I work.

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September 22, 2011, 05:51:57 PM
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You might want to look into http://www.bitcoinplus.com/ for CPU mining. The rate sucks terribly, but if you're going to have your computer on anyway and not be doing much besides surfing, it'll make you SOME coin. I've been running it on 2 comps for the past couple days while I keep GUIMiner going in the background. It's made about 0.002 so far. Not a lot at all, by any means, but if you'll have the computer on ANYWAY...

Hopefully, you've got multiple cores in your CPU; that helps a lot.
TheHarbinger
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September 22, 2011, 08:39:58 PM
 #6

It's only overwhelming at the start.  Once you're up and going, it's like a ShowTime Rotisserie, you just set it, and forget it.

 GuiMiner is a great start for a new BitCoiner.  It has a nice list of pools to choose from built in, along with links to those pools to set up your miner.  Here's a nice list comparing the different pools, https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Comparison_of_mining_pools .  Most of the pools have good directions on how to set up your miner. 

You honestly don't even need the BitCoin client yourself until you want to start moving coins into your own wallet, some people never do that.

I highly recommend not buying any hardware for the sole purpose of mining, it will be at least 6 months until is pays itself off, depending on price changes on the hardware and bitcoin itself.

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September 22, 2011, 08:45:04 PM
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Yep, it is overwhelming. And thats one thing holding it back IMHO. For any non cryptographer, its not something you can get your head around in 5 minutes.

Maybe you will find this helpful though:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/18GP6spob897vPVtceTHjTaO6-SZfpOvnDDUfXHdKfJc/edit?hl=en_US

It doesnt go deep in to technical details, but explains what you need to know. Particulary if you want to get involved in mining or trading, Id recommend reading it first.

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September 22, 2011, 08:54:00 PM
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it will be at least 6 months until is pays itself off, depending on price changes on the hardware and bitcoin itself.

That statement is contradictory. The price could go to $1000 a coin tomorrow when warren buffet tells everyone to BUY BUY BUY. No one can read the future.

That said, buying a bunch of equipment and running your electrical bill up with the current state of things is probably not such a good idea. Six months is way too optimistic at these prices..more like a year or two. Electricity ain't cheap.

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nmat
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September 22, 2011, 09:31:35 PM
 #9

a year or two. Electricity ain't cheap.

A year or two could mean never because better hardware will come.
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September 22, 2011, 09:56:26 PM
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a year or two. Electricity ain't cheap.

A year or two could mean never because better hardware will come.


The pipeline for hardware development is more than a year long, and at these prices, who's gonna pour that kind of coin into it? 7000 series may or may not be better. No one can say.

There are some guys cranking out like, 100 FPGAs a turn, and that's not affecting much. I don't know that better hardware will come before we have run ourselves into the ground.

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September 22, 2011, 09:58:29 PM
 #11

A year or two could mean never because better hardware will come.

Actually, maybe not. Unless you are thinking FPGAs or even ASICs. Next generation AMD videocards will likely be worse at mining than current 6xx0 and previous 58xx ones. From everything I heard they will make designs that resemble nVidia's architecture more, which almost certainly will mean worse hashrates (though better at general purpose computing).

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September 22, 2011, 10:06:31 PM
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To the OP, after you understand the basics watch this talk by Jeffrey Paul to get a better grasp of the more technical stuff.

http://vimeo.com/27653912
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September 22, 2011, 10:13:51 PM
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good link P4man. so that explains the what, but why is bitcoin around? what is it meant to achieve?

and why a 21 million coin limit?
nmat
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September 22, 2011, 10:20:57 PM
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A year or two could mean never because better hardware will come.

Actually, maybe not. Unless you are thinking FPGAs or even ASICs. Next generation AMD videocards will likely be worse at mining than current 6xx0 and previous 58xx ones. From everything I heard they will make designs that resemble nVidia's architecture more, which almost certainly will mean worse hashrates (though better at general purpose computing).

You are correct, but I am thinking about FPGAs or ASICs Wink It may not happen though...
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September 22, 2011, 10:54:33 PM
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I still don't understand why you can't really use a powerful CPU for mining. Is a GPU really more powerful for these calculations?

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RandyFolds
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September 22, 2011, 11:06:37 PM
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I still don't understand why you can't really use a powerful CPU for mining. Is a GPU really more powerful for these calculations?

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Why_a_GPU_mines_faster_than_a_CPU

Also check this one out for some good noob reading:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ

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nmat
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September 22, 2011, 11:07:50 PM
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I still don't understand why you can't really use a powerful CPU for mining. Is a GPU really more powerful for these calculations?

Short answer: yes.

Why don't you use just a really powerful CPU to play games? Because they don't handle image generation as well as a GPU does. No matter how good a CPU is, you still can't play a recent game without a graphics card. GPU's hardware is optimized for parallel tasks such as image processing. Bitcoin mining algorithm also benefits from this kind of architecture.
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September 23, 2011, 02:24:47 AM
 #18

I still don't understand why you can't really use a powerful CPU for mining. Is a GPU really more powerful for these calculations?

OK, Mythbusters explained this far better than anyone else, and all in 1:34. (including slow-motion replay!)

Go watch this video. This is GPU(parallel) vs CPU(serial).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P28LKWTzrI
nmat
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September 23, 2011, 02:28:00 AM
 #19

I still don't understand why you can't really use a powerful CPU for mining. Is a GPU really more powerful for these calculations?

OK, Mythbusters explained this far better than anyone else, and all in 1:34. (including slow-motion replay!)

Go watch this video. This is GPU(parallel) vs CPU(serial).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P28LKWTzrI


Hehe. It's exactly that.
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September 23, 2011, 02:51:06 AM
 #20

Is it just me or do bitcoins and everything that comes with them seem alittle overwhelming at first glance? I am in no way computer savy and so far everything I've read seems chock full of technical jargon. I've seen some guides that are alright and I've a basic grasp of the concept of bitcoins but when I looked into pool mining I was just drowning. Any "for dummies" style breakdown out there?

Anyone else feel this way? What have your initial thougjs been?

OK, first of all, you're right - and that's one of the fundamental problems with the system.

My three year old can understand money. My 40-something year old self took a week to wrap my head (loosely!) around bitcoins, and I'm far from having a deep understanding of it. Nonetheless, it can be broken down fairly simply.

1) Bitcoins can be bought, sold, traded, or used as pseudo-currency to buy things from some vendors.
2) Bitcoins are created at a constant rate (for now), and their movements recordeded, as the result of magical computing.
2a) In other words, Every creation , transfer, buy, sell, etc., of bitcoins is recorded and tracked by magical computing!
3) For mining: Mining is a lottery. The poeple who "win" get 50 bitcoins. Since there is now so much computing power involved, the odds of being the guy who wins (and gets 50 BTC) are miniscule. Thus, people pool their resources and share the rewards when they win the lottery. This is JUST like a lottery ticket pool in the office, where everyone throws in five bucks and you buy 20 times as many tickets, but split the winnings (if any!) 20 ways.

Do you want some bitcoins? First question to ask is why. Second question is how many. Right now, you'd be hard pressed to justify mining them. A good mining video card is going to set you back $400+, and for that much money you could buy close to 80 BTC. How long will it tale you to mine 80BTC with that card? Many many months - possibly a year.

Just for a bit of perspective, I remember when RedHat went public, and a huge number of geeks were outraged that they couldn't buy options at an IPO as the first stock trade of their life. I honestly think that most of the excitement over BTC is that this time, they can get in on the ground floor - or at least on the first or second floor. The real trick is that nobody knows how many stories the elevator will go up before the cable snaps.
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