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Author Topic: Hi I'm new, I have a few quick questions  (Read 2961 times)
CryptikEnigma
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March 23, 2011, 03:55:08 AM
 #1

Hi, I just installed bitcoins and got my free 0.05 BTC yesterday(what a nice guy who runs that site BTW). I was a little confused on how generating works, it doesn't generate you free bitcoins does it? That seems too good to be true. It is generating bitcoins into the community as a whole is what I'm thinking? On that same note, what exactly does generating a block do, I read a couple FAQs/wiki but I'm still a little hazy on what exactly that does.

Also, from lurking the forums for a bit today I see a lot of people talking about their khash, so I'm guessing its important. Mine is around 4200-4500 khash/s. Is that good?

I've also seen that using your GPU instead of your CPU is better, how do I do that?

Also, what's a good way to get started making bitcoins? I seen the market section, I think I might try selling my Steam account with Black Ops on it(played it for a week then went back to CoD4 lol). But other than that I'm drawing a blank since I'm completely new to the community and don't know anybody. Any ideas would be welcome.

And finally I'd just like to say I think the philosophy behind bitcoins is awesome. One of my favorite documentaries of all time is Bill Still's 'The Money Masters', which chronicles the evils of central banks and fractional reserve lending.

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theymos
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March 23, 2011, 04:12:08 AM
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Generating is trying to create a block. If you create a block, you generate 50 new bitcoins for yourself. It is very difficult to generate a block: it'll take you more than two years on average to generate a block with only 4500 khash/s. So it's not really "too good to be true".

khash/s is kilohashes per second, or 1000 hashes per second. You'll have more hashes per second with faster hardware, and especially with GPUs. More hash/s makes it more likely that you'll create a block.

See:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Block

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March 23, 2011, 04:30:37 AM
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Welcome to the community.  I rounded up your Bitcoin balance with a small donation.  There's a whole section of the forum just on Mining, so you'll have to plod through that to get a feel of what is involved in successful mining.  Basically, you need an ATI 5XXX or 6XXX graphics card and a machine you don't mind leaving on 24/7.

As to what you can market for Bitcoins, it would be just about anything you currently possess or can offer as a service.  In addition to the Marketplace section, check BiddingPond.com and bitcoin-otc.com.

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CryptikEnigma
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March 23, 2011, 04:38:10 AM
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Wow, thanks for the donation! I'll go check out the mining section right now, I only have a 4850 though. Also, how do I use my GPU instead of my CPU? I couldn't find anything in the settings and options. Or does the Bitcoin program use GPU already by default?
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March 23, 2011, 04:39:21 AM
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Wow, thanks for the donation! I'll go check out the mining section right now, I only have a 4850 though. Also, how do I use my GPU instead of my CPU? I couldn't find anything in the settings and options. Or does the Bitcoin program use GPU already by default?

The bitcoin software does not use the GPU.

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March 23, 2011, 05:00:41 AM
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Wow, thanks for the donation! I'll go check out the mining section right now, I only have a 4850 though. Also, how do I use my GPU instead of my CPU? I couldn't find anything in the settings and options. Or does the Bitcoin program use GPU already by default?

You have to use a separate miner, like m0mchil's poclbm.py.  Your 4850 should generate around 1 BTC per day, based on the current difficulty level.  If you do solo mining, you will get a block on average once every 50 days.  If you join a mining pool, you'll get a little less than that, but in a steady stream rather than a whole block (50 BTC) at once.  You can think of mining receipts as a reward for supporting and protecting the network.

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March 23, 2011, 05:53:15 AM
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That sounds like the best way to go for me since I already have python on my computer. Do you have a d/l link by any chance? Is it pretty easy to use?
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March 23, 2011, 07:05:14 AM
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Okay d/led poclbm from here: http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3878.0

I clicked the guiminer exe after I extracted and it gave me an error saying something about OpenCL and if I have an ATI card(which I do) something about SDK?

What else do I need to do to get working? Any help is much appreciated. Smiley
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March 23, 2011, 09:20:43 AM
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Alright, I think I got it working on my own. Thanks for the help guys.
CryptikEnigma
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March 23, 2011, 09:36:32 AM
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Alright, since I'm wanting to mine solo, I set the server to solo, then I went to solo utilities, created a solo password and set the bitcoin client path. Then I clicked start mining, but it said having problems communicating with the bitcoin RPC or something(I already had it running since yesterday). Should I close the program and restart it from poclbm? Also, do I need to add anything in the 'extra flags' field(ATI 4850)?
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March 23, 2011, 10:02:52 AM
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I haven't used that GUI version of m0mchil's miner, but I do think you need to have the Bitcoin client running in server mode. You need to run bitcoin.exe -server (or is it --server? - not a windows user myself)

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CryptikEnigma
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March 23, 2011, 10:17:51 AM
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Ah no worries, I finally got it working. I closed bitcoin out, then restarted it from poclbm, which then gave me a pop up that said I could start mining. So I clicked start mining and it worked. Thanks for all the help guys Cheesy
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March 23, 2011, 10:47:25 AM
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Last question, I SWEAR LOL

Would solo mining with poclbm and generating with bitcoin at the same time be bad or good or not really make a difference?
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March 23, 2011, 12:00:24 PM
 #14

Last question, I SWEAR LOL

Would solo mining with poclbm and generating with bitcoin at the same time be bad or good or not really make a difference?

If you overload your cpu too far, it will impact your hashrate negatively.  But if you limit cpu generation to half or less of your available cores you should be okay on a modern system.  You should realise, though, that CPU generation typically isn't worth the electricity that it costs.

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CryptikEnigma
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March 23, 2011, 12:13:12 PM
 #15

Last question, I SWEAR LOL

Would solo mining with poclbm and generating with bitcoin at the same time be bad or good or not really make a difference?

If you overload your cpu too far, it will impact your hashrate negatively.  But if you limit cpu generation to half or less of your available cores you should be okay on a modern system.  You should realise, though, that CPU generation typically isn't worth the electricity that it costs.

Okay thanks, I'll just stick with with poclbm and use my GPU in that case.
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March 23, 2011, 12:26:48 PM
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Last question, I SWEAR LOL
No problems - keep 'em coming if you have them.

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March 23, 2011, 12:44:10 PM
 #17

Last question, I SWEAR LOL
No problems - keep 'em coming if you have them.

Well in that case!

I used the bitcoin calculator to find out on average that it will take me 50 days to generate my first block. What I'm wondering is, if I need to shut off my computer for whatever reason, do I have to start the fifty days all over again once I turn my computer back and start mining again?
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March 23, 2011, 12:53:42 PM
 #18

I used the bitcoin calculator to find out on average that it will take me 50 days to generate my first block. What I'm wondering is, if I need to shut off my computer for whatever reason, do I have to start the fifty days all over again once I turn my computer back and start mining again?

Nope, it will just take longer... It is like looking in a pond for a lost coin... the longer that you spend drinking tea, the less time you are looking for the coin.   Of course, if you wait too long, the mud will go over the coin and make it harder to find. Meaning that the difficulty will go up, so it takes even longer to find  the lost coin.

The key difference between the analogy above and what is really happening with Bitcoin is that the pond is the sea, and the coins are the sand.  There are lots of Gold grains evenly spread out in the sand, and you need only to find one Gold grain to win the 'block,' as the difficulty is increased, the size of the Gold grain that you need to find gets larger, so it take more tries.

One off NP-Hard.
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March 23, 2011, 12:55:54 PM
 #19

[Edit conflict]
Last question, I SWEAR LOL
No problems - keep 'em coming if you have them.

Well in that case!

I used the bitcoin calculator to find out on average that it will take me 50 days to generate my first block. What I'm wondering is, if I need to shut off my computer for whatever reason, do I have to start the fifty days all over again once I turn my computer back and start mining again?
No. You can safely shut down your computer and you only lose the time your computer could have been on. Mining is less progressing towards some goal and more drawing lottery tickets until you happen to hit the jackpot.

The downside of this is that the time to find blocks is very variable. It's possible you'll mine for months and not find anything. With your hashing rate I strongly suggest joining a pool (slush's, Tycho's, btcmine, ...)

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March 23, 2011, 12:56:31 PM
 #20

Last question, I SWEAR LOL
No problems - keep 'em coming if you have them.

Well in that case!

I used the bitcoin calculator to find out on average that it will take me 50 days to generate my first block. What I'm wondering is, if I need to shut off my computer for whatever reason, do I have to start the fifty days all over again once I turn my computer back and start mining again?
Generation is like a lottery that you participate in once per hash (therefore many thousands of times per second).  You can play it whenever you want without changing the chances of winning any other time.  The 50 days is just saying, based on the odds per ticket and how quickly you are playing the different tickets, how long will it will take on average to win once.  It could happen earlier, or later, or many times, or never--though in the long run it tends to be fairly consistent.  But it doesn't depend on work done before or after, so you are welcome to turn your computer on or off whenever you like.

Most people with a 50 day average generation time are going to participate in a mining pool so that instead of one payout every 50 days (well, randomly but with that average) they get a more predictable one bitcoin per day, with a bit shaved off for the pool operator.  If you're interested you should check out the mining board.

If you found my post helpful, feel free to send a small tip to 1QGukeKbBQbXHtV6LgkQa977LJ3YHXXW8B
Visit the BitCoin Q&A Site to ask questions or share knowledge.
0.009 BTC too confusing?  Use mBTC instead!  Details at www.em-bit.org or visit the project thread to help make Bitcoin prices more human-friendly.
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