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Author Topic: ZenMiner (unmoderated) service discussion thread  (Read 27632 times)
ski92
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June 11, 2014, 08:01:27 AM
 #121

Got mine free yesterday, it just stays on the zenminer site with "searching for your miner" how long does this take?
the gear seems to be mining its using power under load.
 

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hamburgerler
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June 11, 2014, 08:41:15 AM
 #122

I am so happy with gawminers and zenminer! I have just found out on my pool that my fury mined a block Cheesy Now it makes me wish I solo mined and got a full litecoin block!

GAWMiners and zenminer are great!
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June 11, 2014, 12:38:45 PM
 #123

I thought I would go ahead and post my own personal opinion on the Zenminer after three days of trying to get it running.

While the software seems to have a nice web interface and the ability to view miner status remotely would be cool, I have to say that I am not a big fan.

Here are the three not insignificant issues I have with the product.

   1. Lack of documentation.  There is no "official" setup guide that I have yet been able to easily find.  Lots of people have put up their own on the forums or other places and Eric at Zenminers seems to be a decent guy who tries really hard to help but waiting a day for an email response on how to setup, configure and troubleshoot an installation is ineffective and frustrating.  Also, the information posted in anecdotal guides is often misleading.  As an example, I have seen several threads where it was claimed that the Zenminer supported both Fury's and Gridseeds on the same miner.  This quote from Eric in an email disavows that; "Please unplug the Gridseed as it is not supported yet. Once it is supported, you'll still only be able to use one type of device per controller."

   2. No "real support system" in place.  Again, Eric seems nice and answers emails and posts in forums but one guy trying to plug holes in a dike in such an informal manner is not a support system.  My own experience is that there is about an 8-12 hour delay between emails and after two days of working with him directly on getting my miner running, I would still not be mining if I did not have another rPi that I am just running cgminer on.  They could fix this by getting a ticketing system in place and letting users post their issues via their website.  With ticketing they would be able to correlate common problems and resolve them or update their non-existent documentation to better educate their users.  This would be much more effective than running one poor guy into the ground.

   3. Lack of transparency.  Zenminer needs to put on their website their terms and conditions for using the software and clearly state what they are getting out of this as well as a customer privacy statement.   Also, they need to give their users root access to their devices.  Obfuscating this leaves room for doubt as to what is going on behind the scenes.  Is my device which is sitting behind my firewall, but which they clearly have remote access to secure? Can they siphon off my mining?  What other access do they get that I am not aware of because they have not posted their terms and conditions and/or provided clear documentation?  I also would like to see more about the company, who the principles are other than Eric,  how many customers they are supporting, and what other mining related activities they are involved in.   Leaving us to fill in the blanks only leads to wild speculation that ultimately isn't good for their image.

At this juncture I would say that the product is "alpha" at best and I will probably not be using it until it, and the company mature and I am certain I won't get "Goxed".

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DarkKnight
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June 12, 2014, 03:51:18 PM
 #124

Hi,

Anyone know if there is a startup config file to edit to enable API support? I use a PHP script to monitor all my miners running on different machines\RPi's.

Thanks.

See my email exchange below.

Quote from: DarkKnight
I need to enable API access to the mining client as well as set log timing at 5 seconds to maintain compatibility with leaserig proxy speed reporting.

These settings are usually done from the command line or a JSON conf file. Some guidance on how to make these changes to the software would be helpful.

Also, under the hardware, I don't see a way to specify Gridseed Orb/Blade. Only zeus clones are up there.

Thank you


Quote from: Zenminer_Eric
   
From: Zenminer_Eric Jun 5 (7 days ago)
      
to me

DarkKnight,

Logging is already set to a 5 sec interval, we currently don't offer API access but may at a later time.

Also, we're releasing Gridseed support hopefully by the end of today.


It's been a week, gridseed support is nowhere to be found, and zero communication coming from Zenminer about the issue. If "by the end of today" means more than a week, I wouldn't hold your breath for "API access at a later time".  Roll Eyes

Eric, this is bad business. If you don't have it done by your own deadline (or shortly thereafter), nut up and post why. Silence pisses off paying customers. When you say nothing at all, it seems like the work just isn't important enough for you to get done, in which case, nobody should bother with your service. You are doing *something* during the day, and it's been a fucking week. Explain why it's taking so long & fix the support advertised, or start issuing refunds. This isn't some kickstarter project you can just blow off when you don't feel like working. A product was sold with implicit functionality that doesn't exist. I don't know what it is about this damn community where endless delays, missed deadlines, and zero communication have become accepted behavior in business.

http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-mining-manufacturer-hashfast-enters-chapter-11-bankruptcy/ <-- Is what happens to companies that behave like this.

Good business is (in order):

  • Delivering working products on time
  • Promptly handling returns of non-working products
  • Good customer service
  • Staying connected with your customers.

GAW has great customer service, and they are well connected with their customers, but it took them over 2 months to credit me for defective equipment, and when I used that credit to purchase a blade, it shipped a week late. Part of that purchase was a Zenminer that was sold to me as running the blade I ordered. Now I have the blade in hand and the Zenminer doesn't work.

Put yourself in my position.


   3. Lack of transparency.  Zenminer needs to put on their website their terms and conditions for using the software and clearly state what they are getting out of this as well as a customer privacy statement.   Also, they need to give their users root access to their devices.  Obfuscating this leaves room for doubt as to what is going on behind the scenes.  Is my device which is sitting behind my firewall, but which they clearly have remote access to secure? Can they siphon off my mining?  What other access do they get that I am not aware of because they have not posted their terms and conditions and/or provided clear documentation?  I also would like to see more about the company, who the principles are other than Eric,  how many customers they are supporting, and what other mining related activities they are involved in.   Leaving us to fill in the blanks only leads to wild speculation that ultimately isn't good for their image.

At this juncture I would say that the product is "alpha" at best and I will probably not be using it until it, and the company mature and I am certain I won't get "Goxed".


I'm not aware of too many privately held companies that disclose all of their employees or the internal working of their company, such as what other avenues they might be pursuing. In that respect, I'm not sure it's reasonable to demand that information.

That said, I do believe they are sorely in need of more transparency and better support. It is an alpha product, which clearly wasn't ready for release, but people get dollar signs in their eyes, and throw caution and process to the wind.

They can't enable remote features and functionality through their website without access to your device. That means they will always have access to do nefarious things should they choose to. You should have recognized that from the beginning, as the remote access is the only real selling point of this product.

Also, Zenminer is a division or subsidiary of Gaw miners.
icekohl
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June 12, 2014, 10:37:17 PM
 #125

Got mine free yesterday, it just stays on the zenminer site with "searching for your miner" how long does this take?
the gear seems to be mining its using power under load.
 

Same here, had mine for 2 weeks now, website can't find it. Zenminer shows it is trying to connect to an IP in their range but doesn't get a response. Was told this was being elevated to higher support, then nothing for 2 days....

/waiting

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DarkKnight
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June 12, 2014, 10:40:43 PM
 #126

Moved to new topic: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=650228.new#new
zenMiner_Eric
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June 12, 2014, 11:14:42 PM
 #127

Ok, I can easily explain what's going on here. The ZenController was initially developed for GAW Miners to accompany their Generation A devices. GAW used these controllers in their labs and on their own devices for some time to test them and perform quality control before shipping them to customers.

It is not uncommon in this industry for a manufacturer to ship a controller with an "initial configuration" that reflects the pool the device was initially set up to use. GAW QC'd every one of these controllers using their own devices and pools prior to shipping them.

HERE is what went wrong, and the fault is ZenMiner, not GAW. The config that came shipped on the device was supposed to be wiped away upon initial activation using the 4 digit code. We had a major flaw in our activation that did not permit the devices to connect to the cloud and receive the customer's pool information. Therefore, the initial pool information did not get overwritten. This is the single issue that our developers have been working non-stop to remedy as it is the one that is diverting all of our resources, including me (help desk).

I can assure you, and the entire community that the ZenController has *zero* malicious intent to redivert your hashes. This was a launch bug that we are taking full responsibility for and doing everything we can to fix.

We will provide the community with 100% transparency from this point until total resolution.

I've also followed the above link and will use that thread for future updates.

bbeesley
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June 13, 2014, 12:41:11 AM
 #128


I'm not aware of too many privately held companies that disclose all of their employees or the internal working of their company, such as what other avenues they might be pursuing. In that respect, I'm not sure it's reasonable to demand that information.


two things..first I didn't "demand" it...I said, I would like to see this....second, I suggested listing their "principals"...i.e. owner, vice president...this is quite common, even for private companies.

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ManeBjorn
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June 13, 2014, 12:54:52 AM
 #129

Thomas of ZenMiner has been fairly public and was open with me when I interviewed him.
www.cryptocoinsnews.com/news/groundbreaking-deal-gawminers-zenminer-will-revolutionize-mining/2014/05/23


I'm not aware of too many privately held companies that disclose all of their employees or the internal working of their company, such as what other avenues they might be pursuing. In that respect, I'm not sure it's reasonable to demand that information.


two things..first I didn't "demand" it...I said, I would like to see this....second, I suggested listing their "principals"...i.e. owner, vice president...this is quite common, even for private companies.

bbeesley
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June 13, 2014, 02:02:54 AM
 #130

Thomas of ZenMiner has been fairly public and was open with me when I interviewed him.
www.cryptocoinsnews.com/news/groundbreaking-deal-gawminers-zenminer-will-revolutionize-mining/2014/05/23


Nice article, but it hardly counts as "transparency by the company on their own site"....if you hadn't posted here, I would have never heard of the article and thus would not have "transparently" known the comments from Thomas

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ManeBjorn
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June 13, 2014, 02:08:53 AM
 #131

Understood.
I have a feeling as they get things shaken out from the rollout it will get better.
Fingers crossed.

Thomas of ZenMiner has been fairly public and was open with me when I interviewed him.
www.cryptocoinsnews.com/news/groundbreaking-deal-gawminers-zenminer-will-revolutionize-mining/2014/05/23


Nice article, but it hardly counts as "transparency by the company on their own site"....if you hadn't posted here, I would have never heard of the article and thus would not have "transparently" known the comments from Thomas

DarkKnight
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June 13, 2014, 02:15:56 AM
 #132


two things..first I didn't "demand" it...I said, I would like to see this....second, I suggested listing their "principals"...i.e. owner, vice president...this is quite common, even for private companies.

Writing often lacks the intonation that accompanies speech. I said 'demand' in the context of 'asking for information from an entity' vs the more literal translation of 'requiring instantaneous response'. That said, I still stand by what I said.

Have any of you seen my other topic?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=650228.0

I've discovered Zenminer replacing my pool information with theirs on the device side and deleting my pools, causing my blades to mine for Josh. Maybe I'm misreading the situation, but, it's probably for the best if you at least check it out and weigh in.  Undecided
bbeesley
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June 13, 2014, 11:23:55 AM
 #133


Have any of you seen my other topic?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=650228.0

I've discovered Zenminer replacing my pool information with theirs on the device side and deleting my pools, causing my blades to mine for Josh. Maybe I'm misreading the situation, but, it's probably for the best if you at least check it out and weigh in.  Undecided

I have seen that thread and am following very closely.   At this point I would classify it as "suspicious"....Eric's explanation seems genuine and based on other pretty glaring bugs I have seen in the product, a reasonable one.

That said, I think we should be wary at this point.

This is a critical point for the company.  By their actions now they will be found trustful or not.

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alienesb
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June 13, 2014, 02:35:32 PM
 #134

I believe Eric's explanation and it does make sense. I haven't used my Zen to mine since I first got it because it's not getting recognized by the website as being active. I have PCs mining so it's not a big deal. I also don't know if there is any benefit to the unit as far as better hashing/lower rejects or HW errors.
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June 13, 2014, 04:48:05 PM
 #135

Have any of you seen my other topic?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=650228.0

I've discovered Zenminer replacing my pool information with theirs on the device side and deleting my pools, causing my blades to mine for Josh. Maybe I'm misreading the situation, but, it's probably for the best if you at least check it out and weigh in.  Undecided
Just wondering, have you ever used any other Linux OS-based miner images (BAMT, PIMP, SMOS, etc?) - because if not, I can tell you, that each and every one of these images and many others, come pre-configured with the developer's pool info that's up and mining for them as soon as you power on.  It is up to you to ensure that you change it after the OS is launched, and you may be mining for the dev in the first few minutes until you make the change.  Now, I understand you did make your appropriate pool changes, and it would appear Zen is overwriting that info periodically, so that's REALLY ODD - no excuse for that.. but Eric's response seems genuine so I would say why don't you give him the benefit of the doubt?  If you completely don't trust them anymore then just use a different mining distro that's not cloud-based.  There are other Pi options for blades, you may want to check out Starminer to start, there is a 'gridseed-blade' profile.  If you are experienced with Linux just run cgminer on raspbian.
zenMiner_Eric
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June 13, 2014, 08:39:42 PM
 #136

As promised, I am delivering on my promise of full transparency with this issue.

After a thorough investigation, we've determined how the improper pool credentials were being inserted into one customer's (DarkKnight) ZenController configuration. Each ZenController is tracked by its unique MAC address which is hard-coded into every device. The controller communicates with ZenMiner cloud servers and identifies itself via MAC and activation code. The device DarkKnight received was previously assigned to GAW Labs as one of their early test models. We've determined that the MAC was not properly removed/reallocated in the ZenMiner database, therefore the controller still thought that it belonged to GAW Labs. This is why the pool information inputted by the customer was constantly overwritten, the controller was doing what it was supposed to. Unfortunately, the device was not properly provisioned to the new owner.

Since this issue only affected an early test device that was assigned to GAW Miners at one in point in time, it makes sense why we didn't see this as a wide-spread issue and identify it sooner. All subsequent controllers sent out were "fresh" devices that had never previously been provisioned to anyone. That doesn't change the fact that one of our devices made it into the hands of a customer and caused unacceptable operation. We've since purged the database of any entries from legacy test devices and are working with GAW Miners to ensure any future devices that are shipped have no prior association in the database.

We sincerely apologize to DarkKnight and hope to regain his trust as well as the trust of the community we serve.


I will post this into DarkKnight's thread once he reopens it.

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June 14, 2014, 04:02:30 AM
 #137

I wanted to answer a very good question DarkKnight brought to me offline regarding how we'll be mitigating something like this in the future. We're currently redesigning our entire activation mechanism and implementing measures that would prevent one device from accidentally (or intentionally) being activated to another account without support intervention and the deletion of all prior account provisions to that device.

bbeesley
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June 14, 2014, 09:35:42 PM
 #138

implementing measures that would prevent one device from accidentally (or intentionally) being activated to another account without support intervention and the deletion of all prior account provisions to that device.

I think this is good idea but I will caution you about some issues I have experienced working for a cable operator who "locked" cable modems in a similar fashion and has ended up with multiple issues where someone legitimately purchased a modem on ebay or other public sites only to have it refused to be provisioned because it was still mapped to another account.

as I understand your previous thread, you are mapping the mac address to the account.   This is going to bite you for in three ways in the future.

first, if your customer moves his SD card to another rPi, then the MAC address will change

same is true if they in the future use a wireless interface rather than the built in ETH interface

last, if someone decides to sell their rPi and it inadvertently gets picked up to run your software...well, you get the idea.

I would suggest you would be better off placing a user serial number in a config file so that it is mapped to the software and the user rather than using the hardware as your auth mechanism

it will save you, and your customers much grief in the future.

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syncsam
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June 15, 2014, 12:01:48 AM
 #139

Hi Eric,
   Is there anyway to change the clk speed on our devices via your service?

I fixed that problem I emailed you about, put the new img on and no probs
zenMiner_Eric
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June 16, 2014, 12:56:45 AM
 #140

implementing measures that would prevent one device from accidentally (or intentionally) being activated to another account without support intervention and the deletion of all prior account provisions to that device.

I think this is good idea but I will caution you about some issues I have experienced working for a cable operator who "locked" cable modems in a similar fashion and has ended up with multiple issues where someone legitimately purchased a modem on ebay or other public sites only to have it refused to be provisioned because it was still mapped to another account.

as I understand your previous thread, you are mapping the mac address to the account.   This is going to bite you for in three ways in the future.

first, if your customer moves his SD card to another rPi, then the MAC address will change

same is true if they in the future use a wireless interface rather than the built in ETH interface

last, if someone decides to sell their rPi and it inadvertently gets picked up to run your software...well, you get the idea.

I would suggest you would be better off placing a user serial number in a config file so that it is mapped to the software and the user rather than using the hardware as your auth mechanism

it will save you, and your customers much grief in the future.

I appreciate your advice Smiley luckily, our support team is prepared to assist any users experiencing those issues. We expect such things to happen as ownership transfers or users switch devices. We may revisit this in the future.

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