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Old 04-10-18, 12:27 AM   #23
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Austin, TX
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Status update time again! The most profitable coin I was mining with the Jameson Hasher ASIC turns out to have jumped in difficulty because a "mass produced" ASIC - the Kesha 3+ - was able to mine it. Even the investors caught themselves out because one of those ASIC boxes costs a bit more than a grand and might make about $150/month at current difficulty. Now they're trying to hype up the coin by bragging how much they're making while hiding how much they paid to get there.

I could have actually used my bit of fame to hype up another coin but it would be a one shot deal if it even works. And the risk of fallout from angry investors having a negative impact on my best friend is not worth it - my friendship is worth more than a few tens of bucks.

I did get a new mining device - a Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA board with USB 3 expansion. I don't know any friends who have the knowledge to work on FPGAs and have free time to help me, so I'm on my own. I was able to grab a few bits of code online and get it mining pretty easily. The profitability - $5/month or so for a $100 board - is not very good but that's not the full story. The nice part about FPGAs is that they can be used for a lot of other things.

Out of curiosity, I decided to look inside the Verilog code that makes it all work. To say it's complicated is a huge understatement. And what's in the picture is less than 1/100th of the code!

And the Snapdragons are back to doing what they like to do - using their power for good. Along with part of the ASIC (because one of the coins it mines does not readily convert to a form my best friend can use) and the new FPGA. All of those except the FPGA have paid for themselves long ago. Actually, thinking beyond just money, the FPGA already paid for itself. "A good engineer uses technology to help him/herself. A great engineer uses technology to help others who really need it."

So what did I provide to my family with all that? A feeling of happiness because not only am I learning about technology and having fun in the process, I'm using it to make the world a better place. I think about all the events that led me up to now. The two most significant ones are when my dad gave me an electronics kit for my birthday and the time an intern got me into crypto mining.

And I conclude this update with a picture of my ASIC board, the Raspberry Pi that manages it, and an old router used to work around a bug in the ASIC. (Short description: broadcast packets are not properly handled by the network controller and direct memory access controller, causing a huge loss of performance on busy networks.)
To my surprise, shortly after Naomi Wu gave me a bit of fame for making good use of solar power, Allie Moore got really jealous of her...

Last edited by NiHaoMike; 06-08-18 at 11:26 PM.. Reason: fix images
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