2018: Day 20 the one where I sat back and thought about mining cryptocurrency
Word count 51,296 + 3,009 or 54,305 of 1,000,000
Friday happened. It was one of those days that just sort of happened. A whirlwind of things was going on. Throughout the day I was keeping an eye on the looming government shutdown. My main custom build computer sitting in a Storm Stryker case was running NiceHash Miner v188.8.131.52 beta. Mining has been running for the bulk of the year. My office has been warner. Seriously, the whole mining effort with just two graphics cards produces a noticeable amount of heat. I might grab my wall thermometer from the garage and figure out just how hot it my office is actually getting. Dealing with heat is a major part of the whole mining thing. My mining rig was supplemented this week with a Noctua NF-A20 PWM premium-quality quiet 200mm fan helping to cool my graphics cards. You may be wondering if that is a ridiculously large case fan. The simple answer is yes. You have to have a decently large case to begin with to even consider adding a 200mm fan.
A lot of my conversations during the last two weeks have been about cryptocurrency and mining. My thoughts are still relatively certain on mining and cryptocurrency. Mining seems to be an interesting thing to do. In terms of pure entertainment value mining has hype on its side. My take is pretty straightforward. Mining and holding even with only a few graphics cards is probably going to provide enough entertainment to offset the cost of energy and time. Buying coins with your hard earned cash is not something that Warren Buffett recommends. I mean you can go against Warren and make a bunch of investments. My thoughts on it are simple. If you want to be a part of our modern gold rush toward mining coins, then maybe an easy would be to find an NVIDIA graphics card and install the NiceHash Miner software. Make sure you are using something like the MSI Afterburner software to limit the chances of burning out your graphics card. It also appears that all the graphics cards are pretty much sold out. So you have that challenge to overcome as well.
Based on the NiceHash website it appears that they have, “276,000+ daily active NiceHash Miner users.” That is a lot of people with graphics cards mining cryptocurrency. A lot of those daily active users have a lot of graphics cards. NiceHash is not the only miner. People have a lot of mining pool choices. Maybe that is something that I could spend some time digging into and understanding. It really was like a new version of the wild wild west. This version of the wild wild west is even wilder than the Napster movement that disrupted the entire music industry for the better part of a decade. Speaking of music. If you were wondering about how far I made it into the playlist, “The 100 Greatest 90’s Alternative Songs.” I have an answer for you. The end is drawing close now that I have listened to 87 out of 100 songs.
Topic 1: A friday to remember
Ok —- I’m ready to admit that understanding Rick and Morty the television show still escapes me. After watching several seasons of the show it still strikes me as being a bit off. Maybe that is one of those things that I’m just not going to understand. You can appreciate the 10 minutes of political diatribe that just got removed from this blog post. Maybe at some point I will stop censoring my writing and just publish everything. That day is not today. Maybe tomorrow will be that day, but I’m not sure about that either. Curating a blog full of political banter would be a lot more effort. This may be one of those nights where I spin up some Warren Zevon records and write until I cannot write anymore. Picking a topic to engage in a couple hours of writing on will be a challenge. The only thing that really seems to come to mind is a retrospective on the life and times of Zevon. That might be an excitable topic, but I need to focus back in on something that pushes things forward.
Today for some reason I started earning badges on the Salesforce website Trailhead, “The fun way to learn Salesforce.” You may have seen some of the badge notices on my Twitter feed. I have 4 badges out of 270 and 1,725 points. A few years ago I trained folks on how to use Salesforce. That was the reason for my own and only trip to Minnesota. My only real memory of that trip was that the airport had this train that went to the Mall of America. It was a cold trip. A seriously cold and wintery adventure. Maybe I should be a better writer and not use wintery to describe my trip. That is probably a very lazy word choice. Perhaps making it worse is the rather meta diatribe about how poor a choice that was. Sure I could go back and fix it, but at this point we are really just writing forward and not going back to fix things. That was my thought at the time and now it is part of this journey toward 1,000,000 words.
We are quickly closing in on three weeks of writing at a clip of 3,000 words per day. This is the third Friday of writing. For those of you who have followed my musing within this functional journal for years you might know that Friday has always been a big writing day for me. Within the new world order of writing 3,000 words per day every day just sort of bleeds into the next. My writing does not have huge swings and periods of lesser work. That is probably the overall goal of the whole adventure. To engage in productive activity every day. Ending procrastination is really a step in the write direction. Maybe that is more about moving toward a framework where every effort is devoted to solving problems. Instead of trying to fix things or put in incremental changes my effort geared toward striving toward a realistic percent solved. Taking aim at solving things is really a better way to just move forward.
Speaking of moving forward. We are probably going to go to the aquarium at some point this weekend. I’m going to take a ton of photographs of things at the aquarium. You can probably expect the entire next week to be devoted to thumbnails of fish or other things that live in a tank at the Denver Aquarium. The vegetarian items on the menu seems to pointing me toward a grilled cheese and salad type of meal. The hardest part of eating vegetarian this month has been trying to convince myself that eating french fries should be avoided. They are just so tasty. I know my diet needs to be mostly plant based. Potatoes are a plant. They are just not the plant people refer to when telling you to eat a plant based diet. I have not found a diet that recommends the consumption of the deep fried edible tuber otherwise called a potato.
Topic 2: Targeting weekend productivity
Every weekend brings the opportunity to tackle a project. My efforts to tackle bigger projects on the weekend cannot get lost in this whole writing adventure. Maybe Saturday and Sunday will see the triumphant return of my YouTube channel. It is unlikely that 2 epic videos per week will bring in the 888 subscribers necessary to save my YouTube monetization. Right now I’m listening to an album from 2006 called Phobia from the band Breaking Benjamin. A quick search on eBay and Amazon did not yield an answer to my question about if that album was produced and sold on vinyl. You might be wondering if I still check Billboard to see the top selling vinyl albums each week. The answer to that question is yes. Vinyl album sales are really interesting. They are probably the most accurate sales in terms of real volumes. Billboard notes that albums are, “…ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen Music.” It seems like something they could accurately do in a reasonable way.
This week it looks like the Amy Winehouse album Back to Black is the top selling vinyl album. It seems like a lot of modern marketing and sales revolves around singles. My interest has always been listening to whole albums. They are a snapshot in time related to the band and what was going on within the outside world. Obviously, some musicians are less connected to the times they recorded in, but for the most part that holds true. My vinyl record collection has been slowly growing. It will probably never really get out of control. On my top shelf the records are organized autobiographically High Fidelity style. Some folks may not believe that is the correct way to organize a vinyl record collection. They are not welcome to visit or reorganize my collection. A large portion of my early 1990s baseball card collection is organized autobiographical. Pack after pack they ended up in a storage box exactly in the order they were purchased. That ended up breaking down later when I started sorting by set numerical order. That probably won’t be a problem for my record collection. I’m going to add a topic about my sports trading card collection to my future writing list.
Topic 3: Watching Blade Runner 2049
You may have guessed that Joni is still very opposed to buying the Blade Runner special edition with a unicorn on the front for about $74.95 (plus tax). Obviously, that was discussed before we sat down to watch Blue Runner 2049 on blu-ray. The future proof 4K version rested in the case for a future where I have a 4K television and can watch it. Yeah you are correct to point out that I could watch it in stunning 4K on my computer. That is not really the point of watching a movie. The experience itself is about having a large screen eating popcorn and sitting on the sofa or some type of comfortable chair. Yes —- I purchased a bag of lightly salted popcorn to have during the movie. John Paul insisted that I buy the exact bag of popcorn that came home with me at the store. I’m sure the regular level of salt makes it way better. That won’t be a testable hypothesis this evening. I only have the one bag. Even adding my own salt would not answer the question since it would not mimic the exact proportion of a regular salted bag. Anyway I think you get my point.
During the movie my writing has session for today has to include another 1,000 words. It would probably be smart to try to write 2,000 words and cach up from yesterday’s poor showing. I ate a bunch of the lightly salted air popped popcorn during the first few minutes of the moment. We may only watch the first hour of the movie tonight. It appears to be almost 3 hours long. That probably means it will be a three part film in this household. Finding 3 hours of kid free viewing time is unlikely at best. Visually the movie looks pretty decent on the old Sony Bravia in 1080P. I’m sure it would look even better in stunning 4K. Maybe I will end up watching it again on my computer monitor. A 34 inch screen meant for computers is not as immersive as a 65 to 70 inch television. It really is always raining during the movie. At least from what I can tell so far.
Topic 4: Rounding out the night
Maybe I should put my blu-ray collection into autobiographical order. I’m not entirely sure how you would classify the order right now. Things are just sort of grouped. The rack is not that big and it is relatively easy to find something. Taking the time to sort and put everything in the right place has not been a priority. So many other things that compete for time win out. Tonight watching Blade Runner 2049 and writing has to be my path to relaxation. It is sort of a weird process to start thinking in written form vs. composing and writing after completing the thought. It works out well enough in the moment. You get so locked into the keystrokes and the process of writing that your mind slows down and you just write.
Strangely enough the process of locking in and writing is hard to figure out. Focusing in the moment helps drive things forward. You clear your mind and just let the process of writing unfold on a journey built word by word. What unfolds next is always interesting. Our minds will always be our greatest untapped resource. As the ties that bind our civil society together breakdown like withered fabric left out in the sun humanity struggles. We elect to work together toward a common peace. Our social fabric has evolved and faded beyond recognition. Our capacity to unleash previously unimaginable creativity makes our future possible. It is also the thing that makes our current struggle challenging. Acceptance of the things around us denies the inevitable nature of change. Maybe it was watching an hour of Blade Runner 2049 or my battling off the flu virus, but my mind has wandered to a deeply philosophical corner of things tonight.
That happens from time to time. Sometimes writing in longer forms helps clear out enough of the lesser considerations bubbling up to the forefront of your thoughts. Those longer writing sessions are the ones that bring forward elements from a deeper level of consideration. Sometimes it is hard enough to just get past all the self-censorship and barriers that slow us down and just write for the sake of writing. Building out passages of prose that flow from start to finish while communicating complex issues remains a real challenge. My efforts to connect the beginning and the end with a meaningful narrative are alive with struggle. For some reason I’m still writing in Google Docs and cutting and pasting my work without any real formatting into a blog post. It would probably be easier to just write the blog post natively and skip the process of converting between Google Docs and a basic what you see is what you get blog editor. I just cannot bring myself to compose in the blog post window. That is probably some kind of weird hangup that I cannot exactly figure out.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker custom build PC and my ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs
P.S. The only thing left to write about is my coffee. Grabbing a wonderful glass coffee mug made in Italy from the cabinet was easy enough. These glasses hold up to 7.5 ounces of coffee or espresso. They are made by Bormioli Rocco and are called the Oslo Cappuccino Cup. I’m not making any cappuccinos, but they work just fine for a lungo. Speaking of which, this lungo coffee pull from a Nespresso pod used in my expert machine seems wonderful. Whatever exactly a lungo size espresso happens to be it has become my go to morning drink. Instead of starting off the day with two quick shots of espresso this seems to do the trick and only requires one pod instead of two. That is my one big complaint about the Nespresso system vs. the Starbucks Verismo system. With the Verismo system I would pull two shots through one pod and have probably 75% quality on two shots of espresso. The nespresso machine drops the pod after use into a container. That means having two shots of espresso will require using two pods. That might not seem like that big of a deal, but it does change my pod consumption rate each week.
My Nespresso pod bin is quickly filling up. Probably sometime next week I’ll be sending a package of pods off to California for recycling. That is the one big advantage over my Starbucks pods. It does make me feel slightly better about the whole pod thing to recycle them at in bulk. I’m going to be consuming espresso. Chances are that I’m not buying one of the really expensive machines that makes shots from grounds. That means using some type of pod based machine and using one that has the option of recycling the pods seems like the way to go. The folks over at Nespresso make it really easy to accomplish. They gave me a prepaid envelope that is ready to go. I just have to put the used up pods in the envelope and drop them off at their respective shipping company.
I’m getting ready to close out this post for the day and my NiceHash Miner is hashing away at using the Equihash algorithm at a rate of over $6.50 a day at the moment. I’m not entirely sure if that is good or bad, but it appears to be what the NiceHash Miner software is assigning my cards. Since my last payout to the NiceHash wallet my graphics cards have been mining: Keccak, Nist5, NeoScrypt, Lyra2REv2, Equihash, and Blake2s. The majority of that mining has been with the Equihash and NeoScrypt algorithms. We made it the 3,000 wood threshold. Well technically we made it to 3,009.
Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:
— Some thoughts on my sports trading card collection
— A complete ranking of the hot sauces that I have tried
— A post about my top ten favorite science fiction television shows
— Recap of all the video camera equipment I have owned
— All the promise and failures of my first Sony camcorder
— That one with a roadtrip to Florida
— Applied AI: A use case based exploration
— My ode to minor league hockey
— Progress within general AI vs. specialized use cases
— My review of the ASUS C101P Chromebook
— On leadership and the modern workplace
— The best way to archive digital content
Feel free to leave topic suggestions in the comment section.