2018: Day 37 the one where I rethink mining 1% of a bitcoin
Word count 100,802 + 3,009 or 103,811 of 1,000,000
All day the value of bitcoin has been falling. The CoinBase dashboard shows the value of the coin has fallen 59.3% in the last month. The current price is at under 7 thousand dollars and appears to be falling. You may have pieced together that the value has dropped by 10 thousand dollars in the last month. That is an amazing decline and it has crushed the value of cryptocurrencies throughout the world. I kept an eye on bitcoin and the dow jones industrial average today. A huge amount of value vanished into the ether. A lot of the folks that have been mining or selling hashing power have seen the profitability of their efforts drop prodigiously.
Using the NiceHash Miner v188.8.131.52 beta software my system with 2 NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics cards has now mined 1% of a bitcoin. That 1% of a bitcoin has dropped 59.3% in the last month, but hey it still feels like an achievement. My Coinbase wallet has 0.0096 BTC and my NiceHash wallet is about to pay out tonight. That payout will raise my total mining efforts this year to 0.01 BTC or 1% of a bitcoin. Strangely enough that does not mean that I will receive anything special. It just means that this year if the NiceHash miner keeps running all year I’ll probably have mined about 12% of a bitcoin. That would have been more impressive before the great cryptocurrency value plunge of 2018. At the moment, the NiceHash Miner estimates that i will earn about $3.00 per day.
One of the things I have enjoyed is watching YouTube videos of cryptocurrency mining rigs being built or being run. Rightnow my mind is racing through the possibilities of how each of those rigs was financed and what has happened to the profitability those folks were expecting. Things have changed rapidly in the last month. My mining effort is going to continue for another 65 days. That will conclude my 100 days of being a cryptocurrency miner. It has been a really interesting ride so far. I’m learning a ton about some new things and applied research is always more fun than reading about things after the fact. Watching the dow jones industrial average drop by 1,174.21 points was disheartening. Between the stock exchange and the cryptocurrency markets things have been falling.
This crash is probably going to have some global ramifications beyond hobbyist miners. In my case both cards can be used for TensorFlow projects. My interests in machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks outpace my need to sell the cards to get some money back. It is very possible that a lot of NVIDIA 1080 graphics cards will be hitting the secondary market if bitcoin prices continue to plunge. That could be a good thing for all the gamers that really want one of those graphics cards. Now the cards will have been run at excessive heats and have probably been overclocked beyond reason, but the prices will be low and that could be a good reason for me to pick up a few of them. My two computer case setup could probably allow me to run somewhere between 4 and 6 graphics cards. My Cooler Master Storm Stryker case can support three graphics cards. My new Corsair 740 case could easily support 3 more graphics cards. My initial plan was to have 2 graphics cards in each case. That was really before this crash happened and the possibility of a swarm of cheap NVIDIA GTX 1080 cards could be hitting the secondary market.
That is a very real possibility. We will probably know within the next 30 days if that starts to happen. Be careful buying up cards that have been run at full power and very high temperatures. I’m sure some of them will be just fine, but a bunch of them are going to be poor investments. Based on my artificial intelligence based hobbies having 4 graphics cards should be enough computing power to do anything that really needs to be done at the moment. For the most part I want to have one Windows 10 machine and one Ubuntu machine. That really allows me to do whatever I’m in the mood to do at the time. That is how my coding practices are best empowered. The whole reason I got the Storm Stryker case was the X-drive swap at the top of the case front. It allowed me to swap in various solid state drives based on whatever operating system I wanted to use at the time. That was before I moved my Windows 10 installation to an m.2 drive. It looks like a wrapped up stick of gum that is attached to the motherboard. It works great so far. Now i just swap in a drive for whatever Ubuntu flavor meets my needs.
Topic 1: Dune audiobook listening
It turns out that I have been really enjoying listening to Frank Herbert’s Dune (1965) in audiobook format. A special thank you goes out to Google for starting up Play Books and giving me one free audiobook. Each night I’m listening to about an hour of audiobook before bed. I really do read so much faster than the rate at which they took. This is probably the most time I have devoted to really thinking about and internalizing the words. I am writing during the listening part, but multitasking is something that I do pretty much all day every day. It has gotten so bad that when i stop to just focus in on one thing at a time my mind wonders. That is the worst thing to have happen. A wandering mind can venture anywhere. Creativity becomes unlocked at the exact moments that you should be focusing. I’m not sure if I will buy the second Dune book after this one is done. We will see what happens, but audiobooks are really expensive.
Sometimes I wonder what it would take for my writing skills to advance to the next level. My ability to write and form up sentences and useful prose has improved, but it is not work class at this point. That is really the goal for any writer. To take the formation of prose to a level where it transcends the process and becomes a work of art. Yeah you might not be buying that last sentence, but it was written honestly and it comes from a good place. Art is art. Some of my favorite art has been delivered in the form of really well written books and articles. I really do consider writing an artform. You can dispute that one if you want, but I’m going to stand behind it. You can tell that is the case based on it being written and published in blog form.
Topic 2: My TiVo Roamio shipped
An email arrived today letting me know that my TiVo-Renewed Roamio OTA 1 terabyte with accessories entertainment center has shipped. Later this week it will arrive and take my television viewing to the next level. By that I mean it will re-introduce our household to the power of a digital video recorder (DVR) device. Sometimes pausing or skipping commercials can be highly satisfying. You can imagine based on the amount of prose that I am turning out on a daily basis my time is not spend writing and I can only catch a limited amount of television per day. That is ok. I don’t really need to watch hours of television each day. Keeping up with my nearly endless stream of 3,000 words per day is probably taxing as well. For those of you who are still keeping pace on day 37 thank you for being here and enjoying the banter. I’ll try to write some transcendent chautauquas at some point, but for now you will have to setting for above average blogging.
I’m very curious how much the TiVo interface has changed since the last time stopped paying for cable television. Like anything that I get involved in I took my Tivo very seriously. I even joined the Tivo Advisors Panel years ago. We will see if they invite me to join again. They sent me these very involved surveys and I filled them out. We got beta features and that is about all that happened. It was exciting at the time. At least that is how I remember it. Sure it was not opening day at Wrigley to see the Cubs exciting, but it was interesting and amusing.
Topic 3: Be a lifelong learner
Striving to get better daily in a positive way can be fulfilling. Part of striving to improve and grow is being a lifelong learner. One of the things I learned in over a decade of college is that knowing everything is impossible, but trying to learn every day is attainable. Being a lifelong learner is about the pursuit. It is about the daily struggle to intake new and interesting information and make sense of the world. That last part is the hardest part. Learning may be a little bit easier than trying to make sense of the world around us. Things change nearly every day and the foundations of what we learn remain. Our experiences and the foundational knowledge we share are always going to be a part of us. The things we share and the things we have in common make it easier to relate to the word around us and to begin to understand the how and why of things. For me striving to be a lifelong learner is important. Being inquisitive and trying to understand things helps me stay positive and enjoy the journey.
That topic should have yielded a lot more prose. I feel like things got very word economic in that last paragraph. You probably enjoyed the concentrated learning power in the paragraph, but those ideas should have been unpacked over the course of over 1,000 words vs. that one little paragraph treatment they ended up getting. I just set the sleep timer on my Google Play Book application to one hour. It is hard to tell exactly what chapter is playing, but it is all from the novel Dune. Reading is an important part of our shared experience. We learn about the world and expand our thoughts on things by reading.
Topic 4: Rounding out the night
Day 37 is coming along nicely. This blog post is moving right along. Sure a timer is going for one hour and then things will be done for the night. That sleep timer is a solid application feature. It also means that writing for an hour should close out the night. Apparently, I fell asleep. I’m not exactly sure how much of the Dune audiobook I listened to. I may have to rewind part of an hour to figure out where the night actually ended. It is clear exactly where the writing effort left off. You can tell that happened a couple of sentences ago. That means this morning it is time to crank out 1,000 words to catch up and keep things running on time and with quality.
This morning I lost a little bit of time to watching a couple guitar videos on YouTube. That happens from time to time. Those folks over at YouTube have made some algorithms that are really good at pulling me down the digital rabbit hole for a couple of videos. I know that being consistent is the key to growing a YouTube channel. That means producing consistently good content and making sure it is delivered consistently at or around the same time. That is something that I was really good at it for some time. Then it seems that that something happened. I know it was in some ways related to my writing challenge. Writing 3,000 words per day is something that really started to slow down my video production. Dedicating 2 or more hours a day to writing is going to crowd out a lot of other concerns and side projects. That is probably the best way to describe my YouTube channel at the moment. It is a side project.
You may have noticed that YouTube elected to remove monitication from my channel again. That was enough to really slow me down and make it so that I didn’t really want to post and make content for YouTube. I do not use YouTube to make money. Some folks are able to do that and I think that is fantastic. My interests in YouTube are mostly just to help me dig into and understand artificial intelligence. For me the best way to really dig in and learn about it on a daily basis was to share my findings each day. That worked out great. I learned a lot and thousands of people were either amused or entertained with my videos. Very few of the comments that I got were mean or trolling.
Topic 5: Thinking about guitars
2018 may be the year that I add a new guitar to my collection. I have been looking at the new range of Chapman guitars. I think the Chapman Guitars Ghost Fret Pro just might be my next guitar. They look pretty good. It seems like the market has been flooded with new and interesting guitars. Some of them even have 8 strings or maybe even more strings. I have a hard enough time playing a standard 6 string guitar that the idea of moving to 7 or 8 strings does not seem likely. My collection does include one acoustic bass guitar. At some point, I should probably change the strings out on the guitar. They might be 10 years old.
My Fender guitar got some updates. I changed out the pickguard from a white one to a blue marbled pickguard. The back plate was swapped out for a black spring guard plate. All of the hardware and most of the screws were switched out for a black plastic vs. the white plastic parts that came with the guitar. The biggest change was the introduction of a brass nut at the top of the fretboard. It sounds pretty good. I have been happy with my upgraded Fender guitar. Right now it is my daily player. At some point probably today I’m going to put my Les Paul guitar back in the case and store it in the basement.
Topic 6: Thinking about all the things that need thinking
You may have noticed the thumbnail today is of Captain Pickles the dog staring out the door. It took me a few tries to capture that little Elvis style snarl that Captain Pickles does. It is sort of like a frown I guess. It mostly happens when the dog is looking out the window. Strangely enough it does not seem to happen when the dog barks. This new puppy is learning to be at home in the house and it seems to be happy enough.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs
P.S. My writing patterns have been changing a little bit. Writing and then writing some more has made me think a little bit differently. My output has increased substantially. All of this writing and not really editing has been a different sort of routine. Right now I just write and have to remember all of the things that have come before these words. That block of 100,000 words that were written this year should not be on a repete cycle. I want to avoid writing about the same things every day by creating a never ending circular cycle of what will end up being nonsense to a reader. The goal here is to write and push forward in a professional way that does not involve a lot of editing or revisiting efforts.
One touch writing is a different type of writing altogether. What is even more interesting is trying to engage in one touch writing while producing stream of consciousness style prose. All of your thoughts have to be organized and you have to approach writing in a different way. Instead of just pushing out prose and writing for the sake of writing. You have to look at each sentence and focus in on bringing things together in the form of a paragraph. After all of these years of writing and blogging my basic thinking process has changed a little bit. The outcome of my stream of consciousness is really these paragraph blocks that sometimes relate to each other and sometimes they don’t. That is probably an interesting observation in and of itself.
This postscript might have been a little bit meta and circled around the idea of writing and writing itself. That happens. It is one of those things that will keep happening. Writing for a couple of hours per day is going to focus my interest on writing and in some ways cause me to want to write about writing. That is something that I need to resist and to try to avoid in some ways. Everyday should not be devoted to writing about the writing that is occuring. That is just a rinse and repeat washing cycle that won’t really go anywhere. The name of the game is to push things forward.
My mine is perfectly clear at the moment. We could take this writing session in any direction. It could be that the two shots of espresso from my Nespresso Expert machine are kicking in and I’m wide awake. We have been adjusting to not having cable television. Today I noticed that I cannot watch CNN online anymore from my computer. That is a change to my routine. Today seemed like a good day to just get some market updates and see what is happening out in the economy. Finding an alternative should be easy enough. The internet is full of online dashboards. I could probably just open up one of my trading platforms and watch the indicators tick on throughout the day.
This last sentence will push the blog post up over 3,000 words for the day. I think that is all that is going to happen today.