Crypto rig part deux! (Mostly pics)

In the process of this ‘rebuild,’ one night I was trying to figure out different software settings and when I looked down, my CPU was idling at 98C degrees. After further inspection, I found the culprit. The heatsink has so much dust caked and cooked in the aluminum fins it was gross.
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That project required me to pull the motherboard from the case, and disassemble the CPU mount and stock intel heatsink bracket. Somehow in the process i shorted 2 DIMM slots of memory. Oops. Its a 5 year old motherboard that need to be replaced anyway with a more “mining appropriate” board. Right now im using one of those PCIE riser cards that splits the PCIE into 2 different busses so you can use 2 different GPU’s. I know thats not the ‘correct’ or recommended way but it works for now. Here is the setup now mining ETH on nicehash.
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She may not be pretty, but its still a work in progress.

Focusing on XMR(CryptoNight) since the payout rate is still crazy high at 343 BTC/GH:
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All while keeping the temps nice and chill 😎
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Cryptocurrency mining, my experiment, and what could be the future

Edit: Check out part 2 for more pics

As some of you know, recently I have indulged in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency. For those reading who don’t know what crypto is, think Bitcoin. If you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard of Bitcoin, check out the youtube video at the end of this blog post (don’t worry its short and to the point so you shouldn’t be too bored 🙃 ).

So in the most basic terms possible, its internet money. For years bitcoin hasn’t been profitable to mine unless you are a big “farm” with multiple rigs networked together to make a super-computer, or a ‘farm’ or ASIC miners (basically machines designed to mine bitcoin that tend to be expensive to purchase, and expensive to run). That all changed with the release of Ethereum, and how quickly it took off. It de-centralized the market (again, kind of) and brought mining power back to the home ‘user.’ Over the course of the last year, different algorithms have been used in blockchain technologies to create a new market of cryptocurrencies known as ‘alt-coins.’ This essentially launched the crypto market into a real economy. Its stability is a hot debate topic amongst the tope economists and technologists in the world.

Asleep yet?

So I decided to get involved. My funds are very limited, so this is a slow experiment for now. This is what I call Prototype phase 1:
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This is an old gaming PC I built with my AT&T ‘fuck you’ money in 2012 when I quit. Specs:
– 3rd Generation Intel i5-2400
– ASRock z77 Extreme4 Mothboard
– (Started with) 12GB DDR3 (i think PC-3200 but i could be off) which became 8GB after i managed to short out 2 memory DIMM’s
– Thermaltake 730 watt PSU
– 4 PCI-E 16x to 4x power risers
– 3 ATI RX 570’s (2 MSI Armor’s, 1 XFX OC Gaming) (only 1 MSI and the XFX pictured above)
– EDIT: There was a 4th card, a GTX 1050ti i originally chose since it drew almost nothing for power, however the hashing power wasn’t worth what i paid, so i will be replacing it with a bigger ‘heavy-hitter’ soon

I have an old intel 120gb SSD for storage.

Its certainly not pretty, nor is it complete (need a new PSU and motherboard, along with my final GPU). It basically just a torn apart PC with wires all over the place.
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Right now I’m mining on Nicehash using their algorithm switcher. Average daily profit:
Screenshot 2017-11-09 23.49.29

Still have lot to fine tune and complete!

EDIT 2: Some asked what my hash rates per card are: (i can play with tuning and get better but this is average)
Screenshot 2017-11-10 00.05.44

 

iOS vs. Android (and why Apple is winning)

I was talking to an old friend today, and after reading a few news articles I noticed Samsung is recalling an entire product line due to battery overheating issues. I earlier posted about my brief encounter with Samsung, and even though it wasn’t one of the affected products, it was too hot to touch by the time I brought it to the store. My friend (who started at AT&T a month after I did, making him a 9 year veteran) showed his manager who couldn’t believe it either and actually moved it to a place where it could cool, and cause minimal collateral damage if it did decide to go up in flames. I digress…

Android is a great operating system. I personally love the functionality that you get out of the box, and as a tech nerd, the possibilities behind what you can do with a few simple lines of code and some research. Android has one major problem; Google doesn’t use devices engineered by the same company that designed the hardware. Yes, Google markets ‘their own vanilla phone’ but the hardware is always contracted the hardware portion, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and LG.

Apple is the same company engineering the hardware that is developing the operating system to run on that hardware. Sure, it has taken Apple a few years to perfect iOS in ways  that Android has had for a couple of years, but look at the market-share  at over 40% and their track record that Apple has kept consistent since the original iPhone launch (which wasn’t even 3G). They design and market their products from start to finish, they stand behind them, and they just work.

I have owned every single generation of iPhone since the initial release in June of 2007. I also worked for AT&T who kept exclusive rights to only sell the iPhone for a few years (again marketing geniuses). I have owned a handful of Android phones over the years and they all end up having poor battery life, instability, and “clunky” feeling. However I had an HTC phone that supported LTE in 2010 which was 2 years before Apple launched the iPhone 5, the first LTE banded iPhone. So yes, they are late to the game, but they still hold over 40% of the market currently.

The iPhone just works. They have had their quirks through the years, and I have definitely had issues with a few iPhone’s with major issues, but 95% of the time you can walk into an Apple store (schedule an appointment if you want), tell them whats going on, and unless its been run over by a lawnmower or  gone swimming, they typically will fix it for you within an hour, and you’re good to go with a perfectly working phone again.

After having worked retail at Circuit City, and a few personal experiences, I typically don’t think extended warranties are worth the money. Apple care is a bit different. I only say that because they stand behind all of their products. I dropped my phone in a lake, dried it out, and brought it to Apple. The phone was 18 months old, and I walked out with a new(ish) phone without having spent a dime.

My iPhone 6S is great (aside from the cracked screen). I walked into Apple simply to see what the repair cost was, and was told I bought the phone 10.4.2015 and was technically out of my warranty (I didn’t get the Apple care protection), but if I schedule an appointment they would replace it for free. I had a case, I had one of those fancy glass screen protectors, but still managed to crack the screen. I cannot wait for my 7 plus to arrive (in another 5-6 weeks). After the S7 edge, I like the bigger style phone.

Apple suckered me back… My Samsung S7 Edge review

Well after MUCH consideration and going back-and-forth for a week, I decided to exchange my Samsung S7 Edge for the iPhone 7 plus. I said I was going to skip it this time, but for as much as I love Android 6, and Samsung did a GREAT job with the hardware/ROM/UI integration, there was a deal breaker (actually a few).

I have had my iPhone 6S now for about a year and have no complaints other then the cracked screen my cousin left for me after dropping it on the pavement (with a glass screen protector, and case). I tend to get about 1.5 days on a single charge with my typical heavy use. The S7 lasted 16 hours if I was diligent about closing apps and turning off Bluetooth, NFC, and WiFi when not needed. Here are the pros and cons of the S7 Edge;

Pros:

  • The screen is incredible. Very sharp and bright
  • Android 6 (and the ability to root for that extra control)
  • The fingerprint scanner worked 90% of the time compared to my iPhone which is more like 60% of the time
  • The camera quality was awesome (although I didn’t take too many pictures with it
  • Expandable memory
  • Perfect size and weight, although like any other smartphone these days, needed a case
  • Customization
  • Google Cards
  • The Samsung “Edge Apps”

Cons:

  • Terrible battery, even being careful (I can never close an app on my iPhone 6S and the battery is barely effected)
  • Notifications on some apps were delayed
  • When I would read a work email on my computer, it wouldn’t auto sync back to my phone showing its been read
  • The curved glass made it difficult to access some menus and be tactile with smaller buttons and cause for unwanted scrolling quite often because of how it’s held
  • Service was terrible compared to my iPhone and frequently dropped calls at home
  • WiFi calling hand-off sucked

This was by far the toughest decision I have had to make in a phone in a long time, because I wanted to like the S7. But I have had every generation of iPhone and there is 1 thing that can be said about Apple products; they build both the hardware and OS so they just always work well together. Ok, I agree its really stupid that I need to use an adapter for my wired headphones now, but weighing the pros and cons of the 2, the iPhone won again.

My ONLY complaint is its back ordered 5 weeks, so I’m stuck using my cracked 6S till my nice 128gb iPhone 7+ arrives. Expected ship date of 11/18 currently.

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From iPhone to Android

Well, after 8 generations of the iPhone, I finally took the dive into the Android world (again). This is the first time since I worked for AT&T that I committed to an Android device. I decided to go for the Samsung S7 Edge. I had a few reason for the dive.

  1. The iPhone 7 lacks a 3.5mm jack – To some this isn’t a big deal, but my luck with bluetooth headphones hasn’t been the greatest. Between running and snowboarding in the winter, I find regular earbuds work best.
  2. The S7 keeps the same form factor as the iPhone (ahem, trademark issues) but with curved glass.
  3. The new iPhone really didn’t offer anything new. I have a 6S (although the glass is cracked, hence the new purchase) which isn’t all that different.
  4. Samsung and Android offer a lot off cool features that still haven’t made it to the apple platform.
  5. Android is the only OS that works with my OBDeleven for my car (programming and diagnostic tool)

So far its been 3 days and I am happy, although I always tend to gravitate back to apple. Let’s see what I am using after my 14 days are up.

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