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Abandoned BitCoin mine...

 
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Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15296
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 19 2:44 pm    Post subject: Abandoned BitCoin mine...  Reply with quote    

I don't know if anybody here is familiar with BitCoin. I don't claim to know a lot, but the relevant point is that they are "Mined" by doing a ridiculous amout of calculating by computer, and because it gets progressively more difficult, the amount of computing power required to get anywhere with it is getting utterly ludicrous (if it wasn't in the first place).

Some years back, a friend bought a "bitcoin mine": some hardware dedicated to the relevant calculations, which is of course now almost completely useless for that task.

However there are very many tasks that require lots of repetitive calculations: cure for cancer, search for extra terrestrial intelligence, big data perversion of democracy, etc. Could such a machine be put to task on any of these projects?

We might argue that to do so would be a waste of electricity, but there are still quite a lot of people who use electricity for heating for quite a lot of the time, and if they are doing that, then why not put the electricity to work on its way to becoming heat?

I had quite a long debate with the mine owner and his friend as to whether a bitcoin mine would be as efficient at heating as an electric heater, but I am pretty sure the law of thermodynamics is on my side in that one...

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35694
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 19 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

" : cure for cancer, search for extra terrestrial intelligence, big data perversion of democracy, "

perfect

re the warming thing if it will be a heat source

what to use it for depends on writing or finding what needs running

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6518
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 19 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just on an aside. I use my phone, whilst it is on charge to help CRUK run calculations for research. It's quite a funky app.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15296
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 19 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
" : cure for cancer, search for extra terrestrial intelligence, big data perversion of democracy, "

perfect


Is what I thought, but the relevant question is of how to get set up on the project.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26645
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 19 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You need an existing project that has migrated to GPU mining, the old ones I know of like SETI were all CPU mining.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15296
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 19 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sgt.colon wrote:
Just on an aside. I use my phone, whilst it is on charge to help CRUK run calculations for research. It's quite a funky app.

I may write to the chap behind that project. I've found an email address.

jema wrote:
You need an existing project that has migrated to GPU mining, the old ones I know of like SETI were all CPU mining.


Except the dedicated bitcoin mines don't use GPUs, they use application-specific integrated circuits (though I won't be surprised if you tell me a GPU is an ASIC).
All of the conventional wisdom appears to be that these things cannot be repurposed (for example here).
However, as I expect you know, I am not a big fan of conventional wisdom...

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10992

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 19 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Quote:
However, as I expect you know, I am not a big fan of conventional wisdom...


Funny, we would never have guessed!

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15296
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 19 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
Quote:
However, as I expect you know, I am not a big fan of conventional wisdom...


Funny, we would never have guessed!


It very often proves wrong.
For example, conventional wisdom used to say that the sun went around the Earth.

Recognise wisdom as wisdom, but don't accept convention as wisdom unless it passes muster.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10992

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 19 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

True, but there is sometimes a happy medium. I question things, but tend to work slow and steady and as a logical progression.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15296
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 19 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
True, but there is sometimes a happy medium...


Run with it if it works, but don't presume that it's right just because, and especially not if you can see why it might not be...

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26645
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 19 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Most coin mining is on GPU, the term bitcoin mine tends to be used generically to encompass all mining.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15296
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 19 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:
Most coin mining is on GPU, the term bitcoin mine tends to be used generically to encompass all mining.


My apologies. I don't know if "Most" is correct, but "Many" certainly is and I won't argue the difference.
The one we are discussing is described as ASIC, not GPU.

However, if I understand correctly, a GPU is a type of ASIC and I suspect that calling it ASIC rather that GPU is down to marketing, and if they call it GPU people might get ideas about doing something with their old graphics cards...

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26645
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 19 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The basic difference between ASIC and GPU is a GPU is a general purpose bit of silicon an ASIC much more hardwired, so an ASIC will do a particular coin very well, but only that coin. A GPU can do anything, but will be less efficient.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15296
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 19 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:
The basic difference between ASIC and GPU is a GPU is a general purpose bit of silicon an ASIC much more hardwired, so an ASIC will do a particular coin very well, but only that coin. A GPU can do anything, but will be less efficient.


Yes, that was more or less my understanding.
Though I thought a GPU was hardwired for graphics type calculations: it's an application specific IC where the specific application is graphics.
Ah well, I'm allowed to be wrong occasionally.

Do I take it that you concur with the conventional wisdom then, that this mine cannot be repurposed?
Possibly depends what the chips are: some of these ASICs are built from FPGAs, which could potentially be reconfigured.
Probably not worth the trouble though I expect.

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