The bitcoin distraction

Ok so with the surge in price of bitcoins in june-july spiking to USD30 each and then crashing back to about USD12 it got some decent media coverage.

Perhaps I was in a vunerable situation, looking for something hobby like and a decent distraction. See I needed a distraction from storage as that’s a problem still sort of wrecking on the rocks waiting to sink. Mix into this the lack of a vmware box and I’ve sort of lost the plot again.

So I sank some cash into a box to mine bitcoins, which was fine, or would have been fine if the hardware didn’t have issues. Basically I rushed into it and opted for something available right now vs shopping around for a quality product. So the Gigabyte board I have has a fault which took about 2 weeks to isolate, and one of 2 dimms is also faulty. Now I really hate returning stuff, and after dealing with gigabytes useless and slow support decided to never buy a product from them ever again, and I still have to convince the shop that there is a fault. So that will be downtime, and in bitcoin mining - all downtime costs money. Real money.

A further complication came from a software hang issue caused by ATI Catalyst drivers, OpenCL code and an accelerated video layer (or GPU call) on Windows. Basically a major bug in the ATI drivers causes a hang of the machine if a video plays while OpenCL code is running. This was after realising the driver bundle with control center caused crashes itself, so switching to the driver only pack at least let me isolate the problem. Oh and the fix has been committed for the driver release due out AFTER the next one. So October apparently. Thank’s AMD/ATI. I’ll never buy your products ever again too. For reference, this card was released in NOVEMBER last year.

The memory fault isn’t such a problem now, but once this fad wears off (or becomes unprofitable due to the price of power going up due to failure of the government (to cater for population growth or restrict immigration)) I was hoping to use this box as a vmware host. But alas, it’s again apparent that I’m not allowed to have things go well or to plan.

Further proof of this was the build up to the final Harry Potter film. My glasses broke, and not having spares anymore (long story) left me without sight. Skip forward a week and I’m still without, and now without more money too. Health insurance is such a scam. It barely covered 25% of the cost of replacement glasses. Sigh.

I’m not allowed to win. Someone please remind me why is it I try at all.

Perhaps I should move to some far away land which is cheaper than here. Perth’s now in the top 10 most expensive cities to live, and it’s higher up the list than New York. What the hell am I staying here for (apart from America being filled with americans).



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