Showing posts from December, 2021

Bitcoin mining heater: How to silence the thing!

This is the final post in a series on setting up using a bitcoin miner to heat my Nana's house. What why? Will it be worth it How to silence the thing The biggest challenge with all the setup of heating my Nana’s house with bitcoin mining was the noise. The machine draws 3.3kW! Yet it needs to stay at preferably less than 70 degrees (Even that is higher than ideal). To dissipate all that energy you need a lot of air. Moving all that air over the relatively small volume of the miner is going to be loud. There isn’t a way around that. The original fans on the device lead to it running at over 90 decibels. That’s like having a strimmer in your dining room. (If you think that’s desirable, read that sentence again) The guy I bought the device off of also sold what he called mufflers, but which is effectively just a big fan designed to disturb the air as little as possible. This lowers the pitch of the noise due to the fan and is a great improvement in comparison to getting the volume

The true direction of steam-punk

  In a world where liquid fossil fuels never took off; A place with such a high baseline radioactivity that no one cares for radiation shielding; I give you… Making a nuclear reactor doesn’t need to be difficult. There actually isn’t much to it, the difficulty comes in making it smaller. Much like how super large rockets can be efficient while being super simple, if they are just big enough, you can get access to the energy locked in uranium ore simply by gathering enough of it and adding a moderator. The moderator is simply a material that will slow the neutrons down sufficiently that they can be captured by the nuclei of other uranium atoms. This isn’t practical. The size required to get the neutron flux required to produce anything useful is prohibitive. As a result, the ore needs to be concentrated isotopically which really is a challenging process and is the step that stops nations from proliferating. In the absence of isotropic concentration technology but with the will and a l

A review of attacks

Since posting my Minecraft in a weekend post I have been running the demo of a flask service on one of my servers. It would be more prudent to run it on something like GitHub pages but I haven’t spent the time to migrate it so using a static flask delivery service is where I am with that. One benefit of having the service running on flask is that I have access to the logs of people trying to hack my server. It’s been interesting to see how many attempts there have been. Given my blog rarely attracts a single reader, with the exception of when I post a submission on hacker news, it’s interesting to see 90% of the traffic come from bots trying to gain privileges on the server. I want in this post to go through some of the attempts on the server and what I believe the attacker was trying to do and where their attack would have worked. First, it’s interesting to see how many of the attackers check for the existence of a robots.txt before continuing. (There isn’t one so they receive a 404

Cheap contact

  One of the expensive elements to add to a machine is the ability to feel its environment. Nature really can generate cheap simple sensing. Animal bodies are covered in a plethora of sensors to sense temperature, touch and vibration. On our fingers the density of our feeling of touch is sub-millimetre. To recreate so many sensory inputs has proved prohibitively expensive, even at costs as low as 50 cents a switch, the thousands of them required adds up to quite a cost. That's before you’ve even wired them up. Even though each switch is relatively simple in its own way you have to make them one at a time, injection moulding parts and adding whatever spring mechanism you need on every switch. I’ve been considering building a robotic arm from scratch recently and I’ve been giving some thought to the complexity of the button. All you really need is some contact and some mechanism for keeping that contact apart when not touched. My idea is to use PCB boards to encompass the wiring comp

The importance of 7

  Transcendental - a number that can’t be represented algebraically. (using +-*/, or raising to a power, even a fractional one) 7 is an important number. It has an incredible history of cultural significance. I wonder if with working memory; less is more. Does having a limited capacity to store information require that abstractions be made such that the required complexity is kept within manageable bounds. The wiki page on the importance of 7 recently came up on hacker news. I have over the last year developed what I think is an idea that could possibly lead to a general intelligence. It is my belief that it does not require a large amount of computation to emulate the aspects of intelligence that we attribute to intelligent people. Clearly to be able to derive the function that maps from the space of a 4k video to categories which include a tortoise or turtle is going to be an intensive one to compute. What you are trying to do is something that involves a large amount of information.

Bitcoin mining heater: Will it be worth it?

This is the second post in a series on setting up using a bitcoin miner to heat my Nana's house What why? Will it be worth it How to silence the thing As mentioned before , I’ve embarked on a project to heat my Nana’s house with bitcoin mining this winter. I’ve talked about why I’ve done this in the last post. What I want to try and cover in this post is my attempts at trying to work out if this will make me money or if I should instead have just paid for the heating of my Nana. The calculations I want to cover are: How much will it mine in bitcoin? What will the value of that bitcoin be? How much energy will it use? How consistently can I keep the device on? There are also some important questions around the ability to make the system acceptable as a system that will be living in my Nana’s house. How much will it mine? The first question is perhaps the most complicated to answer. It seems like something that should be simple. The device can run 100TH/s. That will always be more o

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