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I literally have tens of thousands of dollars in top-shelf hardware, looking to repurpose some before selling on eBay to build a NAS system, possibly a dedicated firewall device as well. o_O
Q1) What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.** A1) This will be a dedicated NAS system for my home network. As such, I'm looking to have it: - Host ##TB's of 720, 1080 & up resolution Movies and TV Shows I'm about to begin ripping from a MASSIVE DVD & Blueray collection I have. - My kids are big on Minecraft. I understand it's possible to host your own "worlds" (or whatever they call the maps you can build) on your own "server". I think it would be pretty neat to offer them (& their friends - if can be done 'safely/securely') their own partition on one of my NAS HDD's. - I also have accounts with a couple diff VPN companies... I understand it's possible (?) to sync said VPN's with a NAS, this might be a more relative topic on the next point/purpose... - I'd like to be able to remotely link to this NAS for when I travel overseas and want to stream at my temp location from my house/this NAS. ______________________ Q2) What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?** * A2) Here's where I make matters more complicated than most others would... I've been an advocate for Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general since 2013. I invested in a small mining outfit back in 2014 (strictly Bitcoin/ASIC's). One of my buddies is the President of a large-scale mining operation (foreign and domestic) and he convinced me to dabble in the GPU mining-space. I made my first hardware purchase in Q4, 2017 and launched a small-scale GPU-Farm in my house since then. I had the rigs mining up until Q3 of 2018 (not cost-efficient to keep on, especially living in SoFlo) and since then, the hardware's been collecting dust (& pissing off my family members since they lost access to 3X rooms in the house - I won't let anyone go near my gear). One of my New Years Resolutions for 2019 was to clear out the house of all my mining equipment so that's all about to go up on eBay. So "budget" is relative to whatever I "MUST" spend if I can't repurpose any of the parts I already have on hand for this build... (Anyone having something I "need" and is looking to barter for one of the items I'll list later on in here, LMK). ______________________ Q3) When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.** A3) IMMEDIATELY! :) ______________________ Q4) What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc\)** A4) Well I had a half-assed idea approximately 1 year ago that it might be wise to build a bunch of 'gaming rigs' to sell on eBay with my intended repurposed mining hardware so I went on a shopping spree for like 6 months. That said; I've got a plethora of various other components that aren't even unboxed yet. 90% of the items I've purchased for this additional project were items that were marked down via MIR (mail-in-rebates) & what-not...
AFAIK, there are only 3X items I absolutely do not have which I 'MUST' find. Those would be - 1) Motherboard which accepts "ECC RAM". 2) CPU for said MOBO. 3) Said "ECC RAM".\*
______________________ Q5) Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?** A5) I'm located in Southwest Florida. No Microcenter's here. Best Buy is pretty much my only option although I am a member of Newegg, Amazon & Costco if that makes any difference? ______________________ Q6) If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.** A6) In an attempt to better clean up this Q&A, I'm going to list the items I have on-hand at the end of this questionnaire in-case passers-by feel like this might be a TLDR.* (Scroll to the bottom & you'll see what I mean). ______________________ Q7) Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?** A7) I don't think that's necessary for my intended purpose although - I'm not against it if that helps & FWIW, I'm pretty skilled @ this task already (it's not rocket science). ______________________ Q8) Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)** A8) As stated in A4; ECC RAM is non-negotiable... RAID seems like a logical application here as well. - This will predominantly be receiving commands from MacOS computers. I don't think that matters really but figured it couldn't hurt to let you guys know.\* - I'd also be quite fond of implementing "PFSENSE" (or something of that caliber) applied to this system so I could give my Netgear Nighthawks less stress in that arena, plus my limited understanding of PFSENSE is that it's ability to act as a firewall runs circles around anything that comes with consumer-grade Wi-Fi routers (like my Nighthawks). Just the same, I'm open to building a second rig just for the firewall.\* - Another desirable feature would be that it draws as little electricity from the wall as possible. (I'm EXTREMELY skilled in this arena. I have "Kill-A-Watts" to test/gauge on, as well as an intimate understanding of the differences between Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium rated PSU's. As well as having already measured each of the PSU's I have on-hand and taken note of the 'target TDP draw' ("Peak Power Efficiency Draw") each one offers when primed with X amount of GPU's when I used them for their original purpose.\* - Last, but not least, sound (as in noise created from the rig). I'd like to prop this device up on my entertainment center in the living room. I've (almost) all of the top-shelf consumer grade products one could dream of regarding fans and other thermal-related artifacts. - Almost forgot; this will be hosting to devices on the KODI platform (unless you guys have better alternative suggestions?) ______________________ Q9) Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?** A9) Definitely! Desired theme would be WHITE. If that doesn't work for whatever reason, black or gray would suffice. Regarding "Case Size". Nah, that's not too important although I don't foresee a mini-ITX build making sense if I'm going to be cramming double digit amounts of TB in the system, Internal HDD's sounds better than a bunch of externals plugged in all the USB ports. ______________________ Q10) Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?** A10) I don't know. If I do need a copy of Windows, I don't have one so that's something I'll have to consider I guess. I doubt that's a necessity though. ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ **Extra info or particulars:*\* AND NOW TO THE FUN-STUFF... Here's a list of everything (PARTS PARTS PARTS) I have on-hand and ready to deploy into the wild &/or negotiate a trade/barter with: CASES - Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Arctic White (Model# Crypto-Currency-9011048-WW) - (Probably my top pick for this build). Cooler Master HAF XB EVO (This is probably my top 1st or 2nd pick for this build, the thing is a monster!). Cooler Master Elite 130 - Mini ITX - Black Cooler Master MasterBox 5 MID-Tower - Black & White Raidmax Sigma-TWS - ATX - White MasterBox Lite 5 - ATX - Black w/ diff. Colored accent attachments (included with purchase) NZXT S340 Elite Matte White Steel/Tempered Glass Edition EVGA DG-76 Alpine White - Mid Tower w/ window EVGA DG-73 Black - Mid Tower w/ window (I have like 3 of these) ______________________ CPU's - ***7TH GEN OR BELOW INTEL's ("Code Name Class mentioned next to each one)**\* Pentium G4400 (Skylake @54W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC CAPABLE" Celeron G3930 (Kaby Lake @ 51W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC CAPABLE" :) i5 6402P (Skylake @65W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( i5 6600k (Skylake @ 91W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( i7 6700 (Skylake @ 65W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( i7 7700k (Kaby Lake @ 95W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( ***8TH GEN INTEL's **\* i3-8350K (Coffee Lake @91W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC FRIENDLY" :) I5-8600K (Coffee Lake @95W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( ***AMD RYZEN's **\* Ryzen 3 2200G Ryzen 5 1600 Ryzen 7 1700X ______________________ MOTHERBOARDS - ***7TH GEN AND BELOW INTEL BASED MOBO'S - **\* MSI Z170A-SLI ASUS PRIME Z270-A ASUS PRIME Z270-P ASUS PRIME Z270-K EVGA Z270 Stinger GIGABYTE GA-Z270XP-SLI MSI B150M ARCTIC MSI B250M MICRO ATX (PRO OPT. BOOST EDITION) ***8TH GEN INTEL BASED MOBO'S - **\* EVGA Z370 FTW GIGABYTE Z370XP SLI (Rev. 1.0) MSI Z370 SLI PLUS ***AMD RYZEN BASED MOBO'S - **\* ASUS ROG STRIX B350-F GAMING MSI B350 TOMAHAWK MSI X370 GAMING PRO ASROCK AB350M PRO4 ______________________ RAM - Way too many to list, nothing but 4 & 8GB DDR4 sticks and unfortunately, none are ECC so it's not even worth mentioning/listing these unless someone reading this is willing to barter. At which time I'd be obliged to send an itemized list or see if I have what they're/you're specifically looking for.\* ______________________ THERMAL APPLICATIONS/FANS - JUST FANS - BeQuiet - Pure Wings 2 (80mm) Pure Wings 2 (120mm) Pure Wings 2 (140mm) Silent Wings 3 PWM (120mm) NOCTUA - PoopBrown - NF-A20 PWM (200mm) Specifically for the BIG "CoolerMaster HAF XB EVO" Case GREY - NF-P12 Redux - 1700RPM (120mm) PWM Corsair - Air Series AF120LED (120mm) CPU COOLING SYSTEMS - NOCTUA - NT-HH 1.4ml Thermal Compound NH-D15 6 Heatpipe system (this thing is the tits) EVGA (Extremely crappy coding in the software here, I'm like 99.99% these will be problematic if I were to try and use in any OS outside of Windows, because they barely ever work in the intended Windows as it is). CLC 240 (240mm Water-cooled system CRYORIG - Cryorig C7 Cu (Low-Profile Copper Edition*) A few other oversized CPU cooling systems I forget off the top of my head but a CPU cooler is a CPU cooler after comparing to the previous 3 models I mentioned. I almost exclusively am using these amazing "Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pads" as an alternative to thermal paste for my CPU's. They're not cheap but they literally last forever. NZXT - Sentry Mesh Fan Controller ______________________ POWER SUPPLIES (PSU's) - BeQuiet 550W Straight Power 11 (GOLD) EVGA - 750P2 (750W, Platinum) 850P2 (850W, Platinum) 750T2 (750W, TITANIUM - yeah baby, yeah) ROSEWILL - Quark 750W Platinum Quark 650W Platinum SEASONIC - Focus 750W Platinum ______________________ STORAGE - HGST Ultrastar 3TB - 64mb Cache - 7200RPM Sata III (3.5) 4X Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD's 2X Team Group L5 LITE 3D 2.5" SSD's 480GB 2X WD 10TB Essential EXT (I'm cool with shucking) + 6X various other external HDD's (from 4-8TB) - (Seagate, WD & G-Drives) ______________________ Other accessories worth mentioning - PCI-E to 4X USB hub-adapter (I have a dozen or so of these - might not be sufficient enough &/or needed but again, 'worth mentioning' in case I somehow ever run out of SATA & USB ports and have extra external USB HDD's. Although, I'm sure there would be better suited components if I get to that point that probably won't cost all that much). ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ Needless to say, I have at least 1X of everything mentioned above. In most all cases, I have multiples of these items but obviously won't be needing 2X CPU's, Cases, etc... Naturally, I have GPU's. Specifically; At least 1X of every. Single. NVIDIA GTX 1070 TI (Yes, I have every variation of the 1070 ti made by MSI, EVGA and Zotac. The only brand I don't have is the Gigabyte line. My partners have terrible experience with those so I didn't even bother. I'm clearly not going to be needing a GPU for this build but again, I'm cool with discussing the idea of a barter if anyone reading this is in the market for one. I also have some GTX 1080 TI's but those are already spoken for, sorry. It's my understanding that select CPU's I have on this list are ECC Friendly and AFAIK, only 1 of my MOBO's claims to be ECC Friendly (The ASROCK AB350M PRO4), but for the life of me, I can't find any corresponding forums that confirm this and/or direct me to a listing where I can buy compatible RAM. Just the same, if I go w/ the ASROCK MOBO, that means I'd be using one of the Ryzens. Those are DEF. power hungry little buggers. Not a deal-breaker, just hoping to find something a little more conservative in terms of TDP. In closing, I don't really need someone to hold my hand with the build part as much as figuring out which motherboard, CPU and RAM to get. Then I'm DEFINITELY going to need some guidance on what OS is best for my desired purpose. If building 2X Rigs makes sense, I'm totally open to that as well... Rig 1 = EPIC NAS SYSTEM Rig 2 = EPIC PFSENSE (or the like) DEDICATED FIREWALL Oh, I almost forgot... The current routers I'm using are... 1X Netgear Nighthawk 6900P (Modem + Router) 1X Netgear Nighthawk X6S (AC 4000 I believe - Router dedicated towards my personal devices - no IoT &/or Guests allowed on this one) 1X TP-Link Archer C5 (Router). Total overkill after implementing the Nighthawks but this old beast somehow has the best range, plus it has 2X USB ports so for now, it's dedicated towards my IoT devices. ---- I also have a few other Wi-Fi routers (Apple Airport Extreme & some inferior Netgear's but I can only allocate so many WiFi Routers to so many WiFi channels w/out pissing off my neighbors) On that note, I have managed to convince my neighbors to let me in their house/WiFi configuration so we all have our hardware locked on specific, non-competing frequencies/channels so everyone's happy. :) Please spare me the insults as I insulted myself throughout this entire venture. Part of why I did this was because when I was a kid, I used to fantasize about building a 'DREAM PC' but could never afford such. To compensate for this deficiency, I would actually print out the latest and greatest hardware components on a word document, print the lists up & tape to wall (for motivation). I was C++ certified at the age of 14 and built my first PC when I was 7. At the age of 15 I abandoned all hope in the sector and moved on to other aspirations. This entire ordeal was largely based off me finally fulfilling a childhood fantasy. On that note = mission accomplished. Now if I'm actually able to fulfill my desires on this post, I'm definitely going to feel less shitty about blowing so much money on all this stuff over the last couple years. TIA for assisting in any way possible. Gotta love the internets! THE END. :) EDIT/UPDATE (5 hours after OP) - My inbox is being inundated with various people asking for prices and other reasonable questions about my hardware being up for sale. Not to be redundant but rather to expound on my previous remarks about 'being interested in a bartetrade' with any of you here... I did say I was going to sell my gear on eBay in the near future, I also said I wanted to trade/barter for anything relative to helping me accomplish my OP's mission(s). I'm not desperate for the $$$ but I'm also not one of those people that likes to rip other people off. That said; I value my time and money invested in this hardware and I'm only willing to unload it all once I've established I have ZERO need for any of it here in my home first. Hence my writing this lengthy thread in an attempt to repurpose at least a grand or two I've already spent. One of the most commonly asked questions I anticipate receiving from interested bodies is going to be "How hard were you on your hardware?" Contrary to what anyone else would have probably done in my scenario which is say they were light on it whether they were or weren't, I documented my handling of the hardware, and have no problem sharing such documentation with verified, interested buyers (WHEN THE TIME COMES) to offer you guys peace of mind. I have photo's and video's of the venture from A-Z. I am also obliged to provide (redacted) electricity bill statements where you can correlate my photo's (power draw on each rig), and also accurately deduct the excess power my house consumed with our other household appliances. Even taking into consideration how much (more) I spent in electricity from keeping my house at a constant, cool 70-72F year-round (via my Nest thermostat). Even without the rigs, I keep my AC @ 70 when I'm home and for the last 1.5-2 years, I just so happened to spend 85% of my time here at my house. When I would travel, I'd keep it at 72 for my wife & kids. Additionally; I had each GPU 'custom' oveunderclocke'd (MSI Afterburner for all GPU's but the EVGA's).* I doubt everyone reading this is aware so this is for those that don't.... EVGA had the brilliant idea of implementing what they call "ICX technology" in their latest NVIDIA GTX GPU's. The short(est) explanation of this "feature" goes as follows: EVGA GPU's w/ "ICX 9 & above" have EXTRA HEAT/THERMAL SENSORS. Unlike every other GTX 1070 ti on the market, the one's with this feature actually have each of 2/2 on-board fans connected to individual thermal sensors. Which means - if you were to use the MSI Afterburner program on one of these EVGA's and create a custom fan curve for it, you'd only be able to get 1/2 of the fans to function the way intended. The other fan simply would not engage as the MSI Afterburner software wasn't designed/coded to recognize/ communicate with an added sensor (let alone sensor'S). This, in-turn, would likely result in whoever's using it the unintended way having a GPU defect on them within the first few months I'd imagine... Perhaps if they had the TDP power settings dumbed down as much as I did (60-63%), they might get a year or two out of it since it wouldn't run as near as hot, but I doubt any longer than that since cutting off 50% of the cooling system on one of these can't be ignored too long, surely capacitors would start to blow and who knows what else... (Warning = RANT) Another interesting side-note about the EVGA's and their "Precision-X" OveUnderclocking software is that it's designed to only recognize 4X GPU's on a single system. For miners, that's just not cool. My favorite builds had 8X and for the motherboards that weren't capable of maintaining stable sessions on 8, I set up with 6X. Only my EVGA Rigs had 3 or 4X GPU's dedicated to a single motherboard. Furthermore, and as stated in an earlier paragraph, (& this is just my opinion) = EVGA SOFTWARE SUCKS! Precision X wasn't friendly with every motherboard/CPU I threw at it and their extension software for the CLC Close-Loop-Cooling/ CPU water-coolers simply didn't work on anything, even integrating into their own Precision-X software. The amount of time it took me to finally find compatible matches with that stuff was beyond maddening. (END RANT). Which leads me to my other comments on the matter. That's what I had every single 1070 ti set at for TDP = 60-63%. Dropping the power load that much allowed me to bring down (on average) each 1070 ti to a constant 110-115W (mind you, this is only possible w/ "Titanium" rated PSU's, Platinum comes pretty damn close to the Titanium though) while mining Ethereum and was still able to maintain a bottom of 30 MH/s and a ceiling of 32 MH/s. Increasing the TDP to 80, 90, 100% or more only increased my hashrates (yields) negligibly, like 35-36 MH/s TOPS, which also meant each one was not only pulling 160-180W+ (Vs. the aforementioned 115'ish range), it also meant my rigs were creating a significantly greater amount of heat! Fortunately for the GPU's and my own personal habits, I live in South Florida where it's hot as balls typically, last winter was nothing like this one. Increasing my yields by 10-15% didn't justify increasing the heat production in my house by >30%, nor the added electricity costs from subjecting my AC handlers to that much of an extra work-load. For anyone reading this that doesn't know/understand what I'm talking about - after spending no less than 2-3 hours with each. and. every. one. I didn't play with the settings on just one and universally apply the settings to the rest. I found the 'prime' settings and documented them with a label-maker and notepad. Here's the math in a more transparent manner: *** I NEVER LET MY GPU's BREACH 61C, EVER. Only my 8X GPU rigs saw 60-61 & it was the ones I had in the center of the build (naturally). I have REALLY high power fans (used on BTC ASIC MINERS) that were sucking air from those GPU's which was the only way I was able to obtain such stellar results while mining with them. **\* Mining at "acceptable" heat temps (not acceptable to me, but most of the internet would disagree = 70C) and overclocking accordingly brings in X amount of yields per unit. = 'Tweaking' (underclocking) the GPU's to my parameters reduced my yield per unit from -10-15%, but it SAVED me well over 30-35% in direct electricity consumption, and an unknown amount of passive electricity consumption via creating approximately 20%+ less heat for my AC handler to combat. I say all this extra stuff not just for anyone interested in mining with their GPU's, but really to answer (in-depth) the apparent questions you people are asking me in PM's. Something else that should help justify my claims of being so conservative should be the fact I only have/used "Platinum and Titanium" rated PSU's. Heat production, power efficiency and longevity of the hardware were ALWAYS my top priority.* . I truly thought Crypto would continue to gain and/or recover and bounce back faster than it did. If this project had maintained positive income for 12 months+, I'd have expanded one of our sites to also cater to GPU mining on a gnarly scale. Once I have my NAS (& possibly 2nd rig for the firewall) successfully built, I'll be willing/able to entertain selling you guys some/all of the remaining hardware prior to launching on eBay. If there's something you're specifically looking for that I listed having, feel free to PM me with that/those specific item(s). Don't count on an immediate response but what you can count on is me honoring my word in offering whoever asks first right of refusal when the time comes for me to sell this stuff. Fortunately for me, PM's are time-stamped so that's how I'll gauge everyone's place in line. I hope this extra edit answers most of the questions you guys wanted to have answered and if not, sorry I guess. I'll do my best to bring light to anything I've missed out on after I realize whatever that error was/is. The only way anyone is getting first dibs on my hardware otherwise is if they either offer compelling insight into my original questions, or have something I need to trade w/. THE END (Round#2)
I'll probably upgrade to a 1080 Ti, but not until the prices come back down.
750W seems like a little overkill to me, but PCPartsPicker estimates my rig at ~670W
I'd like to keep the price tag as low as possible. However, I don't really know what I'm doing here, and if I absolutely need a $4,000 rig to accomplish my goals, then I'll do it, but I don't think I'm comfortable with anything more expensive.
I looked into mergerfs + snapraid, but decided to go with zfs instead. I think I can tolerate the same-sized-drives restriction, and zfs sounds pretty fun to play with.
I have no idea how to tune my zfs setup (monitor the SMART data? block size? etc). Are these things I need to square away now, or can optimize later?
I don't fully understand SAS Expanders, but from what I've read, I don't think I need any. Please let me know if I'm wrong here.
My internet connection is ~100mbps down and ~10mbps up. I have a gigabit router, and I plan to connect to my router via CAT-6. (I don't think I'd benefit from Directly Attached Coax, but I may be wrong)
My main question is: will this hardware and software setup accomplish my goals? My secondary question is: is any of my hardware unnecessary for my goals? are there better ways to eat this Reese's? Thanks so much for all the help in advance, I've learned so much from this subreddit (and DataHoarding) already!
[400-500$] Need help to build a rig with a GTX 1070 with my remaining budget.
What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
400 Euro (500 if I'm in a good mood)
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
Next week/ two weeks
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
CPU RAM CPU cooler Tower Power Supply Motherboard
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
1080p monitor (Acer) 240 gb SSD External HDD Mouse Keyboard Operating system still on SSD
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
No. Maybe later if I have more knowledge about it
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
It would be great if the motherboard can have WiFI and maybe bluetooth. WiFi more important. It isn't necessary but then I dont need to get a long cable running through my room Just want someting basic that fits well with 1070 if that is possible with this budget. Want to play the current games on high setting with smooth fps and also for a time in the future.
Replace this text with answer.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
No It can be as ugly as possible if it works it works:)
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
I already have Windows 8 on SSD from my current PC
Extra info or particulars:
I can have a 1070 from bf of my sister who had a spare one due to bitcoin mining. I saw this as an oppurtunity to build a new pc, but I have no idea if my remaining budget will allow it. I hope you guys can give me mor einfo:) It could be that I forgot something that I needed but include it anyways if you can:) Thanks!
I made a simple blockchain project and now wrote this guide for entrepreneurs interested in smart contracts
The following is the exact copy of my medium article. No need to go there if you prefer reddit. And please ignore my startup mentioned here. I spent a whole month writing this huge guide - it's far beyond a mere promotion. This post is about Ethereum blockchain. I do love it. As I'm an entrepreneur myself (with some humble programming skills) I think I managed to explain clearly the practical side of Ethereum smart contracts - what can be done and how. Think this sub is the best place for it. Hope you'll find this helpful. Will do my best to answer all your questions (please mind the time difference - I'm in Russia).
An entrepreneur, programmer and user walk into a smart contract - The ultimate Ethereum blockchain stratup guide.
Lifehack - you don't need to understand blockchain to build a smart contract startup.
I made my smart contract project and still feel as a total noob reading discussions on blockchain. There is so much to learn for me. But, hey, my project works! Why bother? Though blockchain is cool and it's cool to understand the technology, there is no need to understand everything. Take a look at smart contracts from an entrepreneurs point of view - focus on how you can benefit from it. What kinds of projects you can actually do? What business models are there? What an MVP would look like? What it takes to engage a user, find a programmer and build infrastructure? This guide with examples and exercises will show you the practical side of smart contracts and help you estimate your idea or generate a new one. Use it as a starting point for your further investigation.
What you do need to know about blockchain and what you may just skip
Mining. The first thing to skip. From an entrepreneur's point of view mining is more like playing the stock market - buy equipment, analyze reward price charts and decide which crypto currency to invest your computing power to. But if you are dealing with smart contracts, you don't have to care about mining for the same reason you don't care about Internet providers when visiting a web-site. Blocks, hashes, cryptography and all that math - we gonna ignore it too. The important practical outcome can be reduced to this mantra: "Everything that gets into blockchain remains there forever, anything can be verified, but nothing can be changed". In practice it means that data is stored permanently, transparently and securely. Now let's turn to the terms you cannot do without and explain them as if it's year 2005 now. Blockchain is like a BitTorrent network. A program on your computer downloads files and afterwards gives them away. But the program is called blockchain client rather than torrent client. And those files you download store transactions instead of videos and music. Sender, recipient, date-time and ammount - records are stored one after another (yes, they are stored in blocks, but who cares). Everybody who runs blockchain client has his own copy of the whole blockchain database and keeps all transactions that have ever been made. This database is huge. Ethereum blockchain is currently about 43 GB, Bitcoin is 125.78 GB. todo Cryptocurrency is a list of money transfers. In blockchain world your balance is not just a single record, but the sum of all your receipts and expenditures (the entire transactions history). If a blockchain stores transactions which only contain money transfers (sender address, recipient address and amount being sent), we call this type of blockchain a cryptocurrency. Bitcoin - is a cryptocurrency. But any transaction is just a string in a file, thus it may contain any information. An address in turn may not belong to a human... which gives us much wider opportunities then just a crypto currency. Smart contract is like a web site. A blockchain address may belong to a program. A program then is called a smart contract. It is called a contract just because the code is open. However it is simpler to compare it to a web site (or web service). For example, a classified advertisements service could be a smart contract. Its code would be stored at a particular address in the blockchain - just like a web site url. A transaction to this address would not contain money but an advertisement text. And the smart contract would publish this advertisement, i.e. saves to blockchain. Ethereum is like the Internet Ethereum - is exactly the kind of blockchain in which transactions may contain not only money, but data. The blockchain database (those files one downloads) stores transactions between people, transactions involving smart contracts and contracts source codes. This makes Ethereum kinda new type of the Internet, which is stored locally by everyone involved. And that's really enough for the theory. The rest you'll learn from what it all means in practice.
What is the difference between a smart contract and a conventional web site
What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of a smart contract driven service.
Openness and Encryption
A user doesn't have to trust you. "Everything that gets into blockchain remains there forever, anything can be verified, but nothing can be changed". The user sees exactly how your system works (smart contract code is open) and stays confident in the reliability of your database (database is transparent and unchangeable). Meaning there is no need to win users trust. For example, you can turn a classified advertisements service into an open auction with charity donations. The process of selling would look as follows. A seller sets the initial price and posts a lot. After that anybody will be able to track bets, see a winner, see how much seller earned and how much was deducted to charity and to platform commission. Everybody is confident there was no cheating. Where it benefits most. Gambling (Roulethvdice.io), prediction markets (Augur, Gnosis), voting, multilevel marketing (TheMillionEtherHomepage).
Payment processing "out of the box"
You don't have to deal with any payment processing services. Solidity language with which smart contracts are written incorporates all the necessary money (Ether cryptocurrency) operators. User balance is just another variable in your code. You can program any behavior to it - like triggering an event on receiving a certain amount of money or making a multisignature payment and much more. That is why Ether and other cryptocurrencies are often referred to as programmable money. Where it benefits most. Crowdfunding platforms (Weifund, Wings.ai), rent services Golem - rent unused CPU/GPU cycles.
You don't have to worry about DoS attacks and scalability. Every blockchain user has it's own smart contract copy locally on his computer, thus it will withstand any load, free of charge. Where it benefits most. Smart contracts gave rise to a totally new kind of companies - decentralized organizations (DAOs). DAO is a separate phenomenon worth studying. In the meantime, just ask yourself: "Why do we need an intermediary like Uber, if it is possible to connect a driver and a passenger through a smart contract directly?". What prospects does it opens? Have a look at this startups: Arcade city and Lazooz.
Lifehack: When googling for A DAO, ignore the hassle around THE DAO). The only reason THE DAO failed was braking some basic smart contract safety rules (we'll discuss them further).
Transaction delay and commission
A user have to pay for every transaction and have to wait a bit too. The average transaction is mined (read included) into Ethereum blockchain in 14-15 seconds. There is a high chance of reducing this delay down to 4 seconds in the near future. But even then we are all got used to a better responsiveness. Moreover a simple money transfer (two addresses involved, no contracts, minimal amount of data) would cost about 0.000861 ETH ($0.02 in March 2017). These "drawbacks" are tiny, but enough to build a heavy threshold for certain types of projects. Where it doesn't benefit. A chat for example. Each message chips a couple of weis (Ether denomination) off your balance and requires half a minute to reach the other end. This is probably a bad idea for a startup unless you are dealing with some official correspondence, which requires legal force and does not require privacy. With smart contracts you can choose almost any web service and make it blockchain. Plus you are free to create completely new blockchain-only types of projects. See what has already been done, mix it up with Internet of things, artificial intelligence, virtual worlds or fintech, and you'd most probably get a unicorn.
Note: You can make a smart contract with Bitcoin too, but it's like doing 3D in MS Excel. Kinda possible, but why?
What business models are there
You are free to use any business model. But first have a look at what have already become a new standard in Ethereum - tokens. In conventional terms tokens business model is like crowdfunding and IPO combined. The "crowd" buys shares of your company instead of products. And in the future the shares (tokens) may be sold or exchanged for your services. This became possible because Solidity (Ethereum smart contract language) allows issuing your own cryptocurrency. For example. You came up with a classified advertisement platform idea. You want it to have its own internal currency (tokens) called Advertisement (ADV). You want to charge 1 ADV for placing an advertisement, 2 ADVs for pinning it to the top and 0.2 ADVs for updating. You write a smart contract. All that it is capable of at this point is receiving money (ETH) and keeping users balances. Now you announce your platform in a way that crowdfunding projects usually do and offer to buy ADVs at low cost 1 ADV = 1 ETH. Later when your platform is live you'll set the ADV price to 10 ETH. After that those who invested in the very beginning will be able to sell their ADVs gaining income or place their ads 10 times cheaper than the current price. But for now you've earned your ETH to spend on development. Tokens are attractive enough on their own to start experimenting with smart contracts.
What it takes to engage a user
Ok. You published your first smart contract. But what it takes to engage a user with no blockchain experience to use it? And how can we lower the threshold? We can break user experience into two parts: interacting with blockchain (what a user has to do anyway) and interacting with your smart contract (ways we can make a user's life easier).
Interacting with blockchain
What a user has to do anyway. Get an address (a wallet). An address and a key to it is like username and password. There is no way to interact with blockchain without it. The easiest way to get it is to use generator at MyEtherWallet.com. It takes less than one minute and as a result, user receives an address and a key. The address is a 42 character sting and the key is a small file. The key file is used to sign transactions and has to be saved as securely as possible - there is no way to restore it. A user can use the same address to interact with any smart contract. IMG: Generate a wallet at MyEtherWallet.com Get some ether (ETH). Any transaction requires commission (0,001 to 0,01 ETH on average). A user has to fuel up his address with a sufficient sum to interact with your contract. Buying ether is possible through major exchanges. These exchanges require 1-3 day for identity approval and are available in a limited list of countries. Users from other countries and those not eager to wait (especially when buying Ether worth a couple of bucks) may use almost instant alternatives.
Access a blockchain client. Any interaction with blockchain and with any smart contract accordingly is done through a blockchain-client. As of March 2017 downloading Ethereum database to an HDD disk (70% are still using HDDs) requires 2-3 days and 43 GB of spare space. It makes computer unresponsive enough to start throwing things at it. Keeping blockchain in sync too requires about the same amount of resources as watching a movie online does.
Not to confuse the pros. For the sake of simplicity we call EthereumWallet, Mist browser, geth and parity the blockchain client. We are entrepreneurs here, it is only a programmer who should really know the difference.
There is also a so called light client. It doesn't require downloading the database. But it still requires installation and getting hands dirty with manuals. Our target audience is not willing to do it either. So let's be realistic our target audience will hardly install any blockchain client on their computers. Let's see how we can help. A necessary and sufficient minimum for a user to start interacting with any smart contract is an address (key file) and a tiny amount of ether on it.
Interacting with your smart contract
We got to simplify user experience with a graphical user interface (GUI). In Ethereum GUIs do not belong to smart contracts and are stored off the blockchain. There are several ways to "attach" GUI to a smart contract. Here are they from the least to the most user-friendly.
Smart contract with no GUI
Users can interact with smart contracts directly, with no GUI at all. Blockchain client can identify smart contract functions and let user work with it. The client provides auto-generated GUI so a contract looks and feels like a sign-in form of a website. This is a straightforward way of writing to and reading from contract. IMG: Access contract function through Ethereum Wallet But we agreed we won't force user to deal with blockchain clients. To set user free from it we can try to offer MyEtherWallet.com (an online client). Contract interaction will look just the same, but there is no need to download or learn anything. IMG: Access the same function through MyEtherWallet.com The contract without GUI has to be very well documented. It is also a good idea to make a landing page to display the current state of the contract. For example, TheMillionEtherHomepage.com displays the state of the underlying contract and offers users to work with it directly giving all necessary instructions. The same setup would likely be a minimum for a classified advertisements smart contract. So the user with no blockchain background would be able to grasp the idea of the service.
Decentralized application (DApp) - GUI in a browser
Look and feel exercise: Go to tokens exchange platform Maker Market, then install Metamask Chrome plugin and try Maker Market again. See how metamask brings blockchain functionality to the website.
DApp and Metamask browser plugin make your smart contract look and feel just like a web-site
We can make any GUI for mobile or desktop application and bring any feature to it. But in order to send transactions it has to communicate with a blockchain client too. The ways to do it without any locally installed client are: embedding a light client right into your application or communicating with a remote blockchain client (see infrastructure section further).
To engage a user with no blockchain background means to make him get an address, buy a bit of Ether and install your mobile app or Metamask browser plugin.
What it takes to build an infrastructure
Let's turn to even more practical (and technical) parts. First what will you have to buy. From the cheapest to the most expensive setup.
Smart contract with no GUI
For a mobile app you'd probably need a server with a running blockchain client to let your app communicate with the blockhain through it. Or you can embed light client right into your app. Or use Etherscan.io and Infura API. Depends on your features. A more detailed (and more technical) guide is here - Mobile: Introduction
Which developer skills are required
Smart contract with no GUI
Mobile apps and back-ends
Mobile and desktop applications can be written in any language. Recommendations are the same as for the DApp. To connect your app to a blockchain client (full, light or remote) there are ready-made libraries available. For example, python. To embed a light client, check out geth.
Timestamp, Speccy, Interior Pics: http://imgur.com/a/vEa1O It’s a common problem. You want to be able to boast about your specs to your friends on Steam or in the office to boost your ego and make them feel bad, but you don’t have five grand to drop on a powerhouse. You still drive the same 1998 Toyota Corolla from high school, still eat ramen four times a week, and still think the idea of a splurge is going to a movie and then to burger king. Well pucker up, buttercup, because you just got a one-way ticket to computational excellence. The price? $650 plus S+H. You won’t even need to give me the title to your car or your firstborn. Imagine that! What do you get for $650? Let’s look at the notables. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CPU - Xeon E5-2660, an octa-core affair from Intel with a 20MB cache and a default clock of 2.2gHz, which will turbo up to a blistering 3.0gHz whenever you might need. It’s built on the Sandy Bridge EP/EX 32nm process, with a 95 Watt TDP. When your friend is boasting about his Core i7-4390, remind him that you have four more cores, and about 1,000 points better score on Passmark. Also, make fun of how much he spent. Hurt them in the wallet, and in the heart. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Motherboard - You get one of Dell’s rock solid Precision boards. Supports up to 64gb DDR3 ECC Unbuffered memory, any Sandy Bridge 26xx Xeon CPU, and shitload of I/Os. Feel free to reference the timestamps for examples. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RAM - You’re getting 32GB of DDR3 ECC Unbuffered Memory, which is all you’ll ever need. When this machine stops working the year 2090, your Grandchildren will look at your desk and declare under their breath, “Holy shit, Grandpa is a FUCKING BALLER.” Then they’ll leave you alone to play Crysis in your Holodeck. Yes, the future will be like Star Trek. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ GPU - You’re getting a fancy dancy EVGA SSC GTX 970, with their ACX 2.0 cooling system; whatever that means. For me, that means over 150FPS in GTA V, and everything else I can throw at it. If you’re living with your parents, you can also harness it’s power to mine bitcoins and over the course of a year, make about $2. Imagine that. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Storage - This machine is equipped with two drives; a Sandisk 240GB SSD Plus that will come with your choice of fully-licensed Windows 7 Pro or Windows 10 Pro. It also has a 1TB Western Digital storage drive that I found in a dumpter. (Not joking, I really did) With a setup like that, you can store all your huge games or CAD applications on the secondary drive, while enjoying a speedy Windows installation on the primary. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So in summary, you’re getting a lot. You’re getting a solid desktop that’s been pre-loved (and hit with an angle grinder to make the GPU fit), a full Windows installation, an ego-boost that will last through the holiday season, and more money in your wallet. Also, I drew a cock on the timestamp. Not sure why, but I hope that it improves it.
Seeing how this Subreddit is lacking any sort of info on Feathercoins and the lack of community support we have, I have decided to start a post that would inform newbies about Feathercoin and seasoned vets on the best places to trade. Feathercoin: It is a Crypto Currency that was started by Peter Bushnell. It is a clone of Litecoin (This coin was inspired by Bitcoin). The Feathercoin network generates coins at a decreasing rate. It will generate about 336 million coins which is 16 times more than that of Bitcoin and 4 times more than that of Litecoin. Currently about 25 million coins have been generated. Network hashrates, Pools, Solo mining: Currently a mid end system comprising of 7870 or 7970 will get you abot 400 to 700 kh/s. That means that in a given day you will be mining about 7 to 13 Feathercoins on current difficulty level. However If you mine alone that is solo mining, the probability of you finding a block is hard and it may take a while before you make a coin. To counter this people have started making pools to increase the chances of finding blocks. There are many pools that allow you to have multiple workers so you can setup multiple systems and mine at your leisure. Currently some of the popular pools are: http://www.fcpool.com/ http://give-me-coins.com/ http://www.wemineftc.com/ http://fc.ltcoin.net/ https://ftc.d2.cc/ For a full list of mining pools: http://coinpools.sdfg.org/ftc It is highly recommended to join a pool to make mining profitable. Look at the pools posted above, look at their fee structure, their payout and make an informed decision on which pool to join. Hardware and Mining: Feathercoin utilizes scrypt based mining that is you can use your GPU (the Graphics card inside your system) to mine them. AMD Cards are highly recommended as they output higher hashrates as compared to Nvidia. To give you an idea of the difference a 7870 ghz edition mines at about 375 kh/s whereas a Nvidia 780ti would mine at about 224 to 300 kh/s. If you are seriously considering in investing in this venture it would be best to buy a rig that supports 6 GPU's and buy either the 7950 or the 280x as they have considerably higher hash rates and are affordable to say the least. Something one should be aware of is that mining produces a lot of heat as your system is basically running at full capacity and therefore needs a lot of cooling. People usually build rigs in the open (no case) and use household fans to cool them. Also another thing that is common is to use PCIe risers as they allow greater spacing between GPU cards and effectively help in dissipating heat. Mining uses a lot of electricity so it is best to use a schedule to mine or if electricity is cheap then 6 7950's running 24 hours a day would cost you about 12 to 18 dollars in electricity a month, maybe more depending on where you live. The software to use for mining are Cgminer (https://litecointalk.org/index.php?topic=6925.0), guiminer scrypt (http://forum.feathercoin.com/index.php?topic=961.0) and cudaminer for Nvidia cards. I would advise against Cpu mining as that is not profitable and will simply weigh you down. Invest 250 to 350 dollars in a good AMD GPU and you will be mining much more effectively. Trading: There are many places where one can trade Feathercoins but only a few of them offer FTC/USD exchange. Btc-e (https://btc-e.com/exchange/ftc_btc). Is one of the biggest cryptocoin trading exchanges, it does not offer USD exchange for Feathercoins as of yet but allows you to exchange for Bitcoins. Crypto-trade (https://www.crypto-trade.com/trade/ftc_btc), this trading exchange allows you to trade against the USD making it more favourable to miners however there is currently a lack of volume for FTC as of writing. Other exchanges like Cryptsy, Bter and coins-e are all good but they are heavily dependent on Bitcoins and Litecoins for now. My thoughts Feathercoin is fairly new and its gaining momentum, once big exchanges start listing it against the USD, the venture will become more profitable. For now it is advisable to mine as many as you can and sit on them till value improves or if you have a mining rig that is mining at 22000 kh/s (this will get you about 500 feathercoins a day) then mine the shit out of them and trade them for Btc for profit although I would recommend against this as it it reduces the value of feathercoin. Many exchanges allow you to deposit money via international wire transfers however the minimum is 2000 dollars so keep that in mind before investing real money into this venture. There are alternatives like paypal and okpay that are also accepted but not a lot of people have accounts on those so signup for a website that suits your situation. One last ting we all need to do is spread awareness about Feathercoin, It is a miners coin and the difficulty right now makes it so much more interesting to mine. I will update this page with more information and will answer questions if any to the best of my knowledge. Happy mining My FTC wallet deposit thingy address : 6v1VuL41xGuLG1Bd8usJsuUEkZyac8jKbe EDIT : I realized some of you might have NVIDIA GPU's and are hesitant on getting AMD. Never fear for there is a solution. If you have a motherboard that supports two or more GPU's that is you have more than one PCIe slots than follow these instructions: If you intend to game on your system while you are mining then put the NVIDIA card in PCI slot one and buy an AMD card and put it in slot 2. Now install the drivers in the order Nvidia first reboot and then Amd second reboot. You do not need to plug in HDMI to your AMD card just leave it as it is. Now download gpu miner scrypt and select from the list your AMD card and start mining, its that easy. At night if you want to squeeze in more kh/s then run cudaminer and let it mine alongside your AMD. The best part about this is that you can be mining 24/7 on your AMD card and you will not experience any system slow down while gaming or watching movies. Remember to have atleast two workers workers created so you can mine parallel. If you already have an NVIDIA card then just install your AMD card and install AMD drivers and reboot and run guiminer scrypt. At times you might run into the issue of guiminer not starting, just delete it and re install it and it should work fine in 98% of the cases. This is for those who do not want to invest in a completely new system and would rather use their existing system. You can use cgminer as well but remember the order in cgminer starts from 0 not 1 so if NVIDIA is in slot 1 then it is -d0 -g0 and AMD will be -d1 -g1
Backups: Luckily, I don't do desktop support. We have another IT group that does that, I'm completely independent from them and I only have to take care of servers (and my own desktop). The physical servers are backed up to tape with Bacula. Our virtual servers are backed up with Veeam. My own desktop is backed up to my NAS share using synctoy (yes, i use windows on my desktop).
One off systems: As in physical servers built by hand? 0. I'm pretty much a Fujitsu shop with a few Dells. I definitely don't have time to be piecing servers together. disk space: only a few TB per server. I think the better answer would be that we have an Isilon X200 cluster that is 140 TB.
I guess in that case I only manage a handful of physical servers and a few VMs that are made for running one special piece of software or analyze data from one piece of scientific equipment. We have many other scientific devices that are attached to PCs that are "community" devices, but I don't have to manage them. and we've got a microscopy group that is separate from me too, with their own machines and devices.
First, just to clarify, we're going to 10G from the 1G we have right now. I'm not our main network guy, so I'm not entirely sure but I doubt we'll change the MTU simply because we don't have a remote site so the majority of our traffic is regular internet traffic.
As for our backend network, I do use jumbo frames on a couple VLANs for our storage.
Intel makes good chips and they do keep pushing technology forward, but they will never do overclockers any favors. They will always be doing whatever they can to make money. AMD will also do the same thing. Intel seems to think enthusiast solely means "deep pockets". At the same time, there always seems to be a lot of "the sky is falling" reporting done by many tech journalists. Intel hasn't completely forgotten about overclockers and I don't think they ever will completely let that group disappear. And really, what incentive does Intel have to completely lock out overclockers? Sure, deny us our warranty, we'll go ahead and buy another chip and give you more money. How could you deny that as a company? as for overclocking headroom decreases, one can only hope that means we've got a whole new architecture coming out soon, something like the transition from Pentium 4 to Core.
At home I've got a 1u dell poweredge sitting in a closet which is my main server. I run bageez.us off it which was supposed to be my way of giving back to the community, by running a Linux torrent site. Other than that I've got two htpcs running Debian, a desktop windows machine for gaming/reviewing hardware, and a file server with 8 tb running Debian and KVM with a few Debian VMS.
Looks like I let the SSL cert expire. I'll fix that tomorrow. It works on my end but I think I want to recode a few things and possibly get it to work with other trackers. Right now the torrents will only work with my local tracker.
I think what really got me the best knowledge was forcing myself to use a "less polished" distro as my main rig for a few years. Once you are forced to learn, you'll learn quickly. Picking up an rhcsa book will help too even if you don't plan on taking the exam. Go through it and do the exercises. Install a distro, set it up, then format and do it all over. You can use virtual box for the same result without killing your main rig.
No, but I wish I did. I stopped using it because the GPU support in Linux was better on my desktop, and now I work mostly with CentOS, and it would be a lot of work to change 100ish servers over to FreeBSD.
Nice. I've heard that ROCKS becomes a bear at scale, but for now it's pretty simple and quick. My plan is to keep adding another 18 nodes every year (one full blade cluster) every year, as long as I can get funding, so I'm keeping my eyes open for other solutions for provisioning. Bright cluster manager is another one I have on my radar.
1st step i'd do is remove all nonessential parts from the computer. Leave the cpu and 1 stick of ram. Pull out the graphics card, don't connect any hard drives or cd drives. On the back, connect the monitor to the on board video card and connect the keyboard. Does it power on? Do you get any error messages other than it saying there is no OS? Then power down and connect things one by one until you figure out what part is causing the problem. If you think it's the drivers, you can boot into safe mode (i hope windows 8 still has that, press f8 while booting), then run Driver Sweeper, to remove the graphics drivers. I haven't tried this on windows 8 so i'm not sure if it will run or not. I don't think you need to do a full format and reinstall.
For benchmarking, mainly. The 3770k was our standard platform for reviews when I bought it. The rest is leftovers from various reviews. We don't get paid, so basically we work for hardware when we write reviews, more or less.
Well, it would work just as it does on any other group of computers. I'd have to run one client on each computer and they'd all check back to get their own workloads, so it would really take out the "cluster" usage and turn them just into regular blade servers.
I listed everything I could think of that I've done that was computesysadmin related. I had administered several web servers over the years, and experimented with many different distributions as my daily driver on my main desktop, so I was very comfortable on the command line and with day to day tasks. I was asked a few 'test' questions on the interview but I think they were more to gauge exactly what i did and didn't have experience with, not so much to make or break me.
I have start playing with configuration management, but haven't gotten anything in production yet. I only provision new VMs every once in a while, and once the computer nodes are up they are pretty stable.
LN2, at the benching party in philly last year. We definitely need to get one of those on schedule again. Also, my work has LN2 and D-ice sitting around but I haven't asked if it's ok for me to play with those yet. One day, i'll ask, and it will be awesome if they say yes. fingers crossed.
If it's not on my computer or benching station, it's in my closet. And my wife doesn't like the amount of computer stuff in my closet, so I'm sure I'll start looking for some way to recycle stuff soon.
Well, you could get yourself a RHCSA prep book (linked to the one i have and found useful) and go through all of the exercises. The way I learned was basically to set up my own servers, either physical or virtual, at home, and run them. I think FreeBSD, Gentoo, and Slackware were the most beneficial to me in that they don't really make choices for you, so you have to configure things for yourself which forces you to read the documentation and learn. They all have excellent documentation, btw. If you want to go a step further, linux from scratch will really teach you about the operating system from the ground up.
From there, come up with little projects for yourself. Like making a home NAS, setup NFS and Samba shares, install XBMC on a HTPC and hook it up to your tv to stream movies and music. Setup a webserver and owncloud. Stuff like that.
I was 19 when I first made that half life/counterstrike server. I didn't even know what ssh was and it took a good amount of explaining for me to finally understand. The freebsd documentation is amazing and will walk you through just about everything step by step. To get NAT configured I had to use another how to but setting up that server taught me a ton.
Most likely you will want to stay around 1.6v. I'm not very familiar with that chip specifically so I'd check hwbot to see what other people have posted and go by that. Obviously remember that not all chips are the same, so you can't expect to get exactly what other people get.
Back when I played CS in the dorm freshman year of college, I used to get killed all the time. So I started calling myself "jack splat", as a play on the nursery rhyme (jack sprat), then shortened it to 'splat' on most of the websites I signed up for.
I definitely have a few and luckily they aren't that bad. One of my first few months, I decided to connect this wireless ap to the network to test it out one morning. As I was being awesome managing the cable to make it look clean, one of the security guards came into the server room and said they had no internet. I looked at our switches and they were all lit up solid. By hooking up the ap, which had spanning tree turned on, I took down the network of the entire building.
Luckily, all I had to do was unplug it and everything went back to normal. I then set up a spare switch at my desk and played with it before figuring out that STP needed to be disabled on the AP. Now it's been running for over a year without incident.
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