My Private DNS Relay Server is Better Than Yours

Hai folks! Today we’re taking a closer look at two items I’ve been playing with recently, namely Namecoin and Raspbian.

Everything will start making sense at 1:56 …

On our last Namecoin adventure we learned how to leverage the system for the purposes of registering and browsing ‘.bit’ domains like wikileaks.bit. To do so we needed to install Namecoin-QT on our workstation and maintain a complete copy of the blockchain there, costing us a fair bit in time and disk space.

What if I told you we could just set this up once and then EVERY workstation on our network (or even all of the Interwebz!) could have .bit FQDN resolving powers?


Duh, let’s just put the software somewhere else on the network and make sure everyone can send name requests its way. We just received two more RPi3’s in the mail… Let’s put it on one of those! Continue reading “My Private DNS Relay Server is Better Than Yours”

MOAR MEGAHASHES — A2 Terminator by Innosilicon

If you’ve been acquainted with me for any significant amount of time you probably already know just how addicted I’ve become to reinforcing my favorite public blockchains by mining crypto currencies.

You mean to tell me that I can sit on my ass all day turning electricity and coffee into cash money; all while supporting the networks that enable this venture?

You had me at ‘sit on my ass’!

So the contents of the mysterious package that recently appeared on Facebook should come as no surprise when revealed to be a used A2 Terminator I recently snagged for half the going rate on eBay.

Ta Da!
Ta Da!

This baby is capable of churning out over 100 million Scrypt hashes every second at about twice the efficiency of an equivalent G-Blade cluster so of course I scrambled to get everything plugged in and running just as soon as I heard the FedEx guy at the door. Time IS money, as they say. Continue reading “MOAR MEGAHASHES — A2 Terminator by Innosilicon”

Make My Home Data Center Great Again!

When I first began collecting SHA256 (and later Scrypt) ASICs in 2013 these cute little chunks of silicon fit in the palm of your hand and you could run fifty of ’em on about as much electricity as a 100 watt light bulb.

The good ol' days
via Andrew von York (left), BitcoinTalk (right)

As time has gone by¬†hashrates and mining difficulty have skyrocketed while we’ve watched heatsinks sprout; surrounding our smaller and more efficient chips in protective aluminum cocoons. My desk quickly became crowded with USB hubs, cables, fans; and before I knew it I was in serious need of a dedicated spot for my fledgling datacenter to call home as it lay scattered in pieces around the house.

The Rise of HeatSink!
Now with 300% more heatsink! – via Andrew von York

So the other night I was finally fed up with the constant battle to keep my bedroom at a comfortable temperature. Fully tweaking on a Kona fueled caffeine overdose and shaking off the occasional hallucinations brought about by sleep deprivation I started plugging things into other things and running nmap -sP on the subnet.

Cursing. Scrypta hasn’t been developed in 3 years and doesn’t boot on the latest Pi hardware. Re-formatting microSD cards and cursing some more as this beautiful mess of cables and expensive space heaters begins taking shape in my new office:


While less visible than the monster AntMiner S5 in the foreground, Raspberry Pi‘s are multiplying at an alarming rate in that jungle of wires; threatening to overrun the place.

Need a network appliance? There’s a Pi for that:

  • A Pi to run the Minera controller software for a growing cluster of Gridseed Blades
  • A Pi to host various test wallets and other experiments in an isolated, easily reset environment
  • A Pi to assist in the search for extraterrestrial life and get paid for it
  • A Pi to act as a WLAN controller and serve double-duty as a lightweight sFlow monitoring appliance a la sFLow-RT
Like Rabbits!
Like Rabbits!

Even the S5’s onboard controller runs on some kind of BeagleBone board!

Such Wow! Much Bone!

After much internal debate I conclude that I will welcome our new Pi overlords with open arms and order two more.

Now you may be asking yourself as I often do, “Is all of this even worth it?”

At the moment I can say that the fun I have piecing this all together is definitely worth it. Turning a profit however is a post for another day.