This section contains content relating to actual coding, computer builds, OS There’s always some piece of code that needs to be written for a unique purpose. This is a list of the software I’ve written to accomplish my specific needs in software.
When I started the music news and info website Mechanical Nation in 2009 I wanted the capability to add some different data to the site that other similar sites didn’t offer. One was a listing of new album releases in the Indutrial music scene as well as keep an updated list of podcasts that broadcast music in the same genre.
I knew this was not something I was going to do manually, so I coded a couple of wordpress plugins.
Multi RSS Digest – is a multi RSS feed aggregator which compiles the data into posts and publishes them daily.
Discogs Album Releases – discogs is a great database of ALL music genres. This plugin parses the latest entries on Discogs on a daily schedule and publishes daily posts with any new additions to the Discogs DB.
Arbitrage Bitcoin Trading – As a proof of concept I quickly sketched up a proof of concept to see if there were any arbitrage opportunities across several bitcoin exchanges.
(See “Bitcoin Trading” tab above for more details)
Back in November of 2013 when the bitcoin price reached it’s $1000 all time high I jumped on the bandwagon to start mining alt coins since the profit margins were quite lucrative.
For the next 6-8 months every spare minute I had was spent focusing on the coin mining and the small business I had. Every minute was dedicated to managing the systems I owned, building and selling systems and frames out of my garage, fixing broken hardware and keeping tabs on all the profits. With the exception of my family and work, every hobby I had before Nov 2013 was now on hold.
By the spring of 2014 I had a little side business going, building and selling ready made mining computers, open concept wooden frames (to build your own mining rig) as well as mining for myself. At the peak of my mining I had 25 GPUs (mix of R9 290 and 290x) running in my garage.
Motherboards had 4 or 5 GPUs each and running linux distro spcially made for mining called PiMP “Portable instant Mining Platform”.
In the middle of winter (in canada) the garage was a comfortable temperature and I began to design a better cooling system to keep the 7000W heater (the GPUs collectively ate about 7000W and dumping most of that out in the form of heat) under control.
On a side note, I had to run four dedicated 20A circuits out to the garage to feed enough power to the GPUs. That worked out to quite the electricity bill every month, but the profits covered it all.
The solution to managing nearly 7000W of heat was to separate the hot air from the cold air and manage them both independently. All the GPUs were placed horisontally with their intake ports sucking air from a large wooden box, and the GPUs would vent into the garage space. The wooden box had an intake from the outside of the garage from which fresh cool air was continuously being drawn and fed to the GPUs. This way all the GPUs always got cool (as cool as it was outside, which even at 30deg C is still pretty good) and the hot air dumped into the garage was dumped outside through a second hole in the garage.
My wife was not too pleased when I told her I had to make two 12″x12″ holes into the side of our garage.
This system worked wonderfully throughout the summer.
I stopped slowing down my mining in the early fall as the bitcoin prices was dropping and the profitability of mining was getting less. By the end of November I had stopped all my mining since the electricity costs were higher then what I was making from mining. By this time I was also burned out. All this focus on only one task had taken it’s toll on me.
It was an awesome ride.
The learning was intense, fast paced and unforgiving at times.
Would I do it again if the bitcoin price hits $1000 again? I’ve given this some though, and the answer is NO. I want to explore other ways to profit from this new currency and the awesome benefits it brings.
While I was still mining in the summer of 2014 and slowly growing my bitcoin collection I started thinking about other ways to increase the value of what I had.
I came across the term “Pure Arbitrage Trading” and instantly decided this was worth a more in-depth look. I cobbled together a php script (which ran in wordpress installation) to take a look at a couple of canadian bitcoin exchanges and calculate if there were any arbitrage opportunities.
Sure enough, from time to time the bitcoin sell and buy prices were different enough that they created opportunities to make a profit for that price difference. I used the tool for many months making small trades between BTC and Canadian dollar, but always wondered if there were other opportunities of trading other crypto coins (as there’s hundreads of them).
Since my forte is not programming (and I’m really slow at coding) I decided to hire a programmer with which I could collaborate to write a more modular and comprehensive tool for me.
I now have a tool that is modular enough to allow multiple users, trade between any number of exchanges and any number of crypto coins as well as CAN$ and US$. Opportunities come and go, mostly when there’s a large fluctuation in the price of BTC as some exchanges lag in the price adjustment but for the most part, most coins on most exchanges trade at prices that are not favorable to pure arbitrage.
I’m happy I spent the effort to get this tool made. Maybe one day it will make me rich 🙂
My first computers were Commodore machines. Vic20, the C64 (with modem for BBS connections and dual floppy drives!) and then moved onto the Amigas.
First a A1000, the A500, then A2000 and lastly an A4000 to which I later added a 68060/50Mhz accelerator card. Those were the days.
But then Commodore went belly up and I ended up moving to the windows platform.
In 2005 I decided I wanted to get on the linux bandwagon, and have never looked back since. There are applications where windows is still a necessity (like CAD software) but for most other uses, linux works (and even better sometimes) then windows.
In my household we run very few windows installations. Of the 8 or so computers here (several laptops, a few servers and one workstation) only a few run windows.
The router server runs pfSense (a FreeBSD OS), the virtualizing server runs a free version of VMware ESXi 5.5 with a bunch of linux virtual machines on it and my workstation is a dualboot machine running mostly openSuse (now called LEAP) and windows if I want to play games from time to time.
The ESXi box came in 2010 and has been upgraded multiple times to newer hardware and how runs two firtualized file servers a couple of linux distros, one window’s VM with engineering software on it and a music server for the Sonos boxes in the house.
The new interesting software development I’m very interested in Docker containers. I have a few running in a linux VM and they are a very interesting take on software compartmentalization.
Gaming has been a part of my upbringing since the C64 days.
Owned most Amiga systems for their great graphics capabilities and let’s not kid ourselves; the awesome games. (Currently working on ressurecting my old A4000)
When my A4000 was not cutting it anymore durring university I needed to move on to a PC side.
In the Amiga days, my preference was always side scrolling shooters (R-Type, Shadow of the beast series, Hybris… to name a few).
Once on the PC scene, and processing power began to overshadow what the amiga could do, first person shooters became the favorite style of game (Descent, Quake, Doom).
The first person shooter genre is still a favorite to this day, however in the last 10 years I’ve started enjoying more and more driving simulator games (Project Cars, Colin McRae Rally, Dirt, rFactor, Race 07)
Currently I have plans to build a 2 axis motion simulator (with the help of my daughter) to increase the immersion level. Maybe once the VR head gear comes down in price I can add a headset to complete the immersion experience.
I’ve had a VPS since 2008 to host a few websites for me any my family and since then I’ve grown the customer base to a lot of my friends who are in need of some web presence.
My personal websites are this blog, my photography blog at Onsendesigns Photography the Bitcoin Arbitrage trading tool website, a music news and information website at Mechanical Nation and a blog for my wife.
Client websites that i’ve designed:
- ILR Car Control School – Performance driving school I am an instructor at. Custom theme created by me (currently in the middle of a website update)
- DJ Hangedman – Local DJ. Custom theme was designed by me.
- DJ Razr Grrl – Local DJ. Custom theme designed by me.
WordPress is second nature at this point as I’ve used it for the past…. since the mid 2000s