Author Archives: crashcarr

SharePoint 2007

System.What?: No SharePoint 2007 Menu Flyouts/DropDowns in Chrome

I recently added some jQuery and Javascript to a page in SharePoint 2007 and noticed it created a problem with the drop down menus in IE 10. After finding this post on System.What? that addressed the issue in Chrome 15 or later, I applied it and it also resolved the issue for IE 10.

System.What?: No SharePoint 2007 Menu Flyouts/DropDowns in Chrome.

bitcoin-logo-1000

The Abundant Number of Cryptocurrencies

One could be overwhelmed by the number of alternate cryptocurrencies currently circulating fueled by the skyrocketing price of Bitcoin. The original intention of these posts was to each coin individually and I may continue that in future posts; however, so many are similar in nature or just clones of the two dominant coins that they do not need a post to themselves.

Feathercoin

Feathercoin

To give a quick overview these coins are usually classified by the hashing algorithm they use, SHA256 (Bitcoin) or Scrypt (Litecoin). The type of equipment used for mining Bitcoin are GPUs or specialized ASIC hardware. Scrypt based coins are mined using GPUs, although there are some companies developing specialized Scrypt hardware. Most wallet software for these coins are clones of the existing Bitcoin/Litecoin QT wallet software. The mining of these currencies need the use of the same mining software, cgminer or bfgminer as Bitcoin or Litecoin.

multipoolscreenshot

Multipool Home Page

Where differences appear is in transaction speed, mined block rewards, and some other minor differences. Most of the material on these currencies advertise the benefits of cryptocurrencies in general instead of focusing in on what sets them apart. Altcoin developers would do well to push new ideas and innovations into their projects instead of rehashing (pun intended) Bitcoin  or Litecoin with a different name and logo. If anyone would like to point me toward an altcoin you find innovative, I would love to take a look instead of sorting through installation software for an altcoin that still has Bitcoin or Litecoin in the titlebar, help menu, etc.

With that said, there are pools that mine based on the current value reward in proportion to mining Litecoin or Bitcoin and will switch to mining a coin that will give a potentially better return on investment of equipment and power costs. Sites like Multipool.us, that I have used for several days, make it easy to mine a variety of coins or choose one if you like. The pool will switch as their system reevaluates the current price and block difficulty of each coin. This helps someone like myself,  interested in mining but not necessarily wanting to put myself at risk of a junk altcoin that is a scam or worse. These coins can then be migrated to an exchange like Cryptsy for a currency that I am more confident in long-term and miners are still able to help the legitimate altcoins off the ground.

cryptsyscreenshot

Cryptsy Home Page

Litecoin_Logo

Litecoin Cryptocurrency Review

For the next cryptocurrency review, I will be taking a look at Litecoin which second to Bitcoin is probably the most popular cryptocurrency. By the way is cryptocurrency even a preferred term within the community? Litecoin is different from Bitcoin in that it uses the Scrypt algorithm as mentioned previously in my Feathercoin post. This lends itself to being mined on GPUs similar to how Bitcoins were mined before the cheap availability of ASIC mining rigs.

Litecoin is different from Bitcoin also in that it has a faster transaction time of approximately 2.5 minutes, as Bitcoin transactions can take up to ten minutes and it also differences itself in that there will be four times as many Litecoins as Bitcoins.  Litecoin was started in October of 2011, making it one of the older alternatives to Bitcoin and has started to receive a good amount of mainstream media coverage as the interest in cryptocurrency has increased.  Currently Litecoin is valued at approximately $24USD and continues to mirror volatility in many other cryptocurrencies, although it benefits from a strong and experienced community that lends more legitimacy .

The wallet system is very similar of course to Bitcoin and other coins that I have reviewed lately, using the Litecoin-QT wallet system. It takes quite a long time to download the blockchain. I setup an account on WeMineLTC.com, which was simple and provided similar tools to other pooled mining sites. I did experience some problems with cgminer and Litecoin with my GPU, which would mine for several hours before starting to error. I was able to switch to a Feathercoin pool and continue mining so I have yet to figure out the source of that issue.

I believe the long history of Litecoin could help it become the silver to Bitcoin’s gold and it looks to be a strong alternative to Bitcoin for those either frightened by the current price of Bitcoin (1096USD as of this post). It also provides a lower barrier to entry for miners since ASIC miners have taken over Bitcoin miningg. GPUs previously used for Bitcoin mining can now be used for Litecoin mining. I continue to enjoy the diversity of the currency system and the communities that spring up to champion their favorites. I will continue covering these cryptocurrencies  and I encourage all of you to provide some feedback in the comments, on Reddit or on my Twitter account @crashcarr.

Also lest I forget, please if you like these posts please consider a small donation in Litecoin to the following address: LLgYkYCjfmNPFkfsmDfR18aoiu7J4MYGv8

MinePeonLogo

MinePeon Raspberry Pi Bitcoin Mining Setup

My Raspberry Pi has been sitting unused for a couple of months now since I last explored using it as a cheap surveillance camera. This post on this project on Code Project is highly recommended. Then I read about MinePeon, a simple Bitcoin mining build for the Raspberry Pi, and I fell in love with the feature set and most importantly the simplicity in the install and setup. Until installing MinePeon, I had 7 USB Block Eruptors connected to my desktop churning away at what I could get with the current Bitcoin difficulty level. This provided an eyesore for my girlfriend and an additional set of connections sitting next to my primary desktop. MinePeon looked to be a perfect solution to both problems and it ended up being much more.

I downloaded the MinePeon build and loaded it on a 2GB SD card using Win32DiskImager and was able to get the Raspberry Pi connected to the network and the web interface loaded by the time it took to get back upstairs from my basement. Note: A nice feature of having a basement in Nebraska in winter is built in cooling! The interface is simple and at a glance gives a quick overview of what your miners are doing and some simple settings to change pools, miner alerts and a donation feature for the project author. I am thinking of upping my donation of 15 minutes a day to something a bit more generous since this has been one of the easiest software setups I have experienced. Check out the screenshot below to see the first beautiful page that loads once you find it’s IP address on your network and type it into your browser.

minepeonscreenshot

I then wanted to add a USB wifi dongle to the Pi and the instructions provided in the wiki were beyond simple and I was able to get wifi working within a few moments. I now have a simple mining rig that I can forget about downstairs where my girlfriend is happy and it will let me know if there are any problems. Also if needed, I can load the browser monitoring system that will show me all the relevant information I like to keep an eye on, which most miners probably obsess over like I like to.

miningsetup

The cryptocurrency community needs more tools like this and I want to thank @mineforeman for creating this great tool and I look forward to future improvements. You can find MinePeon here at Sourceforge and let me know if you have used this tool or if you give a try let me know what you think. Also if you do not have a Raspberry Pi yet, consider picking one up, you never know what next project it could come in handy.

And because I can not resist, if you enjoyed this post please consider a small Bitcoin donation at the following address: 1C8ENBXkp1xTDEv9xeHqWENFG7ThjHDSWJ

frankos

Frankos Cryptocurrency

The next cryptocurrency I am reviewing is the Franko (FRK). There is not a great deal of information about this currency aside from the official website. It looks to have been started around May of 2013 and is headed by the Franko Collective which includes anyone with 1FRK. Some of the initial forum comments were shouting it down as including a virus or being a pump and dump currency; I haven’t experienced any issues and since that time many users seem to be using it actively. Of course check out any currency on your own to determine the potential risks and history of the application. I downloaded the client wallet and it is very similar once again to the Bitcoin wallet. Franko has 30 second block targets with a 0.25 block reward.

I had to manually add peers from this forum post on Bitcoin Forum in order for it to start the download of the block chain. This concerned me somewhat in that this usually is not a problem I’ve encountered with any other wallet installs. I did get the opportunity to learn to use the Debug window Console (under Help -> Debug Window). This may be useful on other wallets to learn more about the commands going on behind the GUI in many wallets based on this similar setup.

frankosscreenshot

The value of a FRK is currently around $2.52USD which makes it one of the more valuable minor cryptocurrencies. It is also supported by a variety of currency exchanges. I was able to find a working Franko faucet and the transaction went through very quickly. I wanted to use the d2 Franko Mining Pool which runs the Feathercoin Pool that I am using; however, this pool is closed and offline since they were experiencing weird issues. I do not know if this is a symptom of the pool or the currency. Does anyone mine Frankos and if so what pool are you using?

If you have enjoyed this post, please consider a Franko donation to this address: FPwyg33M9Yiqz5HqzYe1oFcm78cnr76Moe

Feathercoin

Feathercoin

The first cryptocurrency I am looking into is Feathercoin (FTC). Feathercoin is based on Litecoin and was started in April of 2013.   The block target of Feathercoin is 2.5 minutes (faster transaction processing than Bitcoin at 10 minutes).\

feathercoinscreenshot

The wallet process was simple with a wallet very similar to Bitcoin-Qt that also has a miner built into the software. Syncing with the network did not take a great deal of time. Feathercoin is currently valued at $1.25USD and has seen a fairly strong increase that has mirrored increases in many other cryptocurrencies.

Using cgminer and a Radeon 5830, I have been able to hash at around 178Kh/s and should be able to improve that with some tweaks to my settings. I signed up for a pooling account with d2 Feathercoin Mining Pool, which has a nice interface and simple setup process similar to many other pooled mining sites. In just a few hours of mining my estimated payout is around 0.35FTC.

 feathercoind2

Instead of using the SHA-256 algorithm, Feathercoin uses scrypt which requires more processing power and a proportional amount of memory. Many GPUs formerly dedicated to Bitcoin mining have now moved to alternate currencies as ASIC based units have come to dominate most Bitcoin mining. There are some companies working on ASIC  and FPGA based  equipment to mine scrypt based currencies. For now the increase in memory requirements may hinder this specialized mining equipment from making much sense since the costs would outweigh the potential gains.

Feathercoin has implemented Advanced Checkpointing, similar to PPCoin, to protect against attackers being able to double spend currency. This means that the checkpointing is currently centralized and maintained by lead developer Peter Bushnell. There are future plans to decentralize this and I think would aid in solidifying Feathercoin has a strong currency.

The official Feathercoin.com website has a small trading community and a fairly strong discussion board community. many cryptocurrency markets support Feathercoin and I look forward to testing them out as I mine more Feathercoin.

If you have enjoyed this post, please consider a Feathercoin donation to this address: 6zEsT1PJwdPXQUzLdjAzrCPYwSY1yRksxc

bitcoin-logo-1000

Alternative Cryptocurrencies

Since getting back into mining Bitcoins, I’ve started reading about the multitude of similar currencies. Here is a great site with a list of some of these currencies and their current values: CoinMarketCap. Many of the currencies have differences from Bitcoin and it can be overwhelming to figure them out and understand the pros and cons of each. I am going to do some future posts after I do some research and experiment on each that show some promise due to current market value, interesting features, and/or a vibrant community. Do you have some experience/opinions or favorite coin? Please let me know.

bitcoin-logo-1000

Restarting Bitcoin Mining

For several years I have had a strong interest in Bitcoins and been fascinated in the community, politics and controversy that surrounds the virtual currency. I used to run two 5830 video cards when I last mined and it was enough to generate a small amount of earnings. I dropped out after the first big bubble and subsequent crash as my life situation had distracted my focus from mining. I always continued to read news reports about Bitcoin, with most including a negative spin about online wallet hacks, increase in mining difficulty and of course Silk Road. I thought Silk Road being shut down would be the nail in the coffin for this currency, after all so many reports claimed that the only purchases made with Bitcoin were on sites like Silk Road. Much to my surprise this has led now to a now unbelievable boom ($930 as of this posting). Perhaps it can be attributed to increased legitimacy to investors by removing a bad influence on stories about Bitcoin.

So now I’m reentering the world of mining, mostly for fun. I have purchased a few ASICMiner Block Erupter USBs and I’m amazed that these hash at the same rate as those 5830 video cards and barely sipping power. Of course, many discussion board postings point out how these are not profitable due to the increase in mining difficulty and to that I am content in pulling in what I can and enjoying the concept of being part of the continuing growth of Bitcoin. I may touch on my thoughts on where I see Bitcoin in the future in another posting. I hope the currency continues to enjoy increased popularity and grows into a widely used financial instrument that really can change the world.

I am interested to hear from anyone else’s experiences with Bitcoin mining or Bitcoin in general.

SharePoint 2007

Modifying SharePoint 2007 Web Part pages with Javascript

I have recently been attempting working with a list in SharePoint 2007 that had several Multi-select lookup columns. Unfortunately the Display Form view of these lists is not easy to read. The items are listed next to each other with a ; (semicolon) between them. For example:

Item Label Item 1; Item 2; Item 3

I wanted to get these to display in a list format for readability and to achieve this, I tried working with the SharePoint XSL Templates on CodePlex. There are several templates in this package that should have been able to make this transformation; however, due mostly with my lack of experience in dealing with XSL, I failed to get them to work.

While not particularly strong with Javascript or JQuery, I wanted to attempt to make this modification with a few lines of Javascript to basically find the semicolon and replace it with a line break. I ended up with the code below that I placed in a Content Editor Web Part that was placed below the list on a Web Part page

[code language=”javascript”]

<script language=”javascript” src=”jquery-1.9.0.js”></script>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
function injectStyles(rule) {
var div = $(“<div />”, {
html: ‘&shy;<style>’ + rule + ‘</style>’
}).appendTo(“body”);
}
document.body.innerHTML = document.body.innerHTML.replace(/<\s*[\/]?A\s*[\/]?>;/gi, ‘<br />’);
injectStyles(‘.ms-stylelabel { vertical-align:text-top; }’);
</script>

[/code]

This achieved the effect I was looking for, the key to the list modification is:

[code language=”javascript”]

document.body.innerHTML = document.body.innerHTML.replace(/<\s*[\/]?A\s*[\/]?>;/gi, ‘<br />’);

[/code]

Which looks for the trailing end of the list item link and the semicolon and then replaces it with a line break tag. The difficulty was figuring out the regex expression to use to find this tag. The injectStyles function is included to move the list labels to the top of the cell to align with the list. I did quite a bit of Google-Fu to piece this together but some of the useful links are listed below.

Stack Overflow Post on Javascript Replace

CSS-Tricks “Inject Styles Snippet” 

SharePoint 2007

Yanling’s Blog: Expand the multiselect box in SharePoint

I encourage you to check out Yanling’s blog for some great short tips in SharePoint. I found this solution when trying to change the size of Multi-select lookup column boxes. I tried SPServices which didn’t work out how I had hoped and this solution ended up being the easiest to implement on the SharePoint 2007 edit and new forms I was attempting to edit.

Yanling’s Blog: Expand the multiselect box in SharePoint.