Category Archives: Guides

Find guides on how to optimize your favourite hard- and software here!

create a blog

Blog – How to create collapsible posts

Setting up your blogBekijk in het NederlandsSince you have managed to create your blog from scratch, you probably went ahead and made your very first post. If this was done right it appears in its full length on your main page. Congratulations! However, this may be annoying if the post is very long. Learn how to create collapsible posts with a button to ‘Read More’ right here.

Make those posts look smaller!

Once you start adding big posts with multiple pictures you might notice that your main page gets flooded and is not readable any longer. The easiest way to counter this is to make it so that your main page only shows the top paragraph of your post, and readers have to click a read more link in order to read the full post. This also adds to your page views since people will be viewing two pages now instead of one. This is the first post in the series that is going to cover something a bit harder, so we will be diving into the raw HTML code of the blog. Don’t worry, it is really easy.

blogger html templateThe first thing you want to do is backup your current template in case anything goes wrong. Log in to blogger.com, go to the template tab and click on back-up/restore template. Save it somewhere safe. Personally I have a blogbackup folder, which is used every time I make a major change to the HTML of the blog. Once you have done this, we are going to tell blogger how to handle its posts from now on in its template HTML. You need to click edit-HTML on the template page to access this. Always check the ‘expand widget’ button on top so you never miss any code.

You will be looking for a </head> tag. Use CTRL-F to find it quickly.

Once found check if there is a]]></b:skin>  tag. If there is, make sure you copy the following in between the /head and /b skin tag.

If not, you can simply go ahead and copy the following right above the </head> tag:

<style> <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>  span.fullpost {display:inline;} <b:else/> span.fullpost {display:none;}  </b:if> </style>

It is now time to save your template. Check if your blog still shows correctly. On the main page you should not see any difference.

Go back to edit HTML in the template, and click the expand widget button on top of your edit screen. Find the following code: <data:post.body/
Add the following code immediately after the previous line:

 <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType != "item"'> <a expr:href='data:post.url' target='_blank'>Read more!</a> </b:if>

You can of course type whatever you want instead of Read more! It is now time to save your template once again. You are almost done.

The final step is to add a line of code to your posts in order to tell blogger where the post for the main page should stop. You can enter this code into your post template so that it shows up automatically every time you create a new post, but I have found that this usually does not work properly when you create a complex post. Therefore, I decided to just store the following lines on a blank text-page on my desktop or wherever you prefer.

It is time to get back on topic. When you have created your post you will need to go to the edit HTML tab in your post. You must locate the last of the text you want to show on your main page and add <span class=”fullpost”> behind or below that. Make sure you allow the ending tags for the text to finish. For example

<span lang="EN-US">Once you have come up with a good topic to start a blog about, it is time to set up a basic blog. Now you may think you need to create a website from scratch or that you will need to rent server space or something, but luckily there are lots of website who accommodate starting blogger. Learn how to set up your free blog in this post.<o:p></o:p></span></div>
<div class="MsoNormal">

If this is the first part of your post in HTML, you want to add the fullpost tag somewhere under that. You will want to post it as close as the last text for the paragraph as possible, but you don’t want to separate the text from its closing tags. In this case you want to post somewhere after this sentence:

Learn how to set up your free blog in this post. There are some tags behind that however.

<o:p></o:p></span></div>
<div class="MsoNormal">

Every <tag> that starts with a / is considered a closing tag. Therefore, your fullpost tag should come after </div> since that is the last closing tag before the next opening tag. <div class….> is a new opening tag. Your final code should resemble this:

blogger. Learn how to set up your free blog in

this post.<o:p></o:p></span></div>

<span>

<div> 

Now you are really almost there. The only thing that remains is to tell blogger where the fullpost ends. Scroll all the way down to the end of the post in HTML, and add the last line. This line is </span>. That’s it, you are finished.

TIP: Make sure you add the fullpost tags as the last text edit. So first you get to make your text look the way you want it to, then you add the fullpost tag, and lastly you add any pictures etc. You do this to prevent the code from scrambling.

Good luck!

create a blog

Blog – Setting up your blog easily in blogger

Setting up your blogBekijk in het NederlandsIn a previous post we discussed how to find a proper topic for your blog. Once you have come up with a good topic to start a blog about, it is time to set up a basic blog. Now you may think you need to create a website from scratch or that you will need to rent server space or something, but luckily there are lots of website who accommodate starting blogger. Learn how to set up your free blog in this post.

Setting up your blog

For every starting blogger I would definitely advice blogger.com. This is a free website that enables you to start blogs with a powerful editing tool, but also a very clear and easy to use user interface. The first thing you need to do is either log in to your Google account on blogger.com, or create a new account. When done, you simply log in and click the create new blog button. You get to choose the name for the blog, and the web address. In addition you can choose from various templates to customize the looks of your blog. Are the templates not your thing? No worries, you can fully adjust whatever template you chose later on.

blogger dashboardOnce a blog has been created you will get to see the main page for editing your blog. In the overview you will see a graph of page views with some extra information surrounding it. You will find all the sections needed to customize your blog here.

On the messages section, you will get to write, edit and publish your actual blog posts. This is probably the most important part of your blog.

On pages you can add extra pages to your blog, but these pages are purely static. You may add some information about the author of the blog, or some contact information, but that’s about it.

In the reactions tab you can review reactions on your blog. You can also filter spam and moderate reactions here.

The statistics page is a powerful tool to view who has been viewing your blog from time to time.

The income page enables you to easily post AdSense ads on your blog. The only thing you need to do is to link your AdSense account to your blog by login in or creating an account. After that you can choose what types of ads you want your blog to show. This is a very important part of your blog if you want to make money. You will receive a certain amount of money for every 1000 page views and for every click on an ad. Make sure the ads don’t scare away any viewers, but keep them subtle instead.

The layout page is where you can drag all your modules of the blog around. You can set where you want your sidebar, what should be in it, and in what order. Especially placing your AdSense campaign on the right position can be crucial, so make sure you check this page out.

blogger html templateThe template page is probably the most important for the actual look and feel of your blog. Here you can adjust every detail of your blog through the very easy to use template-editor. Just click edit and you can edit all aspects of your blog really easily. Underneath you can choose from a wide variety of templates. More interesting perhaps is the edit HTML button. This will allow you to edit your blog underneath the hood. Here you get to add lines of code to enable anything you want basically. For example, this is the place where you edit code to add a ‘read more’ link to your blog posts instead of posting the entire thing on the main page. You can read more on that later.

This page also enables you to set options for mobile use of the blog.

The last page is the settings section. This page lets you edit the basic settings, like the name of the blog and the address, all the way down to who can see it and how it sends out a feed. Make sure you run through all these settings at least once. It takes about two minutes.

Once you have set up your blog, it is time to start blogging. Congratulations on creating your very own blog! You may consider tweaking it just a little bit more. Creating collapsible posts for example. For now, why not start of your blog with its very first blog post?

create a blog

Blog – Finding a proper topic

start a blogBekijk in het NederlandsWhat do you need to start a successful blog you ask? Well, obviously, the first thing you need is a topic to write about. What topic you choose is completely up to you, but there are some tools out there that can help you make a choice.

Blog topic

One of the most important things for writing a successful blog is to have a solid topic. Another thing that really helps is to have as little competition as possible. This is one of the first steps in Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Now you may think: how can I know if there are a lot of people out there writing about the same topic, or how should I find out if my topic is hot or not. Well, Google has an amazing tool for that. It is the keyword tool for Google adwords.

google adwordsWhat Google’s adwords does, is tell you how much people use a specific search term, and provide you with detailed information about whether there is a lot of competition or not. You can rephrase your search words however you like to find the optimal conditions, and once found you can keep those terms in mind for setting up your blog.

You can find the adwords tool right here and begin optimizing your blog for search engines.

Just type in the topic you would like to start a blog about and see whether it has any chance of succeeding. Do note though that finding a positive surrounding for your blog does not mean you will get loads of traffic straight away, you will have to work for that. More on that on my coming posts. In the meantime, start finding a good topic to write about. The more you like the topic your blog yourself, the better, because in the end, you will have to write all the information yourself!

Computer tips and tricks

Five common computer problems – A guide to easy fixes

Computer tips and tricksBekijk in het NederlandsIf you use a computer as much as I do, you have probably had your fair share of computer problems. If you haven’t, maybe your friends or family have. Although I know my way around a computer, I usually end up fixing the errors of said family and friends on their computer. Especially family tends to crash a computer every now and then, and get about a virus a week. In this post I will try to cover some common computer problems and try to give you a simple solutionOptimize your PC quick and simple with these tips!

Common computer problems

After a year or two, or for some people a week or two, computers tend to lose the edge they once had when they were new. They tend to lose a little bit of speed here and there, and become sluggish in everyday tasks. They may have some annoying pop-ups, or you get some reports of viruses but just don’t know what to do with those. Some people decide to throw away the pc and buy a new one, but with some simple tweaks and solutions, you can get your ‘old’ PC up and running again in a second. Computers usually become slower than they used to because of malicious use. The installation and un-installation of various programs leave its marks on the computers registry. The bigger this gets, the longer it takes for your PC to find what it needs. A lot of free programs come with some added ‘extra free’ programs as well, also known as adware, spam and pop-ups. These programs slow your system down as well. Anyways, let’s get to business.

1: Your computer has become slow and sluggish

The main reason for this is already explained partly above. You tend to install and uninstall things every day. This results in a corrupted or bloated registry. In turn, it takes more time for your PC to locate the files it needs. The same goes for your hard drive. This gets filled with fragmented data which needs to be defragmented from time to time. Spyware and unnecessary computer programs have its fair share in these matters too. Getting rid of these programs as soon as possible can speed up your system a lot.

To defragment your HDD, go to the control panel, then to system and security and you will find it under Administrative tools. Note that newer versions of windows tend to defragment automatically. You can also clean up some disc space here while you’re at it.

To get rid of unwanted programs click on default programs under the start button. Once there you will see Programs and Features in the bottom left corner, and when clicked you will see a complete list of every application installed on your computer. It is wise to run through this list every now and then, and remove any unknown or unused programs.

To get rid of spyware and viruses it is a good idea to run your virus scanner. If you do not have one, get one as soon as possible. In the meantime you can use Windows defender, which is free for windows users. Another powerful and free tool is malwarebytes. More on anti-virus programs in a later post.

In addition, you can try cleaning your registry, but this is a risky business. Do not attempt to mess with this unless you know what you are doing, or unless you make a proper back-up of basically everything.

2: Computer system freezes and shows a blue screen

In order to find out why you computer is freezing you will need to do some proper research. Try to find out if you can trigger the freezes, and what you are doing at that time. Then narrow your search for the problem around that piece of software or hardware. I can however list some basic tips for dealing with this problem.

As with the previous problem, viruses may cause problems like these. Do a complete scan of your computer with a proper anti-virus program and windows defender. Make sure your computer is clean before continuing.

The next step is to update drivers to your hardware. Windows uses drivers to make sure hardware is able to communicate with each other. If there is a driver problem and your hardware is unable to properly communicate this can result in freezes and blue screens.

To update drivers you must first find out what hardware is in your computer. Go to the control panel and open up the Hardware and Sound section. Here you can open the Device Manager. In the Device Manager you will find all the hardware that is currently recognised by windows. If you see any errors, try to download drivers for those devices. In addition you can automatically update the drivers on all the devices by clicking ‘update drivers’ for each device. This is sometimes rather buggy, so I would advice to search for driver updates manually by going to the manufacturer’s website and look for updated drivers there. Do this for the most important devices. Your sound drivers for example usually do not generate blue screens, so this is a somewhat less important driver to focus on.

Another possibility is that your RAM is not sufficient. Try to stick some more RAM memory in your PC and see if the problem persists. Some more RAM never hurts.

3: Your computer keeps on rebooting

computer problem helpWhen your computer keeps on rebooting without reason you can probably say this is hardware related. When your computer suddenly powers down or reboots it could well be overheating of a certain part. It is therefore very important to check if all your fans are still working. Also, if your case is filled with dust, and your fans are stuck because of this dust, your computer cannot lose its heat. Make sure you get rid of all excess dust, and make sure your computer is sitting in a rather clean environment. If you want to get rid of this issue for once and for all maybe you should buying a case with dust filters all around and excellent cooling capacity.

Do not open your case if it voids your warranty!

Another major issue can be the power supply. When you buy a power supply, it generates a certain amount of power and delivers that to your PC. Over time, this amount degrades and when it comes under a certain threshold, your computer is not able to run properly anymore and shuts down whenever too much power is required. This is especially true for the cheaper power supplies. You can find more about power supplies is a later post.

In the meantime, try to hook up another power supply to your computer and see if the problem persists. If you do not have one of those lying around, your local computer shop will probably be able to assist you for a small amount of money.

4: Noise, strange sounds and vibrations

This can only be your hardware. The only way to figure out what is causing the noise or vibrations is by opening your case. Note that this may sometimes void your warranty. Do NOT open your case when you still have warranty! When you don’t, you can safely open your case and see the inner workings of your computer. You can safely boot up your computer with the lid of your case, and when you do so you should be able to identify what is making the sound or vibrations. If this is just a loose wire, tuck it away somewhere safe. If it is a fan of some sort you may need to clean it, oil it up or just replace it. Fans are inexpensive so do not worry about that. If you are unable to do it yourself, let a professional do it for you.

If it is something else try to locate the problem, for example to one of your hard drives. Take out the part if possible or replace it and see if the problem persists. If you are unable to safely do so, make sure you contact a professional.

5: Your internet homepage keeps changing by itself

This is either because you forget to uncheck an option box during an installation and let a program change your home page, or because of some virus or spyware. These programs are sometimes able to run hidden code every time you run your internet browser and change your home page whenever it does. Get rid of these viruses by scanning and cleaning your computer with a proper virus scanner and windows defender.

All of the problems stated in this article can be avoided easily by simply keeping your computer in proper shape. Take your time every month or so to review how your PC is doing and cleaning up the hard drive. Make sure you are virus free and don’t have a lot of unused programs running in the background. Make sure you do not panic whenever you are having computer troubles, but keep your head cool and do a little bit of research on the internet. Most of the time, these problems can be solved easily, even by someone who is new to computers with just the help of a search engine.

Overclocking for android

Overclocking Android – A beginner’s guide

Overclocking AndroidBekijk in het NederlandsI am a proud owner of the HTC Hero and have been for several years. It originally came out with android 1.5 using the well-known sense skin by HTC. It got a quick update to android 1.6, and later even to android 2.1. The updates stopped coming and my phone’s speed degraded over time. I tried wiping to factory default but still my phone felt sluggish. I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and dived into the world of custom roms and overclocking android.

Overclocking Android – The basics

First I will explain the basics. A ROM is a custom made version of the android software that you can run on your phone. It can be very different from what you are used to. Custom roms can include software that isn’t meant to run on your phone, or can be copied entirely from other phones, even from other brands. It may also include custom made programs or apps that are not available in the market. All custom roms feature built-in root access, unlocking features of your phone that are locked when you use a normal android rom.

Overclocking is something else. This involves making your phone’s processing unit go faster than intended. This usually makes your phone (a lot) faster but also drains the battery more quickly and generates a lot of heat. Sometimes, this can result in your phone going to waste. I actually made one of my batteries useless. It would only charge to about 50% and would drain within an hour or two. To prevent this I am going to share my experiences on overclocking my HTC Hero, or any android device in general for that matter. To counter this I bought a new and bigger battery for my HTC Hero which increased my battery life a lot!

Step 1

To start it is probably a good idea to get root access to your phone. This enables you to install apps that aren’t meant to be installed. Root access is not always needed, but it can’t hurt to just enable it. You can simply do this by downloading androot from the market and click on enable root access.

Step 2

The second step is probably the hardest: Finding the proper rom for you. Since there is such a vast variety of roms online, it can take a lot of time to find a proper one. Most roms have their faults as well. For example, some roms disable your Bluetooth or camera, some can’t handle GPS and some run on a core of android 1.5, making it a lot harder to find up to date or new apps in the market.

Step 3

To actually install a rom you need to download clockworkmod from the Android market. This app enables you to load and backup roms. It will prompt you with a message saying you need to download another program for it to work. When it does, please do so, it is an automated process. Once all that is finished you are ready to go on flashing roms and whatnot. First, you may want to backup all the data you possibly can and download the official Rom should anything happen to your phone. I found the official HTC rom for GSM (Europe) Hero’s here. Once you are all set, select ‘load a rom from SD-card’ in clockwork mod and select the rom you want to load. Tick erase all data boxes and make a backup of your current build. Once you click ok it should reboot and start doing its magic. Note that you should have copied the rom you wanted to use to your SD card before you start this process. Do not put the rom into any folder, just on the root of the SD card.

The results?

If everything went alright you should be booted up now in your new custom rom Android environment. If it keeps booting up and shutting down, you are in a bootloop and are screwed. I had this a couple of times. One time it fixed itself by just shutting power on and off a couple of times. Other times I had to go into the bootmenu manually by holding the volume-down button while pressing the power-on button and select another rom or backup manually, and the third time I had to put my SD-card straight into my computer to load an update.zip file into that to run through the manual boot menu. Anyways, you should be running your custom rom now. Well that was easy enough.

Overclocking Android

Overclocking with SetcpuNow a bit more about overclocking android. You need to have a rom installed with a custom kernel for the HTC Hero in order to overclock it. This might be possible on other phones with stock software, but for the HTC Hero you need a custom kernel which set the limit of your CPU to a higher number than its stock speed. Almost all custom roms feature an overclockable kernel. Once this is installed, you will simply need to install either OC widget or SetCPU from the Android market and install those. When prompted to give these apps root access you say yes and you are ready to go. Fire up the app and set your max and min speed for your CPU.

Warning: When you set your CPU too high it might burn up the battery, or otherwise severely damage your phone. Overclocking android can result in an unstable system. When your system is unstable try to clock it lower. Always overclock android in little steps, starting with just a small overclock and increasing it after it turned out to be stable. The highest stable speed for a Hero recorded is 710Mhz. This does not mean every HTC Hero phone can run these speeds. Find out your speeds yourself or use the auto clock feature in SetCPU.

Warning: Setting the minimum clock speed too slow can make your phone unable to wake up from sleep mode. This means that when your screen is turned off and the phone hasn’t been used in a few minutes, it will not come back up, or it might take a very long time. To counter this you need to keep the minimum speed in the safe zone around the 250Mhz.

Once done correctly, overclocking can greatly increase the responsiveness of your phone. In order to properly do this you need to take your time, do research on the capabilities of your phone and on what custom rom to take, and have proper backup possibilities at hand.

Roms I used

My personal journey started with Kimera 1.8. This rom was lightning-fast but was based on android 1.5. Somehow I missed that information, and found out only after seeing that the market was lacking a lot of apps I used to download. I quickly erased this rom again and changed it for something newer.

This led me to the wildhero rom. This is a custom rom based on the HTC Wildfire S phone, and brings most of those features to the HTC Hero. At first I was enlightened by the amount of extra possibilities this new version of Android brought me, as it runs on Android 2.3.3 instead of the stock 2.1. It doesn’t support Bluetooth, but what the heck, I never use that anyways. Once I booted up the rom however, I found it to be too slow to run properly on the Hero. I decided to start overclocking but I ended up with a very unstable system and a fried battery. The maximum clock speed that I got stable was somewhere around 610Mhz, which is way slower than most people who run their HTC Hero at 710Mhz.

I also tried the Villainrom, but it did not feature HTC Sense, which didn’t appeal to me at all.

Overclocking for Android – The Conclusion

Basically I was stuck with the wildhero rom for quite a while and decided to roll back to HTC’s own rom. It runs at Android 2.1 now again, and is somehow faster than ever. I am not sure how that happened. The only downside is that I am unable to overclock this firmware, so I am continuing my search for a proper rom for my HTC Hero.

I hope this very basic tutorial is of any help to you. If you have any questions please ask them in the comments. Also stay tuned for my further attempts of unlocking the true potential of my HTC Hero.

bitcoins guide

Bitcoins – A beginner’s guide to Bitcoins

bitcoins

Bekijk in het NederlandsAs a veteran internet surfer you may have encountered a new kind of global digital currency, bitcoins. What are these new internet coins and what are they useful for. How can I acquire my own bitcoins, and what is a bitcoin worth. I will cover the very basics of bitcoins in the following post, and will try to answer the question if it would be wise to invest in bitcoins or not.

What is a bitcoin?

Bitcoins are a new kind of digital currency used for digital transactions. Now I hear you thinking, why not just use the regular Euro or Dollar etc. Bitcoins are not related to any specific area in the world, thus not subject to regional inflation or rate changes. In addition, bitcoins are not subject to a centralized bank or instance. Bitcoins are de-centralized by using a widespread peer-to-peer network to verify each transaction. This stops a single party to influence the value of a bitcoin. Bitcoins and bitcoin transactions are all highly encrypted, making it nearly impossible to hack or exploit the system. This ensures that a bitcoin can only be spent once, and only by its rightful owner. One last major advantage (or disadvantage for some) is that bitcoin transactions are completely anonymous. The only kind of ID you will ever get, or need for a transaction, is a persons address, which in this case consists of a string of about 33 random numbers and letters long.

What can I do with a bitcoin?

In essence, a bitcoin can be used for any transaction, both online and offline. However, for a currency to work in transactions it needs to be accepted first by the general public. This is where bitcoins are lacking, but are improving rapidly. On the internet bitcoins are accepted more regularly. Several different web shops accept bitcoins, and there are a few sites that are solely based on the trading of goods and services using bitcoins. To give an example: forbitcoin is a website where after creating an account you can offer whatever service you want to the community in exchange for bitcoins. This can vary from designing a website, writing a song or doing a silly dance. Most of these transactions are closed completely digital. Ideal for working at home, if you can convince people your services are worth it.

Another option is to sell you bitcoins directly for any other currency you may want, but mostly dollars. Several major money exchange websites accept bitcoins these days, like mtgox. This website facilitates the exchange of money and bitcoins between users without those users to deal with each other. You just tell mtgox how much you would like to buy or sell, and how much you are willing to pay, and it automatically finds the best deal for you, or combines offers from different users to get your request as complete as possible.

How can I acquire my first bitcoins

In order to start using bitcoins you may want to get your hands on some of them first. The quickest way is to simply buy bitcoins for money. This can be a good investment whenever the bitcoin exchange rate is worth more than your local currency in the area you are dealing with. There are more interesting options though, actually able to make you bitcoins for free.
free bitcoinOne way to do that is to join a website like freebitcoins. On these kinds of websites you can complete offers in exchange for small amounts of bitcoins. These offers usually require you to subscribe to something, or make a trial purchase. This can be interesting of the offers are any good, but most of them are usually not.

Another way is to offer your services to forbitcoin. You can add whatever service you may want to provide and ask for a set amount of coins. This can be frustrating, because merely offering services does not mean anyone is going to buy them from you. Even after uploading several services you might not get a request for weeks. This all of course depends on the services you offer, and how well you can convince them to take your offer and not someone else’s.

Whatever method you prefer, you will also need to create a bitcoin wallet. This is easily done by downloading the bitcoin client and let it set up its account automatically. You can get the client here.

Please mind that bitcoin stores your wallet locally, so ensure the computer you install your wallet on is safe, backup your wallets data, or encrypt it in a secure manner. Bitcoin is relatively safe, unless someone has access to your computer and just downloads your wallet.

Mining bitcoins

another way to generate an income is mining for new bitcoins. This is the most steady (but slow) method. New blocks of 50 bitcoins each are generated when a computer solves a preset puzzle. When this happens, all other computers connected to the peer-to-peer network will verify that said previous computer really did solve the puzzle and that it’s answer was correct. After this has been done, the owner of the computer that solved the puzzle will receive 50 bitcoins for free. Now you may think this will cause huge inflation, but it does not. I will go into more detail a little bit later.

To solve these ‘puzzles’  you will need to fire up your computer and make it do computations all day long. The most effective way is use an ATI/AMD video card, but it can also be done using a Nvidia card or even your computer’s processor.  Solving one of these puzzles alone using a regular PC however is a long shot. It can take several months to find a block. It can also take five minutes though, since the chance of your computer solving the correct string of computations is always there.

Most people don’t want to invest into so called ‘mining rigs’ (computer clusters set up solely for the purpose of mining bitcoins) but still want to get a bit back using their computers spare computing power. These people join mining pools. This a joint venture between many different people from around the world, adding their computing power together in order to find new coin blocks faster, and when found, share in its profit. The owner of a pool usually claims a part of the found block in order to finance the pool. Usually this is 2% (1 coin of 50 per found block) however some pools allow you to set your own donation, like btcguild. You are even allowed to set your donation to 0%, so that all of your computer’s hard work will be rewarded directly to you. One of the biggest pools is bitcoin.cz. They do however claim a 2% donation from each block, but blocks are more often generated. You have to share with more people too, though.

Setting up a miner

Setting up a miner can be tricky, but I will quickly explain the very basics of doing so.  The first thing you are going to need is a mining program. GUIminer is the easiest to set up. You can download it here. Once downloaded you will have to create and account on a website to join a pool, or skip this step if you are solo mining.

If you are solo mining, you can click setting up a solo miner in GUIminer. You will have to have the bitcoin client running for this.

Bitcoin minerIf you are joining a pool, and have created your account, you will need to add your workers. Workers are the computers you will set to work. If your account is called account, and you want to work on your pc, you call your first worker account_pc. You will also have to set a password for this worker. Once done you will have to add this information into GUIminer and set its workload. For example, when using an ATI/AMD video card you can just leave it as it is. When using a Nvidia card, you will have to switch it to CUDA computations, and when using your processor you will need to set it to CPU computing. Then you select the pool you will be working for from the dropdown menu, in this case BTCguild.com, and you are done. Press start and you computer will start computing. You can see your progress on the website of your pool.

What is a bitcoin worth?

When bitcoins started they were worth 1 dollar per bitcoin. Over time bitcoins became more popular and harder to mine, thus increasing its value. It’s exchange rate is still fluctuating a lot, but a little while back one bitcoin was worth 17 dollars. As you can see bitcoins have increased in value greatly in a small amount of time. You might think that because of that investing in bitcoins is a wise thing to do, but in reality anything can happen and that makes investing in bitcoins about as safe as investing in the stock market. I do believe however that investing in a few bitcoins is not a bad idea, because bitcoins are still only just starting. When more people start using bitcoins, the value is bound to go up as well.

If you paid attention you will be thinking about creating new coins from scratch about now, and why that doesn’t plummet the rate of bitcoins. This is because the puzzles that have to be solved in order to get new blocks are becoming increasingly difficult. In addition there is a hard cap on the amount of bitcoins that can be active at the same time.  You can create extra bitcoins to facilitate new users of the system, and to make sure bitcoin prices will not be skyrocketing, rendering them useless for small transactions. I have to add though, that although bitcoins are worth much, you are allowed to break them up in pieces of 8 decimals.

Conclusion

Bitcoins are a very interesting phenomenon to say the least. It’s growing rapidly, and I for one am going to invest a little bit in bitcoins, just to make I can still hop on the money train when it passes.  I will be following its developments closely.

I hope you found this basic guide to the world of bitcoins useful. If you may have any questions, please post them below in the comments and I will try to answer them as fast as possible.

If you feel this was VERY helpful, you may always donate bitcoins:

Bitcoin address: 189YW752GNLpwzZjLcvwBgrJNBWCj9GYHH

Thank you for reading