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Could an IBM mainframe from the 1960s mine Bitcoin? The idea seemed crazy, so I decided to find out. I implemented the Bitcoin hash algorithm in assembly code for the IBM 1401 and tested it on a working vintage mainframe. It turns out that this computer could mine, but so slowly it would take more than the lifetime of the universe to successfully mine a block. How Bitcoin mining works Bitcoin, a digital currency that can be transmitted across the Internet, has attracted a lot of attention lately.
If you’re not familiar with how it works, the Bitcoin system can be thought of as a ledger that keeps track of who owns which bitcoins, and allows them to be transferred from one person to another. The interesting thing about Bitcoin is there’s no central machine or authority keeping track of things. Mining requires a task that is very difficult to perform, but easy to verify. Bitcoin mining uses cryptography, with a hash function called double SHA-256. With a cryptographic hash, there’s no way to get a hash value you want without trying a whole lot of inputs. But once you find an input that gives the value you want, it’s easy for anyone to verify the hash. The dark blue boxes mix up the values in non-linear ways that are hard to analyze cryptographically.
If you could figure out a mathematical shortcut to generate successful hashes, you could take over Bitcoin mining. The Ch “choose” box chooses bits from F or G, based on the value of input E. Internally, the computer was very different from modern computers. Since it was a business machine, the computer used decimal arithmetic instead of binary arithmetic and each character of storage held a digit, 0 through 9. Performance comparison The IBM 1401 can compute a double SHA-256 hash in 80 seconds. It requires about 3000 Watts of power, roughly the same as an oven or clothes dryer.
125,600, which is about a million dollars in 2015 dollars. Networking You might think that Bitcoin would be impossible with 1960s technology due to the lack of networking. Would one need to mail punch cards with the blockchain to the other computers? While you might think of networked computers as a modern thing, IBM supported what they call teleprocessing as early as 1941. Conclusion Implementing SHA-256 in assembly language for an obsolete mainframe was a challenging but interesting project. The decimal arithmetic of a business computer is a very poor match for a binary-optimized algorithm like SHA-256. How many cards did you have to throw away before you had the complete program?
I developed the program on the ROPE 1401 simulator, so I only needed to punch it once. MY first computer experience was programming a Honeywell computer using cards punched on an IBM punch card machine. Add to this, we were supposed to write and debug the program on paper, computer time was expensive, so we lost 5 points credit for every time we ran the deck of cards after the first. I really enjoy your writing, especially on the Z80, since I worked on the Z80 and the 68000 while at Mostek in the early 80s. Its called “Digital Apollo – Human and Machine in Spaceflight”, by D. It covers a lot of ground about the Apollo computer and control systems, at a technical level, but you don’t need to understand Control Theory to follow it. I plan to look at the Apollo Guidance Computer in more detail at some point.
Kaos: I’ve update the text to make it clearer. Randy: my previous article on the 1401 went into much more technical detail, so I didn’t repeat the details here. I’ll let you know if I manage to get it doing SHA-256 hashes. Moores law was an observation and prediction. It was the sustained effort of many engineers over thag period. It would have happened with or without moores prediction.
In any case, I’ve changed the wording to avoid confusion. My first permanent full time job was programming a 1401. 7010 system was much easier to understand and much more powerful. Do any working 1410s exist anywhere?
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And punch cards lived on too with the 2540. IIRC the 1403 shared the controller with the 2540 and that still used SMS cards. And, of course, the 360’s have 1401 emulation mode which was used to encourage upgrading to 360. A 1960s hashing function would have been implemented in 1960s technology. 256 is not a 1960s hash function. Cryptographic hash functions date from the 1970s. So what we’d have in the 1960s would be a simple CRC protection and then a bit more maybe.
A 1960s blockchain would have set the computability bar at the level of technology within grasp. Maybe a 1970s hash function would run faster? A stuff connected to the basic 1401. I work for IBM in the mainframe team and would love to discuss this with you further.
Does all of its arithmetic by table lookup in memory. But that’s not worth doing now, as yours trumps everything! By the way are there really thousands of SMS cards in a 1401? I don’t know if the history is right, or just a later embellishment of the CADET name. I wrote 2 simple programs for the 1401 back in 1970-71 when I befriended one of the programmers at the High School district office. Does the pool give every pool’s miner a set of the possible values of the nonce to run through ?
I think the pool is like a single node of the bitcoin peer to peer network and the bitcoin-core code doesn’t include a subroutine or class program about pool ? You have a really great informative blog with technology related topics, especially regarding vintage computing. Your articles are very descriptive and explain things in details, so I am able to understand them and get some insight to learn about new things. Just wanted to say keep up the great job! Mining Bitcoin with pencil and paper: 0. Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot.
This is the perfect resource pack for anyone who want to run their own popcorn stand business in Minecraft. Even though it’s a rather simple pack it’s definitely worth trying out and hopefully we can expect some more cool updates in the future! Use the blocks and items which are listed further down on this page to build your own popcorn stand or wherever else you can find them useful. Click the image to view the animation for the popcorn machine. Why would you want mob popcorn?
The resolutions are pretty big so might not work on slower devices. It is basically a window but stronger, and made of iron ingots instead of sand. You don’t need to smelt anything except for smelting iron ore to get the ingots. But what he really ment was iron bars. So i can mix it with a tp with the same resolution! I’m new to texturing so the resolutions are all over the place and in some cases are quite high. The textures are modeled from pictures and I pushed the boundaries for realism.
I actually have one made already but technicalities have set me back slightly. Look out for it in the near future. What’s the map shown in the pictures ? I made it in a random seed. Why can’t you ADD items instead REPLACE items with texture pack and behavior pack? This is an amazing add on I really liked it.
SLURPY ADDON that looks like this? Now we have awesome looking popcorn boxes and machines in Minecraft PE! But the change of the textures of some blocks looks a little bit too bright. But anyways, THIS RESSOURCE PACK IS AWESOME! Anti-Spam Quiz: What’s the name of the original creator of Minecraft? Get the DL app for your iOS device!
We are not affiliated with Mojang AB. What game is this website for? Jump to navigation Jump to search “Coal miner” redirects here. Surface coal mining in Wyoming in the United States.
A coal mine in Bihar, India. A coal mine in Frameries, Belgium. Coal mining is the process of extracting coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and, since the 1880s, has been widely used to generate electricity.
Coal mining has had many developments over the recent years, from the early days of men tunnelling, digging and manually extracting the coal on carts, to large open cut and long wall mines. Ships have been used to haul coal since Roman times. Small-scale mining of surface deposits dates back thousands of years. For example, in Roman Britain, the Romans were exploiting most of the major coalfields by the late 2nd century AD. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain in the 18th century and later spread to continental Europe and North America, was based on the availability of coal to power steam engines.
International trade expanded rapidly when coal-fed steam engines were built for the railways and steamships. Until the late nineteenth century coal was mined underground using a pick and shovel, and children were often employed underground in dangerous conditions. Coal-cutting machines were introduced in the 1880s. By 1912, surface mining was conducted with steam shovels designed for coal mining. The most economical method of coal extraction from coal seams depends on the depth and quality of the seams, and the geology and environmental factors.
Coal mining processes are differentiated by whether they operate on the surface or underground. Many coals extracted from both surface and underground mines require washing in a coal preparation plant. Surface mining and deep underground mining are the two basic methods of mining. Open cast coal mining recovers a greater proportion of the coal deposit than underground methods, as more of the coal seams in the strata may be exploited.
Most open cast mines in the United States extract bituminous coal. Australia and South Africa, open cast mining is used for both thermal and metallurgical coals. Strip mining exposes coal by removing earth above each coal seam. This earth is referred to as overburden and is removed in long strips.
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The overburden from the first strip is deposited in an area outside the planned mining area and referred to as out-of-pit dumping. Overburden from subsequent strips are deposited in the void left from mining the coal and overburden from the previous strip. This is referred to as in-pit dumping. It is often necessary to fragment the overburden by use of explosives. This is accomplished by drilling holes into the overburden, filling the holes with explosives, and detonating the explosive.
Equipment to be used depends on geological conditions. For example, to remove overburden that is loose or unconsolidated, a bucket wheel excavator might be the most productive. The life of some area mines may be more than 50 years. The contour mining method consists of removing overburden from the seam in a pattern following the contours along a ridge or around the hillside. This method is most commonly used in areas with rolling to steep terrain. It was once common to deposit the spoil on the downslope side of the bench thus created, but this method of spoil disposal consumed much additional land and created severe landslide and erosion problems. The limitations of contour strip mining are both economic and technical.
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Depending on the equipment available, it may not be technically feasible to exceed a certain height of highwall. Mountaintop coal mining is a surface mining practice involving removal of mountaintops to expose coal seams, and disposing of associated mining overburden in adjacent “valley fills. Valley fills occur in steep terrain where there are limited disposal alternatives. Mountaintop removal combines area and contour strip mining methods.
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In areas with rolling or steep terrain with a coal seam occurring near the top of a ridge or hill, the entire top is removed in a series of parallel cuts. Overburden is deposited in nearby valleys and hollows. This method usually leaves ridge and hill tops as flattened plateaus. Spoil is placed at the head of a narrow, steep-sided valley or hollow. In preparation for filling this area, vegetation and soil are removed and a rock drain constructed down the middle of the area to be filled, where a natural drainage course previously existed. When the fill is completed, this underdrain will form a continuous water runoff system from the upper end of the valley to the lower end of the fill.
Most coal seams are too deep underground for opencast mining and require underground mining, a method that currently accounts for about 60 percent of world coal production. Modern pillar sections use remote-controlled equipment, including large hydraulic mobile roof-supports, which can prevent cave-ins until the miners and their equipment have left a work area. The mobile roof supports are similar to a large dining-room table, but with hydraulic jacks for legs. After the large pillars of coal have been mined away, the mobile roof support’s legs shorten and it is withdrawn to a safe area. Longwall mining accounts for about 50 percent of underground production. It is a sophisticated machine with a rotating drum that moves mechanically back and forth across a wide coal seam. The loosened coal falls onto an armored chain conveyor or pan line that takes the coal to the conveyor belt for removal from the work area.
Continuous mining utilizes a Continuous Miner Machine with a large rotating steel drum equipped with tungsten carbide picks that scrape coal from the seam. Room and pillar mining consists of coal deposits that are mined by cutting a network of rooms into the coal seam. Pillars of coal are left behind in order to keep up the roof. Blast mining or conventional mining, is an older practice that uses explosives such as dynamite to break up the coal seam, after which the coal is gathered and loaded onto shuttle cars or conveyors for removal to a central loading area. Shortwall mining, a method currently accounting for less than 1 percent of deep coal production, involves the use of a continuous mining machine with movable roof supports, similar to longwall. This is one of the most dangerous forms of mining, owing to imperfect predictability of when the roof will collapse and possibly crush or trap workers in the mine.
Coal is mined commercially in over 50 countries. 2007, a substantial increase over the previous 25 years. Coal production has grown fastest in Asia, while Europe has declined. Most coal production is used in the country of origin, with around 16 percent of hard coal production being exported. Coal reserves are available in almost every country worldwide, with recoverable reserves in around 70 countries.
At current production levels, proven coal reserves are estimated to last 147 years. Technological advancements have made coal mining today more productive than it has ever been. To keep up with technology and to extract coal as efficiently as possible modern mining personnel must be highly skilled and well trained in the use of complex, state-of-the-art instruments and equipment. Many jobs require four-year university degrees. The use of sophisticated sensing equipment to monitor air quality is common and has replaced the use of small animals such as canaries, often referred to as “miner’s canaries”. In the United States, the increase in technology has significantly decreased the mining workforce.