Mining is not that complex. It took me a few hours of research and experimentation to get it going.
I have two computers with fairly nice graphics processors (GPUs). They are all the equipment I needed for mining. The software is all free.
First, you need a Bitcoin wallet. I downloaded and installed Bitcoin-QT. it's fairly easy to use.
Next, you join a mining pool. This step is not absolutely necessary, but it has some advantages. I decided to go with BitCoinCZ.
Next you download and install mining software. I chose guiminer because of its ease of use.
On my older computer, I had to upgrade to the latest device drivers for my graphics card before guiminer could use it.
Configuring guiminer required a combination of searching the online documentation and some guesswork. The documentation is weak.
Once it's working the way you want it, you save the configuration, and it starts up automatically on reboot.
I'm not going to get rich this way, as this only brings in about a dollar a day, but its essentially free money. The GPUs were just sitting there, barely used. Might as well take the money!
However, I'm enjoying it so much that I have ordered one of those $1300 mining rigs so I can mine 1000 times faster.
It will be like switching from a low-investment gold panning operation to a small gold mine with specialized equipment.
I know this whole computer "mining" idea seems pointless, but giving control of the currency to the entire distributed computing network is what prevents governments and other nefarious organizations from controlling it. That's why I really want to be a bigger player, to do my part to make sure the rich and powerful cannot stop Bitcoin!
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