Top 10 Old School Bitcoin Facts that every newbie should know

Call it a bit of Bitcoin nostalgia but I found this old school video so hilarious. I had to post it for the entertainment value. Just think Bitcoin is less then 10 years old but for me, watching this video felt the same as watching an old 80’s Top of the pops show. You know deep down you dressed and danced the same way but looking back at it really feels cheesy. Polyester may have been cool and hip in the 80″s but 40 years on you wouldn’t’ go near it with a barge pole. Likewise 10 years from 2009 we have come along way with the cryptocurrency and Bitcoin as a whole. It’s no longer the geeky fad it once was. Big Industry players and the finance sector are actively carving out there space in this Epoch of the world economy. Ask yourself the question which is more important email or money? Bitcoin is way bigger then email!
For those who prefer to read I have had it professionally transcribed below. We offer these services here at PC Hospital just call us on 0203 714 3567 or use the contact us form.

It’s time to put your money where your monitor is and while it doesn’t grow on trees it does grow in your hard drive welcome to watchmojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Bitcoin facts. Number 10. Bitcoin basics otherwise referred to as electronic money or virtual currency. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system that offers a 21st century alternative to regular brick-and-mortar banking. A Bitcoin is something that most users will never see and never touch beyond their computer screens, exchanges are made via wallet software rather than the traditional wallet in your back pocket. There exists no central bank or authority so the value of your bank balance is set entirely by the supply and demand of the market. Number 9. Buying things with bitcoins as with all money it’s best if you’re able to spend it. It’s been gradual but there are more and more commodities becoming available to Bitcoin holders. Perhaps the most high-profile to accept the currency is Virgin Galactic, their upcoming space tourist flights are purchasable. If you prefer your transport a little more traditional than Lamborghini is the first motor company to give the go-ahead and what car-stereo would be complete without Spice Girl Mel B.  She was the first musician to recognise payments for her music.

Number eight. The numbers the Bitcoin supply is finite production of bitcoins is romantically called mining with millions of dollars worth mined or exchanged electronically each day. Every Bitcoin transaction is verified using an extremely complex algorithm. And these verification’s are done by a large network of mining computers competing against each other. When a miner successfully verifies a transaction he or she is rewarded with a small amount of bitcoins. This is also how new bitcoins are introduced into the system and mining is a lot of work globally. The network of mining computers is now over 250 times more powerful than the world’s top 500 supercomputers combined. Number 7. The value with nothing to hold in your hand the bitcoins value might seem indecipherable. As a new concept it does tend to fluctuate however in general the value seems to be increasing in November 2011 after a crash a Bitcoin was worth $2 u.s.

In November 2013 a Bitcoin topped $1,000 US and value and briefly was worth more than an ounce of gold though its value has since fallen just imagine the level of security when the first Bitcoin cash machine opened in Vancouver Canada the previous month. Number 6. Bitcoins and bankruptcy an old saying says you have to speculate to accumulate and there are speculators aplenty when it comes to Bitcoin while there are winners there are inevitably losers – in February 2014 Mount GOx the one-time largest Bitcoin exchange was forced to file for bankruptcy protection due to possible hacking theft or mishandling that cost them in excess of four hundred and fifty million dollars. Bitcoin is a currency that can lose up to 80 percent of its value in seconds. So mount GOx was in very big trouble very quickly.

Number 5. Banning the bitcoin, probably because it subverts the traditional banking system and works outside government regulation bitcoin is outlawed in many countries around the world and is heavily frowned upon by many others. In July 2013 Thailand  became the first country to completely ban the currency though they later relaxed the ruling and China with its higher global profile banned banks from trading bitcoins. In December of the same year the US Treasury has also flexed its monetary muscles by shutting down a physical Bitcoin production company in 2013.

Number 4. Know your limits, the number of bitcoins that can exist is limited to 21 million and the production rate is scheduled to be halved every four years to ensure that the value of a Bitcoin is not lost. This means that supply will run out around the year 2140 and although miners will no longer be rewarded with new bitcoins they will still be paid for their efforts through transaction fees. As it stands today over a century before the deadline roughly 64% of bitcoins sit unused in their respective accounts appreciating and depreciating with time.

Number 3. WikiLeaks the notorious organisation WikiLeaks relies very heavily upon this futuristic form of finance in mid-2011 the nonprofit whistleblower group began using Bitcoin as a method of processing donations because other money transfer companies wouldn’t deal with them. To become so dependent on something so unpredictable is perhaps not the wisest of moves but so far using the cryptocurrency hasn’t done a lot of harm to the media profile of Julian Assange and company. Julian says ” watching the world change as a result of your work priceless.”

Number two. Silk Road, the equally infamous Silk Road website used bitcoins as its form of currency a black-market trading site that specialised in illegal drugs and goods as well as some more reputable products. It provided browsers with anonymity and made its money using bitcoins when alleged site founder Ross Ulbricht was arrested his estimated fortune was so inconceivable that it’s believed that well over half remains unaccounted for. As a side note the name of Ulbricht alter-ego Dread Pirate Roberts was lifted from the movie “The Princess Bride” go figure! before we unveil our top pick here are a few honourable mentions(see captions).

Number one. Bitcoin beginnings, Satoshi Nakamoto is the person or persons behind Bitcoin launching the software in 2009 Nakamoto past majority control on to scientist Gavin Andersen in late 2010. And for this reasons his comments capture Bitcoin perfectly when he says “it’s like better Gold than Gold” Nakamoto’s believed to be in possession of 1 million bitcoins equivalent to a billion u.s.dollars but his name is probably a pseudonym the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown it’s been suggested that electronics companies Samsung Toshiba Nakamichi and Motorola are the founders but there’s been no confirmation it’s a mystery for the modern world.

 

This PC was bought in 1999 for $750. Here’s How It Holds Up In 2017.

I Bought this PC For $750 in 1999. I used it for 4 years until 2003. Here’s How It Holds Up In 2017. If you’re around my age, you may remember the late 1990s, a golden age in consumer computing. This was an exciting time where Moore’s law meant more than just double the number of transistors on a chip, it physically translated to double the clock speeds on processors. This meant that computers back then became exponentially difficult to use without upgrades, every 18 months. And the dramatic decrease in price from each iteration would mean you had little time to make your investment in a computer worth it.

This Micron Electronics Millennia P200 Plus had a 200 MHz Pentium processor, 64 MB of RAM and 4 GB hard drive for $4249 in 1996. 3 years later in 1999 a similarly specced PC, with a faster 350 MHz processor, lesser 32 MB of RAM, and also a 4GB hard drive went for $750, literally 1/5, or 20% the price of 3 years prior. In my memory, this was one of the most exciting times to be a computer enthusiast, but a bad time to be a teenage kid who couldn’t afford new things every couple months. This Hewlett Packard Pavilion 4530 was THE computer I rode out the 1990’s with. Bought on June 20, 1999, it was complete with an AMD K6-2 processor running at 350 MHz, 32 MB of RAM, a 4GB hard drive, and SiS integrated graphics, which shared 8 MB of system RAM to render the display. This would be the main workhorse of some of my teenage years. Even already at the time, this was a low-end machine. The HP Pavilion line featured 4000, 6000 and 8000 models. Ones starting with a 4 were the low budget end and models beginning with an 8 were the highest end.

There was a difference in size of the towers in the higher end models. The front of this PC features a simple design, but unfortunately the floppy drive is built in to the case. There is a 32x CD ROM drive, no CD-R or CD-RW capability, and the door underneath exposes a 3.5” bay. Awkward, as you’d maybe hope you could fit another CD-drive underneath, but nope. On the back of this computer, maybe only half of the connections appear in today’s machines.. Aside from the Ethernet port, 3-pronged power, sound module, and MAYBE the PS/2 ports for mouse and keyboard, you wouldn’t be caught dead with USB 1.1, Serial, Parallel, VGA, telephone jack, and DA-15 game port that was used for Joysticks and game controllers. The internals of this computer are really cramped when compared to today. I understand this is a minitower, but this case stands at 12.5” tall, quite a difference from the 23” of the HAF 932 in a PC I built in 2010, it’s the most snug fit you can have for this ATX motherboard.

The main hard drive was mounted on the front this way. It’s an ok use of space, I guess. When you look at this configuration, you’ll see that only the expansion slots are easily accessible without removing the 100W power supply. In the expansion slots, you would only be able to find these PCI slots and 1 ISA slot. PCI, not PCI-express. These slots have a maximum data rate of 133 MB / sec, which is about the average transfer speed of these USB hard drives. The cutting edge for graphics cards at this time was the Advanced Graphics Port, which had 1, 2, 4 and 8x variations, but since this is a low end PC, that slot is absent. When we remove the 100 W power supply, we find the hilariously small cooler master CPU cooler, 3 slots for RAM. The CPU is the AMD K6-2 running at 350 MHz and in AMD’s Socket 7. Released in May 1998, it was supposed to be the lower cost competitor to Intel’s Pentium 2.

On a 250 nm process (which is 18x larger than 2017’s Kaby Lake processors), we had a CPU that quickly became budget grade to compete with Intel’s Celeron processors. Wasn’t a fair comparison in my opinion, but fortunately for AMD, the K6-2 was a commercial success and helped lead the way for the Athlon line of processors, which were the first to hit 1 GHz, literally 8 months after I bought this PC. In February 2000. One of the perks of this processor was the use of PC100 SDRAM, meaning it ran at 100 MHz. I upgraded the base from 32 MB to 192 MB back in 2001. Oddly, but maybe not that surprising, there isn’t much else to the internals of this PC. It’s pretty boring really. Maybe one thing of interest is in this side panel that swings out. When we turn on the computer, that pristine vacuum cleaner-like sound immediately fills the room. Computers were notorious for being loud in the 1990s. If you didn’t like it, too bad. At the familiar old Windows 98 loading screen, we have the fantastic sound of nostalgia… And one of my favorite songs ever, the soundcheck for the HP system.

Aside from all the quirks of Windows 98 that makes this distinctly 1990’s computing, including the sounds, themes, screensavers, 16-bit color, 800×600 resolution, there’s quite a few barriers in this system that completely isolate it from today’s real computing environment. Most of these have to do with things we take for granted today. One of the biggest barriers is the notion of drivers. In today’s world, we can plug in a USB device and expect it to function within a few seconds. Whether it’s an audio interface or a USB Hard drive, we don’t need to install anything, it just works, it’s native to the OS. That isn’t the case in Windows 98. Anything that’s plugged in must go through a wizard and needs to have drivers installed, maybe from CD, maybe from Floppy Disk, or maybe through Windows Update. But you need to have it installed to work. This is a problem when the ethernet port on the back of this computer is through an expansion card that I lost the driver CD to years ago.

Luckily for me though, the drivers are still installed on this PC, so i can access internet through this ethernet port. Which comes to the second problem. In Windows 98, you must configure internet before the computer knows to access it through the ethernet card… But, the worst problem here is the fact that there are very few websites today that work in Internet Explorer 6. That’s right, IE 6. And aside from MSN and Bing, literally no other site loads.

Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Google. Even when I try to look for Firefox, it says my computer specs are below the minimum So… I could install Windows XP on this machine, it does fit the minimum specs. But there’s something unique I can use this PC for. For anyone who runs games released before year 2000, you’ll find that it’s hard to get some of them working on modern hardware. There is a preliminary solution for that in GoG.com, but for games like this Evolva (on GOG), Hexen II, Virtua Fighter II, or one of my personal favorites, an old indie game named Stick Fighters Brawl II by Kevin Reems.

The game didn’t even really have proper sound, but written in QBasic, you’d need emulation to run it on modern hardware, whereas it runs like a dream on this machine. There’s a certain feel to these games when run on older hardware. The experience is exactly as I remember it back then. It’s just not the same on modern hardware, even though it is much faster with way more perks, like larger resolutions, ultra wide monitor support, minimal input lag, the ability to handle large battles. Sometimes getting games on this PC is kind of a pain. For Stick Fighters Brawl II, because this PC cannot access Archive.org where the game is hosted now, I literally had to transfer the hard drive to my main Desktop and load the game files there manually. I could have used a CD-R, but I don’t have any with me, and the main computer no longer has a CD drive.

Also, with older CD ROM drives, they aren’t always guaranteed to read CD-R disks. I remember this one having trouble with it. Also, modern computers can’t access this PC via network. Perhaps I haven’t read up too much on it, but honestly, I don’t think I really want this thing connected to anything. I’m not too bothered that I can’t really browse the internet on this machine— I have more machines that can than I know what to do with. But, I only have 1 machine to natively play these kinds of games. So, it’s been 18 years since I bought this computer. It has followed me through 7 different moves to 4 major cities. Fun fact: your skin turns over every 27 days. It’s been more than 6500 days since I first bought this computer So my skin has turned over 245 times since My outward physical appearance is literally different, 245 times since I bought this computer. No matter the changes in me as a person, this will always be my PC, from 1999.