A rough couple weeks

Author's note: This article is part of an ongoing blog about my adventures in the world of alternate currencies.

When you start working with cryptocurrencies, you start to think about your hardware.

I am one of those car owners who takes the car in to one of those franchises to get the oil changed. When something goes wrong I have a mechanic friend who tries to fix it. I personally don't want to think about my car beyond loading it up or filling it with gas, turning the key, and driving off.

I am the same way with my computer. I expect that when I turn it on, it will boot up, and that it will do all the things computers are supposed to do. I find it annoying that I have to worry about things like virus protection. Incidentally I also find it annoying that I have to take measures to protect my personal identity.

But now that I'm generating Devcoins, I think more about hardware. I have a wallet on my laptop. That wallet is only on my laptop. If my hard drive crashed or something else went wrong with my computer what would happen to my wallet? The amount of Devcoin that goes through that wallet easily outpaces the value of the computer.

A couple of weeks ago I got to experience this first hand. My computer had been getting very hot while I was using it. For a long time the fan hadn't been working properly. Over a year ago I'd ordered a new one, but my computer repair guy managed to get the old one working again by cleaning it up. After a year and a half and the computer starting to run hot again I figured it was time to install the new fan, so I scheduled a time for him to do that.

It's a bit ironic that what precipitated my decision to replace the fan when I did was that I briefly went off my no mining policy and decided to try my hand mining Primecoins. I found the quest for prime numbers component enticing so I downloaded the Primecoin wallet and mining client and got going. And that's when I thought it would sure be much safer to be doing this with the cooling system working properly.

Sadly, the problems with my laptop ran far deeper than a defective fan. The part on the motherboard that controls the fan was broken beyond repair. When the repair guy tried to find a workaround that broke other parts of the motherboard which were already wearing out. The end result was that he could not boot the computer up any longer.

What about the hard drive? I knew that laptops aren't built to last more than a couple years and I'd had mine for over five years. I also knew I should have been more aggressive about backing things up, especially my wallet.

The hard drive is fine, the repair guy told me. Big sigh of relief on my part. If the hard drive is fine, I know there is a way to restore my wallet to a new system. UnthinkingBit told me to first copy all the wallet files to the exact same location on the new system, then install the client. I'll definitely breathe easier when that actually takes place.

This happened a couple weeks ago. I have been without my own computer for that long, and already it seems like an eternity.

Cloud Storage saved me a lot of trouble when it came to my day job. I'd been keeping all my work related files in Dropbox. So when I suddenly found myself without my computer I simply had to go online and download what I needed from my Dropbox account, then upload it again. It's a little less convenient than working off my own computer, but it's far better than not having those files at all!

I've been borrowing my spouse's laptop whenever I could. I've been able to get the minimum done but certainly nothing extra. I'm way far behind in writing for the Devtome which means that my wallet is going to be generating fewer Devcoins than I'm used to six weeks from now. My husband is gone all day today and agreed to leave his computer behind, so I'm playing catch up.

I wonder if I'm going to be more on top of specifically backing up my Devcoin wallet once it's up and running again. Or will I figure that I won't have to worry about my new system causing me problems until a couple years down the road? Probably the latter. But seriously I'm going to look into it further. The truth is that other than the intangible value placed on data, the Devcoin wallet with its continuously generated Devcoins has the been the first situation where the stuff on my computer was worth more than the computer itself.

I got an email this morning informing me that the new system I'd ordered had arrived. I wanted to go pick it up today, but we've all been sick with a very persistent cough. Did I mention it's been a rough couple weeks? I opted instead to continue with the borrowed system for another day and go pick it up tomorrow or Friday. My computer repair guy said he'd help me with the restoration of my Devcoin wallet. Hopefully that will work out OK and I'll find a few million in there waiting for me to spend.

Devtome Writers

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