The easiest way to start buying, selling, and mining Bitcoins

Despite all the negative news around bitcoin, I believe cryptocurrencies are the future. Bitcoin may not be the one to take off, but one of them will eventually.

Here’s how I started earning bitcoins.

  1. Create a Wallet: I setup a digital “wallet” with Coinbase where you can save the bitcoins you’ve mined, or just buy and sell bitcoins directly with Coinbase. You’ll need the wallet “address” to spend your bitcoins elsewhere and receive bitcoins from others. You’ll also need that address to get into mining bitcoins, which is what steps 2 & 3 are about.
  2. Join a Mining Pool and setup a Worker: I joined the BTCGuild (no longer a thing) to increase my chances of earning bitcoins. Otherwise you’ll mine for months and may not ever receive bitcoins. In a pool you’re joining forces with lots of other miners and are rewarded based on how much processing power your computer contributes to the pool’s efforts. You get smaller increments of coins, but you get compensated more consistently. These days I’d try something like the Pool or Slush Pool
  3. Setup a Miner: I installed Asteroid (no longer a thing, try this instead Mac Miner) on my Mac Pro to start mining bitcoins. Asteroid will ask you or the name of the Worker you setup in step 2. After following a few more instructions your mining bitcoins. My computer is a beast, but its easily brought to its knees when I have the miner running. Asteroid let’s you throttle the mining intensity so you don’t crash your computer, but be careful. If you choose to allow Asteroid to use your graphics card for mining, it may appear to freeze your computer. There are lots of devices you can buy specifically for mining that are faster than your desktop or laptop.

Each of those 3 steps takes about 5 minutes or so, but may take longer to really understand what each step is about.

*Website Developer Bonus

  • TidBit – Earn bitcoins by letting your visitor’s computer mine bitcoins for you while they visit your site.  This will be the end of website display ads when the finish beta testing. [No longer a thing]


After about a week worth of letting my computer mine for hours everyday if earned about 0.00001497 BTC, which converts to about 0.01293 USD (2014) according to this bitcoin to USD converter. So… with my current hardware setup it would take months to earn enough to buy anything. However, if I bought some fancy but inexpensive bitcoin mining hardware I mentioned earlier, I’d be earning at a much faster rate. Either way I’ll probably keep mining. I may even convert a few dollars into BTC. Given the state of the world, a multi-currency strategy couldn’t hurt. Like the saying goes, “Don’t throw all your babies in the egg water.” Or whatever. Let me know if you try it out. Happy mining.


How to Write Object Oriented CSS

Tetris video game cover

* Image taken from the cover art of the world-famous Tetris video game.

Objects Shmobjects.

The first time I heard about Object Oriented CSS was from a tutorial on NetTuts. At the time, I viewed OOCSS as just another random framework somebody was imposing on the web community. I had not given it much thought since then, until I listened to Nicole Sullivan‘s interview on The Big Web Show. She’s a CSS pro who started and the open-source OOCSS project on github. Nicole has been hired by mega-sites like Facebook to optimize their CSS files. FACEBOOK! That must have been insane!


Having spent a chunk of the last 4 years of my life learning and working with CSS on a daily basis, I was intrigued to hear the thoughts of an elite CSS Ninja. Half way through the interview I found myself inspired to become an Object Oriented CSS-er.

I started browsing the Google tubes and found a nifty presentation created by Nicole. Enjoy:

The Fast And The Fabulous

If you didn’t have time to click through the slideshow here is a super tiny break down:

Two main principles

  1. Separate structure and skin
  2. Separate container and content

Applying these principles creates efficient CSS code. This means cleaner smaller CSS files that load faster.

What does it look like?

Well, kinda like this…



This basic structure is very flexible. By adding classes you can “extend” the object class to fit each scenario the design requires. For example:

[html]<div class="object simple half"> …[/html]

Extending the object class is faster to write and to load.

I’m extremely guilty of writing overly specific CSS, thinking that everything has to have its own ID. Trying to be too semantic, I guess. I’ve confused myself by listening to too many different theories about how to structure your HTML and how to reference selectors in your CSS files.

I’m realizing that all I’ve needed was a little objectivity.

How to beat Desktop Tower Defense

Desktop Tower Defense strategy
Desktop Tower Defense strategy

To the right you will see the layout and strategy I used to beat Desktop Tower Defense 1.5 on Medium.

Here is my method:
1. Cover the entrances with pellet towers.
2. Use gold to create rows of pellet towers just far enough apart to let the enemies through.
3. Upgrade the towers once the board is full towers starting with the center

Then watch them die! The key is to keep upgrading constantly.

Notice that the only weapon I used was the Pellet Tower. I did this because they are cheap and easy to upgrade. No, they don’t cause as much damage, but once upgraded to their highest level the pellet towers are all you need.

The crazy pattern I created with the towers was intended to keep the enemies on the screen as long as possible so they can get pummeled longer by my towers.

This may not be the best strategy but it worked for me. Try it out. Let me know how it goes.

Now… back to work!