Debugging C# on OS X with Visual Studio Code

Thanks to this helpful Tweet I was able to use Visual Studio Code to debug C# code on Mac OS X:

Here’s how you can get going from start to finish:

  1. Install DNX
  2. Fire up your Terminal emulator
  3. Execute yo aspnet & choose Console Application
  4. Execute dnu restore
  5. Launch Visual Studio Code & open the ConsoleApplication folder generated by Yeoman
  6. Click Debug button followed by the Gear button
  7. Replace or add this entry to launch.json:
    {
        "name": "Launch ConsoleApplication",
        "type": "mono",
        "program": "Program.exe",
        "stopOnEntry": true       
    }
  8. Invoke the Command Palette (⌘P) & choose Configure Task Runner
  9. Replace the existing entry for tsc in tasks.json with the following entry:
    {
        "version": "0.1.0",
        "command": "mcs",
        "args": [
            "-debug",
            "Program.cs"
        ],  
        "showOutput": "silent",
        "taskSelector": "/t:",
        "tasks": [
            {
                "taskName": "exe",
                "isBuildCommand": true,
                "problemMatcher": "$msCompile"
            }
        ]
    }
  10. Invoke the Command Palette and choose Build Task (↑⌘B)
  11. Click the Debug button and, finally, click the Play button (F5)

Debug C# on OS X with VS Code

\o/

Thanks @weinand!

Litecoin Mining on Mac OS X – G-Black ASICs

The first-generation Scrypt ASIC offerings continue to mature with larger and more powerful units being released regularly.

The GridSeed GC3355 chip saw its introduction on the single-chip DualMiner USB stick. The DualMiner was followed shortly by the 5-chip GridSeed Orb and then later the 80-chip GridSeed G-Blade unit.

In this article we’ll be taking a look at the next ASIC in the GridSeed family: the GridSeed G-Black.

GridSeed G-Black Open

The G-Black is a self-contained unit in a PC-style case with its own power supply. It is powered by 400 of the GC3355 ASIC chips from GridSeed. It is rated to draw 440W while providing 23 Mh/s performance.

While the majority of these GridSeed devices come to market with their own custom software, I continue working with several GridSeed vendors (and GridSeed themselves) to support these ASICs in BFGMiner. CGMiner no longer supports any algorithm or coin other than SHA-2 and Bitcoin, so BFGMiner was the natural choice here.

Miner Installation

As with the previous Scrypt ASICs, the G-Black is currently only supported on OS X by BFGMiner. So, the first step is to install BFGMiner. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums which discusses various ways to install BFGMiner on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  3. Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
    brew doctor
  4. Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
    brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
  5. Finally, install BFGMiner:
    brew install bfgminer

Driver Installation

BFGMiner requires the correct kernel extension to be loaded in order to detect the GridSeed G-Black. When using BFGMiner the Apple Communication Device Class (CDC) driver will be used and should be automatically loaded by Mac OS X.

To load the required Apple drivers manually, execute the following commands:

sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDC
sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDCACMData

Detection

With the BFGMiner properly installed and the CDC driver installed, you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with BFGMiner:

bfgminer -d? -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] Started bfgminer 4.10.0-unknown
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] Devices detected:
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48E8646A3734; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd571)
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48DD7F563734; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd511)
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48E46F4C3734; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd5451)
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48EE52493734; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd561)
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48EC6F503734; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd5411)
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48E358653432; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd5461)
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48EC6F5B3734; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd5421)
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48E481463734; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd531)
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48E7745D3432; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd521)
[2014-11-09 15:11:17] STM32 Virtual COM Port by STMicroelectronics (driver=gridseed; procs=40; serial=48EA55583734; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd5471)
10 devices listed

Note the additional --scrypt argument since we will be Scrypt mining. I’ve also included the -S noauto argument to prevent GPU detection (for simplicity). Finally, note that a single G-Black shows up as ten individual devices as it is, in fact, ten units on five boards.

Mining

Once the GridSeed G-Black is detected you can start BFGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner G-Black

You can also over-clock the G-Black using BFGMiner and the --set argument.

bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --set gridseed:clock=835 --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner G-Black OC

The G-Black is yet another excellent performer from GridSeed that works great on OS X (as well as Windows and Linux in my testing).

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums. And thanks to GridSeed for providing sample hardware. Happy Scrypt ASIC mining!

Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – the New R-Box

RockMiner Logo

RockMiner has recently released their re-designed New R-Box ASIC miner. You may recall I reviewed their original R-Box in July (after fixing a small bug that kept it from working on Mac OS X).

With the release of their new ASIC, both existing and potential customers of RockMiner began asking bout their Mac OS X support…which lead my contacts at RockMiner to reach out for assistance in both verifying support and providing guidance.

New RBox

The original R-Box was a ~34 Gh/s SHA2 ASIC with a familiar open-PCB design and active cooling. The New R-Box is a very sleek, fully inclosed unit that hashes out-of-the-box at 100 Gh/s.

Like the original R-Box, this new unit is powered by the the 3rd-generation, 40 nm BE200 ASIC chip from ASICMINER and is available for order directly from RockMiner.com.

Miner Installation

The simplest way to get hashing at a full 100 Gh/s with the New R-Box on OS X is by using CGMiner. So, the first step is to install CGMiner on OS X. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums that discusses several ways to install CGMiner on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  3. Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
    brew doctor
  4. Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
    brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
  5. Finally, install CGMiner:
    brew install cgminer

Driver Installation

CGMiner requires that no driver be loaded in order to detect the RockMiner R-Box. While this may not be a problem for many, if you have Silicon Labs CP210x drivers installed you may need to run the following command in Terminal.app:

sudo kextunload -b com.silabs.driver.CP210xVCPDriver64

Detection

With CGMiner properly installed (and the CP210x driver unloaded if needed), you can use the -n argument to list available devices with CGMiner:

cgminer -n
[2014-10-03 16:06:37] USB all: found 21 devices - listing known devices
.USB dev 0: Bus 58 Device 2 ID: 10c4:ea60
Manufacturer: 'Silicon Labs'
Product: 'CP2102 USB to UART Bridge Controller'
[2014-10-03 16:06:37] 1 known USB devices

Mining

Once the New R-Box is detected you can start CGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

cgminer -o hostname -u username -p password

CGMiner New RBox Mac

While you can also mine with the New R-Box using BFGMiner, the RockMiner driver currently does not perform as well as CGMiner and only hits about 80 Gh/s.

bfgminer -S rkm:all --set rkm:clock=310 -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner New RBox Mac

The New R-Box is a big improvement over the original device in both performance and looks and works great on OS X, Windows and Linux.

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums.

And “Thank You” again to RockMiner for providing sample hardware!

BFGMiner 4.5 Run-Down for Scrypt Miners

BFGMiner 4.5 is now available with a myriad of features and improvements for both Scrypt and SHA-2 mining. As the current maintainer of Scrypt support in BFGMiner, I thought I’d highlight some of the features that I’m excited about in this release.

Per-core mining stats for GridSeed and ZeusMiner ASICs

It is now possible to view per-core statistics for both GridSeed and ZeusMiner Scrypt ASICs. To take advantage of this feature, press the [D] key in the UI and then press [M] to enable processor-level statistics. Finally press [Return] to return to the main BFGMiner UI.
BFGMiner GridSeed Per-Core
BFGMiner ZeusMiner Per-Core

View / set clock frequency for GridSeed and ZeusMiner ASICs within the UI

Prior to BFGMiner 4.5, while you could change the clock speed for Scrypt ASICs via the command line, you could not make those changes within the UI. Starting with version 4.5 it is now possible to both view and change the frequency for GridSeed and ZeusMiner ASICs in the UI.

To do this, press the [M] key in the UI and then [Up] and [Down] arrows to view the clock speed of your ASICs. To change the frequency of a device, press the [C] key and enter the desired frequency followed by [Return].
BFGMiner GridSeed TUI
BFGMiner ZeusMiner TUI

Support for 256-chip ZeusMiner ASICs

Version 4.5 of BFGMiner provides official support for the 256-chip ZeusMiner-powered War Machine from GAW Miners. Simply pass in the number of chips using the --set argument to get started:

bfgminer -S zus:all --set zus:chips=256 --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password
BFGMiner ZeusMiner 256-chips

Set clock frequency for ZeusMiner ASICs via the RPC API

It is now possible to set the clock frequency for ZeusMiner ASICs while mining via the RPC API (this was already supported with GridSeed ASICs). For instance, to set the frequency for the first ASIC to 330:

procset|0,clock,330

Improved compatibility with broken Scrypt pool implementations

Finally, BFGMiner 4.5 introduces improved compatibility with Scrypt pools that request a difficulty that is multiplied by the constant 0x10000. This is a standing convention with Scrypt pool implementations that BFGMiner has deprecated for some time. We are actively working with pool authors to upgrade their implementations to remove this unnecessary complication. For instance, P2Pool has merged a fix here.

For more details on the temporary compatibility fix you can reference the code here.

Availability

You can find downloads and resources for BFGMiner on Windows, Linux, OS X, and embedded devices here. If you are interested in running BFGMiner 4.5 on the TP-Link 703n router you can download firmware here.

Have fun and happy mining!

Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – RockMiner ASICs

While many of my newer posts have involved Scrypt mining (due to taking over as the primary Scrypt maintainer of BFGMiner), I recently had a very nice new SHA2 ASIC from RockMiner come across my desk.

RockMiner Logo

Along with Scrypt support, I also have the honor of being the source of ‘All Things OS X’ in BFGMiner, and there happened to be a nagging bug in the RockMiner driver shipped in BFGMiner 4.2. The guys at RockMiner were awesome enough to send across a sample ASIC and, a bug-fix later, the devices work wonderfully under BFGMiner on OS X!

In this article we’ll be taking a look specifically at the RockMiner R-Box. The R-Box is a 32 Gh/s unit powered by the the 3rd-generation, 40 nm BE200 ASIC chip from ASICMINER (the BE100 powered the original Block Erupter, Erupter Blade, and Erupter Cube) and is available for order directly from RockMiner.com.

RockMiner R-Box

As noted above, BFGMiner 4.4, released July 7th, contains fix for RockMiner ASICs on OS X, so you’ll need to make sure you are on at least version 4.4. Using the Homebrew instructions below should make that a snap.

Miner Installation

The simplest way to get hashing with the RockMiner R-Box on OS X is by using BFGMiner. So, the first step is to install BFGMiner on OS X. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums that discusses several ways to install BFGMiner on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  3. Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
    brew doctor
  4. Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
    brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
  5. Finally, install BFGMiner:
    brew install bfgminer

Driver Installation

BFGMiner requires the correct kernel extension to be loaded in order to detect the RockMiner R-Box. As with many of the previous ASICs we’ve discussed, the RockMiner R-Box uses the CP210x chipset and requires the proper driver to be installed. You can download the CP210x drivers for OS X from Silicon Labs here.

Detection

With the BFGMiner properly installed and the CP210x driver installed, you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with BFGMiner:

bfgminer -S rkm:all -d?

[2014-07-10 19:34:11] Started bfgminer 4.4.0
[2014-07-10 19:34:12] Devices detected:
[2014-07-10 19:34:12] CP2102 USB to UART Bridge Controller by Silicon Labs (driver=rockminer; procs=4; serial=0001; path=/dev/cu.SLAB_USBtoUART)
1 devices listed

Mining

Once the RockMiner R-Box is detected you can start BFGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

bfgminer -S rkm:all -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner R-Box

You can also over-clock RockMiner ASICs using BFGMiner and the --set argument (the default clock is 270 MHz).

bfgminer -S rkm:all --set rkm:clock=290 -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner R-Box OC

The R-Box is a great performer that I’ve personally tested on OS X, Windows and Linux. It also works well on a $30 703N router (firmware and build scripts here).

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums.

And “Thank You” to RockMiner for providing sample hardware!

Litecoin Mining on Mac OS X – ZeusMiner ASICs

ASICs continue to disrupt in the Scrypt mining scene with both the GridSeed and ZeusMiner entrenched as the current leaders. In my previous articles on Litecoin mining with ASICs I discussed the various GridSeed-powered devices.

In this article we’ll be taking a look at the newest manufacturer to deliver Scrypt ASICs — ZeusMiner — and their Blizzard device. The Blizzard is a 1.3 Mh/s unit powered by the ZMC230 ASIC chip from ZeusMiner and is available for order directly from ZeusMiner.com.

ZeusMiner

The majority of the Scrypt ASICs have been coming to market with their own custom software and, unfortunately, ZeusMiner is no exception. ZeusMiner ASICs currently ship with a custom fork of an aging version of CGMiner (3.11).

However, as previously noted, I have been actively working with several ASIC manufacturers (including ZeusMiner and GridSeed) to support these ASICs in BFGMiner (CGMiner does not support any algorithm other than SHA-2).

BFGMiner 4.3, released June 30th, contains full support for the entire range of ZeusMiner ASICs.

Miner Installation

As with the previous Scrypt ASICs, the simplest way to get hashing with the ZeusMiner Blizzard is by using BFGMiner. So, the first step is to install BFGMiner on OS X. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums that discusses several ways to install BFGMiner on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  3. Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
    brew doctor
  4. Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
    brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
  5. Finally, install BFGMiner:
    brew install bfgminer

Driver Installation

BFGMiner requires the correct kernel extension to be loaded in order to detect the ZeusMiner Blizzard. As with many of the previous ASICs we’ve discussed, the ZeusMiner ASICs uses the CP210x chipset and requires the proper driver to be installed. You can download the CP210x drivers for OS X from Silicon Labs here.

Detection

With the BFGMiner properly installed and the CP210x driver installed, you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with BFGMiner:

bfgminer -S noauto -S zus:all -d? --scrypt

[2014-07-08 22:13:47] Started bfgminer 4.4.0
[2014-07-08 22:13:47] Devices detected:
[2014-07-08 22:13:47] CP2102 USB to UART Bridge Controller by Silicon Labs (driver=zeusminer; procs=1; serial=0001; path=/dev/cu.SLAB_USBtoUART)
1 devices listed

Note the additional --scrypt argument since we will be Scrypt mining. I’ve also included the -S noauto argument to prevent GPU detection (for simplicity).

Mining

Once the ZeusMiner is detected you can start BFGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

bfgminer -S noauto -S zus:all --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner ZeusMiner

You can also over-clock ZeusMiner ASICs using BFGMiner and the --set argument (the default clock is 328 MHz).

bfgminer -S noauto -S zus:all --set zus:clock=340 --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner ZeusMiner OC

If you have a ZeusMiner ASIC with more than six chips (the number found on the Blizzard device) you will need to specify the number of chips using the --set argument:

bfgminer -S noauto -S zus:all --set zus:chips=256 --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner ZeusMiner 256-chips

Finally, some early ASICs from ZeusMiner contain a firmware bug and do not respond to detection. In this case (and only this case) you will need to use the following --set argument:

bfgminer -S noauto -S zus:all --set zus:ignore_golden_nonce=1 --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

All told this is another wonderful Scrypt ASIC that works great on OS X, Windows, Linux, and even a $30 703N router (firmware and build scripts here).

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums.

A big “Thank You” to ZeusMiner and GAWMiners for providing sample hardware.

Litecoin Mining on Mac OS X – G-Blade ASICs

Scrypt ASICs continue to make waves in the digital currency mining scene. Both 1-chip and 5-chip ASIC designs from GridSeed are “old news” and the G-Blade and ZeusMiner series are in the hands of anxious miners.

In my previous article on Litecoin mining with ASICs I discussed the 5-chip GridSeed Orb. In this article we’ll be taking a look at the Orb’s big brother: the GridSeed G-Blade.

The G-Blade is powered by 80 of the GC3355 ASIC chips from GridSeed and is available directly from X-Hash.

GridSeed G-Blade

While the majority of these GridSeed devices come to market with their own custom software, I have been actively working with several GridSeed vendors (and lately GridSeed themselves) to support these ASICs in BFGMiner. CGMiner no longer supports any algorithm or coin other than SHA-2 and Bitcoin, so BFGMiner was the natural choice here.

BFGMiner 4.0 contains support for the 1-chip GridSeed USB stick and the 5-chip Orb while BFGMiner 4.1, released June 6th, contains full support for the G-Blade.

Miner Installation

As with the previous Scrypt ASICs, the G-Blade is currently only supported on OS X by BFGMiner. So, the first step is to install BFGMiner. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums which discusses various ways to install BFGMiner on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  3. Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
    brew doctor
  4. Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
    brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
  5. Finally, install BFGMiner:
    brew install bfgminer

Driver Installation

BFGMiner requires the correct kernel extension to be loaded in order to detect the GridSeed G-Blade. When using BFGMiner the Apple Communication Device Class (CDC) driver will be used and should be automatically loaded by Mac OS X.

To load the required Apple drivers manually, execute the following commands:

sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDC
sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDCACMData

Detection

With the BFGMiner properly installed and the CDC driver installed, you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with BFGMiner:

bfgminer -d? -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt
[2014-06-03 22:30:16] Started bfgminer 4.0.0
[2014-06-03 22:30:19] Devices detected:
[2014-06-03 22:30:19] Device (driver=gridseed; procs=1; path=/dev/cu.usbmodem3a21)
[2014-06-03 22:30:19] Device (driver=gridseed; procs=1; path=/dev/cu.usbmodem5d11)
2 devices listed

Note the additional --scrypt argument since we will be Scrypt mining. I’ve also included the -S noauto argument to prevent GPU detection (for simplicity). Finally, note that a single G-Blade shows up as two individual devices as it is, in fact, two boards.

Mining

Once the GridSeed G-Blade is detected you can start BFGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner GridSeed-Blade

You can also over-clock the G-Blade using BFGMiner and the --set argument.

bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --set gridseed:clock=835 --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner GridSeed-Blade OC

All in all this is an excellent performer that works great on OS X (as well as Windows and Linux in my testing).

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums. And thanks again to both GridSeed and X-Hash for providing sample hardware. And now, happy Scrypt ASIC mining!

Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – Hex•Fury ASICs

In December I wrote about the Bi•Fury USB ASIC. That awesome little stick, designed by c-scape, contained two 55nm Bitfury chips and hashed at 5 Gh/s.

The Hex•Fury is a new design that is now available with six Bitfury chips hashing out-of-the-box at 12 – 13 Gh/s. This new design is also by c-scape and is available from ASIC Runner.

HexFury

As with the Bi•Fury these have a very professional and solid look and feel. They also feature a heat sink that allows them to spaced much closer than other USB ASICs.

As always, let’s see what it takes to get these mining under OS X.

Miner Installation

The first step is to install BFGMiner on OS X. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums which discusses various ways to install BFGMiner on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  3. Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
    brew doctor
  4. Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
    brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
  5. Finally, install BFGMiner:
    brew install bfgminer

Driver Installation

BFGMiner requires the correct kernel extension to be loaded in order to detect the Hex•Fury USB stick. The Apple Communication Device Class (CDC) driver will be used and should be automatically loaded by Mac OS X.

To load the required Apple drivers manually, execute the following commands:

sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDC
sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDCACMData

Detection

After BFGMiner is installed you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with BFGMiner:

bfgminer -d? -S bifury:all
[2014-05-13 17:05:25] Started bfgminer 3.99.0
[2014-05-13 17:05:26] Devices detected:
[2014-05-13 17:05:26] Device (driver=bifury; procs=2; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd3521)
1 devices listed

Now, as you can see BFGMiner reports the Hex•Fury having two processors rather than six. This is actually a firmware bug in the Hex•Fury. In striving for full Bi•Fury protocol compatibility the number of processors was not updated, so the Hex•Fury stick claims to have two chips.

BFGMiner 4.0 introduces a new argument for Bi•Fury based devices allowing you to specify the number of chips:

bfgminer -d? -S bifury:all --set-device bifury:chips=6
[2014-05-13 17:08:09] Started bfgminer 3.99.0
[2014-05-13 17:08:09] Devices detected:
[2014-05-13 17:08:09] Device (driver=bifury; procs=6; path=/dev/cu.usbmodemfd3521)
1 devices listed

Mining

Once the Hex•Fury stick is detected you can start BFGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

bfgminer -S bifury:all --set-device bifury:chips=6 -o hostname -u username -p password

HexFury BFGMiner

You can type D (for Display), followed by M (for suMmary) and then Return to see per-processor statistics as well:

HexFury BFGMiner Procs

You can also use the --set-device argument to overclock the Hex•Fury ASICs. For instance, to run the chips at 58 bits rather than the default 54:

bfgminer -S bifury:all --set-device bifury:chips=6 --set-device bifury:osc6_bits=58 -o hostname -u username -p password

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums. Happy mining!

Litecoin Mining on Mac OS X – GridSeed ASICs

Scrypt ASICs are on the digital currency mining scene in a big way. The 1-and-5 chip ASIC designs from GridSeed have been on the market for a couple of months now, and newer designs such as the G-Blade and Zeusminer series are on the horizon.

In my previous article on Litecoin mining with ASICs I discussed the 1-chip DualMiner USB stick. In this article we’ll be taking a look at DualMiner’s big brother: the 5-chip GridSeed Orb.

The Orb is powered by 5 of the GC3355 ASIC chips from GridSeed:

GridSeed 5-Chip

Unfortunately, the majority of GridSeed devices came to market with their own custom software, meaning you could not mine with either the DualMiner or Orb miners with stock CGMiner or BFGMiner. You had to use either the reseller’s binaries or compile their custom software yourself, if the source was available.

However, I have been actively working with several vendors of GridSeed hardware for the past few months on support for both the 1-chip and 5-chip GridSeed ASICs in BFGMiner. CGMiner no longer supports any algorithm or coin other than SHA-2 and Bitcoin, so BFGMiner was the natural choice.

As of this week the GridSeed driver has been merged into BFGMiner, and so I present to you this walkthrough on OS X!

Miner Installation

As with many of the previous ASICs, the GridSeed Orb is currently only supported on OS X by BFGMiner. So, the first step is to install BFGMiner. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums which discusses various ways to install BFGMiner on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  3. Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
    brew doctor
  4. Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
    brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
  5. Finally, install BFGMiner:
    brew install bfgminer

Driver Installation

BFGMiner requires the correct kernel extension to be loaded in order to detect the GridSeed 5-chip Orb. When using BFGMiner the Apple Communication Device Class (CDC) driver will be used and should be automatically loaded by Mac OS X.

To load the required Apple drivers manually, execute the following commands:

sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDC
sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDCACMData

Detection

With the BFGMiner properly installed and the CDC driver installed, you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with BFGMiner:

bfgminer -d? -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt
[2014-05-07 21:03:56] Started bfgminer 3.99.0
[2014-05-07 21:03:59] Devices detected:
[2014-05-07 21:03:59] Device (driver=gridseed; procs=5; path=/dev/cu.usbmodem5d11)
1 devices listed

Note the additional --scrypt argument since we will be Scrypt mining. I’ve also included the -S noauto argument to prevent GPU detection (for simplicity).

Mining

Once the GridSeed Orb is detected you can start BFGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

GridSeed Orb BFGMiner

You can also over-clock the GridSeed Orb using BFGMiner and the --set-device argument.

bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --set-device gridseed:clock=850 --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums. And now, happy Scrypt ASIC mining!

Downgrading the SendGrid Add-On for Windows Azure

One of the (many) awesome aspects of Windows Azure and the Azure Portal is the support for Add-Ons. This feature allows 3rd-parties to closely integrate their services into Azure and offer their products via the Azure Portal Store. The Add-Ons feature also allows you to manage much of those services right within the Azure Management Portal.

Azure and SendGrid

I’ve been using the SendGrid service off-and-on for the past year, having set it up initially via the Windows Azure Add-Ons Store. SendGrid is an awesome service for sending emails from a variety of platforms. It offers great prices and rich analytics, and can be used from the Node.js JavaScript environment found throughout the Windows Azure services.

And, thanks to the integration I mentioned above, it’s very easy to scale your SendGrid service from the free option up to the plans with higher allowances and richer analytics.

The Big But

Pee-Wee Big But

Now that’s all great, but

While it’s as simple as a few clicks in the Azure Management Portal to upgrade your SendGrid plan…

If you have created your SendGrid plan via the Windows Azure Add-On Store, there is literally no way to downgrade the plan.

After searching both the Add-Ons area in the Azure Portal as well as the SendGrid management portal I got in touch with both SendGrid and Azure support. They were very helpful but, after several days they confirmed that this capability is simply not possible for the accounts created via the Azure Add-On Store.

So what can you do? The solution is both simple and obvious, if tedious: You can actually add multiple SendGrid plans to your Azure account via the Azure Add-On Store. Simply add a new SendGrid plan at the lower rate. Then migrate over the SendGrid credentials you are using in your applications and services.

Tedious? Yes. But it works if you need to downgrade before this ability is officially supported.