Dogie is the preeminent master miner. Manufacturers of crypto currency mining equipment send him their units for reviews and pre-production testing. His skills and hard work have helped countless in the mining community learn as well as grow. I go to him for help and advice as he can see things from a different perspective than so many others on both the hardware and software levels that can make what seems to be a huge problem into a simple solution. His guides and walkthroughs of hardware are legendary. Dogie’s recent purchase of a very high quality camera has allowed him to take unprecedented pictures of chips and components as well. These pictures add to his guides a depth that no others can match.
I wanted to bring to the wider mining community more about Dogie, his guides and Manufacturer Trustworthiness Rankings, and asked him for an interview. It was with some nervousness as many in the crypto currency world no matter how well-known do not like the spotlight. I am very happy he agreed. He has given a new insight into the world of mining and what can go on behind the scenes before products are even out. He also illustrates just what goes into being an unbiased trusted member of the community who even competing manufacturers and vendors will seek out for his guides and reviews. I know from experience that it can be a long path and the costs most times are more than what you will get out of doing the research and reviews. The love of mining and its ecosystem bring many of us to this realm.
Could you tell me about how you got involved in Bitcoin and crypto currencies?
I think it was something to do with the price, I can’t quite remember. It was around the time of Avalon’s batch 1 release and ASICMiner coming into the scene.
I would like to know about your start with mining hardware and how you evolved into the most trusted member of the hardware community for reviews, troubleshooting and more?
The first hardware I got involved with was ASICMiner’s generation 1 Blades. I scraped together savings to buy two from batch 2 and a further two from batch 3. There was almost no documentation and the only insight we had was from one buyer from batch 1 noting how he had messed up his.
Tiny snippets of information were dotted around 120 pages of the thread, and with each blade potentially mining 2 BTC a day, not having the right equipment really wasn’t an option. When I got my first ones, I started taking pictures and documenting what I did to set them up and get them ready. And hence the first dogie’s comprehensive setup guide was born!
After that, Friedcat wanted me to do the same with their Cubes. I knew Horserider from his Avalon B3 hosting before he went off to Antminer, so repeated the same for the Antminer S1.
How have Bitcoin and crypto currencies changed your life?
I’m not sure bitcoin has. I’ll have to think about this one.
What are your plans for mining?
Next step is building a platform independent of the forums that are easier to commercialize unobtrusively to keep the service going without an impact for consumers.
I then need to find a way to regulate the cloud mining industry which will take rise in 2015. I have some ideas which will at least prove to consumers that the manufacturers are in control of and remain in possession of the hardware the claim to be.
What is your favorite miner currently and what is your favorite all time?
My favorite miner at the moment is the RockMiner R-Box. It’s specifically designed to be the ‘everyone can have one’ device of this generation, and it is really simple. A single PCB, two-custom heatsinks, 4 long screws and fan.
My favorite of all time was the Antminer S1, not particularly because of the machine itself, but because what Bitmain did. There were no preorders; they simply came into the market and said “we have miners; we have lots of miners.” They singlehandedly gave consumers an alternative to the high-risk preorder market that we’ve seen fail time and time again.
What are some of the challenges you have had in testing and working with some of the cutting edge equipment as it comes out?
I’ll often receive the first copy of a miner shipped outside of the company, and so it can have early revision PCBs or prototype models. Understandably, mistakes have to be made in order to get it right for the consumer and so I have many, many, many fire extinguishers around. I also live with my mining equipment due to the increased risk. The benefit is I can immediately provide feedback, revisions and fixes to the manufacturers and community, as well as constantly monitor mods.
What are some things that mining manufacturers should keep in mind when developing their miners?
Nothing will ever get used as you want it to. Only up to 1.1V? Sure, that’ll be overvolted to 1.4 within a few weeks. 25C ambient or lower? Nope, that’s going in a shed at 35C. Data center use only? Nope, living room.
Any unit less than 3KW will be put in a home, so concentrate on noise. Noise levels are one of the key ways to differentiate your products for a given hash rate and power consumption.
And deliver what you promise. If you’re not quite sure what you can promise, don’t promise anything. If you don’t want to not promise anything, don’t tell anyone you exist and just turn up with hardware on the market. Ask someone like me to point you in the right direction.
Do you have anything you would like to say or address?
I am not funded by any company. I am not on anyone’s salary. I am not biased in any way ad have no financial interest in any party. Product reviews have absolutely nothing to do with manufacturer ratings, none what so ever. I work full time for the community and the community alone, so please don’t begrudge attempts to commercialize this.
Dogie is actively looking for advertisers on his site where he hosts his guides. I feel that this is something that should be encouraged as he works diligently to get information out to the community and directly supports so much of the hardware manufacturers put out. Please take the time to support him back.
Dogie illuminates well how most of us got started in mining and sheds light on his process and what it takes to be a successfully trusted reviewer. It is a difficult process. Some reviews and guides have the pressure of needing to be done yesterday, so when the units hit people’s hands, there is information for them on how to run them. Many units are from new vendors or manufacturers have no documentation, and even experts can be left at a loss sometimes. Dogie leads the way in the mining community in getting the info out there for miners.
Another very important guide Dogie has is his Comprehensive Manufacturer Trustworthiness guide. The guide gives pertinent information about most miner manufacturers such as if they are shipping on time and if they are shipping working gear. He does not play favorites, and he does not embellish the guide. The Comprehensive Manufacturer Trustworthiness guide has even made him the target of morons like Josh from Butterfly Labs, who offered to pay people in the community on BitcoinTalk to leave him negative feedback. BFL does not like the light of day shined on their shady practices.
Dogie has gone out of his way to help the mining community in so many ways. His guides and his constant help to miners in need is a testament to that dedication.
Thanks Dogie for helping me and so many others as we all learn and grow in the industry. I appreciate your time for this interview as well.
Stop by and checkout Dogie’s guides and remember to tip him when you can. Manufacturers and vendors should take the time to advertise on his site as he supports us all with his work.
Featured image by Shutterstock.