Saturday, July 28, 2012

Know Where To Sell Thy Bitcoin

Those of you, who are looking to trade reasonably sized amount of bitcoins, most probably are familiar with this issue: the market ticker does not provide enough information to make decision what price should you be calling. For example, look at this market graph:

Market Depth Snapshot @BitFloor

The ticker shows bid at $8.62, but what if you need to sell 50BTC? You can't at this price. The bid size is only 2 bitcoins, so you will need to keep eating bids at lower price before you could actually sell. You will end up getting price down to $8.50 before you complete the trade.

This makes it important to know the market depth. Unfortunately, not all markets have depth data easily accessible. Many would only provide the raw order book data. In order to address this issue, I wrote a Bitcoin Market Info tool. It's not one of those complex android applications that take your breath away, but what do you want, it's free.

Bitcoin Market Info tool QR code

Download and enjoy real-time data on your market depth. Everybody's feedback is mostly appreciated.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Upgrade CPU on Lenovo Y410, enable virtualization

My laptop has been working satisfactory for me so far, especially after SSD upgrade, however the fact that it was running a T5200 Core Duo CPU with no hardware virtualization was preventing me from taking advantage of some useful features, such as: building gitian packages.

Solution was easy and cost me $10: buy a used T7250 on e-bay and plug it in. Not only it supports virtualization, but it is also noticeably faster.

Replacement takes 5 minutes

It is really worth noting here, how inexpensive developer-grade hardware could be these days.

There were reports of more powerful upgrades possible for that laptop (T8000 and T9000 series). Nevertheless, the T7250 seems like an excellent value for money to me. You get faster laptop and virtualization support for ten bucks - that's unbeatable.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How I Fixed AMD Vision Engine Control Center

My AMD Vision Engine Control Center (formerly Catalyst Control Center) was not loading. I even wrote a lengthy rant about it on

I tried it all. I went through all the forums, and if I had a penny for every time I saw somebody swearing AMD for being unable to write working software, I would retire.

I even called AMD support desk and followed their instructions for an hour, going from one level to another. The advices they gave me were so beaten up and standard that it's not even funny: upgrade to the latest version. And if latest didn't fix, update to the latest beta. It seems like a mantra with AMD: we didn't fix anything, but upgrade to the latest anyway, who know, maybe God will see how much we trying here and help us.

I am uncertain what exactly did fix it, but since I was seriously contemplating some major time consuming crap, that nobody likes doing, here's what I did, that ended up fixing the problem. I did several things, then rebooted, so which one exactly did the trick, I don't know.

  1. Stop WMI service and remove C:\Windows\System32\wbem\repository
  2. Delete C:\Windows\Prefetch folder
  3. In registry, create following string value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NETFramework:
  4. Remove ICSharpCode.SharpZipLib from assembly cache

    ... And the last step:
  5. Reboot.

That is what worked for me. Which exactly of the items did help, I don't know, but if someone will be able to fix the goddamn ATI control center, my time typing all of this stuff is not wasted.