The Strange New World of Crypto

From l to r: PolkaDot, NEM, Crypto.com Coin, Tezos and Bitcoin

For now, it seems strange, but crypto could become the way that most people will conduct business in the future. Even now, I’m happy to accept crypto for my services. For a flat rate labor charge of 52,000 satoshis (one satoshi is 0.00000001 of a Bitcoin), I can fix your cracked laptop case and optimize it for speed.

It’s not really easy to even define the term cryptocurrency, but here are a few things to know:

(1) There is no central authority like a bank that facilitates the transfer of crypto from one person to another. Bitcoin, for example, is based on a shared public ledger that is distributed across a large number of networked computers. The ledger keeps track of every transaction. If Bob paid Mary .0002 of a Bitcoin, it’s in the ledger and the ledger is immutable.

(2) You can keep your crypto on an exchange like Coinbase or Nexo.io. Nexo even offers you a line of credit based on the amount of crypto that you store on their system.

(3) Many crypto currency networks have special functions. The Ethereum network, for example, is the home of smart contracts which are contracts written in computer code that do not require a middleman to execute. Ethereum is often used as ‘gas’ to pay for a transaction or to execute a contract. You can store data on the Ethereum network. Artworks known as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) reside on the Ethereum blockchain.

(4) You can also store various crypto currencies in an electronic wallet on your phone, iPad, desktop computer, etc. Incredibly, if you were to lose your phone, iPad, etc., you can recreate your wallet on another computer often by using a sequence of 12 words that you had received for just such a case.

(5) eToro is a fun way to trade crypto similar to the way people trade stocks. You can set a stop loss value and also a value to take profits.

(6) You can send money to anyone with a smartphone – anyone in the world. See Celo.

An offline wallet with some TRON crypto.

(7) There’s so much more.

Zcash, Dash, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, …

Digital Depot is located at 104 East Century Road, Suite H in Leesburg, Georgia and is open from 5:30 PM to midnight Monday through Saturday. We can be reached at 229-883-3996.

An Easy Way to Learn Computer Programming Basics

There was a time when computers were used almost exclusively by professionals, college students and a few hobbyists. They were used frequently for programming since there was no Google, Facebook, or Twitter. In my case, my first actual experience with a computer was as a student. Our first assignment was to write a very simple program in FORTRAN to calculate and print the Fibonacchi sequence of numbers (just not all of them). Everything had to be typed on punchcards with a gigantic keypunch machine that required each key to be struck much more firmly than you would strike the keys on a conventional keyboard.

Recently (just last night), I decided to see if I could find a simple elegant programming language that I could use on a contemporary computer. It wasn’t difficult. The language is called COMAL (COMmon Algorithmic Language) and it’s very easy to use on either a Windows based or Linux based computer.

Here are the details:

(1) download DOSbox from SourceForge

(1a) if you’re using a Debian based (Ubuntu for instance) version of Linux, just open a terminal window and type the following:

sudo apt-get install dosbox

(2) download OpenComal from here.

(2a) If you’re using Windows, be sure to download and install WinRAR to extract your files from the tarred and gzipped OpenComal compressed download.

(3) run DOSbox

(4) mount your OpenComal folder into DOSbox

(4a) for Windows the mount command typed inside of DOSbox looks like this:

mount e c:\docume~1\user\Desktop\opencomal-0.2.6\bin

(4b) and for Linux

mount e Desktop/opencomal-0.2.6/bin

(5) change your drive letter to E:

(6) type OCOMAL
(see illustrations below)

Now, you’re actually in the COMAL programming environment. You can type the command auto and COMAL will automatically start with line number 10 and you can type your first line of code. Exit from auto mode by hitting (CTRL) (C). You can type any line number followed by a line of code and insert lines into your code (for example typing 35 and some code will insert a line between 30 and 40. Type renumber to renumber your lines. Type delete 160 to delete line number 160. You can simply type run to run your programs. Type save “programname to save your program and type list ,”programname.txt to save your program in a readable or printable form. You are actually in a interactive programming environment.

Be sure to read more about OpenComal at: http://www.josvisser.nl/opencomal/OpenComal.txt

In case, you’re interested, here’s the fibonacchi program in COMAL:

10 //
20 // Fibonacchi Sequence
30 //
40 // Maurice Tift — April 17, 2013
50 //
60 first:=0
70 second:=1
80 number:=first+second
90 PRINT first;” “;
100 WHILE number<300000 DO
110    PRINT number;" ";
120    number:=first+second
130    first:=second
140    second:=number
150 ENDWHILE
160 END

Think about writing your own program. A good place to start might be to take this simple program and modify it to print the first n numbers of the Fibonacchi sequence. Another fun modification would be to recode this program to print successive approximations of something called the Golden Ratio. The current program simply stops when the number in the sequence exceeds 300000.