Thought I'd write up a quick 'getting started' guide for anyone that wants to give bitcoin mining a go:
#1 - Download the bitcoin application from bitcoin.org, install and fire it up. It will connect and sync with the p2p network, downloading approximately 114700 blocks.
#2 - Download and install the OpenCL driver for your graphics card / OS.
You might also need the full SDK, my drivers were supposed to include OpenCL support, but the GPU miner still didn't work. For AMD/ATI cards, this link should work:
#3 - Download and unpack "PyOpenCL bitcoin miner" somewhere. You'll find windows binaries here (7zip-compressed):
#4 - Using the bitcoin client, create a new 'receiving address' which you call 'mining income' to track payments.
#5 - Sign up for a mining pool. You'd rather have a few cents an hour than wait months for a random shot at 50 BTC. I'd go with:
as they're free, while the others charge a fee of 2-3%. Wallet ID is the thing you created in step 4.
You'll find the other pools here:
#6 - Stuff the following into a .bat file and run it. Might want to try from the console first, to make sure all is ok.
start /DD:\bin\bitcoin\poclbm poclbm.exe -f 60 --host=bitcoinpool.com --port=8334 --user=username --pass=password -d0 -v -w 128
This of course assumes you're on windows, and installed to a directory named d:\bin\bitcoin\poclbm..
Setting the f options to a higher value will cause less stress on your system. 30 is the default, shoot for 120 if your screen is lagging too much.
The d option is the device id of your graphics card. Mine's device 0, it could also be 1, 2 or whatever.
If the above worked, you should see a console window containing output like this:
23/03/2011 17:18:55, long poll: new block
23/03/2011 17:19:27, b15bbc4d, accepted
23/03/2011 17:19:47, 97f98213, accepted
23/03/2011 17:20:04, 2a8d658f, accepted
23/03/2011 17:20:15, 96fd6e6e, accepted