22 Mar 2014 dangermaus   » (Journeyer)

They escaped from their cells by crawling through holes in the cell walls which they had dug with spoons over a year's time,
from Wikipedia

A Bitcoin story

It started with 300$, modifying perol's bitcoin bot. The bot was soonly attached to a mySQL database, and I learnt how Python can return several outputs from a function, unlike most languages. The bot kept polling the exchange each two minutes and was buying and selling with simple strategies. In the beginning the bitcoin was trading around 100$, so the bot was happy owner of three bitcoins from time to time. The bot had a short, mid and longterm strategy, too. At its height, the wallet contained 380$. The exchange fees were curtailing gains, too.
Then, the Silkroad affair came, where bitcoins were used to illegally trade drugs and weapons. Unfortunately, it was very windy and I missed the news of Silkroad also because the strong wind blew up three windows of my house and misplaced the satellite dish of my father. Nonetheless, we were fortunate, during the night the wind threw down the chimney of my neighbour on the street!
The Jack of all trades (and master of none?) lost about 180$ in one night. The strategy was to buy when the price was the lowest in the last three hours, and to sell when it was highest in the same timewindow (this was true for short term, for mid term and longterm the interval was simply higher). So, the bot bought and bought until it did not have money anymore. And the bitcoin lost half of its value in the meanwhile. This was an important lesson, which ended in implementing the stop loss mechanism on the bot. Some R code was added to estimate the value at risk of the portfolio.
The sourcecode can be found at src/playground/bots/bitcoin in the GPU git repository.
Well, the rest is history, I never bothered moving out bitcoins or money from the exchange, until mtgox declared bankrupcy. At beginning of February, I had about half a bitcoin. The coolness of Bitcoin is that it is anonymous, so nobody knows where my half bitcoin is now :-) (Update: I wonder if they used the Heartbleed exploit to steal my 1/2 bitcoin...)

Side note, a must read book to implement bots is Webbots, screenscrapers and spider.


Last year was fruitful for deltasql, I learnt dealing with Ajax to have dynamical forms. The navigation with frames makes it also easier to use. There are also two tools to create SQL from .csv files. deltasql 1.6.4 is fairly stable and seems to be used by the community.


For GPU, I mainly read books "CUDA by example" by Sanders and Kandbrot, and "Computer Algebra Handbook" by Grabmeier et al. Part of the client in Freepascal and lot of the server was implemented using a techique involving a simple XSLT transformation using the SQL to XML transformation by Darko Bunic.

I read also some more books including "The Higgs Boson" by Jim Baggot, "Excel VBA Programming for Dummies" and a book on the language R used in statistics.

Ham Radio

My ham radio activities boosted after HB3YGE was so kind to help me in setting up antennas and a radio shak (some pictures on QRZ). Best experiences to date where communicating with whole Europa in digital (using PSK31), learning to differentiate digital modes (RTTY, JT-65, PSK31 and PSK63) and decoding CW with the computer. I also did some phone in SSB, although I am still a bit embarassed with the Ham Jargon. I need more practice! I also found interesting signals like the Czech pendulum and the Buzzer. I happily listened to the Squeaky Wheel and the Pip. And I found info on the Russian Woodpecker, a cold war radar close to Tschernobyl. Goals for this year are to communicate with islands in the Atlantic, use JT65 in HF to come as far as possible, and buying a Funcube dongle to experiment with a usual satellit dish and hopefully to learn something in signal analysis.

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