Long Overdue Thanks!

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A Huge Thank You! We, at the Home For Survival, truly enjoy bringing information to the prepper community.  It is entirely a team effort from the THFS research team to our great advertisers to our wonderful team of writers.  Here’s a quick rundown of what keeps our site going. Our Research/Writing Team Each day, our […]

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Foreword by Jim Cobb

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My friend and fellow Ulysses Press author, Jim Cobb, best known for his excellent site: Survival Weekly and his bestselling Prepper’s Home Defense has written the foreword to The Prepper’s Workbook.  I’m posting it here to give you a little better idea of the intent and purpose of this book and how it should be used:

I first became acquainted with Scott Williams by reading Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late. This was the first of his books I’d read and to say I was impressed is a dramatic understatement. Here was a guy who’d truly been there and done that. Not only did he have practical experience, he was able to communicate his knowledge effectively. His writing style was easy to follow and a pleasure to the eyes and mind.

Time and again in subsequent books, Scott has shown he is no armchair prepper. His knowledge and skills have been hard-won by doing rather than just reading a few books and regurgitating the same information someone else came up with and never tested in the real world.

I’d hazard a guess and say that well over 90 percent of preppers are list makers. We make lists of bug-out bag contents, food pantry supplies (both what we have on hand and what we need to acquire), wish lists of the gear we’d love to buy once we get that bonus from work, to-do lists for chores and projects. The list of lists goes on and on, doesn’t it?

That said, many preppers, even the ones who have been around a while, are probably missing a thing or two (or more) on those lists. Maybe they forgot about them, maybe they never heard of them before. No matter the case, more than one prepper has agonized over whether they’ve accounted for everything. When the balloon goes up, or the grid goes down, is the worst possible time to realize you forgot something.

The beauty of The Prepper’s Workbook is they’ve done the remembering for you. With easy-to-understand forms and checklists, all you need to do is fill in the blanks. Granted, that might be oversimplifying things just a tad as prepping in general involves (or should involve) a lot more doing than reading. The point is, follow the proverbial bouncing ball and, by the end, you should be fairly well set should disaster strike.

I know many preppers who are avid readers and they often lament a creased cover or a dog-eared page as they want to keep the books looking as nice as they can. This book, however, is made to be beaten up, written in, marked up with highlighters. If at the end of the day it looks like a five-year-old college textbook, with all sorts of notes in the margins, then you’ve used the book correctly.

Every prepper has a different plan for what to do in a crisis and how to go about getting things done. That’s as it should be as we each face unique circumstances and challenges. There is no one single game plan that will work for everyone. That is where The Prepper’s Workbook will really help, as it allows for customization to suit your individual needs, strengths and weaknesses. By following the instructions and filling out the forms, you will be able to create a survival plan that is unique and perfectly suited for you and your family.

Fill out the worksheets, run through the checklists, complete the projects. Take your time and do everything the way it should be done—no cheating! Be honest with yourself and recognize where your plan is lacking, then work toward improving on that weakness.

Even if the worst never comes to pass and you never have the opportunity to truly put your plans to the test, you’ll rest easier at night knowing that if the world begins to fall apart in the morning, you’re ready for it.

—Jim Cobb
Author of
Prepper’s Home Defense and

The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness 

Prepper’s Workbook Front and Back Covers

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I’ve been working with my editor and coauthor Scott Finazzo this week on the final proofing and approval of The Prepper’s Workbook, and everything has now been finalized, from the interior design to the front and back covers.  It will be sent to the printer next so those of you who have been patiently waiting for a copy should have one soon.  There were some more changes made to the front cover since my last post here, so here is the final version as well as the back.



The list price printed on the back doesn’t mean much, as almost all online retailers and especially Amazon sell for a significant discount off retail.  Right now it’s listed for pre-order on Amazon for $11.03 but that price fluctuates for all kinds of reasons only Amazon knows and it may be less when it’s actually in stock and ready to ship.  I really hope that will happen sometime in late February, even though it’s listed there as available March 18.  All I know for certain is that at this point, our work is done so the rest depends on the shipping and distribution times.

Once copies are in my hands and in the publisher’s offices we will have some book giveaways, and as always, review copies will be available for those who have related websites and blogs.

Biolite Camp Stove Review

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Today I review the Biolite Camp Stove.  Biolite is a great company that primarily focuses on sending their product to the third world to help those in abject poverty have access to power to recharge their small electronics as well as eliminate much of the soot and waste that causes various respiratory disease that come from open flame cooking.


Weight: 33 oz (2lbs 1 oz)

Dimensions: (Packed) 8.25 inches High x 5 inches wide

Fire Output: LO setting, 3.4 kW, HIGH setting 5.5Kw

USB power output: Max continuous: 2W@5V, Peak 4W@5V

Compatible Devices: Most small USB chargeable devices such as smartphones & Headlamps

Charging Time: Iphone 4S, 20 minutes=60 minutes of talk time

Boil Time: 4.5 minutes = 1 Liter of water

MSRP: $129.95


This Stove can use any renewable biomass such as sticks, twigs, pinecones, etc.  Anything you can burn in a normal stove this will burn.

You can see more in the YouTube Video, but this a great little stove and would be excellent for redundancies in your preps in regards to cooking as well as recharging small items.


Find out more at BIOLITESTOVE.COM




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Amazon GNP help

Survivor Jane Book Review

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A Review of Survivor Jane’s New Book…
“Where There is No Cosmetic Counter: How Not to Look like a Zombie – Even After the End of the World as You Know It”
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran in the arts of Survival – Bushcraft – & Preparedness or just starting out, invariably you will be faced with the challenge of introducing the women in your life to the preparedness mindset, in my opinion

Minicast Episode 20: Why Debt wont Dissapear in a Collapse

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This Minicast is in response to some things i have heard around the Prepper community, on forums as well as in emails to me.

Most of them involved the sentiment of…”Well I think the collapse is happening in the next 6 months (or a future date), so I am going to load up my Credit Cards with storable food and other stuff, because when the collapse happens their wont be anyone to collect the debt anyways!”

This is problematic in many different ways, most notably, no one knows when the financial collapse will finally happen, so if you load up your credit cards with all this debt, what happens when the collapse doesn’t happen for another 2 years? you will end up being in a  worse place than you started.

I elaborate further on different scenarios and more reasons why this is a bad idea.  Bottom Line, dont do this, its stupid.





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Amazon GNP help

Antenna Search: How to find or avoid Cell Towers Near you

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cell phone towers

Antenna Search is a website that i stumbled on after reading Survivalblog.com, it is a great program because just inputting an address into the search bar can show you all the cell phone towers and antennas within a 4 mile radius.

Now this can be helpful for two different things…


1) To make sure you can have cell phone reception in areas you are traveling to and/or through

2) More for preppers, you may be looking for a bug out location and/or retreat location and you may want this to be truly off the grid…and this means NO CELL PHONES!

Watch the video, its real easy!







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Amazon GNP help


BITCOIN/LITECOIN/DOGECOIN Basics 101: How does a Transaction work

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What is Bitcoin How to bitcoin for dummies

Today I present a video explaining how a Cryptocoin (Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc.) actually works, how miners come in and how your wallet is secure but public.

I hope this helps you learn a little bit more about cryptocurrencies.




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Amazon GNP help

Political Change: A Forgone Conclusion

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I write this to try to convince some of you who still believe “If we just get _________ into the ________ we will get things back on track!” that you are wrong.

If you look back over the last 50 years we have had a mix of Democrats and Republicans in the White House and in control of the Congress, however has the government in that time ever..EVER gotten smaller? Scaled back the encroaching Police State? Not Inflated the Currency more than their predecessors?

Our problems in this country, what will bring us down is economic, not China or Abdul in a Cave, but pure economics. We spend too much, we can’t pay it back and we have inflated our currency to a point where there is no turning back. The only question now is WHEN not IF the U.S. Economy will Crash and the Dollar will have to be replaced or re-valuated (i.e.$1 now equals .10 or .01).

These problems have been exacerbated by every President to hold the office and every Congress who has had a majority and the free rein to pass what it wants (or a bipartisan one).

Most of my readers are conservatives by and large so I will speak to you and the problems being just as much with the Republican Party as it is with the Democrats.

For example…

Much ado and many jokes have been made about “Obamaphones”, most conservatives if asked where this program started would tell you It was Obama and his Democratic Congress who gave away these phones and started it.

If you are specifically talking about cell phones, in a way yes you are right, however the program that has morphed into the “Obamaphone” should be called “Reaganphones” Yes the deity known as Reagan started the program of taxing every single phone so that we could pay for others subsidized phone lines, in his day it was land line (and this was in no part to lobbying by Telcom companies, they paid nothing and got more customers as well as got any work done in rural areas completely paid for and kept any profit made!)

So the next time you hear “Obamaphone” flash a picture of Reagan in your head.

On the topic of Reagan, I liked what he had to say, and if you take the extremely low bar of constitutional and small government loving administrations in recent history, then yes he was a good president, but this a bar so low, one only has to show up to be the best.

Reagan was responsible for some of the largest tax increases and largest budgets in American History, he was not a small government president, he was a politician who possibly actually believed these ideals, but given the circumstances made the politically expedient decisions to keep the government functioning vs doing the right thing in the long run.

Most Conservatives have woken up from the Love of Bush years, however it was the Bush presidency that laid 99% of the groundwork for NDAA, the program many conservatives love to peg onto our current president, however without the Patriot act NDAA would not be possible (and this was also supported with a healthy portion of REPUBLICAN Congressman!)

It was Republicans who expanded medicare, laying more groundwork for Obamacare to be implemented

It was Republicans who started No Child Left Behind who layed the groundwork for Common Core

It was Republicans who expanded HUD and the FHA loan program under the guise of “cuts”

Entitlement Spending actually grew by 8% more with Republican Presidents vs Democratic ones.

sentina giveaway




Friends there was once a political solution to the coming economic problem…disaster on the horizon, there was a time, a time that wasn’t that long ago.  However we are still holding onto the belief that we are still in that window, we are not.  That window is long gone, broken, shattered and burned down.

The political solution to this problem no longer lies in the present, and averting it, but in the future and averting our grandchildren from experiencing what we are about to.


I want to say “I don’t mean to be beating up on you if you are a Republican”, but I can’t I am beating up on you.  But I am coming from a position that sees where you are, I was there years back, I am a recovering Republican myself, because the party I thought Stood for the things I stood for, doesn’t, and hasn’t for a long time.

To be equal in my rant I should lay into progressives, however I highly doubt you still read this blog if you think that more government is the solution.

Democrats often believe the same thing that Republican rank and file do, that the Republican party is actually a party that wants smaller government.  A quick view of history will find that both parties are equal in their building of the state, and their belief in government as a problem solver.

GOVERNMENT is what is bringing these problems to bear, to a head and it will be government that will say they are the solution when it all comes down.

Imagine this country as a person, a person who has lung cancer from smoking statist cigarettes, and is now laid up in the hospital.  Two people enter the room saying they can fix your problems, but both are offering you a pack of cigarettes…One Blue and One Red….




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The Secret To Long Term Drinking Water Storage

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long term drinking water storage tipsWater is THE most important resource for survival. Period. We take it for granted that we will always have a supply of water to drink at our disposal and we barely give it a second thought to take precautions and perhaps store some of it for a SHTF scenario…

Follow this link for the secret to…

Long Term Drinking Water Storage


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If you are Reading this then you have become interested in the modern “Gold Rush” of Crypto currencies, specifically Litecoin since Bitcoin is no longer viable for the average person with limited funds.
This is listed as a “LITECOIN” miner, but the basic setup, other than the settings for the pool in cgminer (which tell it what to mine) are the same for any other Crypto currency out there (Feather Coin, Doge Coin, Terra Coin), other than Bitcoin.

These posts will be a Step by Step Guide for you to build your first Mining Rig, based on my experience. I am not a computer expert, but an amateur so all I am passing on is what I have learned through trial and error and help from many people.

I feel that this will be helpful, because I dont speak computer as a first language so I am coming from the same place you are. I use acronyms farther into the book, but spell them out when I first talk about them. For example later I use “GPU”, but early on I will say “The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit, the Graphics Card)”. You can also take a look at the last post for the ACRONYMS and reference them there (or just google it we are in 2014!)


You will see from start to finish how I set up this 4 Card Litecoin Mining Rig.
We will cover in the coming post’s as follows.
• What hardware I bought as well as some alternatives you can buy instead
• How to Make a Case out of a Milk crate and Putting together all the physical hardware
• How to set up your BIOS settings, then windows then all the software you will need to run the miner
• Then connecting all the GPU’s and installing all the necessary software to get them to work and be recognized.
• Finally I will show you how to join a “MINING POOL”, set up the Mining Program and then tweak your settings to get maximum performance with the lowest power draw.
The basic hardware components of a Litecoin (or any scrypt based crypto currency) miner are these.
• Motherboard
• CPU (Central Processing Unit)
• RAM (Random Access Memory)
• HD (Hard Drive) Whether a HDD or SSD
• PSU (Power Supply Unit)
• GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
• PCI Riser Cables (powered or non-powered depends on your system)
• Keyboard, Monitor and Mouse are necessary for the initial set up and tweaking, but not for the actual functioning of the system once you get it running.
For Software
• Operating System (and one that can handle what system you are building)
• Miner program (GUIminer, CGminer, Reaper, etc.)
• Driver (necessary for proper installation of GPU cards)
Litecoin Wallet (or whatever you are mining) Linked here is my Youtube Video on how to set up a Litecoin Wallet.


This is the question on every prospective miners minds, what do I need to buy?
Well in actuality there are a multitude of choices out there; it all comes down to three questions
1) What size am I building? (# of GPU’s)
2) What is the most efficient (in terms of hash rates, power and cost)
3) What is available.

For example most people prefer the Sapphire 7950 OC Boost Cards due to their more efficient hash rate to power usage. In the world of mining it is not necessarily the highest hash rate that wins, since high powered cards can draw A LOT of power, thus cutting into your profits and in a sense defeating the purpose of you building one. The “Best” cards for mining are those that have the lowest power consumption per Hash, and the Sapphire 7950 is the top of the list. However Nowadays you will be paying a premium for used ones, higher than they even cost brand new, so for most these are out of the question. I was able to get mine before the rush really hit, so while I spent more than I would have six months prior, It was still not the crazy prices today; and unless you are lucky and find some reasonably priced you probably won’t find them or don’t want to pay the prices for them.

This is also true for many of the best PSU (Power Supply Units) out there as well. So for each of the items I listed above I will list numerous different types, and will focus on a 4 GPU system, however if you are going to build a 5 or 6 system you will want to check and make sure that the components I list will work. On the flip side whatever I list will more than be fine for a 1,2 or 3 GPU system, however you may want to check if there is a cheaper alternative. For example you wouldn’t want to buy a 1250w PSU (Power Supply Unit) when you could save $100 and get a 500 watt PSU (that is unless you are planning to upgrade and add more cards in the future!).



The Lists below are not itemized by “best”, if they are considered to be the “best” then I will indicate it however the first one indicated will be what I used, the rest will be other alternatives. If there are limitations in them I will also list those.


Motherboard choices all depend on what you will be running, however if you buy an INTEL BASED MOTHERBOARD USE AN INTEL PROCESSOR. Flip side is if you use an AMD based motherboard buy an AMD processor. Either choice is fine as the processor is not important for mining.

MSI Z77a GD65

1) MSI Z77A GD65 -$190 (4+ GPUS)
This is the Motherboard featured above, which I bought because it could handle 6 GPU’s and was used by another person who was building the same setup as I was. It is a good Motherboard, however if you are only using 4 or fewer GPU’s you may want to look at a cheaper version like the ASUS or like below.
2) MSI Z77A G55 – $140 (4+ GPU’S)
3) ASUS M5A97- $95 (4 or Less GPU’S)
4) Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 -$189 (4 or Less GPU’S)
5) Gigabyte Intel GA-77xUD3H – $140 (4+ GPU’S)
6) ASROCK 970 Extreme3 – $140 (4+GPU’S)
7) ASROCK MB-970EX4 – $100 (4+ GPU’S)
Check to see if the motherboard you purchase has a on board power switch, that is a button already on the motherboard that lets you push to power it on, if it doesn’t you will need to purchase one (usually around $6).


CPU (Central Processing Unit)
You do not need a powerful CPU to run a mining rig. In the past you could mine on CPU’s however that is no longer the case, so you just need a basic CPU. You are fine with pretty much any low priced CPU, but as noted above in the Motherboard Section Make sure you use a AMD CPU for a AMD based Motherboard and an INTEL CPU for an INTEL based Motherboard.

Celeron G1610

1) Intel Celeron G1610 2.60 GHZ LGA 1155 – $43
2) Intel Celeron G1620 Ivy Bridge Processor – $40
3) AMD Sempron 145 – $35


For any Windows Based Mining Rig, you don’t need a lot of RAM, 4GB will be enough (less can result in issues, so stick to 4 GB unless you are using Reaper mining software, in which you will want to have 8GB of ram possibly.

Corsair Vengeance 4gb DDR3

1) Corsair Vengeance 4GB DDR3 -$60
2) Kingston 4GB DDR3 -$40
For Linux (Ubuntu) based miners you can use less than 4GB


PSU (Power Supply Unit)
The Size of the PSU will all be card dependent, for Sapphire 7950’s they will need less power than say a R9 290, consult the GPU info and forum boards to see what specific PSU wattage you need to run the system.

LEPA1600 watt PSU

1) LEPA 1600w (these are hard to find)
2) EVGA 1300 Watt Gold Rate ($230)
3) SEASONIC X1250 (with the AMD 280x you can safely put 3 on here, but 4 will probably be pushing it)
4) CORSAIR TX850 – $140
Once again this will all depend on what exactly you are building (how many GPU’s) as well as how much power each GPU pulls. For example you WILL not be able to run a 4x Sapphire 7950 on 1250 if you do not undervolt the cards (overclocked and undervolted my whole system is pulling 1000-1100 watts). I include the 850 watt Corsair since you may be building a smaller GPU system. Once again consult the specs on the cards you will be buying, as well as look at what others are using.


Use MSI/SAPPHIRE/GIGABYTE Brand GPU’s, they are the most reliable and stick to dual fan cards if possible, however external (i.e. box fan) can make up for the cooling issues, as well as undervolting (which is to go below factory power input to the cards, thus saving you power and not running your power unit as hard)

I used Sapphire HD 7950 OC Boost’s however these are harder and harder to find at reasonable prices and the factory has no info on even WHEN they will be shipping new ones to distributors, so here are some of the GPU’s.
1) Radeon SAPPHIRE 7950 OC BOOST – $350+ (on ebay), capable of 600+ khs. The most energy efficient power/khs card out there, which is why they are hard to find.
2) AMD R9 270 -$180. 450 KH/S. KH/WATT RATIO: 2.25
3) AMD 7970 -$350. 725 KH/S. KH/WATT RATIO: 2.416
4) AMD R9 280x -$320. 450 KH/S. KH/WATT RATIO: 2.416
5) AMD R9 290x -$560. 880 KH/S. KH/WATT RATIO: 2.416
6) AMD R9 290 -$400. 900 KH/S. KH/WATT RATIO: 3
7) AMD 7990 – $660. 1385 kh/s. KH/WATT RATIO: 4.6266


You don’t really need to go out and buy a SSD (Solid State Drive). I did before I realized I didn’t need it. In reality you can just use an old HDD (Hard Drive Disk) from an old computer, but if you really want to spend extra money you can go out and buy a new HDD or SSD.


ADATA 32GB SSD – $44.99



I recommend that you go with Powered risers however you do not necessarily need them, however I do not want to take the chance of hurting the motherboard from too much power draw.
You also do not need 16x-16x PCI risers, you can get by with 1x-16x risers. There is no specific company or brand I can say “buy these”. The ones I got were directly from a factory in China through Amazon.
These can be a crapshoot and on occasion you can get a bad one, I have heard about people having issues on occasion, but the only way to find out is when you are installing the GPU’s individually and they don’t work. Through repeating the steps of installation and switiching out the power cables, riser cables, etc. You can find out if you have a bad power cord, PCI riser cable or just a bad card. It happens.




The top part is the 1x that fist into the motherboard PCI Slots, the Bottom (larger) part is what goes onto your card. As you can see there is a powered connector that will connect to the MOLEX power cord coming off your PSU. These can run from $10-$20.


1x 16x riser cable

This is the exact same as the Powered Riser Cable, but there is no…power!
The 1x slot that goes into the Motherboard PCI slot is the small top portion and the 16x that goes into the card is on the bottom of the picture.
If you are gaming then you will want 16x-16x cables if possible as the 1x can degrade gaming quality and speed, but for mining 1x works fine. However I have heard some folks had to buy 16x-16x cables to get the 5th and 6th cards working. Everything with mining is unique to the system, you will find that a fix that works for 90% of people may not for you. Its all about patience and trial and error. These can run $6+


This really doesn’t matter what you use, you can buy or just borrow someone’s as long as it will plug in and play. I used a Samsung 8x Slim DVD+/-RW Slim USB External Drive, Black SE-208DB/TSBS for about $35.

Samsung SE208dbtsbs

This is insignificant since you can use ANY monitor, keyboard or mouse and don’t need dedicated ones unless you like spending money or have them laying around. Plus once you get the Remote Desktop hooked up you will be able to do everything you want over you laptop or desktop anyways. Find the cheapest junkiest pieces of junk or whatever you already have.




Other than the first thing I list, Operating System, the rest are all free, but will depend on what kind of Components/Operating system you are using, so choose what’s best for you.

As with a lot of things, this will depend on what size system you are building.



ubuntu screenshot

Linux is a better option in regards to power consumption and is less prone to viruses/etc. However It is different from Windows, which may pose a problem to some uses (however Windows 8 is a massive difference from the Windows we all know!).
Just so you know, Ubuntu is a type of Linux OS. Ubuntu is used by many miners, and most like it, the fact that it will save you nearly $100 is also a nice incentive to at least try it! Use Xubuntu as normal Ubuntu is more of a memory hog.



Windows XP ($50-$100): I have never used Windows XP personally however I know that it has been successfully done with Windows XP SP3 and newer. Any version earlier than that I cannot speak for. Make sure that it is XP SERVICE PACK 3 to be sure.

Windows 7 ($0-$100): Many miners use Windows 7 because they already have it and/or its cheaper if they are running a larger mining rig. However for a 4 GPU rig, Windows 7 will work just fine, no need to go with windows 8. All you need is the most basic version which I have seen for sale for less than $70 at various sources

Windows 8 ($95): Since I was going to be building a 6 GPU rig, I bought Windows 8.1 OEM which cost just below $100. This is a onetime use OS, so It cannot be transferred once you install it. If you are planning on a 4 or less GPU rig there is no need to pay for Windows 8. I also have to say that I DO NOT like the new layout of windows 8, as it is designed for the touchscreen market and is not as user friendly (my opinion) for those going ‘old school’. It is not impossible to use, just takes some getting used to and it took me a minute or two to find the “Desktop” icon so I could actually do some work.


Click the name to go to the download site.



This will all depend on what Cards you have and what miner (and version of the miner) you are going to use. Some miner versions will not like a certain driver, while others will. I have found that any AMD based Cards work best with CGminer, and version 3.7.2 that I use prefers the latest version of the Catalyst Driver (currently 13.1.2). Since I am building this rig and explaining it using one possible group of hardware, you will have to do some research and find out what drivers work best for your Miner/Card Combo.


This should be easy. For Litecoin I have had no issues, I downloaded it, set up fine and started to synchronize right off the bat. For my Feathercoin wallet, it took some tinkering with my firewall and what “node” I was connecting to, to get it to work. The best thing to do, since I cannot cover every issue that may arise is to head to forums dedicated for that specific cryptocurrency and ask around/search the forum to find the answers to your specific issues.
Always make sure you download your wallet from the legitimate source, there are scammers out there who have set up fake sites to steal your Litecoins.
Litecoin: www.litecoin.org
Feathercoin: www.feathercoin.com
Terracoin: www.terracoin.org

There are hundreds of other coins such as DogeCoin, Diamond Coin, AnonCoin, etc.  Too many to mention here.




There are also other ways to store your coins, from physical “paper” wallets to Online Websites. However there is a decision to be made if you want more security or ease of use, the more “online” that it is the less security it has, but more ease of use, the less online has more security, but less ease of use. You will have to decide what is best for you. For more information on wallet types, you can read my post on This Specifically.










Want to help support the site? find out more here! Or just click the amazon link below, bookmark it and go there every time you shop on Amazon, it costs you nothing more, but they will kick back a portion of your purchase to the site to help run things smoothly and keep you informed!



Amazon GNP help

Cold Weather Planning In Your Vehicle

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For most of us in Northern Ontario this winter, these past few months have been crazy. It has been snowing, cold, windy, sometimes freezing rain and occasionally sunny. While we have been lucky enough to not have any freezing rain up here, I know folks who have. As I said, the weather here in Ontario is crazy this winter.
Because of all this, the boys have had a lot of snow days lately. In the midst of a conversation about traveling conditions for a school bus, it occurred to one of my parents that the van had no emergency kit should anything happen  during one of the trips to and/or from town. We live an hour away from town, by vehicle, and -30 is not the time to be stranded along a road! So it has been decided that the van needs some kind of emergency kit.

Top of the list, for winter, is a wool blanket or two, which can be easily found at a thrift shop. Barring wool, a fleece blanket will serve, but wool is the fiber of choice up here! Candles and a way to light them are of equal importance. A couple of small tea candles could keep the interior of a vehicle above freezing. Not as comfortable as home, but enough to keep us alive. Of equal importance, water. Bottles of water would need to be circulated and obviously NOT kept outside. There’s no point in having 6 water bottles in the back of the van if they’ve all frozen and split, only to soak everything when the ice inside thaws. To my mind, this would require a small backpack that would need to be taken out and brought in before and after every trip. Yes, it takes a little more effort, but you can survive for weeks on only water. Not true with food.
Because one of the parents is diabetic, we will need some kind of food in the kit to keep those blood sugar levels up.

I’m thinking too that one of those signs that go in the windshield “Call Police” might be a good idea too. Especially since we, and by extension our cell phone, don’t always travel with the folks.

Of course this is not a proper or complete list by any means…merely a jumping off point.

What about you? Do you have an emergency kit? Do you need to build one? What would go into, or is already, in yours?