Welcome to Mine4Erf!
If you run any of the following pieces of antivirus software, see the section on conflicting AV software below: Arcabit, Avast (if PUP detection is enabled), AVG, Avira, AVware, BitDefender, Comodo, Cylance, Cyren, Emsisoft, eScan, ESET-NOD32, F-Pro, F-Secure, Fortinet, GData, Jiangmin, K7AntiVirus, K7GW, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, MAX, McAfee, Microsoft Security Essentials, NANO-Antivirus, Norton, Panda, Sophos, Symantec, TrendMicro, Windows Defender, VBA32, ViRobot, Zillya, or ZoneAlarm.
This is an experiment to kill the ads with cryptocurrency mining.
Readers who mine Ethereum for Erfworld will get spins for a chance to find 3D collectible gems like this:
These gems are virtual items, attached to your user account on the website. They can be sold to other site users for Shmuckers (our site currency since 2009, each Shmucker is worth 10 cents' credit in the Erfworld store).
If we get enough revenue coming in from Mine4erf to equal our ads, then we will *remove all commercial ads* from this website, period. And as long as this stays a viable substitute for ads, ads will stay gone. So let's hope it works!
How to mine for gems - short version
You need a good GPU (graphics card) to mine Ethereum. We have created a custom cryptocurrency miner that prompts you for your user name on Erfworld.com and then mines to our address. Download it here, and run it. For every hour you've been mining for Erfworld, you earn a spin for a gem. Your chances of finding a gem are tied directly to the mining program's success at finding shares in that hour.
About the mining - long version
To participate in the mine4erf beta you will need a dedicated graphics card, and a Windows machine. It should now have support for most current cards. If you're not sure, give it a try; the worst it can do is not work. We do hardware checks when you start the miner, and will print a "CAN'T MINE" message if we see your system can't run the miner. We will look at expanding support to other operating systems in the future.
If you're technically inclined, you might find it works in the meantime for other platforms to download a generic ethminer and set it to mine on ethermine to the address B6dE5c4849f5b48fcE48a4531aa8a0f85a12f027, with the rig name set to your UID so it knows to attribute the mining to you. So the command to run might look something like ./ethminer -S eu1.ethermine.org:4444 -FS us1.ethermine.org:4444 -O B6dE5c4849f5b48fcE48a4531aa8a0f85a12f027.[uid]. You can find your UID by going to "https://login.erfworld.com/userid_from_username?username=[your username]".
If you try this we strongly recommend you check five minutes after the next hour (this is how long it takes for mining to be tracked) that you have a spin, just to be sure that the config is all correct; it'd be easy to make a typo somewhere and have the mining work not be attributed to you or not go to Erfworld right.
How To Run
Just download, extract to a location of your choice, and run the mine4erf.bat script. This will fetch the latest version of the miner, prompt for your Erfworld username (case-insensitive), and go.
Before starting, it will ask whether it should start automatically after you restart your machine. We recommend saying yes- it's otherwise very easy to just forget to restart the miner- but you don't have to. If at a later time, you want to stop the miner from starting, just close it, and run the mine4erf.bat script again and answer no. The miner will no longer start automatically.
If you have multiple PCs meeting the requirements, you can mine on as many of them as you like, and it will all go towards your gems.
Pausing And Performance
How the miner affects your machine's performance depends on your graphics card and drivers. More recent drivers seem to be better. For gaming, or if the miner makes your machine slow, we suggest pausing the miner while you're using your machine, and unpausing it when it's idle again
You can pause the miner by clicking on the miner's window and pressing '0'. This frees up all used graphics resources. When the miner's screen is selected, press any key to resume mining after.
Unfortunately, some Anti-Virus software has difficulties with the mine4erf software. AV software is suspicious of miners, because some bad people hide them in their software without the user's permission. Some AV software has a policy of detecting everything related to mining as risky, and requires miners to add an exception manually.
Particular AV software we know needs you to add an exception for the miner includes: Arcabit, Avast (if PUP detection is enabled), AVG, Avira, AVware, BitDefender, Comodo, Cylance, Cyren, Emsisoft, eScan, ESET-NOD32, F-Pro, F-Secure, Fortinet, GData, Jiangmin, K7AntiVirus, K7GW, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, MAX, McAfee, Microsoft Security Essentials, NANO-Antivirus, Norton, Panda, Sophos, Symantec, TrendMicro, Windows Defender, VBA32, ViRobot, Zillya, and ZoneAlarm. If you run one of these pieces of AV software, you should expect to see a warning when you try to mine4erf, and can safely dismiss it, then add an exception for the mine4erf folder. Links go to community-submitted guides for some of the software.
We're taken a little time out of development work to talk with these AV vendors about getting them to recognise our miner as legitimate, as it only works if the user puts their Erfworld account in, is not bundled with anything else, and is safely signed so it can't be abused by bad actors. So far Fortinet and K7/K7GW have agreed to fix the false positive, and when we've confirmed that's happened we'll update our list. Unfortunately, F-Secure, GData, and Kaspersky have so far confirmed to us that they have a policy of warning for all mining software, and advised us that mine4erf miners using their software should add a manual exception.
If you're worried about whether the miner is legitimate, you can check by right-clicking on the internal.exe file, and looking for a Digital Signatures tab. You should see the certificate is listed as signed by John Beshir, from Team Erfworld, and if you click on it then click details, you should see it reporting that the digital signature is okay. This verifies that the file has come from us, and has not been tampered with in any way. On Windows 10, it looks something like this.
We have some advice for common cases of running into trouble with the miner:
If you have an issue that isn't covered by these points, make a thread in our Gems and Mine4Erf forum, and we'll try to help.
What's in it for miners? Gems, badges, the monthly contest, and killing ads
First, you can get the "Special:Digging" site badge if you mine even one share in our mining pool:
But the main thing you'll get in return for mining will be gems. For every hour that your miner finds at least one share in the pool, you earn a spin. The spinner looks like this:
For every share you mined during that hour, you get one chance in 1024 of finding a gem. So even a busy miner running 24 hours a day may only expect to find about one gem every two or three days. If you don't run your miner all the time (I don't), then it might take a week or more before your spins earn you a gem.
When you do find a gem, it looks like this:
Gems have a point value. Each calendar month is a mining contest for the highest gem score between the Marbit and Gobwin tribes. As soon as you have found your first gem, you will be assigned to one of these tribes for the duration of the month. Whichever tribe mines the most valuable hoard during the contest will win. Everyone who mined at least one gem for the winning tribe will get a badge and a collectible unit of the winning tribe's type.
Those look like this (if they're gobwins):
But the main point of all of this is to kill all the ads at Erfworld.com. We have no idea how much cryptocurrency the Erfworld readers can collectively Mine4erf. But if it's about equal to what we are making on the banner ads, then we will kill all the commercial banner ads on the whole site, for every user. Let's just see how it goes.
IMPORTANT! This is a beta test!
This is kind of a first-time-for-us, and maybe a first-time-for-anybody experiment. Things might break, things might change, and we might not have thought of things that were important. Maybe you'll lose your gems to a bug, or lose a spin. You will almost certainly not lose your computer or GPU. If anything goes wrong, we'll do out best to put things right, but no warranties or legal promises are expressed or implied here. About all I can guarantee is that mine4erf is less risky than actual gem mining.
So if you want to take a wait-and-see approach, I don't blame you a bit. If you've got questions, please post them in the forums. And if you've got Shmuckers, you can also support the mining efforts by buying gems from miners in the marketplace.