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Gridcoin 5.0.0.0-Mandatory "Fern" Release

https://github.com/gridcoin-community/Gridcoin-Research/releases/tag/5.0.0.0
Finally! After over ten months of development and testing, "Fern" has arrived! This is a whopper. 240 pull requests merged. Essentially a complete rewrite that was started with the scraper (the "neural net" rewrite) in "Denise" has now been completed. Practically the ENTIRE Gridcoin specific codebase resting on top of the vanilla Bitcoin/Peercoin/Blackcoin vanilla PoS code has been rewritten. This removes the team requirement at last (see below), although there are many other important improvements besides that.
Fern was a monumental undertaking. We had to encode all of the old rules active for the v10 block protocol in new code and ensure that the new code was 100% compatible. This had to be done in such a way as to clear out all of the old spaghetti and ring-fence it with tightly controlled class implementations. We then wrote an entirely new, simplified ruleset for research rewards and reengineered contracts (which includes beacon management, polls, and voting) using properly classed code. The fundamentals of Gridcoin with this release are now on a very sound and maintainable footing, and the developers believe the codebase as updated here will serve as the fundamental basis for Gridcoin's future roadmap.
We have been testing this for MONTHS on testnet in various stages. The v10 (legacy) compatibility code has been running on testnet continuously as it was developed to ensure compatibility with existing nodes. During the last few months, we have done two private testnet forks and then the full public testnet testing for v11 code (the new protocol which is what Fern implements). The developers have also been running non-staking "sentinel" nodes on mainnet with this code to verify that the consensus rules are problem-free for the legacy compatibility code on the broader mainnet. We believe this amount of testing is going to result in a smooth rollout.
Given the amount of changes in Fern, I am presenting TWO changelogs below. One is high level, which summarizes the most significant changes in the protocol. The second changelog is the detailed one in the usual format, and gives you an inkling of the size of this release.

Highlights

Protocol

Note that the protocol changes will not become active until we cross the hard-fork transition height to v11, which has been set at 2053000. Given current average block spacing, this should happen around October 4, about one month from now.
Note that to get all of the beacons in the network on the new protocol, we are requiring ALL beacons to be validated. A two week (14 day) grace period is provided by the code, starting at the time of the transition height, for people currently holding a beacon to validate the beacon and prevent it from expiring. That means that EVERY CRUNCHER must advertise and validate their beacon AFTER the v11 transition (around Oct 4th) and BEFORE October 18th (or more precisely, 14 days from the actual date of the v11 transition). If you do not advertise and validate your beacon by this time, your beacon will expire and you will stop earning research rewards until you advertise and validate a new beacon. This process has been made much easier by a brand new beacon "wizard" that helps manage beacon advertisements and renewals. Once a beacon has been validated and is a v11 protocol beacon, the normal 180 day expiration rules apply. Note, however, that the 180 day expiration on research rewards has been removed with the Fern update. This means that while your beacon might expire after 180 days, your earned research rewards will be retained and can be claimed by advertising a beacon with the same CPID and going through the validation process again. In other words, you do not lose any earned research rewards if you do not stake a block within 180 days and keep your beacon up-to-date.
The transition height is also when the team requirement will be relaxed for the network.

GUI

Besides the beacon wizard, there are a number of improvements to the GUI, including new UI transaction types (and icons) for staking the superblock, sidestake sends, beacon advertisement, voting, poll creation, and transactions with a message. The main screen has been revamped with a better summary section, and better status icons. Several changes under the hood have improved GUI performance. And finally, the diagnostics have been revamped.

Blockchain

The wallet sync speed has been DRASTICALLY improved. A decent machine with a good network connection should be able to sync the entire mainnet blockchain in less than 4 hours. A fast machine with a really fast network connection and a good SSD can do it in about 2.5 hours. One of our goals was to reduce or eliminate the reliance on snapshots for mainnet, and I think we have accomplished that goal with the new sync speed. We have also streamlined the in-memory structures for the blockchain which shaves some memory use.
There are so many goodies here it is hard to summarize them all.
I would like to thank all of the contributors to this release, but especially thank @cyrossignol, whose incredible contributions formed the backbone of this release. I would also like to pay special thanks to @barton2526, @caraka, and @Quezacoatl1, who tirelessly helped during the testing and polishing phase on testnet with testing and repeated builds for all architectures.
The developers are proud to present this release to the community and we believe this represents the starting point for a true renaissance for Gridcoin!

Summary Changelog

Accrual

Changed

Most significantly, nodes calculate research rewards directly from the magnitudes in EACH superblock between stakes instead of using a two- or three- point average based on a CPID's current magnitude and the magnitude for the CPID when it last staked. For those long-timers in the community, this has been referred to as "Superblock Windows," and was first done in proof-of-concept form by @denravonska.

Removed

Beacons

Added

Changed

Removed

Unaltered

As a reminder:

Superblocks

Added

Changed

Removed

Voting

Added

Changed

Removed

Detailed Changelog

[5.0.0.0] 2020-09-03, mandatory, "Fern"

Added

Changed

Removed

Fixed

submitted by jamescowens to gridcoin [link] [comments]

1st RDAD Retro-gaming contest !

Welcome to the first RDAD Retro-gaming contest

A bit of History:

Introduction

As someone could imagine, we need an emulator for play this game (maybe you are lucky enough to be the owner of the real machine.. but nah.. chances are 0,1%). So let's talk a bit of techie details.
There are many emulators that would run nicely the game. These emulators needs a ROM file (An exact copy of the data stored in the original hardware cards inside the arcade machine). Of course, you will need a computer to run the emulator.
In this point, We will tell you that your computer needs very few requirements for run the emulator, so don´t be afraid of your machine's specs.
I'll recomend you to use this emulator: Kawaks
Kawaks is a software designed for Microsoft Windows that would run seamlessly on a wide variety of environments, spanning across all operating system versions since XP. It's higly customizable, but pretty straightforward to get things run.
There are others emulators, like Callus, but Kawaks would work better with your graphic card (whatever it be) and the screenshot feature is easier than Callus. We will need to take screenshots, with whatever emulator you use, because this is the way to post your score, right? This point will be discussed later.
The second component, is the rom. This file contains the whole game. You don´t need to open or decompress this file, it's ok as is, so you only need to download to a folder on your computer.

First Step

You need to download the emulator and the rom. For emulator, go to winkawaks website. Under "downloads" option at the right column, you can download a zip package called WinKawaks.zip 1.63. For the contest, is enought to extract the executable file called winkawaks.exe to a folder.
For rom, you must search using google or similar to a file called cawing.zip (1.4mb). Romnation is a website that offers rom files for direct download.
NOTE: Downloading this type of files could be a Copyright Infringement and I am not responsible whatever damage you could do to your system if you download this type of file. If you are not sure what are you doing, please, do not try to complete this guide.

Second Step

After downloading the Rom file put winkawaks.exe and rom file to a folder on your hard drive (we will need this folder ahead, so keep in mind this detail). This is a pretty straightforward process. ATTENTION: Keep the rom zip file as is, decompressing is not needed. After that, you must execute this: WinKawaks.exe This is a portable version of the emulator, so you will not need to install anything on your computer.

Third Step

Ok, I feel your excitement, so double click!. The emulator will show you a message about auto-configure the optimal graphics options. After that, you are in the main screen with the SNK and CAPCOM logo.
Let´s do a quick tweak, head your pointer to File Menu, and then: Configure Paths.
We will see a bunch of paths, but we are looking specifically at two under labels: ROMS2 and SCREENSHOTS. Clicking on browser buttons will bring you an explorer and you will choose this: ROMS2: Find the directory where you uncompressed the whole thing on Second Step. SCREENSHOTS: Choose your directory where the snapshots will be saved for further use. THIS IS IMPORTANT Because the contest relies on your ability to post those screenshots.
We have time restraints, lets play! DAMN!. Point on File Menu -> Load Game. A gorgeus windows open in your eyes with a great lists of fine game for mature adults, but dont feel too excited, we only have one, CARRIER AIR WING, remember?, so let´s do some filtering setting the bulleted options to: Only available and then: Refresh. Does you see the game title? Yes? C'MON Put your speakers to 200% volume and double click! YaY!
CONTROLS SO FAR:
I will not explain you how to play, it's self explanable after 20 seconds.. choose your plane and pew pew pew..
And thats all! Nice? yes!

The contest

Ok, After finish the setup and play the game, let's talk about the contest. This will run a whole week starting at XXX and finishing at XXX Every time you die, you will be asked for your initials, and you will see the top chart. In this moment, TAKE A SCREENSHOT WITH THIS KEYS: CTRL + P (Only for Kawaks). This will spawn a PNG file on the directory set on Third Step under the label SCREENSHOTS. This is your entry to the contest. You must send a link to the PNG file (by imgur i.e.) to me and I'll collect all. Win the player with highest score.
Resume:
Additional Info:
You can use whatever emulator of your choice, maybe you'd prefeer callus, or mame.. or play with a modded Xbox.. but I don´t know how to get screenshots on those ways. Additionally, we could accept any format that you are capable of snap the score chart. So set your smartphone ready, right? If you use CALLUS, take in mind that you need to lower your screen deep colour to 16 bits and you will be able to take a screenshot with Windows: PRNT SCREEN key.. Callus is easy, but this is a pain!
What if the score chart hides after 2 or 3 seconds? Wait until the intro. The machine will show you the current chart. (Did you remember the alert about clogging the machine with coins? This is because the machine will not show the chart if coins inserted, so you must expend all the coins prior to see the chart again).
Can I use my USB pad! well, some pads works, some not..you could try it under the Game menu, Redefine Keys.. and try it.
NOTE TO CHEATTERS: Due to the nature of emulators is more than easy to make cheats in game, like spawn more lives, slow down the pace, etc.. So we strongly encourage our participants to not do any cheat. We don´t cheat! right?. Well, in this point I want to say that there are better systems to play due to keyboards, gamepads. We cannont warrant a perfect balance between contestants, so please, don´t take things too serious, NefariousOaf will win, isnt?. Oh, it's possible to "continue" the game using the 2nd player slot, but this will be considered as cheat!, so only one live!
Using USB pads will not be considered cheat. Keys works flawlessly, but due to the wide spectrum of hardware available, maybe your keyboard will not work nice, so feel free to ask and I'll try to find a solution, alternative keys, etc..
CONCLUSION:
At last! Feel absolutely free to ask me any details involving your set-up, mechanics, whatever..
Special Thanks to jpier for his help! he's a good man.
UPDATE at 05/10/2015
Update First Step: Removing direct link download due to copyright concerns. Update Second Step with new details about ROM and Emulator and the way it works. Update Date Format to dd/mm/yyyy to mm/dd/yyyy on Post's dates.
Pew pew pew..boom!
submitted by dspazio to RedditDads [link] [comments]

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