Hi, I'm Steven and I'm a software engineer.
A couple of months ago I started mining bitcoins when their value started to skyrocket. I got in about two weeks before bitcoins hit $30+/coin because of the silkroad news.
Fast forward to now and I have been out of the game for just over a month and I have to say I can’t be happier. The money from bitcoin was good but the quality of life downgrade I suffered was too much to stuffer. I’m talking about a room that was a good ~20 degrees hotter than the rest of the house. Needless to say my TV watching habits in the living room increased.
I had a total of 3 bitcoin mining rigs going around the clock. I had 2 rigs running 6950s with one rig running 2 5770s which netted me a total hashing power of about 1.25 MHash/second with various overclocking tweaks and optimizations.
I used BTCGuild at the beginning of my mining stint because I feared the growing power of Deepbit like everyone else did, but eventually I switched to Deepbit because the Pay-per-share model was much more lucrative to me than the pay-per-share model employed by BTCGuild.
So I had around $800 of sunk costs in my mining rigs, basically 2 new 6950s, 2 new 5770s, a motherboard, and a cheap dual core AMD processor (I had the sata card die on my C2D machine and a socket 775 motherboard costs more than an AM3+ motherboard and a new processor).
I mined for about 5 weeks and generated 36.8 bitcoins and netted a grand total of $470.52 because I wasn’t paying for power. Finally the Georgia summer got the best of me and I sold off my mining equipment. I sold my 2 6950s for $210 each which already put me in the good. This left me with $400 of hardware that I basically got for free. Now my HTPC has a better graphics card, the 5770 is surprisingly quiet and powerful, and I left the other one in the living room computer with its new motherboard and processor.
All in all I enjoyed my bitcoin mining experience. I learned a bunch of new tips and tricks, from using a PCI 1x extender to power a PCIe x16 slot (which I had to mod), to setting up a remotely controlled and monitored bitcoin mining cluster so that I had the most uptime. My uptime was 98.745999% with the majority of downtime due to a power outage from a storm. Not too bad!
Bottom line, I had fun and I would do it again.