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A blockchain is just a file.

Blocks in a chain = pages in a book For analogy, a book is a chain of pages. Each page in a book contains:

Blocks in a chain = pages in a book the text information about itself

Similarly in a blockchain block, each block has:

the contents a ‘header’

Blocks in a chain refer to previous blocks, like page numbers in a book.

See this infographic fora visualisation of the data in Bitcoin’s blockchain.

Block ordering in a blockchain

Page by page. With books, predictable page numbers make it easy to know the order of the pages. If you ripped out all the pages and shuffled them, it would be easy to put them back into the correct order where the story makes sense.

Page by page.

Block by block. With blockchains, each block references the previous block, not by ‘block number’, but by the block’s fingerprint, which is cleverer than a page number because the fingerprint itself is determined by the contents of the block.

Block by block.

The reference to previous blocks creates a chain of blocks – a blockchain!

Internal consistency. By using a fingerprint instead of a timestamp or a numerical sequence, you also get a nice way of validating the data. In any blockchain, you can generate the block fingerprints yourself by using some algorithms. If the fingerprints are consistent with the data, and the fingerprints join up in a chain, then you can be sure that the blockchain is internally consistent. If anyone wants to meddle with any of the data, they have to regenerate all the fingerprints from that point forwards and the blockchain will look different.

Internal consistency.

A peek inside a blockchain block: the fingerprints are unique to the block’s contents.

This means that if it is difficult or slow to create this fingerprint (see the “making it hard for baddies to be bad” section), then it can also be difficult or slow to re-write a blockchain.

The logic in bitcoin is:

This is why people say The Bitcoin Blockchain is immutable (can not be changed)*.

* Here’s a piece on immutability in blockchains.

Peer to peer is one way of distributing data in a network. Another way is client-server. You may have heard of peer-to-peer file sharing on the BitTorrent network where files are shared between users, without a central server controlling the data. This is why BitTorrent has remained resilient as a network: there is no central server to shut down.

Client-server In the office environment, often data is held on servers, and wherever you log in, you can access the data. The server holds 100% of the data, and the clients trust that the data is definitive. Most of the internet is client-server where the website is held on the server, and you are the client when you access it. This is very efficient, and a traditional model in computing.

A new video is up on YouTube

to read the full entry | Milwaukee Leather Mens Classic Motorcycle Boots Black Size 11 XzWGSX3IcW

David's Choice #6 is now up on YouTube; this one is not about a single print, but features an entire genre of woodblock work ... the melodramatic novels of the late Edo period ...

Video production ...

Posted by Dave Bull on May 8, 2018 [ Pointer AFD burgundy / cream 0JBa3mU4M

Work on the next David's Choice video has begun ...

to read the full entry | Separate page

YouTube is good to us ... bringing so many thousands of views to our channel, and helping us 'spread the word' all over the world. It hasn't been too difficult to collect quite a number of subscribers, and it's certainly enjoyable reading their comments and feedback, but ... we have kind of created a monster ... a hungry monster!

"Feed me! ... Feed me!" it constantly complains! Or as it is usually expressed in the emails, "When is the next video coming out ...", or "Dave are you OK? There hasn't been a new video for a while ..."

Well, yes I'm OK ... but one thing I don't want to do is just shove a few things together and upload things that I would regret later. I think our content is the type of thing that should be of interest for quite some time to come, so it's important to me to prepare it carefully, and that of course means ... "Good cooking takes time!"

Anyway, this is all to say that the next video is now well into production, and while I was sitting in our shop this afternoon doing some recording (Tuesday is our closing day), Cameron snapped a few photos ...

Here's an overview: I'm sitting in my usual spot, speaking to the camera. The dark object at the left is a floodlight umbrella, and you can see the digital recorder sitting on my laptop. (We record the audio separately from the video, and stitch them back together during the editing process.)

This next shot is taken over my shoulder, showing what I am looking at - my teleprompter. The video camera isn't visible here, as it is hidden under the dark teleprompter cover, behind the glass panel.

I've heard from some viewers that they are disappointed to hear that I use a teleprompter. Not sure what to say about that; I don't actually use it for all the videos. When I have a specific list of points to get across - like during the David's Choice videos, which this one is - I definitely need it to avoid getting lost along the way, but when the content is more 'storytelling' and 'rambly' (like the long video about visiting Ito-san the carver) I just set the camera up, hit record, and go for it ...

In the next shot you can see the 'control centre'; my lapel mic is plugged into the digital recorder, and the script notes also appear on the screen of my laptop (which mirrors to the teleprompter). The notes are actually scrolling at this moment, and if you look at the resulting video later, you might perhaps be able to see me reaching out now and then with my right hand to tap the keyboard to adjust the scrolling speed - it's never possible to just 'set and forget' it, because my speaking pace speeds and slows as I move along, and I always need small adjustments to keep the text in view. I make these videos totally by myself, so as there is nobody else to do this job for me, I have to 'sneak' it, hoping that the viewers won't notice ... :-)

This one of course, is shot from the other direction, from behind the camera ...

During a break, I lifted the cover of the teleprompter to show Cameron how the video camera sits just behind the glass screen. I can't see it while recording, but I know how high it is, so it's fairly easy to keep my view steadily into the lens ...

And these days ... we to ensure that our mascots are present! If I forget to include one of these guys, I'll be hearing about it from the viewers!

So what's the topic of this next video? It'll be #6 in the David's Choice series, and will feature the little item you can see on the stand next to me in that last photo ...

Coming soon!

Video interview

Posted by Dave Bull on May 6, 2018 [ Permalink ]

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