I've just started looking into mining Ethereum and have a lot of new terms etc to learn. While looking into how this all works, I had to jump between FAQ's, howtos and wiki pages. I've not yet come across a simple break-down of the terms, technologies and tools that are used so I though it would be helpful to create my own. Apologies if this already exists somewhere here, and I'm sure I haven't yet got the correct description for everything yet, but it's a work in progress.
I've tried to keep the ordering in line with the tools one would start with when looking to mine Ether. Please feel free to point out where I've got a bad explanation - but not in too much detail, as I want to keep this as simple as possible.
Distributed public blockchain network. Users can mine Ether, a tradeable cryptocurrency. Can also be used for other purposes (which I’m not familiar with)
Command line tool to configure local machine as Ethereum node. Can also be used to create an etherbase account.
Account in which you store credits.
Service/Software which connects to other nodes to store / mirror the blockchain.
A database/record of all transactions.
Participating in the validation / verification of transactions on the blockchain. GPU intensive operation. Miners can mine the blockchain directly, or via a pool. Performance is measured as a hash rate.
Speed at which hash is calculated. Higher = better.
Miners can mine via a pool, where a large number of miners work together. Individual miners then receive a share of the reward/credit, primarily based on their participation in the pool.
Your portion of the reward for mining the blockchain in a pool.
A smaller reward in the event there is a duplicate solution to a block.
Quick Start ‘Process’ – Not Guide:
1. Download Geth, setup etherbase account
2. Run geth, sync the blockchain locally and run as local Ethereum node.
3. Run a mining tool, to mine directly or via a pool
4. Get ETH