Simple tutorial to get up and running with a private chain for testing contracts or playing around with:http://adeduke.com/2015/08/how-to-create-a-private-ethereum-chain/
Let me know if I've made any mistakes! I'd also be interested in knowing what all the fields in the genesis block do, what I think I know so far:
- Nonce: assuming some kind of cryptographic nonce, possibly to prevent hash collisions?
- Timestamp: timestamp of when the block was mined?
- ParentHash: Parent block hash
- ExtraData: Some free data field
- GasLimit: Maximum amount of gas a transaction sender is exposed to buying
- Difficulty: Proof of work difficulty factor
- MixHash: No idea?
- Coinbase: Assuming its similar to bitcoin, the transaction hash that rewards the miner?
- Alloc: Allocations from the ether sale, most likely a genesis thing only?