One other thing to note. I don't think there's a comprehensive 'newbie' section, but there probably should be. I mean there's all sorts of guides out there (mostly dedicated to Bitcoin - not too different), but I'm reading a lot of confused people on here - especially about confirms.
Yes, such a guide is definitely lacking - but I'll work on it once I actually find time to do so. There are still a few "work in progress" sections on the pool page.
When the pool was smaller (and we didn't have multi-gigahashing monsters onboard) I waited almost a month before I reached even 12 confirms. Now that the pool has picked up, I'm getting them far more often. More people in the pool is a GOOD thing.
Looks like you have a misconception about what confirms are. They have nothing to do with the pool speed. Let me explain:
When you send a bitcoin or ppcoin transaction, it will get buried into the block chain. Each block built on top of that chain confirms the transaction, so the number of those blocks is called the number of confirmations for that transaction.
The more confirmations a transaction has, the more secure (as in harder to revert) a transaction is. This is why e.g. exchanges typically require at least 6 or 12 confirmations for a deposit before they actually credit it.
Now when you mine a block, you will only receive the funds when that block confirms (has a certain number of confirmations, which is 120 for bitcoin and 520 for ppcoin). If the block gets orphaned during that period (which is unlikely but can happen either due to an attack, or just to multiple miners finding a block within a second or so), you lose the reward for that block. This is what happened if a block is shown as "failed" on the pool web site.
Now, because some people don't want to wait for about 3 days for those 520 confirmations to arrive before trading the coins to BTC or whatever, the pool offers to pay the miners after 12 confirmations (about 2 hours) already, before actually receiving the funds itself. This means that the pool needs some buffer of funds for these pre-payments (I invested 20000 PPC of my personal funds into that), and runs the risk of losing the block reward, but having to pay it to miners, if the block fails somewhere between 12 and 520 confirmations. That is even more unlikely, but it can happen. For these two reasons, I charge 2% of additional fee for this service.
I think there's a misconception among people new to this that you can't compete with the big boys. BUT... No one's STEALING YOUR work.
Exactly that. This is the whole point of a pool, isn't it?
TheSeven makes a bit of a profit, yes, but considering the amount of work he's done, it's a small price to pay (thanks, guy!)
Right now the balance of the pool is -1309.854601 PPC.
If the all blocks that are currently between 12 and 520 confirmations successfully confirm (and no new blocks would be mined during that time), the pool's balance would be 1653.305399 PPC.
And that doesn't take any hosting expenses etc. into account.
So in the best case the pool would have made a profit of about $200 by now.
Your work is still your work - and this is the major difference between PPcoin and Bitcoin.
Hm, I don't see a difference here, this should be true for both?
But, it still needs to be confirmed. The more processing power that's out there, the better.
I think you're referring to something else here. The pool has to actually mine some blocks, which will take months if it has a very low hashrate, but only hours if some ASICs join us. The confirmations are a different story and always take roughly the same amount of time AFTER a block is found, about 2 hours for 12 or 3 days for 520 confirmations.
Plus, don't forget about your 'proof of stake'. If you're not running your wallet in 'unlocked for block minting' mode, you're doing yourself a disservice. Do a search on 'proof of stake', and read up.
While that is true in theory, you aren't losing terribly much if you ignore proof of stake. At most you can lose your ~1% annual interest.
The GUI PPcoin wallet is kinda foobared too, with no way to 'unlock' a locked wallet from within the GUI. You need to write a batch script for unlocking as well... Good luck out there.
I hope this will get better in the next release.