TurtleCoin Software Basics
TurtleCoind – Your Connection to the TRTL Network
Meet the Daemon
The daemon is your connector to the network. Some people say dee-mun, some people say day-mun, but we all agree that the daemon is the most important part of the core suite. It runs happiest when it is left on full-time, and it helps the network pass information from computer to computer as fast as possible. When you hear the word “node”, that is someone referring to the computer running the daemon because they are a node in the network.
Imagine nodes as a bunch of dots on a map, and they all have a heartbeat that tries to stay in sync so everyone beats at the same time. The more dots on the map, the shorter the average distance is between nodes, and the quicker they can talk. These heartbeats are actually blocks of transactions that the network produces every 30 seconds. When there aren’t enough nodes on the network, it’s harder for everyone to get all of the transactions to all of the miners in time for them to be processed, so we end up with a chain that breaks often and weakens the quality of service to users. Fortunately TurtleCoin has many nodes, and more are added every day as people keep their daemons open and syncing full time. Running a node doesn’t take much power and helps the quality of service for everyone while making it harder for hackers to try and take over the network.
Syncing a node is easy, you can check the status by typing ‘status’ in the daemon window to see how far you are from being in sync, and approximately how many days until the next network upgrade. Syncing can be hastened by using ‘checkpoints’, and the –load-checkpoints option. You can see a reference to these two features by typing “help” at any time in your daemon to see a list of all functions.
Checkpoints are a list of block hashes that allows you to skip the work of verifying them, which is the process of syncing. During a sync without checkpoints, you’re replaying all of the old transactions in the network to verify that they actually happened, as opposed to downloading a reference of what another computer tells you happened. Old blocks have been verified by so many peers that checkpoints can be a practical and safe way to sync faster. Other things that can help are having your blockchain files stored on a solid state drive rather than a spinning hard drive. When a network moves as fast as we do, about 1 million blocks per year, it’s important that each block makes its way through the entire network in under 30 seconds.