FlexPool recently released their FlexFarmer 2.0, full of all the usual ridiculous claims from them. If you use it you are sure to win more blocks, make more money, get a better car, bigger house, better spouse. But is it perfect? No, the answer is always no for software. Software is not perfect in any sense, and never will be. And that holds true for FlexFarmer, which on windows has a very funny bug.
For my setup I have my chia farming done on bare metal on the server hosting my storage. The system runs windows, and Chia has direct access to the disks I am farming. It also runs a couple of VMs that do my fork farming (separate, as is the way) that access the plots over read only shares. Well, on the new version of FlexFarmer when someone (or a something, like a fork farming application) read the .plot file over SMB it generates a file system event for the softlock of the file. FlexFarmer reads that as a change to the plot, and then counts it as a new plot. This results in the reported space climbing constantly until you are reporting truly hilarious numbers.
This didn’t have any effect on my farming, in fact the farming part was really good. Except for the fact that when I hit around 200TB of reported space (on a 50TB farm) my system crashed for the first time since I built it. I have no evidence FlexFarmer crashed it, but that was the change on the system so its at least in the running.
The exact error generated is shows below. Again, my rewards were fine – I had no stale shares during my time farming with them, which is slightly better than the almost no stale shares I had with the official client. I think FlexFarmer really good software, minus a few hilarious bugs that the team there is working on fixing. I don’t think its a miracle the way they sell their pool.
And on that note, the way they sell their pool. It is really unfortunate that FlexPool takes such a dishonest marketing strategy. They likely do have the best technology stack, or one of the best at least, of the Chia Pools. They have a great pool, with good tools available to their farmers. Chia Network might not like the centralized farmer, but I think without it the blockchain size will eventually price out individual farmers so its also a good thing. But instead of just marketing on those very true advantages, they feel the need to go a step further and lie. Their frontman, Chris2, will always fall back on the line that he isn’t technical while making claims and any mistruth is in the translation from their developer. I find that a specious argument that doesn’t hold water. Chris knows his claims are false, even if he doesn’t understand why, and he makes them anyway. And its almost certainly true that the controversy around that helps them out even more, from a marketing perspective. Probably nothing to be done, but its worth mentioning every time we talk about them. Other pools don’t need to make wild claims to push growth, and neither does FlexPool.