The last few days I was reading a bit anout bitcoins and learned a few things about them, though i still did not read the paper. More informative than bitcoin.org are the bitcoin wiki and howtobitcoin.info.
I thought transactions are free, but they are not (only sometimes). Bitcoinfees.com describes these fees very good.
There seem to be plans to create a bitcoin fund. This will lead to a more widespread use of bitcoins. A good thing for the network.
After reading a bit I thought “let’s give it a try” and installed the standard client, bitcoin-qt. After starting it I found out that it downloads the whole blockchain, the whole history of all bitcoin transactions ever made, from the net. It showed far more than 100 weeks remaining and for every week downloaded it became slower. I thought there must be a faster way and found this forum post about a bootstrap file. I downloaded these 2.7GB (zipped) and let bitcoin-qt import it. This import was pretty fast, unfortunately still 28 weeks were remaining. I waited almost one day to see it reaching week 21 and the wallet grew to a size of about 6GB. So I gave up. This is unacceptable.
Fortunately there are other clients which do not need to download anything. Or if they do download something it is not noticable. So now I am using Electrum.
The good thing of all this is, I have now a nice bitcoin address to accept donations: