So, many of may have heard of the popular crypto-currency bitcoin, that peaked at around 30 USD over the summer.
Well meet it's little brother, litecoin. Litecoin aims to be the silver, if bitcoin is the gold, and uses precisely the same code, except transactions happen faster, and it is easier to mine coins. Also, it is CPU oriented, rather than Bitcoins GPU oriented approach, which allows more mainstream computers to get in on some of the action.
The first step is to go over to litecoin.org and download the software. You will be given a specific address, that looks like a bunch of random letters. This is how you receive your litecoins.
Another vital tool for the miner is the website btc-e.com. It has the current going rate for a variety of crypto-currencies, and has the going rate for the bitcoin in USD (currently 3.50ish as of writing this).
If you so desire, you can convert your coins into old fashioned american greenbacks.
Currently the conversion rate between litecoins and bitcoins .0022, which makes each litecoin equal around one penny.
While mining is a good place to start off, the easiest way I found is to do offers for bitcoins (downloading apps, taking surveys, what have you) and then converting those fractions of bitcoins into a few hundred litecoins. Provided the conversion rate goes up, and litecoins become worth one tenth a bitcoin, or even one quarter, this could end up being very lucrative.
As we saw over the summer with bitcoin, the market for crypto-currency has alot of potential, and the sky is the limit. So go get some litecoins!
Once you install the client and make a little change, feel free to donate. My address is LbjpoR8DU838pw6zT5fPpqbGhLyUQBPSmU (litecoin)