Older blog entries for vab (starting at number 106)

It's been a while since I've been on Advogato. There's not a whole lot of new stuff going on in my life. I'm still working as a sysadmin. As I've gotten older, I've gotten a lot more interested in making money and a bit less interested in free software. So, most of what free time I've been able to find recently has been spent on commercial projects and stock/options trading software. Work at my day job has been super busy. But, it's finally starting to kinda slow down now.

I just released a new version of passgen. Mostly it was because some of the users I support have been having trouble with homoglyphs. This release adds the ability to suppress homoglyphs and force either upper or lower case.

I've been learning a lot about image processing, vision, and AI, for a project I'm working on. I've been spending most of my time working on code that uses openCV. I want to give the openCV people big props - amazing job guys it's one of the cleanest, clearest, and most robust libraries I've ever used. It's saved me *so much* time and effort.

I've finally released a new version of the PGP Keysigning Party HOWTO.

I've also now gotten the vast majority of things properly redundant and mostly automated at work. So, I'm finding myself with much more time for such things.

26 Apr 2007 (updated 26 Apr 2007 at 19:56 UTC) »

I've started a new vertical blog on cryptography, called CryptoWatch, and started back-populating it. There's just under 50 entries now. There's obviously tons and tons of other stuff that I need to back load. But, I keep getting busier and busier with other stuff. So, I'm letting people know it's there now in case I don't get back to it for a while. I am keeping an eye on all the crypto related journals, blogs, mailing lists, etc... as I had been before I started CryptoWatch. I will post anything note worthy that passes in my periphery.

CryptoWatch is basically meant to highlight the announcement of technological and mathematical advancements that may impact decisions about the use of cryptographic systems. I hope that it will be a great way to stay informed about bleeding edge advancements in fields that effect cryptosystem, algorithm, key length, and expiration date choices. I'll also try to help keep you keep abreast of the state of emerging disruptive technologies like quantum computation.

If you decide to become a reader, I hope that you enjoy it.

27 Aug 2006 (updated 9 Apr 2013 at 00:59 UTC) »

Current mood: busy

Entry tags: cryptography, linux, mit, pgp, security

Speaking at BLU@MIT Sept. 20th 2006

I'm speaking at The Boston Linux Users group on the topic of PGP encryption before a keysigning party. The talk will be given @ MIT E-51 rm 335.

Register your key and drop on by if you'd like to help us build the web of trust. Fun will be had by all. Well, at least the math geeks anyway.

I really need to sit down and force myself to update the PGP Keysigning Party HOWTO. That's officially my mission for today.

A web of trust:

Current mood: nerdy

Current music: 3 Doors Down - If I Could Be Like That

Entry tags: books, library


After seeing it in xach's journal, I set up an account for myself on LibraryThing. LibraryThing is basically a kind of mix between a Social Networking site and a Recommendation Engine. You put in all the books you own and it will tell you who else also has those books, let you add reviews and ratings, tag your books, give you interesting statistics on your collection, and recommend other books you might like to read. I left my data public, so anyone can take a peak at my collection of books or my profile on the site.

My reaction to seeing my books all listed out like that was "OMG, I'm such a NERD! I'm never going to get laid!". I have them spaced out around the house and many of them stacked at odd angles, some with their spines facing the wall, to keep me from having that reality brought into my consciousness. 8-)

I signed up though cause I need to starting reading again. I need to find some new books I might like. The world's changing. I need something new. Pretty much, the only things I've read in the last five to seven years that weren't online were text books and certification study guides. I've kind of been in this over focused rut. I have done much of anything but work-work (stuff for $ or other people) and waste time. I'm not sure if there's any irony in the fact that rut is a homonym that's alternate meaning is the breeding season for cervids. Probably, if I was vulgar enough to disclose how I've been wasting my time. haha

Here's my Author Cloud:

And here's my Tag Cloud

I have a huge number of books that no one else has. Disclosing stuff about myself always makes me feel like I'm weird because of stuff like that. Hakank has the most books in common with me, closely followed by dkennedy.


27 Aug 2006 (updated 27 Aug 2006 at 12:22 UTC) »

MIT is amazing. I'm super inspired. I have lots of big news to post, but haven't had time. Big stuff coming soon.

Some little other stuff:

* I'm speaking at HOPE Number Six. Let me know if you're going to be there and you wanna grab a beer.

* I have some new LDP stuff/HOWTO's coming out soon

* Bill Gates is wicked freakin' awesome

* Bank of America sucks. I got hit with an overdraft because MIT messed up my first paycheck and it took BoA four days to clear a check from them to them! Four days for their own check! grrr

* I'm walking in the Autism Research Walk on June 17th (tomorrow). It's an issue that obviously very close to my heart. If you could sponsor/give a few bucks, and even consider walking in on of their other walks this year I'd really appreciate it. Click here to contribute.

New Job

I've taken a new job at MIT. I'll start work there next month. I hope that it will not only enrich me intellectually, but stimulate me to begin making some more significant contributions to the free software community.

I came to my last job mostly for a girl, so I have no strong regret about it - oh, she was soo beautiful! =) But, I have dissappointed myself with my recent lack of productivity. With a slow pace at work, it's very difficult to keep a fast pace at home. I'm hoping that a fast pace at work will translate into, or at least encourage, a fast pace at home. It may have just been the youth, but in my younger days this seemed be the case.


I'm greatly looking forward to the move to Boston. I've rented a place in Southie, also known as "Little Ireland", which will allow me to take the T to work every day - no more driving for me. That's going to be a very nice change.

Unfortunately, my boss took the week of St. Pat's for vacation so I won't be able to be up there for the parade since I'm covering at work. But, I'm looking forward to the little break inbetween jobs anyway. I'm going to try and make a trip to Ireland and Germany to visit some friends before I start work.

Many years ago I used to hate Bill Gates - passionately. I had a job working for a pediatric cancer research group writing Java Applets to support clinical trials when Microsoft released their own JVM and caused me endless problems and many hours of lost productivity.

Later, I had a job building a single signon infrastructure for a large University with AIX and Linux using MIT Kerberos when Microsoft released their broken version of Kerberos.

I'm starting to really like the guy and respect him allot, though. So, the head aches, lost hours of work, lost nights and weekends spent working around artificial problems - all forgotten. Water under the bridge. Perhaps, a large part of it is that I'm no longer a college kid and my world view has changed a great deal. I understand money much better now.

But the major thing is that I've been hearing a great deal about The Gates Foundation and what Bill Gates has been doing to try and help with the world's most serious problems. I'm especially impressed with, and grateful for, the Foundation's efforts in global health, particularly with vaccines. Gates and his foundation have played a roll in creating a nonprofit pharmaceutical company, and helped with the creation of the DATA organization. From listening to him and reading interviews, it's obvious he actually cares and is very well informed.

I never thought I'd say this, but... I'm going to start developing for the Microsoft platform! (I'll still be continuing to develop software and documentation for the Linux Platform, of course.)

I ordered a copy of Microsoft Studio Beta-2 from Microsoft. The web pages suggested that there would be a small charge for it. But there was none - I'm not sure if it's because I came from a .edu address, a Linux browser, or just that they're not charging. But, it's on its way. So wish me luck in the wild new world of MFC and .NET.

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