Secure Boot on Arch Linux

Secure boot is a part of the relatively new Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (uefi) specification that allows verifying the legitimacy of early boot code using a public key infrastructure. It has been widely criticised due to the fact that it could prevent non-Microsoft-blessed software from booting if a user cannot change the keys or disable the feature. I am going to ignore the political issues, and focus on how to use secure boot to protect the boot process of an Arch Linux system running on a Thinkpad x240.

A Programmer’s Foray Into Student Government

Almost four months ago, I decided to run an exec position on the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Undergraduate Student Government (USG). The current Vice President of Information Technology was stepping down for a semester long internship (also called a co-op), and the General Assembly (GA) needed to elect a replacement for the semester. On the recommendation of one of my fraternity brothers, I decided to go for it. I showed up to Adelbert on a snowy Tuesday night, delivered a three minute pitch (speech) about why the representatives should vote for me, answered a few questions, and stepped out of the room to allow the other candidates to do the same.

Apple vs the FBI Part I

Introduction and Background This post is an attempt to explain the encryption dispute between Apple and the FBI. It will provide general background on the whole so-called “security vs privacy” debate, historical context of how the United States government has interacted with encryption, and finally talk about the events leading up to and the actual dispute between Apple and the FBI regarding unlocking an iPhone 5c, used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Hackers vs Hackathons

I want to spend a few minutes sharing my thoughts about hacker culture, hackathon culture, and why there is a divide between the two. First, a brief introduction to what these things are. “Hacker culture” is a mentality of using technology in new, often unconventional ways. It comes out of the original computer science groups at universities such as MIT and UC Berkeley. As far as I can tell, in the earliest days, before the internet, most of these groups had separate cultures.

Ghost 2 Hugo

As my very few readers may have noticed, I recently changed the theme of this blog. At the same time, I also switched from Ghost to Hugo. Here is the Python script I developed to migrate my ghost database to Hugo:

USB Armory LED Control

The USB Armory comes with a nice little LED on board. In the default Debian image, it is set up to blink based on CPU usage. To control it manually, take the following steps:

USB Armory USB mass storage and ethernet

The default image for the USB Armory defaults to using the g_ether driver to provide an ethernet device to the host. However, that does not give you a USB mass storage device. The alternative is to modrpobe -r g_ether and modprobe g_mass_storage file=/path/to/block/device, but that leaves you without ethernet, and thus without a method of communicating with the armory.

Moving to Seattle

It seems that, as I get to know people in Cleveland, more and more of them are starting to move to my home city of Seattle. Because of this, I have decided to write a short post about what you need to do if you move to Seattle.

Security part 2

Here I describe more security measures I’ve taken for my new FreeBSD 10.1 server.


This is a brief guide to securing your web/mail server, with a focus on FreeBSD. Some of this is simply links to other blogs, and the rest is my own setup.

On meditation and coding

From my own experience, meditation seems to have really taken off in popularity recently. A number of recent news stories and podcasts I have listened to proclaim its usefulness in keeping a healthy mind and body. However, not everyone sees it like that yet. Many see it as some Buddhist exercise that’s not relevant their Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Atheist belief system. This could not be further from the truth; in fact, your religion (or lack thereof) is completely irrelevant to the benefits you can gain from it.

About this blog

Since this will partially be a technical blog, I want to spend some time talking about this blog. I wrote an overview for the about page, so go there if you want a really quick overview.

Welcome to 2015

Another year passes, and another blog begins.

To start off 2015, and finally get this blog going, here are my new years resolutions. I haven’t really done these in the past, so this is a bit new. However, I think it is important to have a number of goals and expectations for myself in the new year.