This site contains articles and posts I’ve written over the years on career and technical matters. You can also check out past presentations I’ve given at various hacker and cyber security conferences.

Oscar scanner followup

Oscar scanner is a project I mentioned in an earlier post. I wanted to follow up on that with my progress. It’s basically working now, more or less, after some hiccups trying to run it on Arch, and lack of time or motivation, ordering wifi adapters, etc. I have a video up demonstrating it’s use.

I have a short video of my the Adafruit UPC scanner in its 3D printed case being used here:


Spinning Wheels

I don’t know if its because I’m now settled into the dad life or what, but I’ve been taking on more personal projects lately, working on them until I loose interest or find something else. Of course, leaving them in various states of completion, some times returning later. Sometimes its just lack of motivation, sometimes I hit a wall, a few cases are delays since continuing requires hardware or something that costs money. [Read More]

Intel Graphics Issues with Ubuntu 12.04

I have an XPS 13 Developer edition laptop (aka Project Sputnick), after some updates to Ubuntu in recent months, it would randomly freeze. It became apparent it was the graphics card that was freezing as processes were still running even though the display image was frozen and the mouse nor any other input seemed to have no affect (if I left it on downloads would finish). This was very frustrating as I had bought an officially supported set of hardware for Ubuntu from Dell to eliminate these kind of hardware support headaches. [Read More]

Koding with Flask

Koding is a cool site that provides a web-based development environment that is perfect for budding programers and veteran programmers who want an easy to use sandbox environment to develop in. For free you get a VM that that comes pre-setup so that you can develop in several languages including Python, plus database backends ability to install more resources (you get full root access to your VM). A lot of coders use it to stage or live demo a project, and of course the VM automatically shutsdown when you log off. [Read More]

Oscar scanner

Oscar is a Python project utilizing the Raspberry Pi w/ UPC barcode reader to scan barcodes on items you keep stocked in your pantry or fridge, when scanned, ideally when you run out of an item just before throwing the packaging or container away, it will populate your grocery list with the item reminding you that you need to pick up more of that item on your next shopping trip. Since it’s written in Python, it could easily be adapted to run on almost any device with Linux on it and a USB port that is networked. [Read More]

Python indicator applet

In my attempt to code more, I’ve been looking for a purpose or a problem to which I can apply what I’ve learned or use as a reason to acquire new knowledge. One of the things I’ve been working on a clone of a Mac OS X application an acquaintance of mine is writing. This has begun my foray into writing using the PyGObject API for GTK along with the Ubuntu GTK indicator API. [Read More]
python  qt  gtk 

Python for fun and profit

I have been honing my Python skills on a couple of projects recently. One is the famous (or infamous) Python Challenge which has been interesting, but its not where I have spent the bulk of my time. The other is some work related scripting in jython for Websphere automating some tasks for developers (pausing and resuming activation specifications) in their test environment. But was has challenged me the most and captured the majority of my attention is the Matasano Crypto Challenge. [Read More]


So I’ve been using some of my spare time to experiment with and learn how to use Metasploit. I’ve been familiar with Metasploit for a while now, so this isn’t really about learning something new so much as it is finally getting familiar with a tool that I’ve messed with only a little in the past. Part of this is because I have no programming projects to occupy myself with since I have a real problem finding an interesting problem or project that I can code a solution for. [Read More]

Message engines & Service Integration Buses

One of the components that I deal with in my work with WebSphere that seems nebulous to some conceptually, is the service integration bus and it’s corresponding message engine. Especially when you’re first beginning to learn about WebSphere and JMS. This concept is not unique to WebSphere and similar implementations can be found in JBoss, but my experience with it rests mostly with WebSphere. A service integration bus lets applications exchange messages between each other within a cell. [Read More]