Computers

I have been interested and tinkering around with computers from an early age.  The first OS I remember using was MS-DOS 5.0.  Windows 3.1 was the first version of Windows I used.  I started to use Linux in college on my own and as part of a system’s integration lab requirement for class.

Hardware, OSes, Software

You will find me learning about something I find interesting at the moment. Those are usually: operating systems (Windows, Debian Linux variants, Fedora Linux), hardware (CPU, Hard Drives, RAID), and networking (Routers, NAS, VPN, Wireless) most of the time. I use virtualization often for testing and sandboxing.

On the software side, I am a huge fan of Free and Open Source Software.   These programs tend to be written by serious enthusiasts or a community of contributors.  I was first exposed to Open Source with the Linksys WRT54GL router using Tomato and DD-WRT firmware.  Open Source firmware for these devices transformed them into enterprise grade devices.

I was using Media Center hardware long before it became popular to use them in HTPCs.  Web server technology became an interest when I started developing websites.  I’ve used both LAMP & WIMP server stacks.

Security

Couple years ago, I found myself interested, as a user and programmer, in the work done by security researchers to uncover issues with computing devices and how the might be used by bad actors.

I follow Brian Kreb’s blog, Security Now with Steve Gibson and the Sans Institute’s StomCast podcasts.  One thing I want to learn more about it is how-to pen test.

Currently

Many of my computer interests crossover to Ham Radio.  This is currently what I spend most of my time doing.

Favorite programs

Audio editing: Audacity.
Audio playback: Foobar2000.
Browser: Firefox.
CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning: ImgBurn.
DVR & Media Center: NPVR, Plex.
File compression: 7-Zip.
File encryption: VeraCrypt.
File integrity checking: HashTab.
FTP/SFTP: FileZilla.
Graphics editor: Paint.Net.
Operating systems: Windows 7, Fedora Linux (Cinnamon Spin).
PDF reader: Sumatra PDF.
Router firmware: Tomato by Shibby.
(MP3) Tag editing: MP3Tag.
SSH client: PuTTY.
Text editor: VIM on Linux.  Notepad++ on Windows.
Virtualization: VirtualBox.
Video playback: Media Player Classic and Video LAN.
VPN: OpenVPN.

Computer build history

I’ve built every desktop system I’ve ever owned.  Here is a quick history of what I remember the last configuration to be.

386.  170 & 212 MB HDD.

Celeron 333.

Celeron 800.  768 MB RAM.  DVD-ROM, CD-RW, Iomega Internal Zip 100.  Creative Audigy.  WinTV-GO-FM.

Pentium 4 Hyper Threaded.  2 GB RAM.  80 & 250 GB HDD.  DVD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-RW, Iomega Internal ZIP 100.  Creative Audigy 2.  Hauppauge PVR-350.

Pentium Core i7 Sandybridge 2600K.  8 GB RAM.  2x 650 GB & 2x 1 TB HDD – RAID 1.  DVD-RW.  Asus NVidia GTX 460.  Asus Xonar DX.  Hauppauge PVR-1850.

Ham radio and tech.