Hardware, OSes, Software
You will find me learning about operating systems and hardware most of the time. Windows, Debian Linux variants, CPUs, GPUs, Hard Drives, RAID, cooling systems, and network equipment. I use virtualization alot 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. 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.
Couple years ago, I found myself interested in the techniques and methods used by hackers and work done by security researchers. I follow Brian Kreb’s blog and Steve Gibson’s podcast (see “podcasts” below). One thing I want to learn is pen testing systems.
I’m loving the $20 RTL2832U Software Defined Radio (or RTL-SDR) dongles. By far my favorite thing to do with them is monitor digital trunked radio systems. There is something new with these all the time.
I keep up with tech mostly by watching podcasts. Here are the ones I normally catch.
TWiT – …it features roundtable discussions and debates surrounding current technology news and reviews, with a particular focus on consumer electronics and the Internet…
I usually catch:
–Ham Nation. (Check my Ham Nation page as I am one of the After Show Net Controllers!)
–This Week in Enterprise Tech.
Hak5 – Put together by a band of IT ninjas, security professionals and hardcore gamers, Hak5 isn’t your typical tech show. Hak5 is a cocktail mix of comedy, technolust, hacks, DIY mods, homebrew, forensics, and network security. My ubergeek show for Linux stuff, hacking, and security.
Audio editing: Audacity.
Audio playback: Foobar2000.
CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning: ImgBurn.
File compression: 7-Zip.
File encryption: VeraCrypt.
File integrity checking: HashTab.
Graphics editor: Paint.Net.
Operating system (primary): Windows 7.
PDF reader: Sumatra PDF.
Router firmware: Tomato by Shibby.
(MP3) Tag editing: MP3Tag.
SSH client: Putty.
Text editor: VIM on Linux. Notepad++ on Windows.
Video playback: Media Player Classic and Video LAN.
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 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.